When Working in Lightroom, Do You Make Use of the Alt/Option Key? This is Why You Ought to Do It.

The learning curve for using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop has been significantly flattened by the most recent updates to both programs, which are available now. This article will show you how to get the most out of Lightroom.

Even while it was still in its infancy, Lightroom already had a number of incredibly helpful keyboard shortcuts that it has continued to utilize and has now transferred over to Camera Raw. When it comes to the visualization of modifications, one of my personal favorites is the Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) key, which I believe to be essential in certain circumstances.

When you use certain sliders while holding down the Alt or Option key, you get visual feedback for the changes you make to the document. You might already be familiar with the fact that sharpening requires you to hold down the Alt or Option key, but just in case you aren’t, I’ll provide that tip below.

The most important aspect of utilizing the Alt/Option key is that it gives you visual feedback to observe what is happening to your image. This feedback can be seen by pressing the key simultaneously. Displaying in black or white (white exposes, black conceals) enables you to see immediately where clipping is taking place, and I personally find this more useful than the clipping indicators of the histogram. Displaying may be done in either black or white.

The Fundamentals Section

You may use it for the exposure slider; however, I don’t generally use it for that purpose. If you do, it will show you any parts of your photograph that are overexposed. The example that is shown below shows findings that have been artificially inflated for the sake of illustration. This is indicated by the navigator, the histogram, and the exposure slider.

When you adjust any of the following sliders while holding down the Alt or Option key, you will be able to highlight the areas of clipping in your images and adjust them slightly more precisely than the red or blue indicators that are displayed in the histogram panel. You can do this by adjusting the following sliders.



As may be seen in the following illustration, the given picture sample contains relatively few black dots that have been clipped in the shadows.


In the process of utilizing the black slider, I moved it to the left, which increased the black as an illustration. Although doing so is not recommended for this particular kind of image, doing so will show you how to use the Alt/Option key combination.

This is not a particularly excellent image, but it helps explain how much control you have over the clipping just by using the Alt/Option key when editing in this manner. Although this image is not particularly good, it helps illustrate how much control you have over the clipping.


When the amount of sharpening is adjusted to the right while holding down the Alt or Option key, the image will turn into a monochrome tone map and lose all of its color information. The rationale behind this is that we are better able to judge the degree of sharpening when the image is shown in black and white as opposed to color. When adding sharpening, I recommend that you zoom in all the way to 100%, since this will produce better viewing results overall.

Adjust the Masking slider after you are satisfied with the degree of sharpness that has been applied while you are still holding down the Alt/Option key. At first, the entire picture will seem to be white, which is a visual cue that a global adjustment is being made to the level of sharpness across the board. The parts that will not be sharpened are shown in black, while the areas that will be sharpened are shown in white.

Noise Reduction

You will be able to view the extent of the reduction impact thanks to the use of the identical visual monochromatic tonal indication that was utilized when the sharpening was applied. If you do it too much, the image will become blurry, therefore when adjusting it is best to zoom in all the way to 100 percent.

Lens Correction

This is one that I don’t use very often, but it’s nice to know it’s there since it may show you the portions of the image that are impacted by fringing and allow you to target those places more precisely. To correct them, I zoom in and use the eye dropper tool, but you can also modify the sliders while holding Alt/Option down. This is the primary way that I use it, but you can also use it to view them more quickly, as seen in the image below.

A Thought Before We Part

If editing with Lightroom is something you haven’t done much of before, I hope you found this little video to be informative and helpful in some way. There are many various methods available for editing your photographs; thus, select and make use of the approaches that are most appropriate for your workflow.

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