This step-by-step Adobe Lightroom Tutorial will teach you how to use the Select a Subject tool in Adobe Lightroom.
I think you will agree with me when I say it’s hard to quickly make subject selections.
Well, it turns out you can select Subject Precisely and quickly using the latest Lightroom tools.
Let us dive right in –
Subject Selection tool in Lightroom
- Under the Lightroom develop module, select the masking option.
- Click on the Select Subject icon under Masking > Add New Mask.
- Mask Panel will appear. You can see the Subject. A subject that is in focus is selected. Check the Show Overlay checkbox to see which area is selected.
- You have made the initial subject selection. This type of subject selection is a good starting point for most images.
- Apply the targeted adjustments for a selected Subject.
Optional steps to refine your subject selections
- Once you make the initial subject selection, click on the selected Mask under the Mask panel.
- Below the Mask, there are 2 options- Add and Subtract
- For adding more areas to the subject selection, click on Add.
- There are multiple options to Add to the current selection.
- The brush option helps extend the selections. Select the brush option and paint over the area you want to select.
- To subtract from the selection, select the Subtract option. Select the brush and paint over the area you don’t want in the selection.
- I find the Brush option to help add or subtract the subject selection out of multiple options.
- If your subject selection demands additional selection options, feel free to give it a try.
Visualizing the overlay
- You can visualize the selected Subject using various overlay modes.
- To visualize the selection, check the Show overlay box under the Mask.
- You can see a default overlay as Color Overlay. Now you can choose a different color for overlay. Click on the color palette and select the color of the overlay.
- Also, there are other overlay modes available. I Chose color overlay or Color Overlay on B & W as I find those overlay’s easy to refine the subject selections. You can choose which you find helpful for your images.
Bonus tip to quickly stand out your Subject in the image
- Select the Subject as mentioned in the above steps. Use Select for selecting the Subject.
- Make Targeted adjustments to the Main Subject. I recommend specifically targeted adjustments: Black and White point, Highlight/ Shadows, Vibrance and Saturation, and Sharpness. Every image is different; hence you can apply targeted adjustments per the image requirement.
- Under the Mask panel, Click on Mask, which you have created using the Select Subject option.
- Right Click on the Mask and Duplicate it. Another Mask is created, the same as the Initial Mask associated with Subject Selection.
- Right-click on the Duplicate Mask you created. Select the option as Invert. ( Note – Now you have selected everything other than your main Subject)
- Apply the Targeted adjustments on the area other than Main Subject. Typically I would Use Black point, Noise reduction, Sharpness, and Clarity reduction. However, every image is different, and it requires different processing.
- The Key Idea here is, emphasize the main Subject by applying the targeted adjustments.
- And apply targeted adjustments on the area other than Subject. Gently push the Subject’s surroundings down by reducing the exposure, clarity, sharpness, and colors.
- This may help your Main Subject will pop up beautifully in terms of Light, Colors, and Sharpness.
Now it’s your turn
I hope this Lightroom tool will help you select and edit the Subject faster and more accurately.
Now I would like to hear from you.
What type of images will you edit with Select Subject Feature in Lightroom. Let me know by leaving a comment below.