Annotating Images With Adobe Lightroom’s Adjustment Brush
October 1, 2013
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We do a lot of screen shots here at Lightroom Fanatic and, while I crop the images to narrow in on a particular part of the screen, it would be nice to highlight a specific control or tool. There are plenty of ways to add annotations to images using other software, but I didn’t want to add another piece of software to my workflow, so I set about finding a way of annotating images inside of Lightroom.

The Adjustment Brush includes a Color effect that allows us to paint over an image. While there is a limitation on the opacity of the effect, it’s strong enough for a quick and easy annotation.

To start, in the Develop module select the Adjustment Brush tool (K).

Lightroom Fanatic - Adjustment Brush for Annotations

Lightroom Fanatic – Adjustment Brush

Use the options below to get started:

  • Effect: Color
  • Color:Select the color that you want to paint with.
  • Size: Typically, a value less than 1 is ideal. The thinner the brush, the easier it will be to control the level of detail. A thicker brush will make it harder to define more detailed shapes.
  • Feather: 0
  • Flow: 100
  • Density: 100
The effect itself has a limitation on the opacity that can be applied to the adjustment, but you can adjust the Exposure if wanted to brighten up the effect.


With your brush ready, simply paint in the annotation.

Lightroom Fanatic - Draw An Annotation

Lightroom Fanatic – Draw An Annotation

You can also use brush to draw in highlighting.

Lightroom Fanatic - Highlighting

Lightroom Fanatic – Highlighting

Simple. It’s not as robust as some of the other tools out there, but for me the greatest benefit to using the adjustment brush is that I don’t have to leave Lightroom, and it’s functional.

There are a number of other ways to apply this technique, including an easy way to sign your images!

Lightroom Fanatic - Signed Image

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