Articles, Blog

Adding Catch Lights to Eyes Using the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom

October 17, 2019

Welcome everyone I’m Laura Shoe author
the Lightroom blog and Lightroom workshops on video at recently I read an article about how to
add catch flights to eyes using Photoshop so I thought I’d show you how to do the
same thing here in Lightroom I going to zoom in on my eye and I’m
going to paint in a catch light with the adjustment brush
now any time I come into the adjustment brush I like to reset all the sliders so that
I don’t accidentally paint with something I don’t mean to so I’ll do so by double clicking on the word
affect I want to paint with positive exposure and nothing is
happening in the photo because I haven’t yet said where I
want to use a fairly small brush you can change the size of you brush
using the size slider down here or you can use the left and right
bracket keys on your keyboard I also want my brush to
have a soft edge rather than harsh one so I’ve set the
feather slider here to 100 I’m simply going to click in my eye and
let go to paint the catch light now this pin
that’s a record of my changes is in the way me evaluating the catch light so as I
move my mouse out at the photo the pin is hidden and
that’s the case because I have show edit pins here set to auto hide now at this point the catch light has a
reddish cast to it because adding four stops to exposure
wasn’t enough to blow out that area or turn it pure
white we’re seeing some of the underlying
residual color so in addition to painting with positive exposure I’m going to paint with negative
saturation I’ll go ahead and take it to -100 now at this
point if I feel like I’ve added too much
exposure I can simply adjust the amount it’s hard
for me to tell when I’m zoomed in so far so I’m going to click on fill to zoom out and I
think it’s looking pretty good I’m going to zoom back in to show you that if
you need to add more light if +4 on exposure is not enough if
you have a dark eye like this one you can also use the
shadow slider so as we add light into the shadows
where we’ve painted you can see how bright I can get that
catch light in my way too bright of course another option for example if you’re working with a
light-colored I and shadows doesn’t work is to add another adjustment right on
top of this one if you have Lightroom 4 or earlier you’ll
click on new and you’ll paint that area again if you
have Lightroom 5 you can duplicate this adjustment by
right-clicking or control clicking on the pin and
choosing Duplicate now there’s a second
instruction sitting on top of the first one and as I move my mouse out you can see
the cumulative effect of the two adjustments I can then dial back the top adjustment to get just
the amount that i’m looking for. next I would hold the space bar down so that I can click and drag over to my
other eye now the eyes are of different brightness is
starting out so I very well might want different settings for the catch light
in this eye so I’m gonna do a brand new adjustment and I’ll start again with positive
exposure and negative saturation and I’ll click, move my mouse out that’s not enough so I’ll add light into the shadows maybe zoom
out so I can get some perspective here and then I continue to work on it from
here I think they’re too bright at this point now this pin is active its
black so I can simply dial back the exposure
cell to get back to this catch light or this pin I need to click on it to make it active
and then I can adjust from here okay so that’s how to add
catch lights using Lightroom if you enjoyed this video do check out
my blog at and sign up for
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finally if you’re watching from YouTube
subscribe to my YouTube channel I’m Laura Shoe


  • Reply Gerard Hayes December 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you Laura! As with your other videos -very clear, informative and valued. My favourites list has increased again!

  • Reply Doug Jefford December 20, 2013 at 10:08 pm


  • Reply BxSquirrel March 18, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Wow thank you! You explain everything so clearly, great teacher.

  • Reply Hani Latif Zaloum June 20, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Excellent stuff, thank you Laura, you always learn new things in LR and PS, 🙂

  • Reply Donna Melsness April 16, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks Laura , my favourites list has increased also!! 🙂

  • Reply Sandra DaRosa Photography August 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Perfect!!!! Thank you!

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