Photoshop has offered Select Subject and Sky Replacement tools for quite some time, and now Adobe is bringing those powerful masking capabilities to Lightroom and Lightroom Classic to make selective adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw. Adobe claims this is the biggest change to selectively editing photos since the release of Lightroom 2.

Early versions of Photoshop introduced tools like the dodge and burn tools, as well as selections, masking, layers, and layer masks which enabled photographers to make selective adjustments in the digital darkroom. Lightroom 2, released in 2008, introduced the brush, linear gradient, and radial gradient tools enabling direct selective adjustments in a non-destructive, photography-specific environment. The new masking functionality represents the biggest change to providing control over selectively enhancing photos since the release of Lightroom 2.

Adobe started working on Lightroom’s new masking features over a year ago and surveyed “tens of thousands of customers” to try to understand the biggest pain points they faced when making selections. Adobe also used the surveys to learn about what customers liked about the existing selection tools in Lightroom and Lightroom Classic.

Lightroom’s new tools are organized in a new masking panel and work similarly to their Photoshop counterparts. Users can select a subject or sky to quickly make an adjustment. Selections can also be inverted to exclude a subject or sky from being tweaked (For example, selecting the sky and inverting the selection to apply edits to just the terrain). You can watch a demo of the new masking tools in action below:

All of Adobe’s new machine-based-learning masking tools are coming to desktop and mobile versions of Lightroom, as well as Lightroom Classic on October 26.

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