The Density, Flow and Feather Sliders in Lightroom

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry 3 Comments

A while ago I did this video on the Special Adjustment brush.

I have received many, many questions especially on what the Density, Flow and Feather sliders do so I’ve just done this video in which I look at the details.

Here we go!

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The video should give you a very good idea of what the different sliders in the Special Adjustment does and how you can use them but just to make sure you nail the details let’s recap.

Density Slider

The Density slider in Lightroom caps the amount of change that a specific brush will affect.

If you select a Density 0f 100 the adjustments you have chosen will be applied 100% to wherever you brush whereas a Density setting of 50 will only apply 50% of the chosen adjustments.

In the image below I dropped the Exposure slider for my Special Adjustment Brush to -4 and then dropped the Density slider for each brush stroke.

Gerry van der Walt - Lightroom Tutorial

This is very handy for when you want to be more specific and particular about how much of adjustment you want to make to any given area in your images.

Flow Slider

The Flow slider allows you to choose how slowly a specific brush adjustment is applied.

With Flow on 100 the adjustments you have selected will be applied 100%.

A setting off 50 will see the first brush stroke apply only 50% of the chosen adjustments and you can then brush over the same area again and again to build the adjustment up to wherever you have capped you Density slider.

The image below shows a single brush stroke at different Flow settings.

Gerry van der Walt - Lightroom Tutorial

In order to create natural looking images the Flow slider will help you to build up your adjustments rather than have a single setting for the entire image.

Feather Slider

The Feather slider allows you to control the edge sharpness of your brush.

A zero setting on the Feather slider will give you a brush that has very sharp edged whereas a setting of 50 will keep the same settings in the centre of the brush but then soften the outside edge of the brush by fading the adjustment from the centre outwards.

Gerry van der Walt - Lightroom Tutorial

The Feather slider will give you the opportunity to soften your adjustments which will make any specific edge brushing more subtle.

And there you have it.

Hope that makes sense as once you get a hang of this you you will have the ability to control exactly the adjustments you create with you brush and add great finesse to your images.

If you have any more questions on this please feel free to leave a comment below or find me on Twitter and we can chat through things from there.

If you know of anybody who might find this post useful why not share it with them?

Good luck and happy brushing!

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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Comments 3

  1. Carol Bell

    Thank you Gerry……I now understand these sliders a lot better and will use them “in a better way” to what I have been doing. (with practice)…… for someone who hated processing my photos I am really enjoying it a lot and its all thanks to your help.

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  2. Phil Symonds

    Great explanation and video combo Gerry, very nice to have the video demo along with the copy!
    Looking forward to the next installment of the special adjustment brush 😉

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