In today’s tutorial, I’ll be walking through how to use add “flash” to your natural light portraits using the AI masking tool in Lightroom.

Video: Adding “Flash” Using the AI Masking Tool in Lightroom

With the AI masking tool in Lightroom, we can select out our subjects with a click of a button. With a few tweaks to the color and light, we can enhance our natural light portrait of Kiara by adding the “flash” effect.

Related Reading: Advanced Masking Using Lightroom’s New AI Features

Initial Adjustments

uploadsLet’s start with our global adjustments to the tones and color. I wanted to go for a cool look this time around.

Selecting Out Our Subject


To apply our “flash” effect, all we need to do is click “Select Subject” in our masking tools and Lightroom does all the heavy lifting.

masking tool in lightroom flash efectAfter creating the mask, we can then apply our settings to raise the exposure on Kiara. This creates that “flash” look that separates our subject from the background.

Refining the Image

To enhance the effect, we can add a subtle radial burn and darken the edges of the image. This will help pull the attention to Kiara and emphasize the “flash” effect.

masking tool in lightroom final comparison

Lastly, make your final adjustments and see the final results! Here’s a before and after comparison.


Thanks for checking out this tutorial! The AI masking tool in Lightroom opens the door for extraordinary edits. For a full guide on Lightroom editing, check out Mastering Lightroom from the SLR Lounge Premium Library. There, you’ll find more complete courses on subjects including Wedding Photography, iPhone Photography, and the Business of Photography.

Don’t miss our next episode of Mastering Your Craft on Adorama’s YouTube channel next week! If you want to catch up on all the episodes, make sure you check out our playlist!