The Smart Brush tool in Photoshop Elements enables you to selectively apply an image adjustment or special effects that appear on all or part of your image.


Open a photo in the Photo Editor Expert mode and select the Smart Brush tool from the Tools panel.

The tool icon looks like a paintbrush. You can also press F, or Shift+F if the Detail Smart Brush tool is visible to get to the Smart Brush tool.


Click the Picker menu and click the first thumbnail (Make Dull Skies Blue) in the top-left corner.

The Picker pop-up menu displays thumbnails of various options from which you can choose. As the mouse cursor hovers over a thumbnail, a tooltip displays the Smart Brush effect. The thumbnail in the top-left corner is the Make Skies Blue tool.


Drag the Smart Brush tool in the sky area of your photo.

Deselect (Press Ctrl/Command+D) when finished.


Click the Picker menu on the Tool Options panel and choose Brighter. Drag the Smart Brush tool in an area of the photo that you want to lighten.

You can also use the Detail Smart Brush tool adjacent to the Smart Brush tool in the Tool Options panel to refine small areas. Rub the tool over areas you want to refine.


Add to or subtract from your selection.

To expand your selection, click the + tool. To eliminate part of your selection, click the – tool.


Refine the image brightness.

Double-click the Brightness layer to open the Brightness Contrast panel and adjust the sliders as you need to refine the brightness level.


Check out the result and save your photo.

If the result appears as you like, save the new edited photo. The original image is on the left, and the image after you adjusted the brightness is on the right.