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Enhancing a sunrise with the Graduated Filter

From: Lightroom 4 Essentials: 02 Enhancing Photos with the Develop Module

Video: Enhancing a sunrise with the Graduated Filter

Let's take a look at how we can use our basic controls and the graduated filter in order to come up with some creative ways to process this sunrise picture. I like this photograph. This was the way that it came straight off the sensor. I like the silhouette, and some of the colors, and I want to see if we can kind of work with this, and experiment a little bit with a few different options for ways we could process this file. Let's go to the Develop module. We can do that by clicking on the Develop module button. Next, one of the things that I want to do is warm up my color temperature just a little bit.

Enhancing a sunrise with the Graduated Filter

Let's take a look at how we can use our basic controls and the graduated filter in order to come up with some creative ways to process this sunrise picture. I like this photograph. This was the way that it came straight off the sensor. I like the silhouette, and some of the colors, and I want to see if we can kind of work with this, and experiment a little bit with a few different options for ways we could process this file. Let's go to the Develop module. We can do that by clicking on the Develop module button. Next, one of the things that I want to do is warm up my color temperature just a little bit.

I want to do that because I want to bring out some of these colors here in the background. Well, when I do that, I all of a sudden have a problem in this area: in the sky. It's not quite very blue. What I could do is I could bring this Color Temperature back down, and I could look at another way to possibly work on this area of the picture. One of the things that you could do is you could navigate to the Graduated Filter tool, and then go ahead and make an adjustment, say, Temperature slider here, and then click and drag. And here I am just going to click and drag up, so that I have this adjustment, and I will reposition this until I get it in the right spot as far as where it's adjusting the image, and how it's adjusting the image, and I am just experimenting a little bit with this effect, and this color tone.

Then let's crank this up a little bit more, and also maybe perhaps so you can see that we can go one way or the other, kind of bringing up a little bit more color there. I will work on my Contrast, Exposure; just focusing on the foreground, and we can flip this switch to see the before and after. Here's before, and then there's after. It's brightening up the yellows down here; also hitting these a little bit as well. Let's bring in a little bit more color with a touch of Saturation; great. Kind of interesting, right? Well, what about the sky? Well next, let's create a new adjustment.

To do that, we will click on the New icon. Here, I am going to go ahead and click and drag down, say, right to around there; I will experiment, and see if that's going to be good. I don't want to warming Temperature tint here, but the sky; I want that to be much more cool. So I am going to go ahead and decrease that, bringing in a lot of that cool tone there. Now this one, the distance between these two points; it may be too much. So I am going to try to collapse that, and then bring this back down, so I have a little bit stronger blue sky there, and then dial in how that transitions into that sunset.

Now, with the color temperature right now, it's a little bit over the top. We could always modify this by desaturating here a little if we want to take some of that blue out, so it's not quite so strong. Another thing that you can do; you can desaturate altogether, removing all that color, then you can go to the color chip, and you can add in your own. Let me show you. Here, you can see we've changed that sky color, and we can kind of experiment to see if we might be able to find a blue that might work with this image. Or for that matter, we could also warm it up to see if we might find a nice bright tone, in order to have some of that kind of golden color throughout the whole image.

Let's apply that for a second, and go back here just for a minute. If I bring my Saturation slider up, you notice that it changes the color. Now, why is that? Well, if you have Saturation, it's a combination of this orange, and this Temperature slider. So we can use these controls together to come up with a nice color palette. In this case, the orange and yellow; kind of mixing those to find just the right spot, and also perhaps our Exposure slider here. We can come up with this really just kind of golden, really red-yellow sunrise look, and this is kind of fun.

What you'll do so often is you'll work with this tool, and then you'll roundtrip back to your Basic controls. So we're done here with the graduated filter. It looks interesting. Let's click Done in order to exit the tool. Next thing we may want to do is just modify the image with our basic controls, perhaps a little bit of Clarity there, maybe some Vibrance, bringing up some more of that color. And then we can work with our other adjustment sliders here, just tweaking these until we have a nice look for the image. What's fun about this is it's really looking at how we start to connect our workflow, and use not just the graduated filter by itself, but how we can use it in combination with our other controls.

And the end result with a picture like this, well, here it is. Here is our before, and now here's our after. If ever you get to that point in the after where you don't like it, you don't like the change in the sky color up above, go back to the tool here, and then you want to show those pins. I am just going to put these on Always for a moment, so we can see them, and then click on the one for the sky. Press the Delete key; get rid of it. That will then bring back that original sky tone, and now here what we have is something that just really focuses in on the foreground.

It kind of lights up these tracks a little bit more effectively, and leaves some of those blue tones up there in the sky. So here, what I am trying to illustrate is just this whole idea of being flexible, and experimenting, and trying out different ideas, and sometimes, by experimenting and trying out different ideas, it can lead to creating some really fascinating color combinations, some fascinating corrections and enhancements to your pictures.

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This video is part of

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  1. 2m 1s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      44s
  2. 22m 4s
    1. Develop module overview and essential shortcuts
      4m 13s
    2. Panel navigation tips
      4m 53s
    3. Using the Develop module presets
      3m 32s
    4. Creating your own presets
      4m 1s
    5. Using the Snapshot and History panels
      3m 40s
    6. Working with the tool strip
      1m 45s
  3. 15m 20s
    1. Working with legacy Lightroom files
      6m 53s
    2. Viewing the before and after
      4m 29s
    3. Comparing and surveying images
      3m 58s
  4. 19m 42s
    1. Understanding white balance and color temperature
      2m 43s
    2. Using the White Balance Selector tool
      4m 22s
    3. Correcting white balance with a color checker
      3m 52s
    4. Working with white balance presets and fine-tuning white balance
      4m 24s
    5. Color correcting multiple images at once
      2m 42s
    6. Creativity and white balance
      1m 39s
  5. 23m 5s
    1. Getting familiar with the tone controls
      3m 19s
    2. Deconstructing the tone controls
      5m 39s
    3. Using the tone controls to enhance photographs
      5m 28s
    4. Correcting clipping with the tone controls
      4m 53s
    5. Synchronizing tonal adjustments with multiple images
      3m 46s
  6. 22m 31s
    1. Understanding vibrance and saturation
      5m 6s
    2. Working with vibrance and saturation
      5m 38s
    3. Color creativity with temperature, vibrance, and saturation
      3m 19s
    4. Understanding clarity
      2m 34s
    5. Using clarity in collaboration with vibrance and saturation
      5m 54s
  7. 10m 37s
    1. Basic panel workflow
      3m 38s
    2. Using Auto Tone
      1m 42s
    3. Workflow considerations
      5m 17s
  8. 18m 27s
    1. Cropping
      3m 29s
    2. Changing the crop aspect ratio
      1m 47s
    3. Straightening with the Crop tool
      2m 49s
    4. Working with the crop overlay
      3m 4s
    5. Crop creativity and orientation
      2m 36s
    6. Synchronizing crop settings
      2m 36s
    7. Exploring how to improve the composition of your photographs
      2m 6s
  9. 15m 55s
    1. Retouching with the Spot Removal tool
      8m 26s
    2. The Spot Removal tool: Clone versus Heal
      4m 56s
    3. Fixing red-eye
      2m 33s
  10. 16m 43s
    1. Introducing the Graduated Filter
      5m 14s
    2. Darkening the sky with the Graduated Filter
      6m 10s
    3. Enhancing a sunrise with the Graduated Filter
      5m 19s
  11. 45m 51s
    1. Adjustment Brush overview
      7m 45s
    2. Using Auto Mask
      5m 55s
    3. Burning and dodging a black-and-white image
      6m 44s
    4. Reducing noise
      5m 40s
    5. Minimizing moiré patterns
      3m 18s
    6. Painting in localized sharpening
      2m 14s
    7. Improving the eyes
      4m 6s
    8. Dimishing a distracting highlight
      3m 42s
    9. The Adjustment Brush and Basic panel workflow
      6m 27s
  12. 15m 38s
    1. Demystifying the Tone Curve controls
      5m 5s
    2. Using the tone curve to correct exposure
      2m 16s
    3. Changing tone and color with the the point tone curve
      3m 39s
    4. Making creative RGB adjustments
      4m 38s
  13. 13m 36s
    1. Understanding the HSL controls
      4m 4s
    2. Using the HSL Target Adjustment tool
      1m 40s
    3. Brightening tones with HSL
      3m 21s
    4. Using HSL to bring out warm and cool tones
      1m 47s
    5. Creative color with HSL
      2m 44s
  14. 36m 35s
    1. Introducing black-and-white conversion
      2m 38s
    2. Converting to black and white
      2m 16s
    3. Modifying black-and-white tones with the Grayscale panel
      5m 26s
    4. Enhancing black-and-white images with the Adjustment Brush
      9m 4s
    5. Using presets to convert to black and white
      5m 13s
    6. Black-and-white workflow with virtual copies
      5m 29s
    7. Black-and-white images and collections
      4m 22s
    8. Creating better black-and-white photographs
      2m 7s
  15. 14m 2s
    1. Split-toning essentials
      3m 34s
    2. Advanced split-toning tips
      2m 44s
    3. Split toning a color image
      3m 5s
    4. Split toning to create a sepia-tone effect
      2m 22s
    5. Using split toning to enhance a sunrise
      2m 17s
  16. 12m 21s
    1. Introducing noise reduction
      5m 10s
    2. Understanding sharpening
      5m 2s
    3. Sharpening workflow
      2m 9s
  17. 13m 35s
    1. Using the Lens Correction controls
      1m 56s
    2. Correcting distortion
      2m 45s
    3. Making subtle adjustments to composition and tone
      4m 10s
    4. Removing fish-eye distortion
      3m 18s
    5. Removing chromatic aberration
      1m 26s
  18. 12m 55s
    1. Adding and correcting vignettes
      2m 24s
    2. Using the Post-Crop controls
      4m 5s
    3. Adding a post-crop vignette
      4m 26s
    4. Working with film grain
      2m 0s
  19. 5m 34s
    1. Understanding camera calibration in Lightroom
      3m 20s
    2. Creative color with camera calibration
      2m 14s
  20. 21s
    1. Goodbye
      21s

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