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Introducing the Graduated Filter

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

Video: Introducing the Graduated Filter

Here we're going to take a look at how we can use the Graduated Filter tool inside of Lightroom. I have a photograph that I've selected from our people folder, and it's a black and white image. In this image, we have a bright sky, and a dark foreground. Well, we could use the Graduated Filter tool on this photograph, and let's just do that to really see how this tool works. We'll go to the Develop module, and then we can select the tool by clicking on it, or by pressing its shortcut key. The shortcut key is the M key. Well, either way, let's select this tool.

Introducing the Graduated Filter

Here we're going to take a look at how we can use the Graduated Filter tool inside of Lightroom. I have a photograph that I've selected from our people folder, and it's a black and white image. In this image, we have a bright sky, and a dark foreground. Well, we could use the Graduated Filter tool on this photograph, and let's just do that to really see how this tool works. We'll go to the Develop module, and then we can select the tool by clicking on it, or by pressing its shortcut key. The shortcut key is the M key. Well, either way, let's select this tool.

Now, when we select the tool, all of a sudden you'll notice that we have a wide range of options; many more options than we've had in the previous version of Lightroom. We can modify the Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, and you can see the rest of the list. This is actually an incredibly powerful tool. The way that you use it is you hover over the image, and then you click, and drag. Now, you can see that when I click and drag here, I have these different lines. Let me bring that up to the sky, just so you can see what we have. Well, what this is showing us is where the adjustment is going to be modified towards, towards that center circle, and then how it's going to transition out.

Let's take a look at how this would look, say, down here. Let's say I want to modify the Color Temperature of the foreground. Again, I'm just exaggerating here, and let's also perhaps add in some Contrast so we can really see that. Well, what we can see is that this adjustment is taking place up to this point, and then it slowly kind of diffuses, or softens, or backs off up to this other line. So the full intensity of this effect is up to here, and then it slowly drifts off. Well, we can change that drift by dragging this out, so that we have a longer or a wider area where it's affecting.

Again, full intensity here, and then slowly it tapers off up until this point. And you can use this taper in different ways, simply by clicking and dragging in order to expand or collapse that adjustment. You can also change the adjustment angle by positioning your cursor off to the right or left, and you can see how I can twist that one way or another. And again, in this case, we're just doing this to kind of see how this tool works. Okay. Well, so far we have one adjustment. What if we wanted to make another? Well, here what I could is click and drag, and I click and drag again. I can define that transition point here, and I'll go ahead and create a transition like this.

Well, once you create that adjustment, you can add any of these options to it. For example, we could go ahead and add a color by clicking on Color here, and I'll just add a color, say for example, red, and again, I'm just doing this because it's a really strong kind of visual impact; not that this is improving the image just yet. We can move this point, and you can see how it's blending or transitioning in with that other color adjustment, and we can increase or decrease that transition area by clicking and dragging this.

We can also modify the other controls, say like Contrast, or Exposure, and in this case, you can see we can do this in order to come up with, perhaps, some creative results. What about making this tool functional? Well, let's remove these points. We can remove them by clicking on them, hitting the Delete key, click on this one, and Delete; it's gone. Let's say that all I want to do is just work on the foreground here, and I know that I want to add a little bit of Contrast, a little bit of Clarity, and also perhaps a boost in Exposure.

Once I've dialed in those settings, either before or after, for that matter, I go ahead and click and drag, and then I click and drag in order to bring this adjustment into the photograph. Well, now that I have that there, I can then make further adjustments, changing the overall brightness of this, or the amount of contrast that I'm bringing into this part of the picture. Next, I want to darken the sky a little bit. Well, here, go ahead and click and drag where the sky is up top, and in this case, I'm just going to modify my Highlights. You can see how I can work with those brighter tones up there, and I'll go ahead and darken those Highlights a little bit, darkening the sky, and then perhaps boosting up my Shadows, so I'm not darkening up the subject's face too much, and using some Clarity, and Contrast as well.

So here you can see what I've done is I've kind of created these linear type of adjustments on the picture. Well, you may be thinking, okay, that's kind of interesting. I kind of get it; not very hard. Yet, these lines and circles; they're distracting. Well, like with our other tools, we can hide all of this. We can do that by using this menu here, or by using our shortcut. Remember the shortcut; it's the H key. The H key toggles that view on and off. We'll go ahead and hide those by pressing the H key, and then flip the switch.

This will help you evaluate if you like the adjustments that you've made. Here they are; our before, and then after. Well, with this image, I like the foreground; I don't really like what's happened to the sky here, so I want to remove that. Press the H key, brings back your adjustment pins here, click on one, and then press the Delete key in order to remove it. In this case, now we just have this adjustment on this area -- on the foreground of the picture -- adding in a bit of Contrast, and Clarity, and really just dialing in this linear type of adjustment to this portion of the image.

Show transcript

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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