Enhancing a landscape with the Graduated filter

show more Enhancing a landscape with the Graduated filter provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Chris Orwig as part of the Lightroom 3 Essential Training show less
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Enhancing a landscape with the Graduated filter

This last summer my family went camping in Yosemite Valley. We had a ton of fun and while we were driving out, it was raining. When I look back, I noticed these rain clouds. So, I hopped out of the car and snapped a couple of quick pictures. What I want to do here is I want to enhance this photograph. I'm going to take a look at how we can do that using the Graduated Filter. So, I'm going to go ahead and press the M key to access the Graduated Filter. Next, what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to lower the Exposure. I'm going to lower the Exposure not because that's what I want to do, but sometimes what you can do is use this control to start to a kind of pre-visualize the adjustment you're going to make.

In other words, it's really easy to see the darkening effect here and how it tapers off near the bottom. And so I can set this up so that it'll then work well with what I actually want to do. In other words, this is just a nice visualization of what areas will be affected. All right, well now that I've defined that, I'll double-click the triangle icon in order to take the Exposure back to zero. Next, what I'm really interested in doing is increasing the Clarity here a little bit and also increasing the Sharpness. And if we zoom in, as this is a smaller file yet we'll still be able to see it, we can see that there's now much more sharpness in the details here back in the mountains.

Click on the flip switch. Here's our before and then our after. I'll exaggerate this even a little bit more so that you can actually see that. So, we're going to sharpen and add some Clarity to that and a little bit of Contrast as well. And then now here's our before and then after. Now that is a little bit of exaggerated, but I thought it'd be helpful to do that so that you can see how the effect is actually modifying the way this image looks. In all reality, I probably lower my Sharpness and my Clarity down significantly, so it's a little bit more subtle, yet so that it makes those mountains in the background just pop a little bit more.

The next thing I want to do is I want to add some light here, so I'm going to go ahead and increase my Exposure just a little bit. Click on the color swatch. I'm going to for a nice yellow. What I'm interested in doing is adding kind of some afternoon light here on these mountains. Click the plus sign in order to close that, and let's zoom out of it. Now currently in this particular zoom, I'm viewing the Edit pin and I'm seeing this overlay on top of the image. That's a little distracting, so I'll press the H key to hide that. Now that I've hidden that, I can go ahead and click on this flip switch.

Here's my before and then my after. That's a subtle adjustment, yet nonetheless kind of interesting. If I want to change the color even more, I'll go ahead and go into this color swatch here and sometimes sliding this around a little bit so that you can find a nice color, something perhaps a little bit more golden, little bit less green would look nice there. All right, well how about the overall image? Well, now that I've done that, it might be nice to warm it up a little bit and so I'll go ahead and increase the color Temperature here in the foreground, kind of connecting with the background there a little bit. And then I'm also going to go and add a touch of Fill Light to bring in some detail into these trees, and then just a little bit of Contrast here.

So, as you can see one of things we will do a lot of times is we'll work with this particular tool, but we will also modify some of the other settings in our photographs. All right, well let's take a look at the overall before-and-after. We can do that by pressing the Backslash key. So, I'll go ahead and press Backslash. Here's before and then here's after, a very different interpretation of this scene with a couple of small adjustments. Now the last thing that I need to do is I need to close the Graduated Filter tool, so I'm going to do that by pressing the M key and that will then close that tool.

Enhancing a landscape with the Graduated filter
Video duration: 3m 33s 13h 24m Appropriate for all


Enhancing a landscape with the Graduated filter provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Chris Orwig as part of the Lightroom 3 Essential Training

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