Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Introducing the Radial filter, part of Lightroom 5 New Features.
Here we are going to take a look at a fascinating new feature that we'll find in the Develop Module. It's called the Radial Filter. To select the Radial Filter, press Shift+M or click on the circle icon, which you'll find in the tool strip. Once you select the Radial Filter, you'll notice that you have a number of different sliders. What you can do at the Radial Filter is you can apply selective adjustments in really interesting ways. Let's start off with this photograph here. This is a picture of my youngest daughter Elsie, she was scooting down this slide and this is just an iPhone picture and I like her expression, yet I realize that her face is a little bit too dark.
So I want to brighten that up and I want to do that with the Radial Filter. Now before you start using this tool, what you want to do is dial in your controls. Here we'll go ahead and increase the Exposure and also bring up our Shadows and then click and drag. When I click and drag over the image, you'll notice that this effect will be the opposite of what we want, yet don't worry about that for now. So here I'll go ahead and click and drag over the photograph. Now in this case, it's brightening up everything, but the center of the circle. Now we can invert that by clicking on the Invert button here.
When you click on the Invert button, you notice that it's now brightening just her face. If we flip this toggle switch, you can see here is before and then now here is after. Now this effect right now is exaggerated yet this will help us to really understand how this works. When it comes to inverting these masks, there's a great shortcut that you can use. You may want to jot this one down. It's the apostrophe key ('); when you press apostrophe ('), it allows you to invert that mask. Next, you notice that there is this outline where you can change the shape of this adjustment. Here I can go ahead and change it so that I can make it taller or wider.
You can also hover over that center circle in order to reposition this. Now if ever you decide, you know what, this is just a bit too strong, well here we can go ahead and modify our sliders in order to scale that back of it so now we have a really subtle adjustment, which is just brightening her face. Now that we've seen how this works let's take a look at this on another image in a more complex scenario. I'll click Done in order to apply those adjustments and then I'll make my way to a second photograph. This is another photograph of Elsie.
This case, she is being held by one of our good friends and again I want to do something similar, I want to brighten up her face, also the dress, and then also our friend's face as well. So let's go ahead and select the Radial Filter by clicking on the icon or by pressing Shift+M. Now in this case, I'm interested in brightening this area and also adding a bit of warmth. I'll increase my Color Temperature as well, then click and drag from the center out over the area that you want to affect. If you forgot to click on the Invert button as I did here, no big deal, press the apostrophe (') key in order to invert that or you can always click on this icon here.
Now once we have dialed in what we want to do is reposition it and then perhaps modify our sliders a bit just so we have just the right amount. All right, well now that we have now this effect in one area, I also want to brighten up this other area. One way that we could do that would be to simply click and then drag. Again if the inversion is wrong, we'll press that apostrophe (') key. Now you can see why I highlighted that, that shortcut key is going to be really helpful. Next, what I want to do is brighten up this part of the image.
So here what I could do is I could click and drag over that area or you can actually copy and duplicate these adjustments. You can do this by way of using a keyboard shortcut combination. Again, this is one of those shortcuts you may want to jot down. On a Mac, you press Cmd+Opt, on Windows you press Ctrl+Alt. Then what you want to do is hover over the adjustment and then click and drag. In this way you can see that I took this adjustment and then I applied it over here.
Now that I have it, at these settings I'm going to go ahead and just modify this just to brighten up this part of the image. Here I'm going to customize this so that it works well in this portion of the photograph. In this way, you can see that we can almost paint with light. It's as if we're lighting this photograph after the fact. Now you can do so many things with the Radial Filter. So far, we've looked at Exposure and Shadows and Color Temperature, you obviously can do more. You can also work with Sharpness and Contrast and all of the other sliders that we have here. Speaking of that, if we want to go back and modify one of these areas, like this area that's over my daughter's face, let's say we want to sharpen that up a bit; we'll just click on that area and then go ahead and click on your Sharpness slider.
In doing that, that will just sharpen this area of the photograph and in this way we're able to make these fascinating selective adjustments to our pictures. Now as we make our way through making these adjustments, these overlays may be a bit distracting. We can always hide those by using that H shortcut key. When you press the H key, it will temporarily hide those, press the H key again and then it will bring those back. What I like to do is to press the H key to hide the overlays, then I like to press the Backslash key (\), that shows you the before and after.
Here's the before then now here's the after. Let me zoom in a little bit so that we can see this nice and up-close. Again here is before and then now here is after. We can also see the before and after by clicking on this toggle switch here. That wraps up our introduction in regards to how we can work with the Radial Filter, yet we still have some more topics to cover when it comes to this fascinating new tool. So let's continue to work with this tool in the next movie.
- Leveling photographs with Upright
- Applying more flexible and precise retouching
- Using the Radial filter in your workflow
- Generating Smart Previews
- Building photo books
- Creating a slideshow with both still images and video
- Dragging photos to saved map location
- Using tethered capture shortcuts
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 11/15/2013. What changed?
A: We added three movies covering the improved spot removal and color noise reduction, both new features in Lightroom 5.2.