Spotlighting and vignetting with the Radial filter Lightroom 5
Spotlighting and vignetting with the Radial filter
The Radial Filter tool in Lightroom 5 lets you make adjustments in oval or circular areas. It's useful for making customized vignettes or adding spotlights with different effects to individual areas of a photo. I'm going to start with this photo of this big beautiful clock that we took in the Orsay Museum in Paris. I'd like to make a custom vignette around the edges of this photo. Now you may be wondering why I don't just use the Post-Crop Vignetting in the effects panel of the Develop module. Or, the Vignette sliders in the Lens Correction panel. And the reason is that with the Radial Filter, I have a lot more flexibility to place a vignette off-center and to add just the effects that I want. So for example, I'll select the Radial Filter tool in the Tool bar under the histogram by clicking its icon here.
If you've been following along, you may notice that the center portion of this panel, the Effect portion, has the same controls that we saw when we were talking about the Adjustment Brush filter. I'm going to start here by setting all of these controls back to zero by double-clicking the Effect label at the top of this section of the Radial Filter panel. Now, I know that I want to darken the corners of this image, so I'm going to start by just dragging the Exposure slider over to the left. I don't care where I'll tweak that in just a moment. Then I'll come into the image and I'm going to click off center and I'm going to click out and start dragging out an oval boundary.
And as I do it may look like I'm lightening the area in the center of this boundary. But actually what I'm doing is making the area outside of the boundary darker. I can re-position the boundary by clicking inside of it and dragging it. I can change the shape of the boundary by clicking on any of the anchor points. I can rotate the boundary by moving my cursor outside of it and dragging. So, I get it just the way I want it. And then I'll come back over to the Radial Filter panel and I'm going to customize the effects on this vignette.
So I don't want the exposure as dark as it is now. Instead I'll put it about a stop under its default. Now there are other things that I can do to the area outside of this boundary. For example, I could fade from color to black and white in the photo. By going to the saturation slider and dragging that all way over to the left. Or I'll double-click the Saturation slider. I could change the color outside the boundary. I could come up the Temperature slider and drag that over to the right to add some gold to my vignetted corners. I'm going to close the histogram so there's more room to see the rest of this panel.
And I'll move down to the bottom of the panel and I'm going to click this toggle icon, which will turn off all of the changes that I've made in the Radial Filter panel. So that's how I started, and here's how the photo looks now. I can always come back in and adjust my filter, so I might want to rotate it this way and maybe drag it over this way more. You can have more than one Radial Filter in a photo. So I want to add a couple more to focus attention on the big, beautiful clock here. So I'm going to go back to the Radial Filter panel and click New.
And again, I'll double-click the effect label to set all of the sliders back to zero. Now, this time I know that I want to increase exposure. So I'm going to drag the Exposure slider over to the right and I can customize that later. Then, I'll move into the image. I'm going to click right in the center of the clock and I'm going to drag out a second Radial Filter. Now by default, this Radial Filter is affecting the area outside of this boundary, but I actually want to affect the area inside the boundary. So I'll come over to the Radial Filter panel, and I'm going to check Invert Mask here at the bottom of the panel.
And that really changes the effect. While I'm here, I'm also going to get the Feather slider here, and drag it toward the left. Right now, there is a large feather or soft edge on the mask that's defining the area affected. To make that edge left soft, I'll drag the Feather slider toward the left. And that's spreading out the effect so that it's brightening more of the clock. And then I'll move into the center of this boundary and I'll click and drag to get it just where I want it. And I can use these anchor points to reshape the boundary.
Now I'm going to customize my settings for this particular Radial Filter. So I'll bring the exposure down a bit. Its higher than when I started but not as bright as it was a moment ago. There is some detail in the darker areas of the clock that I would like to bring out. So I'll go to the shadow slider and I'm going to drag that to the right. And then to emphasize all of the gorgeous detail there, I'm going to drag the Clarity slider over to the right too to increase the mid tone contrast. Finally another interesting thing that you can do with Radial Filters is to duplicate Radial Filters. You might want to do that if you've maxed out your sliders and yet you want more of an effect.
So, let's duplicate the Radial Filter that I just added to the clock. The way to do that is to move over the image, to select the pin that represents the clocks. And then to hold the Cmd key and the Option key, that's the Ctrl key and the Alt key on Windows. And click right on that pin. And that duplicates the pin, and the amount of effect on that pin. Now, you can only see one of the two duplicate pins right now, because they're right on top of one another. So if I click on this pin and drag, now you can see that there really are two pins there. What I want to do with this second pin, the duplicate pin is to invert it so that it's affecting just the outside of this boundary, because I want to soften everything except for the clock.
So, I'm going to go back over to the Radial Filter panel with that duplicate pin selected and uncheck invert mask. And then I'll go up and double-click the effect label to set the sliders back to ground zero for this third pin. And I"ll direct the Clarity slider all the way over to the left. Softening everything outside the clock. Now, let's use the toggle at the bottom of the Radial Filter panel. To compare a before and after view of just the changes made in this panel. So, here's the before view, and here's the after view. Finally, when I'm done in the Radial Filter panel, I can click the Close button on the panel.
Keeping in mind, that I can come back in and reopen that panel at any time to re-edit those pins that I've already added. Or to add more Radial Filters to this photo.
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