Popular among both amateur and professional photographers – Lightroom is simple to use with powerful editing tools that help in drastically improving your photographs.
Lightroom allows you to make adjustments/edits to the overall photograph as well as specific areas of a photograph.
In our previous Lightroom Tutorial blog, we explained how to edit photos using Radial Filter in the Develop Module.
Now, let’s explore and harness the power of Editing with Graduated Filters in the Develop Module which allows you to edit specific areas of a photo.
Graduated Filter is very useful in improving landscape photographs, we can use one or more Graduated Filters to edit different areas of the photo.
Below is a Landscape Photograph
We’ll use two Graduated Filters to edit this landscape photograph:
The first one to enhance the Sky.
The second one to enhance the area below the sky (mountains etc.)
1) Editing the Sky with Graduated Filter
Let’s start with a Graduated Filter to enhance the sky – make it bluer.
Click on the Graduated Filter icon
Then, click on the photo and drag it down till the area where the sky ends; you’ll see a set of three parallel lines. (The selected area is till the second parallel line)
For trial purpose, to know the selected area – let’s increase Temp to 100 and see the selected area.
We’ll undo this trial edit by clicking on the Reset button (at the bottom).
(Alternatively, to see the selected area – you can also check the box ‘Show Selected Mask Overlay’ (below the photo)).
Now, let’s do the actual edits.
Decrease Temp to -15
To make the sky slightly bluer.
Increase Clarity to 70
To accentuate the sky.
We are done enhancing the sky; click ‘Close’ at the bottom of the panel (the button on the right side of the Reset button).
2) Editing the area below the sky (mountains etc.) with Graduated Filter
Let’s use another Graduated Filter to enhance the area below the sky, make it look sharper and richer.
Click on the Graduated Filter icon.
Then, click at the photo and drag it up till the area where the snow-capped mountains begin; you’ll see a set of three parallel lines. (The selected area is till the second parallel line)
Before beginning with the actual edits, for trial purpose – let’s increase Temp to 100 to see the selected area.
We’ll undo this trial edit by clicking on the Reset button.
Now let’s do the actual edits/adjustments.
Increase Contrast to 7
To make the dark tones richer and the lighter areas brighter.
Move the Highlights Slider to -100
To darken the bright tones and bring back details in the bright areas of the photo.
Move the Shadows Slider to 100
To reveal details hidden in the darker areas.
Increase Clarity to 40
To accentuate the mountains etc.
Increase Saturation to 80
To increase the color richness.
Increase Sharpness to 50
To make it look aesthetically more pleasing.
Having done enhancing the area below the sky; we’ll click the ‘Close’ button.
Let’s choose the Compare view to see the Before and After photos side by side.
Export the photograph (using Library Module in Lightroom)
You don’t save photos in Lightroom, instead – you export your edited photos.
To export the edited photo, go to the Library Module – choose the Grid View, then select the photo. Click File – Export.
When exporting the edited photo, you can choose a filename, color space, resolution, pixel dimensions, etc. for the photo as per your need.
In our Lightroom Tutorial blogs, we’ve explained basic adjustments/edits using some of the popular Lightroom tools.
Lightroom has many more powerful tools for post processing. Go ahead and explore Lightroom to advance your editing skills!
Click on the below Image to see the Comic in which the Camera explains Jo how to use Graduated Filter to edit photos in Lightroom with the help of practical examples.
When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express to develop your own style as a photographer.
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If you have any tips on how to use Graduated Filter in Lightroom, please feel free to share them in the comment box below.
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