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Using Graduated Filters

Using Graduated Filters

The Graduated Tool in Lightroom allows you to apply an even gradient over a portion of the photo. This tool provides a wide variety of options during your Lightroom edit. A few things I use these filters for are; enhancing hidden details in skies, selective white balance, selectively de-hazing and so on...

For this tutorial, I'll be using the tool to enhance and add light leak color to selected areas of this photo. This is a great option when designing a creative edit in Lightroom.

The Graduated Tool is located in the Develop Module- just below the histogram- in the tool bar (see image below).  The graduated filter tool uses the same settings panel as the local adjustment brush and radial filter.

ONE-WILLOW-STUDIOS-GRADUATED-TOOL

To apply a graduated filter:

Click on the icon, then move the cursor over the image (+ will replace the cursor). Next place the (+) in the middle of the area you want to apply the graduated filter, click and drag to the desired size. Once applied, the graduated filter is marked by a center pin and three lines (the filter's strongest point is at the top edge).  Add the desired settings, either by adjusting the setting sliders in the panel or by using a local adjustment preset (this step can also be done prior to applying the filter)

Adjusting the graduated filter:

Once you have the graduated filter settings to your liking, adjust as needed.  I always check to make sure the filter isn't spilling onto areas of the photo that aren't suiting of the adjustment- i.e. skin tones. 

To adjust the graduated filter: Check to be sure the filter pin in selected- hover the cursor (+) over a line to change the size- the cursor will change to a hand- when you see this click the handle (line) and drag to the desired point. To change the angle of the filter- hover the cursor over the middle line- the cursor will change to arrows- click and drag to the desired angle. To create a new graduated filter with different settings on the same photo- select 'New' then choose your settings.

Before | After

On the photo in this tutorial, I used the graduated filter to add light leak color in two corners of the photo; upper left corner and bottom right corner. See the images below for the settings.

TOP GRADUATED FILTER

ONE-WILLOW-PRESETS-GRADUATED-FILTER-1

BOTTOM GRADUATED FILTER

ONE-WILLOW-PRESETS-GRADIUATED-FILTER-2

THE BEFORE PHOTO (EDITED PRIOR WITH OWP | VIBRANT MATTE)

ONE-WILLOW-PRESETS-BEFORE

THE AFTER PHOTO WITH ADDED GRADUATED FILTERS

ONE-WILLOW-PRESETS-AFTER


We hope you've enjoyed this this Lightroom Tutorial by Jess. Jess is the founder and preset designer behind OWP. Early in her photgraphy career she was inspired by the potential of speeding up her photo editing by utilizing Lightroom as part of her workflow. Soon after, she knew she wanted to share her passion with others by creating One Willow Presets. You can find more of her Lightroom Tutorials HERE.



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