Graduated Filters – Lightroom Tutorial
Use Lightroom to transform the atmosphere in three easy-to-follow-steps
The Graduated Filter in Lightroom is simple to use and will come in handy on many occasions.
In this landscape image, the original sky lacked drama, but the Graduated Filter was able to add plenty of drama of its own into the scene by making the clouds darker and thus improving the impact of the image.
When using the Graduated Filter, preset the Brightness to -40, the Contrast to +40, the Saturation to +10, the Clarity to +35 and keep the rest on zero. You can then further tweak the settings if need be.
Here’s a quick guide to how it works:
Step 1 – Choose the image
Within Lightroom, Import your image and then click on Develop on the right-hand side of the screen. Select the Graduated tool icon and set the tool to the preset settings listed above.
Step 2 – Add the filter
To add the effect, simply drag the cursor over the image. You will see the results instantly and three lines and a dot will appear. Holding the Shift key when applying the tool will ensure that the horizon remains horizontal. Click the centre of the pin to reposition the filter at any time.
Step 3 – Tweak the results
Click and drag either of the outside lines to increase or decrease the affected area and tweak the settings as required. To hide the Graduated Filter press H. This makes it easier to assess the image without leaving the tool.