Skip to main content

Capture and Edit Photos of People in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

Lesson 16 of 23

Lightroom: Gradients


Capture and Edit Photos of People in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

Lesson 16 of 23

Lightroom: Gradients


Lesson Info

Lightroom: Gradients

You may want to enhance your photograph even more. Like, let's say that we want to brighten up her face just a little bit and we wanna bring attention in to the girls a little bit more. So what I'm going to do in that regard is I'm gonna go over to the right-hand side where I have other tools available to me. One of the tools that I have available to me is called a radial filter. So that radial right there, it's a gradient, but it's in a circular pattern. So I'm gonna click on the radial gradient, and I want to just kinda darken the edges a little bit so that our eye goes in to the center where the girls are. But they're not quite in the center. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna just take exposure down on my settings, and I'm going to grab a gradient. So I'm clicking right in the middle of the girls and I'm going like this. I'm just dragging out the gradient so that everything outside of them is getting a little bit darker. Not much, but just a little bit darker. You can see how it's d...

arkening up here on this side and a little bit up in the corner? But because it's free from constraints of the actual photograph, I can move it around anywhere I want. So wherever the subject happens to be, that's where I can move my gradient, and then everything's gonna get darker as it falls outside of that gradient. I can then change the feathering on that gradient, and I can make it a really small, a really wide feather, which means that there's no effect in the center but it slowly gradates out all the way to the edge, or I can have no feather whatsoever, and it will look like that. You can see that it's got a hard edge on that line. Of course we don't wanna do that, so we're just gonna kind of find the happy medium. And then what I'm gonna do is I'm actually gonna control the edges of this. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna move it up a little bit and grab the bottom edge and bring it up there. So I'm making it a little bit more of an oval shape. I can put this gradient such that it's going to keep their faces light, and then everything else is gonna get darker as it falls away from that angle.

Class Description


  • Understand how to use your camera and adjust settings in manual mode
  • Direct your subjects to capture natural poses
  • Import your photos into Lightroom CC and streamline the selection process
  • Make easy adjustments and touch-ups in Lightroom CC and Photoshop to take your photos from good to great


Creating professional portraits isn’t a mysterious science; in fact, with the right camera settings and simple photo editing, it is even easy.

Join Jared, a professional photographer, and college educator, in a series of practical lessons that take you through the basics of manual mode on your camera, showing you how it’s done in real time in the field. Jared takes you through an actual shoot, explaining camera setting adjustments, modeling how to direct your subjects, and orienting you in Lightroom and Photoshop; he shares not only post-production tips, but also how to navigate the two platforms in an efficient manner.

In Capture and Edit Photos of People in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, learn the fundamentals of manual mode and photo editing to make your portraits stand out above the rest.


This class is for beginner photographers in need of basic orientation in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, photography enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to take better pictures of their families and friends.


Adobe Photoshop CC 2019, Adobe Lightroom CC 2019


Jared Platt is a professional wedding and lifestyle photographer from Phoenix, Arizona. Jared holds a Masters of Fine Arts in the Photographic Studies and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography from Arizona State University and has been a professional photographer and college educator for the past 12 years. His attention to detail and craft make him a demanding photography instructor. Jared has lectured at major trade shows and photo conferences as well as at universities around the world on the subjects of photography and workflow. Currently, Jared is traveling the United States and Canada teaching and lecturing on photography and post-production workflow. Join him online for monthly "Office Hours" at


  1. Introduction

    Meet Jared and his family at the train museum, location of this course’s photo shoot. Jared gives a quick overview of what you will learn in this course. What does a professional portrait photographer think about every time they take a photo, whether on the job or with family or friends?

  2. Looking for Light

    Great light makes for a great photo. But what do you do under harsh noon light? Jared demonstrates how to create your own shade and manipulate light, even under difficult circumstances. Watch as Jared moves his subjects to create optimal light and even “rim light”.

  3. Setting Exposure

    The editing process is made much simpler if you shoot to ensure correct exposure: Jared shares the three settings that help him achieve a desired white balance.

  4. ISO, F-Stop, and Shutter Speed

    We take a closer look at Jared’s photos: what settings did he choose for this particular image and why? Jared explains how adjusting ISO, f-stop, and shutter speed affect your images.

  5. Composition- Rule of Thirds

    What is the rule of thirds and how do you apply this to your image making? Jared models how to create compelling images with a simple rule in mind.

  6. Internal Composition

    Jared shows you how to further simplify your portrait editing by shooting with an internal composition in mind. How is this different from the rule of thirds? What are the challenges?

  7. Auto and Back Button Focus

    Your camera is highly programmable: Jared shares a valuable setting to best control your camera’s focus.

  8. Posing vs. Directing

    Capturing those natural candids is all in the direction. Learn how direct your subjects rather than simply pose them in static positions.

  9. Shooting Manual Mode Recap

    Jared summarizes what you’ve learned in shooting in manual mode and gives a quick overview of what’s coming next: getting to the final image.

  10. Lightroom: Interface

    Jared points out basic navigational components within the Lightroom CC interface.

  11. Lightroom: Importing and Albums

    How can you streamline your editing workflow? Start with albums: Jared shows you how to import and organize your photos at the same time, all syncing to the Adobe cloud.

  12. Lightroom: Sorting and Ranking

    Jared demonstrates how to use built-in Lightroom CC features to sort through your images quickly in order to choose the ones you’ll edit.

  13. Lightroom: Auto Adjustments

    Portrait retouching has become much simpler with machine learning: learn how to make auto exposure adjustments and fine-tune your images.

  14. Lightroom: Color Profiles

    Similar to social media photo filters, color profiles alter the underlying definition of color in your images. Jared shows how to assign color profiles and add effects.

  15. Lightroom: Export and Share

    What different options do you have to save, export, and share your images? What is the benefit of saving raw files?

  16. Lightroom: Gradients

    How do you help move your viewer’s eye to the subject in an image? Jared models how he uses gradients, as well as the small adjustments he makes to control their effect.

  17. Lightroom: Brush Tool

    The adjustment brush tool is the magic wand of retouching portraits: learn how to brighten up skin to adjust skin tones, clean up skin blemishes or achieve a teeth whitening effect, and how and when to use the exposure slider and clarity slider.

  18. Lightroom: Copy and Paste Settings

    Learn how to apply adjustments you’ve made to the rest of the images in the editing process; this is the ultimate time saver.

  19. Why Use Photoshop

    What is the difference between Lightroom and Photoshop? Which program should you use for what?

  20. Photoshop: Content Aware Fill to Remove Objects

    Similar to the patch tool, the content aware fill tool helps you remove unwanted objects from your final image. Learn how to make quick fixes.

  21. Photoshop: Liquify Tool

    Jared models how to use the liquify tool to adjust the clothing on a subject in an image.

  22. Photoshop: Getting Back to Lightroom

    Learn how to easily toggle back to Lightroom with your Photoshop image edits intact.

  23. Photoshop: Capturing Great Portraits Recap

    Jared reviews what you’ve learned throughout the course, from photoshoot to software navigation and editing tools - simple yet powerful tips to take your photos from good to great.


T. Goss

I enjoyed this quick tutorial. A very good introduction to how to use lightroom.