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Graduated Filter

Lesson 32 from: Lightroom® 4 Fundamentals

Laura Shoe

Graduated Filter

Lesson 32 from: Lightroom® 4 Fundamentals

Laura Shoe

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Lesson Info

32. Graduated Filter


Class Trailer

Day 1


Pre-Show Banter


9:00 am - Introduction: Why Lightroom®?


The Lightroom Library Catalog


Staying Organized


Backing Up Your Library


Importing Your Photos


Preferences & Settings


Settings Q&A


Reorganizing Files and Folders


Using Views and Labels to Evaluate Photos


Filtering and Stacking Photos


Assigning and Managing Keywords


Keywording Q&A


The Metadata Panel


Searching for Photos


Creating a Collection


Day 2


Day 2 Pre-Show Banter


The Map Module: Assigning Locations


The Develop Module


Fixing Your Photos: Histograms and Cropping


Fixing Your Photos: Spot Removal Tool


11:30 am - Upgrading to Lightroom® 4


11:45 am - Basic Developing in Lightroom® 3 & 4


Basic Developing Part 2


Color Adjustments


Tone Curve Panel


Making Subtle Adjustments


Lens Corrections


Local Adjustments: Partial B&W


Local Adjustments: Portrait Touch Up


Additional Local Adjustments


Graduated Filter


Bonus: Day 3 Preview


Day 3


Day 3 Pre-Show Banter


Bonus: Recap of the Develop Module


Virtual Copies


B&W and Creative Effects


Noise Reduction




Sharpening for Portraits


Syncing Changes to Multiple Photos




Creating and Using Presets


11:45 am - Lightroom® and Photoshop


Sharing Your Work


Exporting for Web


Exporting for Print


Workflow Recap


Thanks + Credits


3:00 pm - Lightroom® 4: Publishing


3:30 pm - Lightroom® 4: Video Editing


3:45 pm - Lightroom® 4: Book Module


Lesson Info

Graduated Filter

we're going to start with the graduated filter with my best photo I took last year. Okay, it's this one. No click on fit here to zoom all the way back out. So I know this is a painfully boring photo, but I like, you know, it is my best photo. It's about negative space, Okay? It's about what's usually in my brain, so but I like to use this photo when I introduced the graduated filter because it allows you to see very obviously what it's doing. So you guys in the studio audience so need to use this one. I'll just, you know, just demonstrated. And then we're gonna go to a regular photo where it's actually useful. The graduated filter is modeled on a split neutral density filter, so a split neutral density filter is a piece of glass. You can put in front of your lens that is classically used in a landscape scenario where you've got a very bright sky in a dark foreground, and you need to hold back the exposure in the sky so the top of the filter is dark, the bottom is clear, and then there'...

s a faded area of transition from dark to clear that you would place along the horizon. So in the post processing world, this is not a replacement for that filter. If you blow out your sky, um, in camera because you don't have that filter, you can't get it back using the graduated filter. But you'll see that the shape and the look of it and the purpose of it is similar. So to demonstrate this, I'm gonna click on this graduated filter tool. It's also used for for making local adjustments, but it's kind of limited in shape. It's not like the adjustment brush where you can paint any particular shape. Now I've clicked on the graduated filter and I get the same sliders that I had in the adjustment brush. So I'm going to say what? I'm gonna go with negative exposure All Durkin, and I'm gonna click Notice where my mouse is right now. I'm gonna click right where my mouse is and I'm gonna hold and I'm gonna drag down and nothing is gonna happen. There it goes. Okay, so I clicked Here, let me just start over So I'm gonna click, hold and drag down. There we go. So everything So I clicked right here and I let go right here. Everything above where I clicked and dragged is fully affected. It got this entire negative to exposure adjustment. Everything below where I let go is completely unaffected. It got no darkening whatsoever when I clicked and dragged. What I defined was the area of transition, the fading of the effect. So click and drag where you want that fading effect. Now you don't have to get it perfect when you first click and drag, because you can always adjust it afterwards. So as I hover over the center line, I get the bent arrow. I can click and drag to change the angle of the filter. I can click and drag on the top line to narrow or broaden the area of transition. I can do that on the top or the bottom line. I can also make this little narrower. I can move the entire filter once I've already placed it. Now, a little tip. I'm gonna delete this one. If you hold the shift key down as you click and drag, it will keep it level. So if you want a level line, that's a great way to start, but otherwise you can adjust it afterwards. Just like with the adjustment brush, you can have as many filters as you'd like. So maybe, you know, pretend I need to dark in the sky. But I also need to brighten this bottom right corner. So I'm gonna do just what I did with the adjustment brush. I'm gonna click on new over here, and I'm gonna go with positive exposure in this case. Now, when I wanted to affect the top of the photo, I clicked and dragged down so that that affected the top of the photo. Now I want to affect the bottom of the photo or the bottom right of this photo. So I'm gonna click and drag up, click and drag up here now if you accidentally went in the wrong direction. So I'll delete this and will say that I forgot, and I accidentally dragged down instead of dragging up. Of course, I could delete it and start over. I can also take this bottom line and just drag it right over the top line and it will flip. Or you can hit the apostrophe key to flip the filter, just like with the adjustment brush. If I wanted to go back to this first instruction and modify ITM or I need to click on that grey pin to make it active, then I can darken ITM or or move it adjusted, etcetera. Okay, let's go to a real photo. Now that you have the basic idea, I'm going. Teoh, go to this photo here. No, actually, let's start with this photo So this photo looks good to me overall, but this this top right corner here, I want to just darken it down a little bit. It's just a little bright. There's a little, much too much attention out here, and I want to keep the viewer's eye in here. When you have something bright towards the edge of a photo, competes for attention and it competes, keeps people from focusing on what you want them to focus on. So I'm gonna go ahead, get the graduated filter tool. I guess I was already in it, and I'll double click on the word effect just to make sure I don't have anything going on here. I'll go with a guess on negative exposure on the amount, and I'm going to click and drag for maybe about here and drag into the photo again. I don't sweat getting it perfect, because I can always adjust it. Once I've got the filter drawn, I can come adjust the amount. Now, with the graduated filter. As I move my mouse out of the out of the photo, the filter is still showing because down here under show edit pins I'd said it always. So I'm gonna set this back toe auto. Now, as I move my mouse out, it's not there. So let me go ahead and turn this switch on and off at the bottom of the graduated filter. So before and after, I might just tone it down just a little bit, um, to finalize it. You can also use the H key to selectively hide or show that without having to go into auto and move your mouth. Exactly. So let's say I had this set on always, and I type h I'm hiding the pin. That's really handy. If you're a beginner, you may not want to do that on Lee. If your memory is like mine, you may not want to do that, Okay? Because you'll come in here and you may say. Well, where are my pants? Okay, so, um, it's optional. But even if you do that and you say, Well, where are my pins? Monheit, Just come down down down to this option here. When you type eight, you're basically switching it to never, So you can always change it back toe auto. So right, Uh, let's see, I do one more example and they will take any additional questions on this. Let's go ahead and go to this photo and I'm gonna go out of the graduated filter for for a moment here. And I love the wispy sand, The blowing sand But I want to bring it out War. And I think it's gonna be a combination of contrast and clarity and maybe darkening. Now, I would start in the basics panel, but as I had contrast in the basics panel, the hillside gets really heavy, right? So it's just not gonna gonna work to do it globally. If I course if I dark in too dark in the sand, I'm darkening the hillside. I could see I like what it's doing in the sand, but the hills getting too dark. So I'm gonna have to do this locally, I could do it with the adjustment brush. So you just have to different options that you can choose to use. I'm going to do it with the graduated filter because a click and drag is a lot faster than painting. I'm gonna double click on the word effect here to reset the graduated filter. I'm gonna go with positive contrast and clarity, maybe some negative exposure. And again, I'm I'm guessing partly from experience. But I could always just start with just one thing and then add add in later. Okay, So I want to affect the bottom of the photo. Which way am I gonna click and drag bottom up exactly. Bottom up to affect the bottom of the photo. So I'm gonna click and drag, and then I can twist this to effect exactly the area I want. It's really up to me how soft I want that transition to be. So if I If I make this very wide, then it starts to get brighter. As I go further into the scene here. If I make it narrower, it stays there until I pretty much get to the get to the the the edge there. They'll twist this just a little bit more, and from here out, simply adjust the settings. So let's just see what more clarity would dio some more clarity is popping that out a little bit. Gets a little bit heavy, Maurin Less contrast. There's no right answer. Of course, right, this is all subjective. And when I teach this, when I walk around and look at what students have done, you know everybody does something different and that that's great. I come down to the bottom of the graduated filter tool switch off switch on. So a big change with just a few sliders in a click and drag. All right, it questions on local adjustments in general. Well, more specific on the graduated filter. Just video or anything else. OK, yes, Anyone here. Okay, so we'll go with Vivian hyphen. Photo ask. Is it possible to use the gradual graduate filter to affect only the inner center of the photograph incident from the SAT directly? No, no. What you we have to do is is think opposite. I think. See if I can think opposite late in the date here, but if you want to affect the center you could globally, you could globally set your photo for the center, your goal in the center and then locally get rid of the change around the edges. But I wouldn't recommend doing that with the graduated filter anyway, because you're gonna end up with Let me get rid of this change here you're gonna end up with Let me just be real obvious. You're gonna have these overlapping areas where multiple filters have been applied. See how some of some some of these areas get double and triple strength. So I would suggest just painting with the adjustment brush. Okay, Next question is from Suzanne. Can you start Stop the graduated filter in the middle of the image only like a rippers neutral density on the horizon only. So I only want to affect the inside of the photo. I think that's kind of the same thing that I interpreted from that last that last question and that I would set the your global settings if I wanted to. For example, I wanted to darken just the horizon here. Then back in the basics panel, I would go with negative exposure and then, using the graduated filter I would go with positive exposure, and I would offset everything but the horizon by doing one from the top and one down from the bottom to get in that area and then follow up from DeMott 72 in Pasadena. Is there a way to force horizontal or vertical hold? The shift key down as you click and drag. So I click and drag and I'm holding the shift key down. It's for its horizontal level. If I hold it down, is I click sideways? It's vertically level and then you have these questions because I can. I could delete these pins and I get that cloud again, easily entertains and Deborah and ask sometimes when using the graduated filter, I accidentally duplicate a pin, and she wants to know how she does how she did it. So if I create a pin here now, accidentally duplicate a pen, well, I mean, certainly if you accidentally click and drag again, you're going to get a new one automatically. What I was trying to see if I just click and let go, I was wondering if that would give me a new pin, but it doesn't so it must be that somehow she's clicking and dragging a second time. Okay, Not sure if you've already answered this, but from Bart Cooper's Can I erase ad with a brush from a graduated filter? Sure. So let's say that I want to let me set this scenario up again where I was darkening the the bottom part of this photo and it looks good to me. And I've set this filter toe work the best I can, but it's darkening this this left hand side too much. So an option at that point is to go into the adjustment brush and paint with the opposite instruction so I can go with positive exposure in the adjustment brush. In this case, um, and I can paint that well, let me back up a little bit. I can go with whatever the opposite of the instruction. Waas. In this case, it probably was positive exposure, negative clarity, etcetera. So I didn't take the time to know what that waas. But just know that you can reverse. You can remove and instruction using a second tool on top of the first. Okay, Indian Springs guy, Can I blow using the graduated filter tool? Yes, I'm glad that that's a cool feature from from light room three on so glad that question came up. So using either the graduated filter or the adjustment brush, you can actually blur. So I'm gonna use the graduated filter. In this case, let's say I wanted to blur the top part of this photo. I'm gonna go with negative sharpness. Now, if I go beyond negative 50 on sharpness, I'm going to be blurring the photo. So I go with negative 100. Now what's happening? It's frightening also because I forgot to reset my sliders first, so I'll go ahead, go up to exposure, reset it. And now, if I hit the switch on and off, so I just have the negative sharpness, you'll see that it has blurred out some. Now it may not be enough. So that's another reason I'm glad the question came up because it allows me to show you how toe ADM or when you've maxed out a slider. So it has blurred this. I met negative 100 sharpness. Let me zoom out and add some more blurred. I'm gonna do another new instruction here with negative sharpness. Not positive exposure, just negative sharpness. So now I'm adding more blur by simply adding a second instruction, and I could continue to do that. Question from MJ Seattle noting that you, Lord, adjust the clarity a lot in the graduated filter. What is the effect of changing clarity here? In this particular example, let me so clarity ads, local contrast, it tends Teoh. It often makes things look more three dimensional. So in this graduated filter, double click on the word effect and let's just do positive clarity and see what it does in this particular case, you see how that really brought out the sand. It's adding contrast in these areas. It's brightening the bright star getting the darks in these local areas, and if I switch this on and off, you'll see the effect. Now let's look at the difference between clarity and contrast, so I'll reset clarity, and I'll go. With contrast. They're not too different in this situation. They're both kind of accentuating those areas, but I find that for this particular example that some combination can really kind of supercharged what I'm trying to achieve in this case. I like that word super. I don't think I've used the word before this workshop, so I don't know where that came from. It's great. I love it. Question I noticed on the adjustment brush is we have a brush, a B brush and the erase tool. What's the B? Let me go ahead and go back to the adjustment brush here and point out we have a bee in a race, so a and B are just brush presets. So if you regularly work like to work with two different types of brushes like a large soft brush and a small hard brush, you can set these setting separately, So I don't I don't tend to be that organized in my workflow thought process, so I don't tend to ever switch over to be I stay on a and I always just change whatever I need to change. But there are a way to save two different sets of settings. Lord, you mind going back a little bit to the mosque overlay? J and J has asked a couple times How can you move the mosque overlay area to the next photograph to move it to the next photograph? Well, unfortunately, you can't. Okay, now we're gonna talk tomorrow about how to sink changes from one photo to another. So I'm gonna just defer that question until then. And then I'll address it more. Okay, so he's gonna have to ask it yet again. But hopefully, hopefully I'll remember toe to cover that exact issue. That's great. JJ's exciting way back tomorrow, Kristen leagues asks, Can you deeply duplicate? Sorry. Duplicate an adjustment pin like you would a layer in photo shop. Unfortunately not. I'd love to see that. I love to see being able to duplicate it, to move it, to copy it over. But but no. And question from Dane. How do you make the filter color? I think this was back when we're doing that. Graduated. Is this the add color to with Okay, so adding color using the filter that can come in handy if you want toe like 10th the sky a little bit bluer, for example. So I'm not gonna bother Finding a good example will just continue to massacre this photo here. So I'm gonna click on the graduated filter tool, and I'm going to click on Well, no, I'm gonna catch myself here. I'm gonna double click on the word effect to reset the sliders. I'd love to see a light room preference that would just always reset that. Okay, so now I'm gonna paint or filter with color. So again, just like in the adjustment brush, we have a color square here, and I'll go ahead and use blue. Close this out. I'll delete this pin just so that we don't have multiple adjustments going on here. It'll click and drag up so are adding blue into the sand Now. I didn't make the sand blue right. I added blue. I didn't. There's yellow underneath already. So what? I'm adding blue in I'm getting purple. Or there's some kind of combination of color that's giving me purple and not blue. I might have local ahead and tell you how you actually replace a color. Let's go ahead and do this. I'll do this quickly. I swear. We got to this photo here, and I want to replace the color of this knows now you could do this for the graduated filter or with the adjustment brush. I'm gonna go into the adjustment brush, though I'm gonna paint with blue very, very quickly and you'll see that it's just turning a little bit more purple The secret to replacing color First, I'm gonna go into the color square, make sure I have 100% saturation. The secret to replacing color is to paint with color and de saturate the original. So you're gonna go with negative 100 saturation and the color Now I'm in fact painting with blue. And if that wasn't enough blue, I'll do a new adjustment with with positive with blue again and I'll click and drag to add more blue Go ahead and reset that whips. Okay, so let me see. All right, so now I'm adding more blue A little bit of a brain cramp at the end of the day, so that might have to build that out. But negative saturation plus color equals new color. Okay. And, um, one more question, Alex B 58. How would you do? Dodging and burning with adjustment breast brushes. So dodging and burning is brightening and darkening. So I would simply if I wanted Teoh dodge his hair meaning brighten his hair. I would do a new adjustment, positive exposure, and I would go ahead and paint his hair. Now his hair is turning purple because It's the end of the day and I'm forgetting to reset all of the other sliders. So I'm painting with blue Double click on color. Now I'm just frightening his hair so bright Ning is dodging and I would do it with the exposure. Slider burning would be negative exposure. Okay, well, this has been another fantastic day, Laura. Thank you very much. And thank you on behalf of everyone around the world watching and sitting at their computers and sitting here in the studio audience. So And thank you. Everyone out there for joining us here. So I want rubber applause, Laura.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lightroom Day 1 Slides.pdf

bonus material with enrollment


Ratings and Reviews

Miguel Lecuyer

Great workshop! New to Lightroom and found it very helpful. Saved me a couple hundred dollars and time by not taking an evening LR class. Creative Live workshops match my learning style perfectly. Laura is awesome! My only complaint is maybe Laura can use a PC next time which is what she seems more comfortable using. Her shortcut mix-ups on a Mac were making me a bit dizzy :)

a Creativelive Student

I cannot express enough how impressed I was with Laura and this class. I learned more in the 3 days of this workshop than I did in all 6 weeks of a class I took online that cost three times as much. I left not only impressed by the class but MOST importantly - refreshed and energized to put my new knowledge to use! Thank you for that!!!

a Creativelive Student

Excellent workshop bar none. I learned more about Lightroom than I did from any other tutorial/workshp that I previously encountered. Thanks Laura!

Student Work