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Basic Editing in Lightroom CC: Radial Filter and Brush Tool

Lesson 16 from: Lightroom CC: Organizing Your Digital Photo Life

Jared Platt

Basic Editing in Lightroom CC: Radial Filter and Brush Tool

Lesson 16 from: Lightroom CC: Organizing Your Digital Photo Life

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

16. Basic Editing in Lightroom CC: Radial Filter and Brush Tool


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Creative Cloud Construct


Lightroom Classic vs. Lightroom CC


Importing and Organization


Folder and Album Creation


Image Selection


Connectivity and Data


Finding Images in Lightroom CC


Lesson Info

Basic Editing in Lightroom CC: Radial Filter and Brush Tool

So the radial filter can be used in a lot of different ways. One of the ways you can use the radial filter is to darken everything around a couple. So like if you have a portrait like this it's a great opportunity to go in and I'm just gonna double click this, I'm gonna create my radial filter first. So I'm gonna choose the spot that I want to be important. So I'm gonna click here in the middle and I'm just gonna drag like this. So that's my spot, that's the thing that's important in this photograph, and I can grab them center and move it around and you can see that that's the gradient right there, that's the center of that dot. And I can tell it do I want it to do something to the interior of this or do I want it to do to the exterior of this circle. If I want it to do the inside that would be something like maybe I wanna brighten 'em up. But if I wanted to darken everything around them I would have to then go here and invert this, so I actually click on that and so now you can see th...

at the mask that we're creating is on the outside of that circle. So then when I do the feather if I feather a lot see how the only, only really the dead center of this is zero percent, and then there's quite an easy gradient that goes across here, so only that little part is zero percent affected and then it slowly gradiates out. So what we wanna do is choose the correct gradient or the correct filter, or sorry, feather for that so that it gives them a little bit more space 'cause we don't want them to be affected, and then we can take our exposure and I'm just gonna go crazy on it so that you can see. See what that gradient looks like. So it starts there, they're pretty unaffected by it, but the flowers are affected, and the dress is affected. So now I can just take it out and that gives me the ability to kind of darken up the area a little bit more and make them pop out just a little bit more. Same thing's true, I can go up here to the erase and as long as I have that auto mask on I can go in and un, I can remove all of the effect of that gradient on her dress. So now if I float over it you see how the gradient goes out but it clips around her dress, so I can come down here and even clip more, go out. So now see how the gradient goes outside her dress, and I can do the same thing over here to her flowers. So I've got them looking quite nice inside this little, it's a little darker. Okay, so that is the radial filter. So they, you can see how they're pretty much the same thing, gradient, radial filter, it's all pretty much the same thing and then of course you have the brush, and the brush is very similar, it's just adding a brush. We were just using the brush inside of the gradient and inside the radial filter, now we we will just be using it on its own. And a really good thing to do with a brush is to do stuff like skin smoothing or brightening things up or working on like getting someone's eyes to pop a little bit more, stuff like that. So we can zoom in, oh, I keep hitting the Z key. So we can zoom in here and we're just gonna go right up here to their faces and this is where I would click on the brush and I would go in and flow at about 40 percent ish. And just so you understand the difference between flow and density, okay? Size is obviously the size of the brush, feather is how soft the brush is, flow is how much it's putting down right now. So it's like how, if you were using like a hose, a water hose with a spray nozzle on it, flow is how much did you pull the trigger, you know, how much water is coming out of the hose right now. Density is how much it will allow to soak in. So I can turn the density down to like 20 percent and it will only allow it to get 20 percent of whatever the effect would normally be. And then it'll just stop working, and you'll keep painting and painting and painting, and nothing will happen because it's blocking you from getting any more than 20 percent of whatever the look would be. So if you'd do a 100 percent then you can get 100 percent of whatever it can deliver. So we're gonna do a low flow and full density so that we can get as much as possible. And now I'm gonna turn off the auto mask because auto mask sometimes looks for edges that you don't want it to look for so it'll like find like a blemish and it'll go around the blemish instead of just going over the blemish. So what we're gonna do now is we're gonna go down here into our, I don't want to do the exposure, all I wanna work on is my clarity, so I'm gonna take the clarity down. Now remember when we played with clarity before what did it do? It softened their skin by getting rid of mid tone contrast, it brightened up the shadows, it took the highlights down, and that, so a wrinkle. So someone has a wrinkle around their eyes, so if I like I have little wrinkles here, like little crows feet, you know? Those are solely there because the deeper portion of the wrinkle is a shadow and the higher portion of the wrinkle is a highlight. And so if I wanna get rid of those all I have to do is brighten the shadow, lower the highlight, no more wrinkle. So that's what it's doing is it's taking that contrast and the mid tones and getting rid of it. So we're gonna take the clarity down a little bit and then we're gonna, I'm gonna grab my pen tool here and work on my tablet 'cause it's a little bit more controlled and I'm just gonna start painting in that softening of skin, and it's just softening up her skin quite nicely. And then after I've painted that all in I can always go into the eraser and I can go and make my brush a little bit smaller and just erase out the eyes and erase that line on the lips and I can even go a little smaller and erase her eyebrows. Okay, so now if I float over that you're gonna see what, see the mask, and the mask is missing, so her eyes are not being masked and her brows are not being masked, but the rest of her face is. So now if I come over here and play with the clarity I can soften her up even more, I can, do you see what's going on? So it's just affecting her face but not the rest of her. So I can, I can soften her up and I can take the highlights on her face up just a little bit, so like the cheeks get a little bit more light in 'em and things like that. See that. So now it looks like she's being lit a little bit better. And then I can click on this plus button and I'm gonna create a new brush. I'm gonna click on that plus button and then I'm gonna come over and I'm gonna make this brush a lot smaller, 'cause remember, I didn't use a flash so I don't have like some nice lights in the eyes and stuff like that, I just grabbed this shot ambient. So her eyes are a little bit dark so I want to brighten 'em up, so I'm gonna go in with my brush and I'm just going to get rid of those highlights, I'm gonna bring the exposure up, and I'm also gonna go down and get rid of this clarity knob. So here we are with a little bit of exposure brightness there and I'm just gonna go in and I'm just gonna brighten 'em up. Like that. So now when I go in and I can play with those settings and I can say how bright do I want her eyes to be? I don't want 'em to be too bright 'cause then they look weird, but I'll brighten 'em up just a little bit, but when I do the exposure I also have to come back in here and pull the black back down, otherwise I get like gray pupils instead of black pupils, but I want the, the rest of her eye to kind of shine a bit and I can take the clarity up too just a little bit. So now I have, and I wanted I could also even go in and say hey, I want her eyes to saturate up a little bit so that I see the color in the eyes a little bit more. So now I can zoom out and I can just see those eyes peering out a little bit better. So those are some of the things that I can do inside of the photograph, not to the whole thing, but just a little pieces of the photograph. And so those are my targeted adjustments, the adjustments that I make to the entire, or to pieces inside the entire photograph rather than, remember we went to the gray, or to the basic settings and that's global adjustments. And then we do the rest of 'em, we get in nice and tight. Now if we want to take those settings we can copy the settings and then we can go ahead and paste them on others, but remember if you take settings from this photograph you're also going to be copying the burns and the dodges and you're gonna be pasting on something that's not exactly the same. So if your camera's on a tripod and you're photographing a table, you know, a still life or something like that then you can copy and paste these settings all day long. But if you do it on this then those eyes will have moved a little bit, and so you'll have to then go in and reposition 'em, and you can always do that. So if you're in the brush settings and you zoom in here you can grab onto, oops. You can grab onto a brush like this and you can drag it and move it somewhere else. See that, so I could move it and put it on him which wouldn't do us any good. So you can grab a brush that you've already painted and if she just shifted a little bit to the left you can grab it and just move it a little bit to the left and then it would be on her. Any questions out there? So it looks like you can make more than one change in linear gradient without losing the settings for the first one. So if you make a linear gradient and then you adjust the settings is it adjusting the first one if you make a second gradient like you did? Oh okay, so yes. So each gradient is its own thing. Okay. So each pin that represents a gradient, so when we look here and there's pins each pin has its own settings on the pin and then that pin radiates out into whatever gradient or brush or radial gradient that you made. And so if you make one and adjust that one and then make another one and adjust that one it's completely different than the other one. And so you can make, I have some photographs that have, you know, 30 different pins on them, you know there might be four linear gradients and two or three radial gradients and then four or five brushes. Especially when I do stuff like you can, you can literally turn lights like house light, house lighting, you know like if you, if you're somewhere and there's no, there's a street lamp and you wanted it to be lit you can turn that on just with brushes inside of Lightroom and I've done that here on CreativeLive before where you just take a light and you paint light in the way light would naturally fall on a subject. And so you can do that but it's like, you know, three, four, five pins just for the light structure to look like its glowing with light, and so yeah, you can absolutely do that and each one will have its own settings, which is good 'cause then you can always go in and click on a pin and you can readjust that pin. So if you think oh, you know I brightened her face up too much, I can take that exposure down so that it's not quite as bright, you know, two weeks from now. Just go into the pin, click on the pin, readjust, and it'll readjust only that one pin. Cool, that's good. With the presets in the new CC, I know with the classic you have to install them and say I have it on my desktop and I have it on my laptop and I make presets as I'm going and then I have to occasionally install it here and move it from here to here, with the new one since you can access everything from the cloud is that the sort of thing that you could also store in the cloud so that if you have Lightroom on more than one computer you can pull? Not yet. Soon? I hope. I don't suspect it will be too long before all of the presets will end up wherever you happen to be, so and that would be a miraculous change from what we do now, 'cause you're right, right now what you do is you set up your presets in one and then you copy all those and then you go to the other one and you paste them in, but then you worked on this one and you changed some things and you added some presets and then all of a sudden you're like oh, I'm on this one, I'm over here, and I'm like oh I forgot those presets over there are, so right now you just simply have to copy and paste 'em into the right places and we're gonna show you in a minute how to do that so that you can accomplish it quickly, but you still have to do it. But I know that that's in the future. So hopefully sooner than later we'll end up seeing any preset you make here will just end up wherever you are which will be fantastic. And I hope, I hope, I hope that the presets will also show up here. 'Cause right now they don't even show up, you can't use, you use the standard presets here and then you use your own presets. You can make your own presets and you can save presets and buy presets and put presets in here in your computer on Lightroom CC or on Lightroom Classic, but not on Lightroom Mobile. So hopefully when it all comes together they'll be on Lightroom Mobile, they'll be, you know, hope. Let's all cross our fingers, everybody send a note to Adobe and say please sync our presets everywhere. And if you're gonna send that note to Adobe please send them a note that says sync them from CC to CC, CC to Classic, Classic to CC, and to Lightroom Mobile, and to Lightroom Web, like put 'em everywhere. If you're gonna go through the challenge of making Lightroom presets sync make them sync to everything that you work on, everything. Not some, not half, not, all, that's what we want, 'cause it would make no sense to do anything else. So that's my little soap box, public platform here I am. I hope Adobe's watching. Please preset syncs. So anyway, I know it's something they wanna do, so hopefully it'll happen sooner than later. So and the thing about Lightroom CC is that it is a one dot O release, so it is a very, very new thing, it just, it was released on Wednesday. So it's not something that you can expect to stay in its current state for very long, it'll update very, very quickly. You'll see stuff coming soon very quickly, and so you'll see things like for instance curves and stuff like that are not in there yet, but you'll see those things come in very quickly. And I think you'll see, you know, every couple of months you'll see a new thing come into Lightroom CC. And also you'll see new stuff coming into Lightroom Web because Lightroom Web they can actually release a release daily if they want 'cause it's really easy to just deploy, so you can always check Lightroom Web and they're playing around with stuff, they're doing all sorts of stuff. So I'll show you some really interesting stuff they're doing in the Web tomorrow that will help you find interesting photos so.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lightroom® CC Ecosystem PDF
Film Presets

Ratings and Reviews


This class blew my mind! As a full-time professional photographer, with a very complicated workflow (that is next to impossible to explain to my assistant) I cannot express how essential this class is to overhauling and simplifying my workflow. I am so excited to finally be able to split my workflow between multiple laptops and work stations WITHOUT having to build a server at my studio. I love that I now have a framework to start building a new organizational and backup system that I can easily train others on, and mobilize quickly. With all of the changes and improvements that Adobe is bringing to Lightroom CC & Classic, this class is integral to understanding and utilizing the program to its fullest potential! Jared Platt is a wonderful teacher and this class especially is perfect for novices and seasoned professionals alike!

a Creativelive Student

I was lucky enough to participate in-studio for this class. Jared is a great presenter and broke down the complicated Lightroom CC vs. Lightroom Classic changes. His conversational style of presenting kept things interesting and participants involved. This course was much more than just learning what the programs do. Jared walked through sample workflows to show when and why you would use the multitude of sliders and editing tools within the program. The course is worth every penny! Topics will remain pertinent well after newer versions of Lightroom CC and Classic are released.


I won't be able to watch all of this, but I purchased it anyway. Jared's ability to address the technical as well as the artistic aspects of Lightroom is unparalleled. He is one of my preferred presenters, especially for Lightroom. I especially appreciate how he has clarified the differences among the versions of Lightroom that are available. Thank you Jared!

Student Work