Adding Light with the Radial Filter in Lightroom

Sean McCormack

The subject image, straight out of camera. 

For a number of reasons, Lightroom's Radial Filter is my favourite tool for adding light in post-processing. The original idea behind the filter was to provide a means to create off-center vignettes in a photograph, but Adobe then incorporated all the local settings available to the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter (pure genius!). The filter also features an Invert Mask checkbox, which allows you to move the effect from outside of the filter to the inside. By using this with the Feather slider, you can easily use the Radial Filter as a light within your photos.

  

To open the Radial Filter, click on the circle icon (item A, above) in the toolstrip below the Histogram in the Develop module (or keyboard shortcut Shift+M). Double-click on “Effect” (B) near the top left side of the panel to reset all settings. Then set the Exposure to 1.00 so it's reasonably visible. Why do this now, rather than after you've drawn a filter? Because each time you make a new filter, Lightroom reverts to the settings of the previous filter, so it's best to have the settings the way you want (especially if you're creating more than one filter).

Next, select the Invert Mask button at the bottom of the panel (C) to add the effect in the middle of the filter, and set the Feather slider (D) at 50 or higher. The greater the Feather, the softer the edge of the light. Then, while pressing the Shift key, click the image and drag out a Radial Filter, as shown below. You'll instantly see an oval of light based on the size, shape, and Feather of the Radial Filter. Now it's simply a matter of dragging the filter to wherever you want to add light. 

 The lighting effect where the filter has been dragged out. 

In the example above, I placed the filter over the rock to lighten it. By moving the cursor outside of the filter, a curved, double-edged arrow appeared and I then rotated the filter to fit over the rock. In addition to adding light, you can also boost highlights, shadows, and contrast within the filter. And if the blend isn't as smooth as you'd like, just increase the Feather slider.

The final image. 

 If you liked this article, Sean shares more of his wisdom in his eBook, Essential Development for Lightroom 5.

Sean McCormack is an award-winning people photographer based in Galway, Ireland, specializing in headshots and commercial, editorial fashion, and beauty/cosmetic photography. Sean's work has been used by Lucia Evans, Keith McDonald, The Conquerors, The Galway Advertiser, Galway Now, Catwalk Models, Prudence Magazine, Hot Press, and State and Trinity News. He can be found online at lightroom-blog.com  and seanmcfoto.com

Lightroom & Photoshop Sean McCormack

← Older Post Newer Post →


Comments


  • Who do you want to gift for wholesale Gale Sayers jerseys?
    Get value into the page: nfl jersyes

    Tesha on
  • 86 Andrew Turzilli Jersey – Where to buy 7 Stephen Morris Jersey?
    Here is Kevin Greene Jersey varous sizes, which is crazy fashion now.

    Anitra on
  • cheap jerseys store.35 Dewey McDonald Jersey for sale, supply usa
    nhl jersey discount free shipping with paypal also free gift can get.

    Luigi on
  • sodcer jerseys fгom china wholesale (Katie) cheap jersey ace

    Jeannine on
  • cheap mats zuccarello jetsey cheap jersey іn china

    Jerrold on
  • 65 Chris Watt Jersey.Wholesale Hockey Jerseys-Welcome to buy cheap wholesale basketball singlets cheap with free shipping and best service in our jerseys
    online shop.

    Floyd on
  • 13 Josh Huff Jersey.Welcome to 36 JaCorey Shepherd Jersey shop – one of the best suppliers on the Internet.
    We specialise in the manufacture and supply of top quality cheap where
    to get cheap jerseys online.

    Mohammed on
  • purchase football jerseys | 68 Kevin Zeitler Jersey authentic
    china online,Custom personalized nfl youth jersey from us.

    Ian on
  • super cheap soccer jerseys.You get nhl jersey shirts online
    cheapest and free personalized kids jerseys give to you, free shipping arrive oversea.

    Lavonda on
  • wholesale Dan Bailey jerseys Amazon Shopper online retail,with link:
    baseball jerseys for sale

    Reynaldo on
  • jerseys for cheap.Buy Jerseys For Cheap china for
    authentic, wholesale football stitched cheap nhl jerseys from china here to get free shipping.
    Sell high quality low price.

    Marina on
  • ] ventolinsalbutamol-buy.org.ankor http://ventolinsalbutamolbuy.org/

    auimadevuuro on
  • ] ventolinsalbutamol-buy.org.ankor http://ventolinsalbutamolbuy.org/

    efomazemabyuw on
  • ] ventolinsalbutamol-buy.org.ankor http://ventolinsalbutamolbuy.org/

    izajehatajih on
  • ] ventolinsalbutamol-buy.org.ankor http://ventolinsalbutamolbuy.org/

    urobudacocu on
  • ] ventolinsalbutamol-buy.org.ankor http://ventolinsalbutamolbuy.org/

    adubagipiroy on
  • ] ventolinsalbutamol-buy.org.ankor http://ventolinsalbutamolbuy.org/

    igotabodude on
  • ] ventolinsalbutamol-buy.org.ankor http://ventolinsalbutamolbuy.org/

    ardisickuka on
  • ] ventolinsalbutamol-buy.org.ankor http://ventolinsalbutamolbuy.org/

    ecusoryyi on
  • Nike 49ers 53 NaVorro Bowman Red Team Color Youth Stitched NFL Elite
    Jersey – Never miss the hockey jersey for sale,china jerseys factory
    site supply.
    Nice weblog right here! Additionally your web site so much up fast!

    What host are you using? Can I get your associate link in your
    host? I want my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    Alyce on

Leave a comment

  1. Thinking in Monochrome
  2. Vision Is Better, Ep.62
  3. Vision Is Better, Ep.61
  4. Making the Image: Kathleen Clemons
  5. Night Ranger: A Word With David Kingham
  6. Understanding the Night Sky
  7. Vision Is Better, Ep.60
  8. The Value of Critique
  9. Capturing the Moment
  10. Vision Is Better, Ep.59
  11. Five Key Elements of Food Photography
  12. Using Flash That Doesn't Look Lit
  13. Vision Is Better, Ep.58
  14. Using Flash To Improve Your Photographs
  15. Five Tips for Using Off-Camera Flash
  16. Vision Is Better, Ep.57
  17. Finding Critics
  18. Street Life: A Word With Libby Holmsen
  19. Using the Frame
  20. The Photographer's Tools
  21. Backlight: The Art of Silhouettes
  22. Vision Is Better, Ep.56
  23. Understanding Perspective
  24. Vision Is Better, Ep.55
  25. In Conversation: Sharon Covert
  26. Create Projects + Collaborate
  27. Mirrors or Windows?
  28. 2018 Mentor Series Workshop: Varanasi, India
  29. F/ The Rules
  30. Drawing the Eye With Selective Focus
  31. C&V Fujifilm Giveaway Winner Announced
  32. In Conversation: Willem Wernsen
  33. Exposing for Highlights
  34. Using Fill Light to Create Dramatic Portraits
  35. Cameras Don't Make Photographs
  36. Shooting with Your Final Image in Mind
  37. 10 Ways to Make Better Black and White Photographs
  38. 2018 Maasai Mara Photographic Safari
  39. 2018 Mentor Series Workshop: Lalibela, Ethiopia
  40. Start With the Corners
  41. Creating Painterly Images with Movement and Multiple Exposures
  42. Using the Guided Upright Tool in Lightroom
  43. The Power of Photographing Icons
  44. In Conversation: Susan Burnstine (Part II)
  45. In Conversation: Susan Burnstine (Part I)
  46. Controlling Your Edit with Lightroom's Tone Curve
  47. Making the Image: David duChemin
  48. 3 Ways to Make More Honest Portraits
  49. The Adjective-Driven Approach to Photography
  50. In Conversation: Oded Wagenstein
  51. Making the Zone System Work for You
  52. Ten (More) Ways to Improve Your Craft
  53. Reference View: A New Way to See in the Lightroom Develop Module
  54. In Conversation: Laurent Breillat
  55. The Best 3 Filters for Landscape Photography
  56. Creating Classical Portraits with Simple Lighting
  57. Photographic Processing and Believability
  58. Visual Storytelling: An Introduction
  59. Making the Image: Piet Van den Eynde
  60. In Conversation: Satoki Nagata
  61. Use Repeating Elements for Stronger Images
  62. In Conversation: Kate Densmore
  63. One (More) Reason To Use Adobe's Creative Cloud
  64. Three Ways to Use Backlight
  65. 2017 Rome Mentor Series Workshop
  66. 2017 Venice Mentor Series Workshops
  67. Controlling Foreground to Background Presence
  68. Making the Image: David Adam Edelstein
  69. In Conversation: David Adam Edelstein
  70. Using Contrast for Stronger Images
  71. Three Ways to Make Better Portraits
  72. How to Direct the Eye in Your Photographs
  73. How to Improve Your Street Photography
  74. In Conversation: Piet Van den Eynde
  75. Starting Your Next Personal Project
  76. Five (More) Creative Exercises to Improve Your Photography
  77. Five Creative Exercises to Improve Your Photography
  78. Three (More) Ways To Discover Your Vision
  79. Four Ways to Discover Your Vision (Part I)
  80. Three Ways to Make Stronger Black & White Images in Lightroom
  81. In Conversation: Cristina Mittermeier
  82. How to Add Mood to Infrared (and other) Photographs
  83. In Conversation: Paul Nicklen
  84. Four Ways to Tell Stronger Stories
  85. In Conversation: John Paul Caponigro
  86. Master the Art of Seeing and Improve Your Photography
  87. Adding Light with the Radial Filter in Lightroom
  88. The Power of Abstraction
  89. In Conversation: Anja Büehrer
  90. Five Ways to Add More Depth to Your Portraits
  91. Four Ways to Make Stronger Travel Photographs
  92. In Conversation: Martin Bailey
  93. Learn to Isolate
  94. Gear Is Good
  95. In Conversation: Dave Brosha
  96. For the Love of Your Photographs
  97. Working with Target Collections in Lightroom
  98. Review: Epson P800
  99. Seeing: Receptive & Observant
  100. Better Questions
  101. Siri? Ask Lightroom!
  102. Wake Up.
  103. In Conversation: David Jackson
  104. Photographic Skills: Patience
  105. In Conversation: David duChemin
  106. 2017 Jodhpur Mentoring Workshop
  107. 2017 Maasai Mara Safari
  108. Rome 2016 Mentoring Workshop
  109. Florence 2016 Mentoring Workshop
  110. Venice 2016 Mentoring Workshop
  111. Vision Is Better, Ep.54
  112. Vision Is Better, Ep.53
  113. Vision Is Better, Ep.52
  114. Vision Is Better, Ep.51
  115. Vision Is Better, Ep.50
  116. Vision Is Better, Ep.49
  117. Vision Is Better, Ep.48
  118. Vision Is Better, Ep.47
  119. Vision Is Better, Ep.46
  120. Vision Is Better, Ep.45
  121. Vision Is Better, Ep.44
  122. Vision Is Better, Ep.43
  123. Vision Is Better, Ep.42
  124. Vision Is Better, Ep.41
  125. Vision Is Better, Ep.40
  126. Vision Is Better, Ep.39
  127. Vision Is Better, Ep.38
  128. Vision Is Better, Ep.37
  129. Vision Is Better, Ep.36
  130. Vision Is Better, Ep.35
  131. Vision Is Better, Ep.34
  132. Vision Is Better, Ep.33
  133. Vision Is Better, Ep.32
  134. Vision Is Better, Ep.31
  135. Vision Is Better, Ep.30
  136. Vision Is Better, Ep.29
  137. Vision Is Better, Ep.28
  138. Vision Is Better, Ep.27
  139. Vision Is Better, Ep.26
  140. Vision Is Better, Ep.25
  141. Vision Is Better, Ep.24
  142. Vision Is Better, Ep.23
  143. Vision is Better, Ep.22
  144. Vision is Better, Ep.21
  145. Vision is Better, Ep.20
  146. Vision is Better, Ep.19
  147. Vision is Better, Ep.18
  148. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 18
  149. Vision is Better, Ep.17
  150. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 17
  151. Vision is Better, Ep.16
  152. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 16
  153. Vision is Better, Ep.15
  154. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 15
  155. Vision Is Better, Ep.11
  156. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 14
  157. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 13
  158. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 12
  159. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 11
  160. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 10
  161. Vision Is Better, Ep.10
  162. Vision Is Better, Ep.09
  163. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 09
  164. Vision Is Better, Ep.08
  165. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 08
  166. Vision Is Better, Ep.07
  167. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 07
  168. Vision Is Better, Ep.06
  169. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 06
  170. Vision Is Better, Ep.05
  171. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 05
  172. Vision Is Better, Ep.04
  173. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 04
  174. Vision Is Better, Ep.03
  175. Vision Is Better, Ep.02
  176. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 02
  177. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 01
  178. Vision Is Better, Ep.01
  179. ABOUT THE IMAGE - EPISODE 03

Related Articles

Related Resources


Categories
About the Image Show Adam Blasberg Adobe Andrew S. Gibson Andy Biggs Anja Büehrer Bret Edge Bruce Percy Brucy Percy Craft & Technique Creative Cloud Creativity Cristina Mittermeier Dave Brosha David Adam Edelstein David duChemin David Kingham Duncan Fawkes Guy Tal Henry Fernando Interview Jason Bradley John Paul Caponigro Kate Densmore Kathleen Clemons Laurent Breillat Libby Holmsen Lightroom & Photoshop Making the Image Martin Bailey Michael Frye Nathan Wirth Natural Light Oded Wagenstein Paul Nicklen Piet Van den Eynde Podcast Project Nimbus Rafael Rojas Satoki Nagata Sean McCormack Sharon Covert Sherri Koop Simi Jois Street Photography Susan Burnstine Vision is Better Show visual storytelling Willem Wernsen Workshop Younes Bounhar Zone System