Quick Lightroom Tip Using the Graduated Filter


This video tip is courtesy of Anthony Morganti and shows us what you can do using the Graduated Filter tool in Lightroom. What if you’ve maxed out your basic adjustments and want to go farther? This little tip might do the trick for you, check it out:

Learn more about using the Graduated Filter in LR here.

A very cool tip, had you thought of that or done this before? Do you have any other Lightroom tips and tricks? Please share in the comments below.

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Darlene Hildebrandt is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through articles on her site Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Morocco and India. To help you at whatever level you're at she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!

  • AnthonyMorganti

    Thank you for sharing this Darlene!

  • Brad_Connolly

    I must be missing something with this little “Trick”. Why use a grad filter if the intent is to apply the adjustments to the entire image. I don’t get it. What am I missing. Thanks!

  • AnthonyMorganti

    The way the graduated filter was applied in the video, from the corner going outwards, forced it to be applied EVENLY to the entire image so it wasn’t a graduated filter any longer — it now acts as a secondary basic panel. So, If you max out a slider, say shadows, in the Basic Panel, and find that you need to open up the shadows even more, but can’t since they’re maxed out, you can apply the graduated filter as I did in the video, then use the controls in the graduated filter to open the shadows more and the graduated filter will act evenly throughout the entire image — it will not be “graduated” in any way.

  • Great trick, thank you! Now I know what Andrew Gibson meant when he told me to “pull a graduated filter over the entire image”. I did this narrow GF for half image many times but never realized I can cover the whole thing.

  • Brad_Connolly

    Thanks so much! I think I get it now; It’s a way of extending the sliders beyond their max setting…
    Thanks for the detailed explanation.

  • Alan D Granger

    Good one

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  • Sophie White

    I tried this technique but all my images turn monochrome (b&w) when I apply the grad filter, yet my settings appear to be the same as per the video. Where am I going wrong?

  • Pushing the Shadows slider to 100 and then doing the same with this graduated filter… doesn’t that introduce a lot of noise?

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