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Creative Lightroom Pt 3

The Graduated Filter and Adjustment Brush

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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In this issue’s Lightroom guide we took an introductory look at the adjustment brush and graduated filter brush. Whilst we are still concentrating on the use of these tools in practise, it’s good to ensure that we also cover the controls and options that we may not have used in the video.

The video talks through two example images by Joe and shows a few options to adjust them with brush and grad. Here are the before and after images



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  • Nigel

    As always happens with these TP/JC post-processing videos, I have learned a few new tricks and better understood some of those which I thought I knew already Thank you both.

    However something I do not understand is why some photographers still use graduated filters on a digital camera for landscape work. There are easier and better ways to achieve the same result (using Photoshop to combine multiple RAW conversions or bracketed exposures) so why handicap yourself by using a grad unless you are using film?

    • Ian

      I use both approaches and find two main advantages with using physical grads as compared to multiple exposure blends/HDR/digital grad post-processing approaches.

      (1) Physical grads work well if anything things are moving in the frame such as waves or trees.

      (2) Using physical grads also means that you spend less time in front of the computer processing.

      Compressing the histogram in camera using grads should generally result in less noise in the shadows compared to using digital grads or highlight/shadow controls in PP. This may not be such a big deal with the latest sensors but it helps a lot with older cameras like mine.

      Of course, there are downsides to using physical filters (colour casts, vignetting, they can get dirty, lost or broken or even act as sails when it’s windy) but at least we now have choices.

  • Scott Rae

    I’d agree – up until earlier this year, I didn’t have physical grads and suffered massively when it came to trying to blur motion in even normal daylight conditions (let alone high contrast) using longer exposures without losing the sky. The physical grad gives me a lot more potential to play with the image in post production, but actually also means I don’t need to play so much.

  • Bernard Frangoulis

    Thanks for this series Tim (and Joe).

    Does this mean that you (or Joe) are abandoning Capture One? Or did you simply think that presenting the most used piece of software would be more useful?

    What I would be interested in would be a comparison of the develop tools of both programs, since you seem to be proficient in both.

  • Many thanks to both Tim and Joe for this. I’ve watched many LR tutorials over the years but none of them come close in my opinion to what they are producing for us here. They go further than just explaining how to use the tools in LR and for me that’s the difference. More Please!

  • ice9001

    Hi Tim is there supposed to be a video for these tutorials I can’t find them anywhere here .

    • Looks like a wordpress update killed my youtube embed code. I’ve fixed it now – thanks for letting me know!

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