The idea behind this technique is that sometimes our scenery doesn’t cooperate. Most of us don’t have unlimited time and budgets to keep reshooting the same place when the light is perfect. So we get what we get when it comes to light. But who’s to say we can’t help the photo out a little after the fact, to help create the scene we hoped for in the first place 🙂
The tutorial below concentrates on Lightroom. But Photoshop’s Camera Raw has the same exact tool. And ON1 Photo also has a similar tool called the Masking Bug and it does the same thing as the Radial Filter. So whichever program you use, this technique can help out.
Have a good one! 🙂
Great tips thanks . I was wondering why you didn’t use the range mask maybe in conjunction with feather to reduce the light spill on the brickwork surrounding the windows? Particularly noticeable on the one right of the corner although I do note the brickwork is noticeably paler than adjacent bricks.
Hey Matt – another great tutorial, many thanks.
You mention being frustrated about the inside/outside default setting in the radial tool – I used to be, too. Then I found that if you choose the radial tool and select ‘inverse’ before applying the filter, it defaults to ‘inverse’ for all future uses, too. Same thing for any changes to exposure, clarity, etc – anything altered before applying a filter (i.e. clicking on your image) will remain for the next use of the filter.
Hope this helps!
Thanks Lucas – the problem with that is that it then defaults it which isn’t what I want because sometimes I want it on the outside. I maybe played up my frustration too much. I’m not really frustrated with it. It’s just fun to poke at the feature sometimes and make fun of it 🙂 Thx
Thanks, Matt. Another one of your great quick tips!
Hi Matt, is it in Paris?
Great tips, Matt. Where was this picture taken? This location seems familiar to me but I can’t place it.
Matt follow you and Chris Orwig . Both of are wonderful teachers.Keep it up very informative. This lighting tip will be great for the holidays.
Hi Matt, great tips here, thanks for this one.
Another tool for my workflow,thanks Matt.
Hi Matt – great tips – thank you – question: have you tried using the highlights slider in combination with exposure for areas that already have some light? wondering if that might be a more nuanced approach that will still preserve and dark areas around the light?
Thanks Barry. I have and I use it all the time. Definitely worth a try and something to keep around in case you need it. I experiment with all of them as I’m working to see what works best. Thx!
Hi Matt! Thanks for a nice tip.
Now, you can actaully default the ”invert” setting by clicking shift-M to enter radial filter, clicking Invert, then Shift-M again. Next time, it has inverted as default!
Like John Buono, I’ve been lighting windows when appropriate for years. I like your technique using LR; I usually use Photoshop and make selections, especially when the windows are completely dark–lightening them isn’t enough. The “spill” you get with the radial tool makes for a very realistic effect. Bravo! When you first applied the tool, the effect was reversed for your intended result; however, I liked the buildings a little lighter–which could be accomplished with the Shadow slider. I know you wanted a moody effect, but I think opening the overall shadows a little would enhance the image; just a bit too dark the way it is for my taste.
As you know Jim, it’s all in the eye of the editor. I deliberately developed them dark but that’s my style for this type of photo. It’s not for everyone and I’m ok with that. I’m the only one it has to please 😉
Indeed! I find I must please my publisher and produce images that will reproduce well on an offset press; images as dark as your example will turn to black mush without a little help.
But, I must vent my pet peeve on nomenclature: many say editing when they mean processing–like developing film or photo finishing: step a, then step b, etc. I think of editing as the procedure to select images from a series for further review and eventual processing. And while I’m venting: Adobe and other RAW editors name the brightness slider “Exposure.” That simply cannot be. Exposure occurs in the camera. Quite obviously the brightness of the image can be adjusted; let’s call it what it is.
Let’s be clear.
To edit means to correct or change,selecting means to choose.Photoshop and camera raw and all the others are editing programs,Adobe Bridge is a selecting and sorting program as it doesn’t change the picture.
Can’t wait to try this out on a few photos I’ve been dissatisfied with. Thanks as always for the great tips.
Great tutorial on a very useful technique to enhance light using Lightroom. Thanks for sharing !
Thanks so much for sharing this technique.
Hope all goes well with you.
Nice job with that, quick and simple. I too have that issue with the audio as it’s coming in only on the left channel. Thanks Matt!
Love all your tips of the trade that you share with us! Thank you.
You must be telepathic, Matt. I was experimenting with this technique on a photo this morning, but not quite nailing it. Now I understand how to do it for best effect. Great tutorial as always, thank you! I love your Lightroom presets and use them all the time. I’m going to check out your courses. Cheers, Paula
Thanks Paula! Glad it helps!
I have used this technique a lot, and have found to light “lights” in rooms you use the same idea with the radial tool, but you need to duplicate the spot, make it slightly smaller and increase exposure. You end up with a very realistic light. Have done for automobiles lights also to give that extra kick.
How did I never see that button before !
Just a little comment about the audio in this presentation. When you introduced the video and warned folks not to watch if not happy with editing photos, both channels worked on my headphones, but when the actual video started, the audio was just on the left channel. I happen to have poor hearing in my left ear, so really had to crank up the volume, but still would have been better if both channels were working. Maybe just check your audio settings. This is the first time I have noticed this with one of your videos. By the way, this was a good video tip. Thanks.
Thanks for the video, I confirm only left ear.
Fantastic Matt! Thank you!
Thanks John. I had fixed it already so if you watch it again you should be okay. Thx!