Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s Graduated Filter is a blessing for landscape photographers. This is a fantastic tool when we want to change one side of our image without altering the entire picture.
For landscapes photos, where we have a big broad swath of sky, the Graduated Filter is one of the very best tools in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. That said, you should not turn to the Graduated Filter tool until you have done everything else that you can to improve the overall image using Lightroom’s general global image controls. In our image enhancement workflow we always want to do the global changes before turning to the more specialized tools like the Graduated Filter.
The changes that we can make with this tool are incredibly powerful but this is not an easy feature of Photoshop Lightroom to learn without guidance. Mastering the Graduated Filter takes practice for two reasons.
- The Graduated Filter this is a two-step tool. First, you need to tell Adobe Photoshop Lightroom what you want the filter to do and then you need to tell the program where you want these changes to occur. Learning to use separate controls over “what to do” and “where to do it” requires a little patience.
- Many Photoshop Lightroom users find placing the Graduated Filter frustrating because Adobe’s foolish design team made an essential command here into an unmarked keyboard shortcut. The secret to constraining the Graduated Filter to the horizontal, or vertical, axis only is the Shift key. Placing the Graduated Filter with precision is a beast until you learn this secret keystroke.