The radial filter in Lightroom and Camera Raw is a powerful tool if you know how to use it.
In the latest video from Nigel Danson, he gives us five creative ways to use the radial filter in Lightroom. In case you use Photoshop and Camera Raw, these tips apply there too.
The first tip is to use the radial filter to emulate and emphasize light coming in from the side of your photo. You can play around with the brightness, highlights, shadows and black sliders, but the key is to reduce the clarity. When you reduce the clarity, you essentially create a local Orton-effect, which softens the local contrast of the area. On top of that, you can add a bit of warmth to the filter too. When you have the wished-for effect, you just place it in a way that looks realistic and adjust the filter to fit the photo. When you have placed the filter, you might have to turn the overall brightness of the photo slightly down.
Another way to use the radial filter is to combine it with the range mask. In one example, Danson applies the radial filter to a photo of himself standing on a rock overlooking a huge vista. In this case, he wants to make himself darker and more of a silhouette figure. By adding the radial filter on top of the figure and reducing the brightness, he also reduces the brightness of the surrounding area. However, by applying a range mask and only target the luminosity range of the silhouette figure, which in this case is the darker tones, he removes the part of the radial filter he does not need.
Check out the video above, and let me know down in the comments if you have more tips for using the radial filter.