What is a gradient? Once you have completed global adjustments, you may want to make some local exposure, clarity, or tonal adjustments that are limited to a certain area of your photo. Lightroom offers the Linear gradient and the Radial gradient to help you create a mask that blends gradually into the other parts of your image.
Here's how the unedited portrait looks:
❶ Adjust the photo using a Linear gradient
TheLinear gradientis used to create linear gradient masks in Lightroom Classic.Themasksbeginatastraightlineandfadeaway.Theycanbeusedtomakelocalchangestopartsofanimage,suchasasky. Because of its linear approach, you can make a gradual change of tone and color in an image.
You can find the Linear Gradient on the right-hand panel in Lightroom. Tap “L” on the keyboard to access the tool.
To adjust the foreground of the image, click anywhere on the foreground and drag up. This creates a linear gradient that will apply the strongest adjustments starting at the bottom of the image, gradually fading out to no adjustments above the top line of the gradient.
Note: If you want the linear gradient to be horizontal, hold the Shift key as you drag.
To fine-tune the size of the gradient, drag either or both of the two white outer gradient lines.
To move the gradient, drag the pin.
To rotate the gradient, drag the center line.
To make changes to a gradient, select the pin for the gradient you want to edit and adjust sliders in the right panel
You can draw a linear gradient in any direction – horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, depending on which part of the image you want to affect.
❷ Radial Filter
TheRadial Filteravailable in Lightroom creates a mask so you can apply local adjustments inside or outside an oval shape. It can be used to highlight specific parts of an image.
The Radial Gradient is on the right panel in Lightroom. You can tap “R” on the keyboard to access the tool.
Tocreatemorethanone radial gradient in the photo, drag over the photo again and set the adjustment sliders for this radial gradient.
Note: You can also duplicate a radial gradient to apply the same adjustment elsewhere in a photo. Right-click(Windows) or Control-click(MacOS) a radial gradient pin and choose Duplicate. Then drag the duplicate pin to a new location.
To make changes to the adjustments on a radial gradient, select the pin for that radial gradient and adjust sliders in the Radial Gradient panel.
Here's how the final portrait looks:
Download the sample portrait fromHEREand apply all the retouching techniques to see the results.