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The Graduated Filter in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

Article Description

The Graduated Filter tool lets you make adjustments to your images within Lightroom that were previously impossible. This excerpt introduces the Graduated Filter and shows you how to use specific techniques such as darkening the sky and shifting focus.

#80 Shifting Focus

In this brief technique, we’ll look at how the Graduated Filter tool can be used to creatively shift the focus of an image. To Select the Graduated Filter tool, click on it in the Tool Strip, or choose View > Graduated Filter, or press the M key. Next, decrease the Clarity and Sharpening amounts (Figure 80a).

In the example below, I photographed Nick Dekker, black-and-white photographer and master printer. I enjoy Nick’s photography and vision, so I wanted to use on-camera focus to create a film image that emphasized his eyes. After I developed the film and opened the image in Lightroom, I decided to shift the focus even further, by making his shirt and beard more out of focus. I used the settings described above, so I clicked above the button on his shirt and dragged up. The final result is an image that communicates my visual intent even more strongly than the unenhanced photo did (Figure 80b).