I was looking at a photo this morning of an old house near the Maine coast. I thought about how beautiful the house was with the green grass and the sun peeking from behind the roof. It really was a very nice scene and after pondering it for a few seconds, I determined that the whole attraction I had to it stemmed from its lighting. Knowing what I know, I could tell that the photo had been edited. Certain elements were brightened up and others would brought to the forefront. Whatever the editor did, they certainly made the photo look stunning. It was well worth the time taken to fix things up.
That photo got me thinking. It really is about lighting, isn’t it? Lighting creates mood and mood creates emotion. I can’t even count how many times I’ve edited a photo in post processing to enhance the lighting. Almost every single time, I brought a lifeless picture one step from the trash bin back to an appreciable something to look at. And rarely is it just one lighting edit. Oftentimes, it’s many edits. It takes many different filters either sitting side by side or on top of one another to get the effect your after.
In today’s post, I’m going to quickly edit a photo of a wedding couple by adding a few radial filters, along with some other random edits. I’ll be doing all this in Adobe Lightroom. The goal of this post is to show you just how easy it really is to take a dull looking photo and make it stand out from others in its class. There will only be a few steps in this post, so it’ll be a quick read.
The Demo Photo
I decided to go with this photo because it’s always fun to edit how couples look on their big day. Also, because this picture is relatively low key, it’ll be interesting to bring some of the softer elements out in the open so they’re more visible. Here’s the photo.
Adding Some Radial Filters
I’ve already got the photograph opened up in the Develop module of Lightroom. For this photo, I think I’ll apply what I call the snowman effect. This is basically two radial filters stacked on top of on another in the shape of a two-piece snowman. I’ll apply similar lighting to both filters. The reason I’m doing this is because the couple in the photo is obviously the main attraction. I want to accentuate them.
To apply the radial filters, I’ll head over to the right column and click on the Radial Filter icon.
Next, when the sliders for this filter appear, I’ll go ahead and draw the first radial around the top portion of the couple.
After that, I’ll move over to the sliders in the right column and make some adjustments.
For this post, I won’t go crazy. I’ll increase the Exposure, add a little Contrast and do a few other things.
Next, I’d like to create a new, but very similar, radial filter to sit below this current one. To do this, I’ll click the New link that’s above the sliders.
Then, I’ll draw the next radial.
I’ll then go ahead and make similar changes to the lower radial sliders.
Adjusting All Sliders Simultaneously
Right now, I’m not sure how much effect I would like to add for each radial. To experiment with the overall amount of effect, I can collapse all the sliders so all I have to do is push one Amount slider, which will control everything that I’ve already pushed. To view the Amount slider I’m referring to here, I’ll click on the small dark triangle that sits in the upper right of the sliders.
From here, I can increase or decrease the amount of effect I’m seeing on the image. After I’m finished with everything, I’ll click the Done button that’s located underneath the image itself.
Editing in the Basic Panel
To finish up this image, I’m going to make a few quick adjustments in the Basic panel. Nothing crazy, but I’d like to at least reduce the Exposure in the surrounding photograph so the couple stands out in the light I just added. If things in the center get too dark, I can always go back to the radial filters and increase the Exposure there. Here are the adjustments I made in the Basic panel.
Here’s the final image.
Obviously, I could have edited things a lot more, but that wasn’t my intention. I wanted to show you how to edit with the radial filters, not what I edited with it. Overall, I think things came out well.
I hope I clearly explained how to edit with multiple radial filters in Adobe Lightroom. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this post, please let me know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!