Lightroom tutorials: reveal hidden detail in skies with Lightroom’s Graduated Filter

In the latest of our Adobe Lightroom tutorials we show you how to lift lifeless skies and reveal hidden detail with a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Adobe Lightroom's Graduated Filter.

Tips for using Adobe Lightroom’s Graduated Filter

Seaside sunset photography tips from our professional photographer: use an ND Grad filter

Useful keyboard shortcuts
Hold Shift while dragging a grad to keep the lines horizontal or vertical, and hold Alt to squeeze the blend area in from both sides.

Reset sliders quickly
The Graduated Filter and Adjustment Brush often remember the last-used settings. Double-click any slider to reset it quickly, and double-click ‘Effect’ to reset them all.

Drag outside for clarity
To double a setting made in the Basic Panel (for example, if +100 Clarity isn’t enough), simply drag a grad outside of the image then increase the Clarity slider for a double-dose of grungy contrast.

Use the Effects presets
The Effect dropdown has a list of presets, with options like Soften Skin and Teeth Whitening. You can save your own presets here too.

Show clipping warnings
To avoid clipping tones to black or white when making selective adjustments, click the top-right and top-left corners of the histogram to turn on clipping warnings.

PAGE 1: How to use Adobe Lightroom’s Graduated Filter
PAGE 2: Tips for using Adobe Lightroom’s Graduated Filter


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  • Alberto

    Hi, I have the same problem but when I use the brush tool it creates a white stripe all over the castle and the hill. How can I use this tool at his best?