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This chapter is from the book

Using the Radial Filter tool

With the Radial Filter tool, you define an elliptical area with an overlay, then apply adjustments via sliders to the area either inside or outside the overlay.

To darken an area of a photo via the Radial Filter tool:

  1. After adjusting your photo via the Basic and Tone Curve tabs,A click the Radial Filter tool radial_filter_tool_icon.jpg (J). The sliders for the tool display.


    A Although the exposure in this photo is well balanced, we want to spotlight the spa products more.

  2. Click the + or – button for any slider to “zero out” all the sliders except the one you click. At the bottom of the panel, click Effect: Outside or Inside to control where the filter effect will occur relative to the overlay you will draw in the next step.
  3. Drag over an area in the photo to produce an overlay.B If you want to reposition the overlay as you create it, drag with the Spacebar held down.


    Click to view larger image

    B We zeroed out the sliders for the Radial Filter tool, then dragged in the preview to create an overlay.

  4. Use any of the sliders to adjust the filtered area (A–C, next page). If the Effect setting is Outside, the adjustment will be at full strength outside the overlay, then diminish gradually to no adjustment at the dashed border. If the Effect setting is Inside, the adjustment will be at full strength at the center of the overlay and diminish gradually to no adjustment at the dashed border.


    A We used the first four sliders to darken the filtered area and the Clarity and Sharpness sliders to soften the image details.


    B To make the lighting in the darkened areas cooler, we reduced the Temperature value (added blue).


    Click to view larger image

    C The tonal, temperature, and sharpness adjustments helped to accentuate the candle, soap, and white bottle.

  5. To control how gradual the adjustment is at the edge of the overlay, use the Feather slider.
  6. To hide the overlay(s) to gauge the adjustment, uncheck Overlay or press V. Redisplay the overlay for the next step.
  7. To edit the overlay, do any of the following (all optional):

    To reposition the overlay, drag inside it.

    To reshape the overlay, drag one of its handles.

    To resize the overlay, Shift-drag a handle.

    To swap the adjustment from Outside to Inside the overlay, or vice versa, click the unselected Effect button or press X.

  8. Optional: To add another overlay, click New, then follow steps 2–7. To clone an overlay, hold down Ctrl-Alt/Cmd-Option and drag its center pin; or right-click the pin and choose Duplicate from the context menu, then drag the new pin.org_star.jpg Note: Adjustments are cumulative where overlays overlap; to edit adjustment settings, click a pin first.
  9. To redisplay the main tabs, press H (Hand tool).

    • To delete an overlay, select its center pin, then right-click the pin and choose Delete from the context menu; or hold down Alt/Option and click the pin (scissors pointer);org_star.jpgor click the pin, then press Backspace/Delete.
    • To expand an overlay to the edges of a photo, double-click inside it; or to do this when creating a new overlay, double-click in the preview.
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