Lightroom hack #08: Radial gradient relighting

Lightroom hack #08: Radial gradient relighting

Adobe’s latest AI masking tools are great, but you don’t need them for this very simple relighting technique. It’s the opposite of AI. It’s a very basic, even crude masking technique that relies on subtlety and judgement, and the only deep learning you need is your own.

This relighting technique is effective on so many different images of so many different kinds that it can quickly become addictive. You can use it to add some light and shade and contrast to images that don’t have any, and to emphasis end enhance any lighting already present.

I took this shot in a wood near where I live in early Spring, when for a few precious days the wild snowdrops were in bloom. The trees were bare, allowing the low sun through in patterns of light and shade. 

My original image needs some sympathetic relighting, and for this a Radial Gradient mask is all I need. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

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The trouble is, the original shot lacks any sense of lightness or color, so my plan was to add some of my own, using a radial gradient to emphasise that patch of sun in the center.