The Radial Gradient tool in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic makes it easy to target precise changes to one specific part of our image and then to fade these changes off so that the rest of our picture remains unaffected. With this tool, we can change an oval-shaped area within our photograph without the need for complex selections or a lot of tedious brush work.
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The new Radial Gradient tool in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic v.11 is an updated version of the old Radial Filter tool that has been a part of this program for many years. This is more than just a new name for an old tool though since the Radial Gradient is now an integral part of Classic’s new Masking panel. Creating a Mask with the Radial Gradient tool is an excellent choice when you want to bring out more details in one particular section of your image or if you want to create an elegant vignette-like effect.
This is not a hard tool to master but there are some keyboard shortcuts that make working with Lightroom’s Radial Gradient more efficient.
- Hold down the Shift key as you drag out the Radial Filter to create perfectly circular adjustments.
- Hold down the Alt (Windows) / Alt Option (Mac) key to scale one side of the Radial Filter at a time without changing its overall position. This is helpful when you want to cover elliptical area rather than a perfect circle. Holding down the Alt / Option key allows you to scale one side of the filter at a time.
- Hold down Control + Alt (Windows) or Command + Alt Option (Mac) and double click on the pin that marks the center of an existing Radial Filter to duplicate the existing filter. I demonstrate one way to use this trick at the end of today’s full video tutorial.
- Double clicking the mouse with the Command (Mac) / Control (Windows) key held down will create a new Radial Filter that automatically scales itself to fit as close as possible to the edges of your image. This can be a useful starting point when you want to create a soft vignette around the center of the image.