Lightroom Trick to Add Soft Light

Typically, I add lighting effects to my images in Photoshop. However, I recently found a much quicker and easier way to do this within Lightroom!

To see how I add some dynamic, natural looking light to my images, while drawing more attention to my subjects, watch the video below!

 It consists of using the handy dandy, highly underrated RADIAL FILTER tool!

This tool is extremely easy to use and will save you time. Enjoy!


Prefer the tutorial in written format?

  1. In the Develop module, select the Radial Filter tool from the toolstrip or hit (SHIFT- M) on your keyboard.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To create a Radial Filter, click and drag the mouse across the region of interest. This will draw an elliptical shape, which determines the area that is either affected or excluded from the adjustments you perform.
    • To edit an existing Radial Filter, click any of the grey circles on the photo.
  3. To choose what area of the photo you want to alter, select or clear the Invert Mask checkbox. The checkbox, by default, is not selected.
    • Invert Mask not selected (default): Changing any setting affects the image region OUTSIDE the selected area.
    • Invert Mask selected: Changing any setting affects the image region INSIDE the selected area.
  4. Adjust the size of the Radial Filter added. Select a filter, and:
    • Click and drag the center of the filter to move and reposition it.
    • Hover the pointer on any of the grey circles, and when the pointer icon changes, click and drag to change the size of the filter.
    • Hover the pointer close to the edge of the filter, and when the pointer icon changes, click and drag the edge of the filter to change the orientation.
  5. Use the adjustment sliders to create the desired visual changes. Use the Feather slider to adjust the visual falloff of the applied adjustment.
  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 to continue adding or editing filters.
  7. Click Reset, to remove all the Radial Filters applied to your image.

Until Next Time,


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