Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Targeted Use Of Lightroom's Radial Filter Tool

Angle of view is an important aspect of getting an interesting shot.  Today's image can be thought of as having been shot as a heroic portrait.  Heroic meaning taken from a low angle, raising the subject.  The term "heroic", in this case, has nothing to do with the exploits of the subject.  Just how the shot was composed.  The young lady was very helpful in achieving this pose by being on a set of four or five foot tall stilts.  She just happened to be a performer at a helium balloon filling party on the streets (or rather "a street") of Stamford Connecticut.  I was there as a part of a photo "Meetup" outing.  The second one I've attended and I have to say, they seem to be a fun way to get out and shoot in a different environment than typical.  To learn what today's image "needed" in post processing, hit the "Read More".

To tell the truth, it didn't need a whole lot.  The stilt walker had the outfit, the hair, the smile and the accent balloons.  The background was sufficiently out of focus as not to be a distraction. 

The only area I saw that would benefit from a little work was the balloon halo she wore.  Adobe Photoshop Lightroom's (LR) Radial Filter Tool was used in a somewhat different method than I've been using it lately.  If you look at the past couple of posts (maybe the last five) you'll see that I used the tool to brighten up specific areas of an image.  (In some cases twenty or more areas in a single image.)  In today's image I didn't want to brighten the "balloons", just to give them a little crispness.

The Exposure of each surface was left alone.  The Clarity and Sharpness was brought up a tad.  Having the balloons tack sharp wasn't the goal.  A little "sparkle" (???) was the intent. 

Each of the balloon surfaces was canted a little off square.  Between being able to control the size, roundness and angle of each Radial Filter Tool spot fitting the filter to each disk was pretty easy.  The ability to move each spot after getting it setup was another asset.  In places where smaller disks were eclipsed by larger ones either one could be worked on and moved out of place.  This allowed the opposite piece to be manipulated independently and the original moved back into position.

The final modification to the filter was to close down the feathering so the "spill" from the disk wouldn't splash out to the surrounding real estate. 

The Radial Filter Tool in LR has fifteen sliders and options.  There's no reason to limit its use to brightening.  The one thing LR's version of the Radial Filter Tool doesn't have (yet) that Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) has is an attached Brush Tool.  Same as the Graduated Filter Tool.  Although it wasn't used on today's image, having the brush to be able to cut into the changes and restore the original attributes would be (will be) handy.  I don't have any idea why Adobe has put it ACR and not LR.  It'll probably come along shortly, but it's a puzzlement.