Adobe’s added a brush to Lightroom’s graduated and radial filters, giving us more control. We can now paint the filters’ effect in or out, allowing us to be more creative. This may not seem like a big deal at first; but when you start using the brush option, you’ll wonder why it wasn’t included since the beginning!

Lightroom’s Vignette Effect

I like adding a small amount of vignetting to a portrait, but sometimes I don’t like how the effect darkens parts of the image – especially skin. There wasn’t much of a workaround; I either had to accept it or jump over to Photoshop to complete the edit.

Lightroom’s Radial Filter helped a lot

I was excited when Adobe added the Radial filter. I can free draw a circle or an oval and use the same effect that options brushes have. This made it easier to add the special vignette effect I was looking for. I still had a minor issue with skin. It wasn’t as bad as it was before, but it was still there. I learned to accept it.

Adding a brush option solved the problem

After applying a Radial filter to an image, I can now selectively paint in or out the effect. Pressing the Option key [mac] or Alt key [win] changes the brush to an eraser.

Step 1: Working in the Development Module, select the Radial filter and adjust your favorite settings. Draw an oval shape around the area of the image you want the effect to appear.

Step 2: To see what part of the image is affected, apply an overlay to the image by pressing keyboard shortcut O – think O for overlay. A red mask will highlight the area where the filter will be applied. Select the brush option found in the Mask section. Use keyboard shortcut Option key [mac] or Alt key [win] to change the brush to an eraser. You’ll notice the crosshairs of the brush changes to a minus (-) sign. Erase the areas you don’t want the effect applied to.

Step 3: Press the Radial icon to lock in your changes.

These steps can also be applied to the Graduated filter creating an editable Neutral Density Graduated filter – great for editing skies!