Replace Grad Filters in the Field

08-Dec-14: Using the Gradient Tool and Luminosity Masks to Replace Grad Filters in the Field

Are you tired of:

  • Spending a ridiculous amount of money on Graduated Filters?
  • Fiddling around with them in the field to get them lined up properly?
  • Getting colour casts in your images from the filters?
  • Getting glare from the sun?
  • The constant cleaning of the filters?
  • Any object protruding above the horizon going dark?

This tutorial will show you how to replace the need to ever use a graduated filter in the field again with one simple technique using the gradient tool in Photoshop and two images (1 exposed for the sky, and 1 exposed for the foreground). We will also take it one step further, we’ll use a luminosity mask to bring back the detail of anything that protruded above the horizon, essentially giving us a custom graduated filter for any scene we photograph.

This is the first in a series of tutorials I will be putting together on the use of luminosity masks in editing.






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  1. Ian Allanach December 9, 2014 at 2:36 am #

    I look forward to your tutorials…very impressive. Thank you.

  2. jaimedormer January 16, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    Great tutorial again well done

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