Published by Jan Kabili | Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
A dramatic sky can make a photograph look great. Lightroom’s Graduated Filter tool offers a quick way to enhance a sky without affecting the rest of the photo.
1. Select the Graduated Filter tool in the tool strip in the Develop module, or press M on your keyboard. In the dropdown Graduated Filter panel, double click Effect to set all the controls to their defaults.
2. Drag the Exposure slider in the panel to the left. This step is optional, but it’s a good way to see where a graduated filter is going to affect your photo.
Why are there no default gradient swatches in Adobe InDesign? The Swatches panel tricks us into thinking there are, but you really have to build them by hand. Here’s a tip for leaving your days of manual labor behind: steal your gradients from Illustrator. In this week’s InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to commit “gradient larceny” in the Creative Suite.
November chilliness got you feeling cold and gray? In this week’s free movie Deke shows you how to brighten the world with your very own realistic rainbow, constructed completely from scratch in Photoshop. Start with a simple rectangular marquee, add a custom gradient, bend it into an arch with the Transform tool’s warp feature, then fine-tune with a little blur and surprising blend setting. The result is this promise of gold you see here:
Deke originally came up with this technique as an addition to a ‘skyshark’ project he created for his new Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals course, where, in chapter 6 he shows you how to use the Color Range command to isolate a threatening shark and transport it to an unsuspecting meadow. Of course, not everyone sees a picture of a ferocious carnivore in an implausible environment and thinks, “What this image needs is a rainbow,” but I’d imagine you can think of a project where having the ability to create a suitable rainbow—or double rainbow—at will might be just the trick.
And for lynda.com members, Deke’s got a follow up video in the Deke’s Techniques collection this week in which he shows you how to create a realistic shadow in the grass underneath the floating shark (Casting an artificial shadow from a layer). If you don’t consider a shadow cast on grass by a floating shark with a rainbow in the background realistic, keep in mind creating photo-realistic (if not outright reality-based) shadows is a useful skill for your less fanciful work as well. Suspend your disbelief, and check out this useful technique.
See you here next week with more Deke’s Techniques!