Photoshop Camera Raw Filter Series - Part 2 - Make the Best Bits Glow with the Radial Filter

In the second in the series on the Camera Raw Filter, we'll look at the radial filter. If you take photos of outfits, people or faces, this is a great tool to play with.

 

 
In the second in the series on the Camera Raw Filter, we'll look at the radial filter. If you take photos of outfits, people or faces, this is a great tool to play with.
 

 

Part 2: The Radial Filter

The radial filter allows you to make adjustments inside or outside an elliptical shape you draw directly on a photo.

You can have multiple filters on one image. The filter can be used to alter any aspect of a photo such as, exposure, contrast, highlights, clarity, saturation, etc. Radial filters can also be further refined using a brush or by increasing/decreasing the feather (softening around the edge).

In the sample photo below, the beautiful blurry background frames the picture perfectly but is dominating the image. The face of the model, the main focus of the image, is a little lost in shade.

We need to make the model stand out, without losing the framing effect of the background.

The image has two radial filters on it:

  • One on the model's face to brighten and lift shadows. This is working on the inside of an ellipse.
  • One on the background to darken the woodland and increase the colour saturation. This is working on the outside on an ellipse.

 

 
 

 

There are further edits and fine adjustments you could make to improve the image even more. For example, brightening the white in her dress. But, with just two quick radial filters, you can see how easy it is to move the focus to the model and brighten her face.

 

Video Walkthrough

This video walkthrough will show you how to:

  • Convert your photo to a smart object.
  • Add multiple radial filters.
  • Go back into a radial filter to re-edit.

 

 

Radial filters can be used really well on people, outfits and faces. I think they give a lovely glow to the main feature of your photo.

They are also great for adding a vignette effect which, when used subtly, is a lovely way to frame your subject and draw the eye to where you want it to go.

Why not try a vignette effect on images of people in busy or distracting environments?

If you enjoyed this tutorial, why not explore the rest of the series.

This 5-part series will cover:

  1. Highlight Slider - brighten images without losing all the detail in the existing highlights. Great technique for room photos.
  2. Radial Filter - make the best bits of your image glow with the radial filter. Great for face and fashion shoots.
  3. Shadows Slider - expose the beautiful details hidden in the shadows. Great for bringing out details and lifting an image without over-exposing it.
  4. Graduated Filter - add interest to a flat image or enrich skies or landscapes. Great for flat lays and travel images.
  5. Brush Adjustment - make really specific adjustments on your photos, and make sure the focal point of your image really stands out. Great for balancing competing elements in an image.

 

[The stock images used in this series are available free from Pexels.]