With the New Lightroom CC update, you can now use the brush to add or subtract affects to specific areas. Now you can use the gradient tool and the radial filter tool more often, even when there are objects or people in the way that would normally get smeared with the same affect that you may only want applied to the sky. One of my favorite new ways to use this is to apply quick blur affects that I would normally go to Photoshop to apply.
Here is the beginning image…
Hogwarts at Universal (Island of Adventure)
Now apply a gradient with just a touch of darker exposure and negative clarity along with a full negative Sharpness. This in essence is adding a nice subtle blur.
Add gradient from the bottom up
Now go to New in the gradient tool and create another one coming from the top down.
You can see the blur on the bottom, and now being applied to the top but also hitting the spires.
Only problem is that it blurs the spires as well.
Now go choose the brush from the options and choose Erase. Make sure the Smart Mask is checked on to help stay in the lines and erase away anywhere the affect in not wanted.
Now use the brush tool to erase unwanted areas
Erase any areas that don’t need blurring
In no time you have blurred the foreground and the sky, but left the castle in tact.
Final image with just a bit more tweaking of the edges with the erase tool needed, but the time taken to get to this step… 15 seconds from the time the image was opened, which is pretty neat.
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