Duplicating and Inverting Radial Filter Effects

Andrew Beck Andrew 2 Comments

So know that we know how to make use of the radial filter tool in Lightroom, lets have a look at how to duplicate and invert the effects applied by the radial filter.

Duplicating Radial Filters

There are a couple of reasons why you may want to duplicate a filter adjustment. The first is to gradually increase the extent to which the effect is applied by duplicating the filter rather than making finite adjustments in the special adjustment panel. Assuming that your initial adjustment was not too aggressive, this allows you to gradually re-apply the effect to the same area time and time again until you active the desired effect.

In order to do this you need to:

  1. create your initial radial filter (don’t forget to feather your adjustment to ensure a more natural look and feel)
  2. apply a slight adjustment (here I dropped exposure by 0.16 and clarity by -5)
  3. right click on your edit pin
  4. select duplicate layer
  5. repeat until you have achieved the desired effect


The second reason you may want to duplicate a filter is to invert the affected area and apply a different set of special adjustments to the area not previously effected by the initial adjustment. This can be done by inverting your initial mask selection.

Inverting The Effects of the Radial Filter

Following on with the example above we have darkened the surrounding areas around our subject as well as and clarity. If we wanted to work on our subject we can simply tick the Invert Filter Mask and apply our desired effects to the region after making adjustments to the feathering slider.


To illustrate the effects that this has on the image I have lifted exposure by 0.14, clarity by +19, sharpness by +19 and shadows by +9. Here’s the final result before and after application of the radial filters.


This is not to say that this is how I would process this particular image and the final result here does not look natural. I have been aggressive with both sets of filters that I have applied in order to illustrate the effects that the filters have when duplicated and inverted.

What is important is that you notice how the energy of the image becomes better contained by darkening the surrounding areas and drawing your eye directly towards the subject.

So now that you know how to use the radial filter, duplicate and invert its effects, Id like to add one more blog post which will contain some words of caution on how not to use the radial filter because it can do more harm than good when not used correctly.

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Andrew Beck

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Very few people can tell you what their passion in life is. Even fewer will be able to tell you that what they do for a living is in fact their passion. My love for the bush and conservation took me on journey which would not only allow me to explore the continent which fascinates me so much, but to share my passion for photography and conservation with others. Be sure to check out my my website and instagram account.

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