Learn how to darken an over­ex­posed sky and pull out hid­den de­tails to boost a dull shot

Photo Plus - - Canon Skills -

01 Load the tool

Open your land­scape into Cam­era Raw and make ini­tial ad­just­ments to the tones in the Ba­sic panel, then grab the Grad­u­ated Fil­ter from the tool­bar. Click the mi­nus icon next to the Ex­po­sure slider on the right a few times – this loads the tool with an ad­just­ment.

03 tweak the tones

Head to the slid­ers on the right and al­ter Ex­po­sure to lighten or darken the ad­just­ment. Next try other slid­ers – for dull cloudy skies like this an in­crease in Clar­ity and De­haze can boost the de­tails. We have Ex­po­sure -0.50, Con­trast +7, Clar­ity +29, De­haze +30.

05 Paint to sub­tract

If we need to re­fine what is cov­ered by the ad­just­ment, we can paint free­hand. Click on the Brush op­tion at top right then click the mi­nus brush icon below. Hit Y to tog­gle the mask over­lay on, then paint to sub­tract the ad­just­ment from any ar­eas of the land cov­ered.

02 drag a grad

Click on the mid­dle part of the sky and drag down to­wards the hori­zon. If you hold Shift as you drag, the lines will be per­fectly hor­i­zon­tal. Then, you can tweak the length or an­gle of the lines. Hit Y at any time to tog­gle a mask over­lay on, this shows what’s cov­ered.

04 use range Mask­ing

Our ad­just­ment is dark­en­ing ar­eas of the land we want to keep un­af­fected. Set Range Mask: Lu­mi­nance in the set­tings on the right. Hold Alt and drag the black point slider across. The ar­eas in black will be pro­tected. Alt-drag the Smooth­ness slider to tune.

06 add an­other

We’re free to add as many grads as we like. Of­ten with skies a sec­ond grad nearer the top of the frame can add to the ef­fect. Click the mi­nus icon next to Ex­po­sure again. This re­sets any pre­vi­ous set­tings, al­low­ing you drag an­other grad as shown.

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