Digital Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Started Jul 30, 2001 | Discussions thread
Paul Chase Dempsey Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: Digital Graduated Neutral Density Filter

This one is pretty simple:

1. Add a Curves Adjustment layer.
2. Write a curve that adjusts the sky, or one that adjusts the foreground.

3. Use the Gradient tool to draw a foreground-> background gradient on the adjustment layer.

You can easily tweak the curve and the gradient until the image is adjusted they way you want. I often draw the gradient backwards, but you jjust draw it again the opposite direction. If the horizon is perfectly level, you will draw a vertical line across the transition. The length of the line you draw determines how steep the gradient effect is.

You can further tweak the transition by using other painting tools on the adjustment layer.

The basic technique can get fancier:
You can add two adjustment layers: one for foreground, one for background.

An alternative method is:
1. Create a duplicate layer
2. Apply curves to that layer (directly or using an adjustment layer).
3. Add a layer mask
4. Draw a gradient on the layer mask.

This method uses more memory.

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Paul Chase Dempsey

J. Paul wrote:

I am interested in learning the techniques/steps involved in using
the digital graduated neutral density filter in Photoshop 6.0. I
am no whiz at Photoshop, as I have been learning the ropes for
about 1 1/2 years. I run Photoshop on a PC. I basically shoot
scenic landscapes where from time to time an image needs to have a
foreground lightened or hold back some highlights of a sky or
distant scene. Occasionally, I need to do a little of both.
Any suggestions on resources or tutorials? Any help would be
J. Paul

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