5 “Must Know” Tricks for Lightroom’s Gradient Tool When Editing Travel & Nature Photos (VIDEO)

We’re a big fan of Serge Ramelli’s landscape, travel, and cityscape photography, and his tutorials are always popular with our readers. So when he says the Lightroom tutorial below reveals five “must know” editing tricks, it’s time to pay attention.

Ramelli notes that many photographers don’t use Lightroom’s Gradient Tool at all, while others fail to take advantage of everything it can do. In fact, he insists that this “is one of the most powerful tools in Lightroom and if you don’t understand how to use it you’re missing out on something big.”

This quick step-by-step episode uses a nighttime shot Ramelli made of La Maison Rose, one of his favorite restaurants in Paris. It’s a beautiful place, but as you can see his image needs a bit of work.

The tutorial demonstrates everything you need to know, and Ramelli begins with some very basic global adjustments to the image, including opening up the shadows, dropping the highlights, pumping up magenta, and “crushing the blacks and whites.”

Once Ramelli makes his preliminary edits to have a solid base from which to work, the meat of this tutorial begins. He provides a helpful overview of how Lightroom’s Gradient Tool can be employed to significantly enhance your images, and then jumps into his five tricks.

You’ll learn how to use more than one slider at a time, add a Luminance Mask to further enhance the image, employ a “hidden brush tool” to fine-tune the Gradient Mask, and more.

Ramelli’s YouTube channel includes a wealth of shooting and editing advice, so be sure and take a look. Then check out another tutorial we posted recently, explaining a three-step editing trick for properly sharpening photos.