The background or elements surrounding the primary object of your photograph can distract the viewer. To draw attention to the focal point, you can create a vignette effect. The Radial Filter tool enables you to create multiple, off-center, vignetted areas to highlight specific portions of a photograph.

With the Radial Filter tool, you can make local adjustments with an elliptical mask. You can use the Radial Filter tool to draw an elliptical area around the subject, and choose to reduce the exposure, saturation, and sharpness of the portions outside the selected mask.

Lightroom Radial filter
The background is too prominent in the image Two Radial Filters applied to the image to accentuate the subject


Press Shift + M to toggle the Radial Filter tool.

Video tutorial: The Radial Filter tool

Apply a Radial Filter to enhance a photo

  1. In the Develop module, select the Radial Filter tool from the toolstrip.

    Lightroom Radial filter tool
    The Radial Filter tool (Shift + M) is available in the Develop module.


    The Whites and Blacks sliders are available only in Lightroom CC 2015.1

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To create a Radial Filter, click and drag the mouse across the region of interest. This will draw an elliptical shape, which determines the area that is either affected or excluded from the adjustments you perform.
    • To edit an existing Radial Filter, click any of the gray handles on the photo.


    While drawing, press Shift to constrain the Radial Filter to a circle.

  3. To determine what area of the photo is modified, select or clear the Invert Mask checkbox. The checkbox, by default, is not selected.

    • Invert Mask not selected (default): Changing any setting affects the image region outside the marquee area.
    • Invert Mask selected: Changing any setting affects the image region inside the marquee area.
  4. Adjust the size (width and height) and orientation of the Radial Filter added. Select a filter, and:

    • Click and drag the center of the filter to move and reposition it.
    • Hover the pointer any of the four filter handles, and when the pointer icon changes, click and drag to change the size of the filter.
    • Hover the pointer close to the edge of the filter, and when the pointer icon changes, click and drag the edge of the filter to change the orientation.
    Lightroom Adjust Radial filter size
    The filter area is represented by an elliptical marquee area.

  5. Use the adjustment sliders (shown in step 1) to create the desired visual changes. Use the Feather slider to adjust the visual falloff of the applied adjustment.

  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 to continue adding or editing filters.

  7. Click Reset, to remove all the Radial Filters applied to your image.

Keyboard shortcuts and modifiers for the Radial Filter tool

New adjustments

  • Press and hold Shift + drag, to create an adjustment that is constrained to a circle.

Editing adjustments

  • While dragging one of the four handles to resize an adjustment, press and hold the Shift key, to preserve the aspect ratio of the adjustment shape.

Deleting adjustments

  • While an adjustment is selected, press the Delete key to delete the adjustment.

Adjustments with maximum coverage

  • Press Command/Control and double-click an empty area, to create an adjustment that is centered and covers the cropped image area.
  • Press Command/Control and double-click within an existing adjustment, to expand that adjustment to cover the cropped image area.
  • Double-click without pressing the Cmd/Ctrl key commits and dismisses the Radial Filter tool.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  Twitter™ and Facebook posts are not covered under the terms of Creative Commons.

Legal Notices   |   Online Privacy Policy