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Lightroom Film Noir “Light Coming Through The Shades” Trick

Happy Monday ya’ll, and #rolltide!

Today we’re doing a Lightroom trick that mimics the look of light streaming though some window shades and falling on your subject. Amazingly easy to do, and you have a lot of control over the final effect. Check it out:

Hope you found that helpful! I’m off to Dallas tomorrow for my seminar there on Wednesday (not too late to come out and spend the day with me if you can).

Here’s wishing you an awesome week!



P.S. If you’re looking for a Lightroom course to watch tonight, check out my class called “7 Photoshop Techniques Every Lightroom User Needs to Know.” Here’s the link.  



  1. jlu 2 July, 2017 at 04:12 Reply

    Great technique. But I think that the beams should reach only the “windows” side of the portrait. No much sense, IMHO, to see the beams continue on the -dark- opposite side.

    • callmebob 12 December, 2016 at 11:23 Reply

      Shift-click for a straight run of brush …
      Shift-drag will constrain your brush stroke to horizontal.
      Ctrl-Shift-drag will constrain it to vertical.

      Combine any with Auto Mask and you can rapidly clean up the edges of straight items. (You might need to rotate the image temporarily to take advantage of it, then rotate it back to normal angles).

      Scott, that blinds trick is pretty cool – thanks !

      • Paul 12 December, 2016 at 19:39 Reply

        Shift click doesn’t work for me? (no straight constrained line, just two points) Shift drag does produce vertical/horizontal lines. What am I doing wrong?

        • callmebob 12 December, 2016 at 21:35 Reply

          Activate the brush, give your starting point click, then move your mouse pointer and shift-click where you want the ending point to be. You’ll get a continuous brush stroke at whatever angle those points define. Hope that clarifies my original intent better.

          • paul 12 December, 2016 at 23:41

            Thanks, that is what I have attempted multiple times and all I get is a starting point and an ending point nothing inbetween! No continuous brush stroke (that I do get in the vertical and horizontal axis with click shift drag). I read somewhere this was not a feature in lightroom so that makes me think perhaps my lightroom 5 is the problem? Have you confirmed that it works with lightroom 5?

          • callmebob 13 December, 2016 at 11:34

            I always stay current on SW ; I don’t recall it working on 5.7. I noticed the 3 variations I mentioned working in 6.X CC, which is where I’m at. I have no issues on Windows 10 with CC, so I stay current.

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