Lightroom Tips

Tip – Changing Direction of the Graduated Filter

Here’s a tip I picked up from Scott Kelby recently. If you’re dragging a Graduated filter gradient on to your photo you can quickly change the direction of the gradient by pressing the apostrophe key. For example, if you drag from the top of the photo toward the bottom, whatever effects you’ve got set will appear at the top and gradiate downward. However, if you press the apostrophe key you can reverse it. It also works after you’ve already created a gradient. Just target the little meatball dot that appears on your photo and try pressing apostrophe and Lightroom will reverse the gradient there too. Cool little tip huh? Thanks Scott!

Well, I hope you all have a great weekend. I’m in the airport now heading to Philadelphia (and New Jersey) to run a half marathon with my brother and sister this weekend. Wish me luck!



  1. CrystallP 25 November, 2008 at 21:44 Reply


    You are a life saver!! I have been experimenting with the graduated filter for a few weeks and couldn’t figure out how to align it properly. The apostrophe tip was right on time too. Thanks again!!

    Oh yes, I purchased Sean’s graduated filters too, they’re a great starting point and easy to edit.

  2. nigel 25 November, 2008 at 09:14 Reply

    Another good tip, though it would be nice if the help tip appeared when hovering over the icon, why? because between this site and the many other great ones, there must be thousands of these tips and remembering them all is quite difficult.

  3. Michael 23 November, 2008 at 22:41 Reply


    Great tip as usual! Had I known there was a marathon in the city I would have come out and cheered you on! (and maybe gotten some more tips)

    Hope you did well.

  4. MisterB 21 November, 2008 at 15:04 Reply

    Good luck in the marathon, just watch out for those guys from Kenya I don’t think they ever stop running!

    Thanks for all the great work you do, it’s much appreciated!

  5. Alex the Photo Guy 21 November, 2008 at 12:16 Reply

    Hey Matt-

    I have a question that may not be solveable in Lightroom, but I’ll ask anyway. Are there any good tips, tricks, or presets that I can use to make sure I’m getting good skin tones? I wouldn’t say I’m having big problems with them, but when I shoot in various lighting situations with my white balance on Auto, sometimes my skin coloring varies. I want to make sure they’re right for printing after I’ve made my edits to white balance and saturation levels. I feel like the answer may lay in the tone curve, which I’ve never been that great with.

  6. Scot Baston 21 November, 2008 at 11:22 Reply

    Another tip…
    (for Vista users)
    I’d been having continuing problems with slow response times on the adjustment brush on my laptop fitted with 4GB. what I found helped was using a spare 4GB SD card as readyboost… speeded up considerably

    just a thought… wouldn’t automask on the gradient be a nice thing… or the ability to erase parts of it

  7. Allen 21 November, 2008 at 11:01 Reply

    Good tip, I’ll try it. Another tip on the gradient was to press the space key when dragging down if you want a parallel gradient. Sometimes when I do that the ‘X’ changes to a hand and everything gets jumpy. What’s that about?

  8. Jerry R. in Toronto 21 November, 2008 at 10:54 Reply

    Little meatball dot?

    Now this is brilliant!

    Thanks for all the tips and videos. LR2 makes my photography efforts worthwhile 🙂
    Good luck running in freezing weather on the East Coast.

  9. Thor 21 November, 2008 at 10:41 Reply

    Matt!!!! I just wanted to say that you (and Scott) and the flippin shizzle!!! I have just purchased LR2 and am moving over from Aperture2 because LR runs so much better on my Macbook and is much easier to use for me!

    Anyways…it seems like anytime I have a question or get stuck as I am importing and getting everything set up, you have the answer!!! I love the way you guys explain things is such an easy to understand way!

    I just wanted to say thanks!
    Will yall be doing any in person stuff in the Columbus/Dayton Ohio Area?


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