How to relight an image in Lightroom

Sometimes when you post-process an image, you may notice that some more interesting lighting would have really improved the scene and made the photo more appealing. But, of course, now its too late as the photo has already been taken. Is it really?

As I will show you in this video tutorial, there are some simple techniques that let you add lighting effects in Lightroom. We will be using the local adjustment tools to create splashes of light that look as if they where actually part of the scene when you created the original photograph.

Video Tutorial

In a Nutshell…

We’re going to use Lightroom’s local adjustment tools (in the screen shot below it’s the Radial Filter tool) to create spot light effects.


The inside of the Radial Filter is adjusted by raising its Exposure, giving it a warmer Color Temperature, and adding some Clarity. Note the smooth transition at the edges of the filter.
How-to-relight-an-image-in-Lightroom-screen2We place similar Radial Filter adjustments in all the places where lamps are hanging from the ceiling.

How-to-relight-an-image-in-Lightroom-screen3Finally, we will use the Adjustment Brush tool to apply some dodging and burning to the walls and to lighten the steps to the left and right.




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1 Comment on "How to relight an image in Lightroom"

2 years 11 months ago

Excellent clear explanation & well presented – very useful. Thanks