The Radial Filter tool in Lightroom 5 (and now 6 and CC) is great for making local changes to your photo that affect either the outside or inside of an oval or circular area — a classic example is creating a vignette effect to darken the edges of your photo and to bring attention to the center. We have been able to create vignettes with the Effects panel in LR 4 and Lightroom 3, but the new Radial Filter adds the ability to (1) highlight areas that are not in the center of your photo, and (2) do much more than darkening and lightening areas. We can now affect saturation, contrast, white balance, sharpness/blur, and much more.
Watch the video below for complete instructions on how to use the Radial Filter tool. Useful shortcuts are listed after the video.
(For higher quality, after hitting Play, click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.)
Radial Filter tool shortcuts:
Cmd/Ctrl + double-click on the image to set the bounding ellipse to the image bounds
Shift + M: Expand Radial Filter tool
Drag: Radial Filter is scaled from center
Cmd/Ctrl + double-click: Expand Radial Filter to visible image area
Cmd/Ctrl + double-click on existing RF: Expand to visible image area
Option/Alt + Cmd/Ctrl + Drag: Duplicate Radial Filter
H: Hide Bounding Box
Apostrophe key ( ‘ ): Invert Mask
Double-click on existing Radial Filter: Apply & dismiss Radial Filter