British pro Nigel Danson is one of our favorite outdoor photographers and image-editing instructors. So when he claims to have discovered a “secret” Lightroom tool he now uses to process every image he shoots, we stop and pay attention. And you should too.
If you’re unfamiliar with Lightroom’s “Intersect” capability, join the club. Danson says after discovering this straightforward tool, he uses it more than any other. Not only does the trick delivery great results in a hurry, it also enables you to accomplish much more in Lightroom without turning to Photoshop.
When editing landscape photos in the past you’ve likely used a mask to select the sky, for balancing tones and exposure with the rest of an image. Danson typically adds a graduated filter to create a realistic look.
This approach often delivers great results, but Danson’s favorite new trick is the final coupe de gras for obtaining the best images possible. As he explains in the episode below, the Intersect tool means you can integrate various masks with each other, “to uncover so much potential in Lightroom that I wish I knew how to do this sooner.”
As you’ll see, this method is remarkably easy to use—especially for something so powerful, and Danson walks you through the process from beginning to end in barely 13 minutes. We’re pretty sure that, like Danson, you’ll add this simple technique to your Lightroom bag of tricks.
Danson explains how this tool works, and how quickly you can intersect a sky with a linear gradient. He also demonstrates how to create more powerful radial masks, why the Brush tool is really helpful, and how a radial gradient can be combined with a luminance intersection. Trust us when we say this approach is quite remarkable.
You can find more outdoor shooting and editing tips on Danson’s YouTube channel, so be sure to pay a visit and subscribe.
And check out another processing tutorial we posted recently, explaining how to easily add depth to landscape photos by “shaping light” in Photoshop.