Master Any Lighting Setup With The Help Of set.a.light 3D


3/09/2023 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments


Lightroom and Camera Raw's masking section has opened up many creative possibilities when editing photos. One of the most exciting features is the ability to add realistic lighting to your pictures. In this article, we'll show you how to use the masking section to create a light source behind your subject and then create an intelligent preset to apply the effect in just one click.

Adding Realistic Lighting with the Masking Section

Adding a light source behind your subject can give your photos a natural and flattering look. Here's how you can do it using Lightroom's masking section:

Step 1: Select the Radial Gradient Mask Type
First, go to the masking section and choose radial gradient as your mask type.

Step 2: Create a Radial Gradient
Click and drag out a radial gradient. The red overlay will show you where the gradient is applied.

Step 3: Adjust the Tone
Go to the mask adjustments, select the tone section and increase the exposure a little to create a light source.

Step 4: Subtraction and Subject
To put the light source behind your subject, select the subtract option and choose subject. This option will recognize your subject and mask out the area around them.

Step 5: Reposition the Light
Since you used a mask, you can easily reposition the light source behind your subject. You can even resize it and adjust the brightness or color.

Creating an Intelligent Preset in One Click

Creating an intelligent preset allows you to apply this effect with just one click on any photo. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Create the Correct Mask
Create the correct mask by adding a radial gradient, dragging it out, and increasing the exposure. Then select the subtract option and choose subject.

Step 2: Create a Preset
Go to the preset section, click on the plus symbol and then create a preset. Name your preset and choose where you want to save it. In the settings, make sure that the only option ticked is the masking checkbox, and then click on create.

Step 3: Apply the Preset
To apply the preset, remove the mask from your photo and then click on your new preset. Adjust the size, position, and brightness of the light source as needed.

Benefits of Using an Intelligent Preset

An intelligent preset can save you time and effort when editing photos. Instead of going through the process of adding a light source each time, you can apply the effect with just one click. This method is also more accurate because it uses Adobe's AI technology to recognize your subject and mask out the area around them.

Limitations of Using the Masking Section for Lighting Effects

While the masking section is a powerful tool for adding realistic lighting to your photos, it does have some limitations. This effect works best on photos with a light background. If the background is dark, the masking may look unnatural and not blend well with the photo.


The masking section in Lightroom and Camera Raw has revolutionized the way we edit photos. By using this tool to create a light source behind your subject, you can add a natural and flattering look to your photos. Creating an intelligent preset allows you to apply this effect with just one click, saving you time and effort in your editing process. Try using this technique on your next photo and see the difference it makes!

About Glyn Dewis:

My name’s Glyn Dewis and I’m currently based just outside of Oxford, UK.
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