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A colour or grey tone fill that gradually changes in density across the selected area. Some programs refer to it as a graduated fill and several patterns can be applied to vary the direction or style of gradation.
Used to balance the light of a scene with overly bright highlights. There are physical filters to use in front of a camera lens, and digital filters for use in imaging software. A physical graduated neutral density filter, for instance, has one clear edge and then gradually increases in density towards the other edge. A so-called "hard grad" has a graduated section that reaches the middle of the filter, whereas a "soft grad" has a graduation all from one side to the opposite side. Neutral density graduated filters are the most common types, but there are also coloured versions available - gradient sunset filters, for instance, or tobacco-coloured ones. Physical filters are usually square or rectangular, are used in a filter holder that attaches to an adapter ring, which screws into the front of the camera lens. Sizes depend on the diameter of the front of the lens. Gradient filters can also be applied digitally in photo editing programs. Even when this is not a standard option in the program, often a so-called "plug-in" can be used for use in the program.