Gradient Map plugin provides an alternative way to edit Lightroom RGB Tone Curve. Instead of adjusting cubic spline, you choose colors for adjustable positions on the curve.

Gradient Map is powerful color grading tool, it has been one of the reasons why I have been using PhotoShop, since there has not been anything like this available in Lightroom. But, since re-iterating over and over between Lightroom and Photoshop isn’t really efficient, I decided to create this plugin. It operates with Lightroom’s built-in develop settings, so there is no megabyte-TIFF export required, and you can continue adjustments with Lightroom controls.

Pro-tip: On the Mac OS X, you have variety of color pickers, e.g you can copy-paste images on the “Image Palette” picker, so if you are inspired by a movie poster, you can use it as a color reference.


Get Gradient Map 0.2.1178


Unzip the package under your home folder, go to Lightroom Plug-in Manager, click Add and select Gradient Map.lrplugin.


You can start the plugin from File ‣ Plug-in Extras ‣ Gradient Map

When you open the plugin, the plugin computes current colors set in your RGB curve. If you have points set in different positions in individual curves, you might notice that every point is converted to R/G/B entry.

On the screen you will see a list of the colors. This is the main user interface:

  • The boxed color is color picker, you can change color by clicking this box and adjust the color value. Changes will be immediately reflected in the current photo.
  • Slider changes the position of the color, actual value is shown on the right side.
  • Clicking checkbox on the left removes this color.
  • Add Stop button creates a new color entry. Currently, it generates an interpolated value in the largest gap.
  • Sort button simply re-orders the buttons, in case you modify the positions
  • Ok will close the dialog and accept current settings
  • Cancel will restore the settings before plugin


Since version 0.2.1034 uses Lightroom 6’s new API for setting the gradient, and falls back to previous API on Lightroom 4 and 5.

Known issues

  • Every change generates a LR history step. I can’t do anything about it, this is limited by Lightroom API
  • There is a maximum on 10 distinct colors shown, because Lightroom’s plugin UI is really limited with dynamic content
  • You can delete last two color values, which shouldn’t be possible, and you need to reopen the plugin to continue.


  1. I have loaded the plug-in, and all I get is luminosity 0 to 255, not color. I will say that by hitting sort 7 times one can then get luminosity “zones” that are minutely adjustable–very cool–actually a feature I would like to keep. But…

    But why no color–and yes photo is color?

    1. There was a WIndows specific problem with colorpicker, colors exceeding the sRGB colorspace corrupted the colorpicker interface. It has been fixed in 0.2.1034 release.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>