In digital radiography imaging, the antiscatter grid is usually employed to obtain clear projected images by absorbing scattered x-ray beams. However, due to the shadow of the stationary antiscatter grid, the grid artifact appears in the obtained x-ray image as stripes if a linear grid is considered. In order to alleviate the grid artifact, band-stop filters (BSFs) can be used and may cause annoying ringing artifact especially for metallic materials. In this paper, in order to reduce the ringing artifact while applying BSFs to alleviate the grid artifact, a spatial prefiltering technique, which is called the gradient-reduction filter, is proposed. The gradient-reduction filter can remove steep edges in the obtained x-ray images especially for metallic materials and can prevent the grid- artifact BSFs from yielding serious ringing artifact. The structure of the proposed filter is similar to that of the Crawford noise-reduction filter. However, the nonlinear function in the proposed filter has decreasing slopes as its input increases contrary to the Crawford filter case. Through extensive experiments for real digital x-ray images, which are obtained from a direct digital radiography detector, we can see the superior ringing-artifact reduction performance comparing to the conventional filtering approaches especially when the metallic materials present in or on the patients.