Even years after the digital photo has been developed, people still ask me if a for landscape photography tips photo on editing. And a common questions is whether a photo should be edited or not. Yes, it should!
A camera is merely a tool. Yes, it’s a good tool, but I still tend to entrust the final result to my artistry and skill rather than the pre-built generic editing algorithm present in-camera.
Here’s a list of the best landscape photography tips and editing tricks, which are easy to master.
Use Dehaze Filter Both Ways
Adobe introduced a dehaze filter to the raw converter quite recently. As a result, many photographers might be unaware of it.
It offers some unique features which you cannot easily get for nature photography using other filters. As the name states, the filter reduces haze in the photo.
The best usage is when you have a hazy, rainy sky looking grey and dull. Just a little shift of the slider to the right brings up an unbelievable amount of details.
It is very easy to overdo it with the filter. Either pay attention to all parts of the photo or make the adjustment locally using a Brush, graduated or radial filter.
The other usage is to increase the haze by shifting the slider to the left. I recommend dehazing locally using a radial filter to add some haze in the distance, hence creating an aerial perspective.
You can also make a global dehaze adjustment. This adds an airy feel to the photo. But in this case, you need to increase the contrast a bit to compensate.
Make The Colours Stand Out
There are a few ways to improve the colours of the landscape photography. First of all, during the raw conversion, navigate to the HSL tab, and the Hue section.
This section allows you to change the hues of the colours in your photo. For instance, you may want to shift Green towards Cyan to make it look emerald instead of yellowish.
Or you may want to move the Yellow slider to the left to make it more orange and separate from the rest of the photo.
Also, in the Luminance section, it’s safe to make the blue and cyan darker to darken the sky and make the clouds pop. These actions have the same sky-darkening effect as a polarized filter.
The important thing here is that when you darken the colour, its saturation increases. So, after darkening, navigate to the Saturation tab and decrease it for the same colours.
Another cool tip here is to use the Targeting tool. Select it, click anywhere on the photo and drag your mouse to the left or right. It will pick the proper amounts of colours and change the sliders accordingly.
Get Max From Raw Conversion
I’m not sure if I need to say this – you need to use RAW. There is no debate about it. The raw file contains thousands and thousands of tones compared to hundreds in jpeg. So, just take it as a rule of thumb – you need to shoot raw.
The other implication is that you need to edit in raw converter as much as you can – ACR or Lightroom or another app. When you edit during the conversion, you still keep all thousands of tones for the smooth tonal transitions.
The final chord is to set the profile to ProPhoto or at least AdobeRGB and 16 bit before finishing the conversion and transferring into the Photoshop.
These colour profiles offer a better gamut than sRGB. You’ll have better quality files in the end. Only convert to sRGB and 8 bit before saving the final file or preparing a web version.
Add Glowing Effect
There is a quick and easy way to add a glowing effect to your photo. This effect works particularly well for light and shiny objects, like clouds or some glares on the rocks.
Try changing blending mode on the blur layer. Soft Light gives you glowing and contrast. The screen mode gives you glowing and lightness. Normal gives you glowing. All of those may require different opacity levels.
These are some tricks and tips to master the art of nature photography editing.