Skill Level Intermediate
- Hey, my name is Chris Orwig, and welcome to another episode of Photo Tools Weekly. In this week's episode, we're going to turn our attention towards the landscape. In this episode I want to talk a little bit about workflow and share with you a really valuable tip for bringing out beautiful details in your landscape photographs. All right, let's begin, here goes. Beginning here in Lightroom, we'll work on the photograph in the Develop module.
Before we get to work, what I like to do is double check some of the details that we have here. You can do that by pressing the i key on the keyboard. That goes to your different information overlays. This is just showing us how the image was captured at F8. We have a high-resolution file; about eight thousand by five thousand pixels. I want to make sure I have all that detail and then click on the image to zoom in to see what I have to work with. The image looks pretty good, but it's lacking some contrast. It needs a little more brightness, and I need to work on some of the noise that I'm seeing here in the sky as well.
So press the i key a few more times to hide the information overlay. Click again to zoom out and begin in the Develop module in the Basic panel. In the Basic panel we'll start off by increasing Exposure a little bit. Now, when we do that the image becomes a touch washed out. So I'll bring back some Contrast. So I'll bring up my Contrast and bring down my Highlights. That will give for a better look in the photograph. Bring up the Shadows a little bit. Blacks; those are coming down. And then Clarity's going to be an important one.
We'll bring that up. That will add some mid-tone contrast. Now, if we were to zoom in on the image so we could see the details that we have here, we can press the back slash key. There's before, press again, here's the after. So these controls together are giving us that little bit of snap; a little more definition; some more detail there to work with. With all those adjustments the image is looking pretty good, but you might want to just fine-tune them a little bit in regards to a couple of these little sliders here. But I think that's a good, sort of, base level look for the image.
Now before we get to getting creative with this, I do want to work on some of our details. So I go to my Detail panel. And in the Detail panel, go ahead and zoom in so we can actually see what we have here. I'm zoomed in to one hundred percent. I want to bring up my Sharpening. When I do that... Let me exaggerate for a moment. You can see it's bringing out all these little teeny details. So I need to be careful that I'm not overdoing it. I also desperately need to reduce a little bit of noise. You know, almost every digital image has some noise in it. Especially when you have sky or you have a landscape like this with a lot of atmosphere in between you and the content of your photograph.
So, I'm going to go ahead and just decrease the Noise levels here by bringing these values up. And I think that's looking good. Detail I'm going to bring down, and Masking I'll bring up too. So now I have really good sharpening just on the mountain, great noise reduction up top. If we look at the before and after... I don't know if you're going to really be able to see this. Let me zoom in even further. This is, I don't know, like three hundred percent here, so it's zoomed in really close. Hopefully you're seeing that snap. And also reduction in noise of the color; the details here.
It just has a better look to it. You do not need to zoom in to three hundred percent when you're working yourself. I just did that because I like to give you that view so you can see what these sliders are actually doing. OK, so we did our step one with the Basics panel. Step two; working on some of the details there. Step three; what do we want to do next before we leave Lightroom? Well, I like the cooler tones in this image. Cool tones with the snow. It kind of has a nice feel. Blue in the sky.
But I really wish the foreground was a little bit warmer. One way to correct that or to make that adjustment, is with the Graduated filter. It's this tool right here. We can go to the Effect pulldown menu and choose something like Temperature, and then bring our Temperature over. Let me exaggerate for a moment. This will not look good, but I just want to do this to exaggerate. If we have a high value we can click and drag across the image. And you can see how that Temperature's affecting this in Full Intensity and then tapering off above.
Now probably I'm going to want this maybe five or ten or something really low. Maybe 15; looks good around there. And I want to bring this just so that it's covering those trees. I'm going to add a little bit of Clarity to the trees. Also a little bit of Brightness there too. And a touch of Saturation. So I'm just bringing out the color in that area a little bit more. If we click on the flip switch right here, we'll see that before and after. It's not a huge adjustment, but it's one that's just adding that one bit of snap or life to that one part of the image.
Bring up a few more values; little more Exposure and Contrast; bring the highlights down. Now whenever you're using this adjustment, it allows you to adjust a large area of a photograph. If it's affected too much of the image, no big deal, just grab your Brush. You can either paint to add in more of the effect, or, what I want to do is erase. Go to the Erase option. And choose a brush which gives me the ability to paint away this effect in certain areas; maybe decrease the flow there a little bit.
What I'm looking to do is just paint out a little bit of that effect on the snow here because the snow doesn't necessarily need to be warm. Really I'm looking to just warm up those trees. And then also the snow up in here. That transitional area; I want that snow to have nice color that was the cooler tone versus this warmer tone. So I'm just painting over this multiple times; creating a little bit more of a natural look there. Tap the left bracket key; make my brush nice and small if I need to get into some small little areas and fine tune the look that we have.
All right, so far so good. We've made these adjustments; we've done our Lightroom work. That Lightroom work consisted of: The Basic panel. The Detail panel. And then a little bit with the Graduated filter. If we press the back slash key, you can see here's before. Press it again and then we get the after. All right, well I'm ready to head over to Photoshop. So the next step for us will be to do that, and we'll do that step in the next movie.