Join Justin Reznick for an in-depth discussion in this video Taking a landscape through a start-to-finish workflow, part of Lightroom and Photoshop: Landscape Photography.
- Now that we've had the opportunity to see how I like to use Lightroom, Photoshop, and Color Efex Pro 4, I want to demonstrate an image from start to finish and just go through that workflow. I'm going to keep my pacing very natural, much like I would do on my own, and I really want to illustrate how efficient and somewhat short this process can be, it's not going to take a long time, because I'm comfortable with what I'm doing, and I've gotten to know the tool set, and I'm really encouraging you to find that similar level, so let's take a look at how it all pans out.
I'm going to start from the Import screen and go right into Lightroom, and the reason we're starting with an import is we have talked about being able to add a develop setting by going to User Presets, and I'm going to go to Import Settings for Course, and that's going to be applied while I import the image, and it will always remember that as well, unless I change it in the future. When I go to Import now, and I go to Develop Module, and we scroll down... And what we're going to find is that...
Enable Profile Corrections has already been selected, so I don't have to do that now, so it's just an automatic process, speeds things up. What's interesting about this lens, it's giving me a little bit of an information blurb to read, and it says that actually, the RAW file contains a built-in profile for chromatic aberration, so that's just a nice feature of the lens, so all that's done automatically, don't have to worry about it. Okay, here we are, we're looking at the image and we know that my biggest concern is going to be this histogram. And it is beautiful.
If you look at it, I hold the J keys, I don't see anything hitting the right, I don't see anything hitting the left, it's a very simple scene in terms of dynamic range. So there's really not a reason for me to change these, and if there's not a reason, why do it? In terms of cropping, I think there might be a little crop, I'm going to handle that later once I edit. I think I'm ready to go. Sometimes my Lightroom process is just that simple, and in this case, with a very simple histogram with plenty of room on both sides of the wall, we're on to Photoshop.
Right click, Edit In, Photoshop. First adjustment, as always. We go up to the Curves adjustment layer, click on it, hover over Auto, hold down Option or Alt and click on that, and remember, we have our four algorithms. Let's bring it over to the side, so it's not distracting us, and really have a look at option one, and I don't like how black it got in there, option two, way too warm, that's not going to work, option three, beautiful, option four, ooh, interesting, a little bit cooler.
This is warm, this is cool. You know, I think I'm going to go with option four and then warm it up a little bit later, so I'm going to hit Okay. Let's look at a quick before and after. Before and after. If I want, I could maybe pull the opacity back just a touch, and I'm feeling good there. All right. I'm going to move on. There are a couple other things I see, but at this point I'm still building the image, and I'm going to do some cleaning up at the end, so let's move on to Color Efex Pro 4.
I could go over to Recipe as well, so sometimes if you can save the recipes, mark it as a favorite, and you can go right into it, but for now I'm just going to go into the basic program. Okay, let's maximize the screen, and we're going to start with Brilliance and Warmth, it always remembers that first filter I used, which is great, so it goes right into it. Let's start to pump up the color until it gets very unnatural, and let's pull it back 'til it starts to look good. Just right in the 20s.
Now, I said I was going to warm it up slightly in post, let's take a look. And not too much, somewhere around 10. Okay, going to go ahead and a filter, and go to Tonal Contrast, and remember, I'm not liking those, 10, 15, 10 and zero. Let's do before and after. Before and after. I'm not thrilled with the water, it's really giving me a lot of detail in the water, but the problem is, is I love that mist, and it's kind of cutting through the mist.
Let's go and add a negative control point for the water, and I'm going to Option + click and give a few of those circles across, and we're going to then group those together, like so. And then what we're going to do is add a couple positives right above it. And go across. Like so. And just to give you an idea, so we've got the black areas there, and we're good to go, I'm going to go ahead, based on that mask, just add a couple more down at the bottom.
Okay, so that should do it there, let me go before and after. There we go, you can really see the adjustments taking place in the foliage, and it's not cutting through that mist, and that's what I like. Let's go ahead, at this point, and add another filter, and Pro Contrast. And this is kind of that last push of contrast. Let's see if we need it. Not much, a little bit. And let me see if I like the effect on the water. It's adding a little bit of color in the water, I like that.
But again, I'm just going to protect those mist areas a bit. Just a little bit there. Okay, let's do a before and after. There we go, so I'm getting a little bit of color in there with the Pro Contrast, I like that a lot, loving the colors of the foliage, feeling pretty good here. I might experiment real quick with a vignette, let's just take a quick look. Go to Rectangle and pull the amount back.
Really subtle. Even more subtle. That is interesting, it really does push the eye back towards the house in the center, I'm even going to make it a little more subtle. Yeah, let's go ahead and keep that, I do like the effect, and hit Okay, so when I hit Okay, it's going to bring it back into Photoshop, so we've gone through Color Efex Pro 4, we're able to localize some of those adjustments so that it didn't affect the mists on the water, and now, back in Photoshop, I want to use those tools to clean up any part of the image that needs, you know, some debris in it or just something that's not quite fitting, and so that's what's next.
Okay, the first thing I see, and let me minimize this guy here, if I hold the Z key, and I zoom in, you'll notice that I have this pole and this rope coming all the way down into the water. Now, to actually clone all that out, it's going to be incredibly difficult and time consuming, but I notice that it's on the edge of my frame. If I hit the C key for Crop and I crop in right in front of that, the question is, how does that look if I crop that out? I think it looks great, I still have plenty of room for this little dock here, and so that was a quick and easy way for me to deal with the distraction that was on the edge of the frame, so that one was super easy, just cropped it right out.
If I go in the upper corner, this little dark area's distracting me. I'm going to hit the L key for Lasso, lasso around it, Edit, Fill, Content Aware, hit Okay, and that filled it in pretty nicely. I could also have looked at a crop as well, I just thought that dark area was pulling my eye. This island here is a little bit distracting, just a little bit of island jetting into the sea. That's a situation that's really personal preference, if I, let me take a look at CMD + 0 to pull it back, you know, I don't mind it too much, but it's one of those things that's just something I'm considering and thinking about.
If I zoom in on the house here, I really do like the house, but there's this green box below it, and it must be some sort of power unit. Definitely doesn't look good there, let's try and get rid of that. And we lassoed, added fill, Content Aware, and that looks pretty good, I'm gonna do S and Option + click on the foliage, just get the foliage to spread out a little bit more, Option + click on the dark area and spread that in a bit, and now it's looking very natural.
Yes, I'm happy there. CMD + 0 pulls me back out, and another option would be, you know, you want to think about, do I want these little specks on the water here, and I think they're okay, I think they look very natural, and I don't mind those. It's looking great, I'm very happy at this point, I'm going to go ahead and Layer... Flatten Image. File, Save As, and we're going to call it Dock and we'll call it Dockwithhouse. And we'll save it as a .TIFF.
It's in ProPhoto RGB, hit Save, and everything looks good there, hit Okay. Now, let's get a file ready so we can put it on the website right away, so for horizontal images, 1600 across, horizontal, so that's 1600 pixels on the long edge, hit Okay. And Save for Web. And hit Save, and we'll label this one Web. And let's get one more ready for the phone.
And Horizontal, and we'll do 2880. Hit Okay. And hit Save. And we'll call this one Phone. And another thing I'd like to do with this one, because the resolution's just so beautiful on it, is I'll actually go fullscreen on it, that's F for fullscreen, and just have a look, you know, this is the point you want to kind of soak it in, you know, is there anything bugging you, is there anything that you think you need to fix, and it's something you want to come back to the next day and see how the image feels to you.
Right now I'm feeling really happy about it, and that was it, you know, I took a RAW image, we went all the way through it, I have a master file, I've got something ready to upload, something to put on my phone to share with people when I'm with them, just like that. So, let's move on to another image.
- Organizing images from a landscape shoot in Lightroom
- Creating panoramas and HDR composites
- Color correcting landscapes in Photoshop
- Masking adjustments
- Removing objects from photos with cloning
- Using Nik and Color Efex Pro plugins
- Start-to-finish image processing