Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know, part of Enhancing Landscape Photos with Photoshop and Lightroom.
- I want to talk briefly about what you need for this course. This is predominately a post-production course, but you need a camera to shoot landscape photos. Alright, I'm being bratty. I want to talk a little bit about, just briefly, about landscape-specific concerns when you're choosing a camera, whether that's because you're buying a new camera or because you have several cameras already and you're trying to choose the best one. When you're shooting landscape photos, you really don't have a lot of concern for shutter speed. Landscapes don't move. If the landscape you're shooting is moving, you might need to be thinking about something other than taking a photo at that particular moment.
When we're shooting landscapes, we're concerned about depth of field. It's the great tradition of landscape photography, to have really deep sharp focus throughout the range of your image. Of course, there are times when we shoot shallow, but mostly, we're really thinking about deep depth of field when we're shooting, so for that reason, you might want to consider getting a camera with a smaller image sensor. Smaller sensors have inherently deeper depth of field, so they'll make it easier to hold focus when you're trying to position something in the extreme foreground and still have the horizon in focus. A lot of people, when they're first starting out with landscape photography, they think, boy, I'm off to the American Southwest Trail.
I'm going to shoot some big, grand vistas. I need a wide angle lens. Wide angle lenses serve a very important purpose in landscape photography, and big, wide vistas are not one of them. Wide angle lenses are good for shooting things up close. For big, grand vistas, they don't work so well because the details in your image are going to be very small and very far away when you're shooting with a very short focal length. If you're just starting out, I recommend either a zoom lens or a collection of primes in the 24 to 70 range, 24 is nice and wide.
70 isn't, isn't super telephoto, but it's got a little bit of reach and that's the range of lens, of focal lengths that you're going to use the most throughout your landscape career. Starting with that, will give you the chance to figure out how you visualize images. Do you tend to see wide? Do you tend to prefer images that have some reach to them? Once you know that, it will be easier to add to your lens collection. These days, it's hard to buy a camera that takes bad images. So, if you're looking to buy, you might be considering cameras at a few different price points. I would argue, give some thought to buying the less expensive body so you can put more money into your lenses.
Lens choice, both in terms of quality and focal length selection, is going to have a much bigger bearing on the final results in your landscape shoots than does camera body choice. In this course, we're going to be working with Lightroom Classic CC and Adobe Photoshop CC. That said, I use a really small tool set when I'm editing, and most of those tools are pretty old actually in Photoshop terms. Some of them have been around since Photoshop One. So, they're now decades old. That means for this course, you can get away with pretty much any recent and even fairly back version of Photoshop and any version of Lightroom.
If you're not using Lightroom or Photoshop, you're still probably okay for this course because while I will be showing some specific editing techniques, we're going to be spending more time trying to figure out what edits to make, rather than how to make them. Why do you make a particular edit? How do you choose what a landscape photo needs? If you've ever found yourself stymied by the incredible amount of choice in your Image Editor, you haven't known which turn at a particular image-editing fork in the road to take, hopefully we're going to help you out here with those decisions. So, no matter what Image Editor you're using, you'll be able to partake of those lessons.
Family, no it's not a requirement, I am going to say that if you don't have a printer, then you're not real serious about landscape photography. I'm even going to glare at you when I say that because I'm serious about this. Here's why. You go out to some far flung location, the light is so beautiful that it compels you to take an image and then you come back and you only look at it on screen. The light in the real world is reflected light. It bounces off of things before it hits our eyes. The light from a screen is generated by the screen and shown directly into our eyes. Those two different types of lights have very different qualities, and if you were so taken by that reflected light out in the world that you felt compelled to go through the trouble of making an image of it, you're not going to see that light again until the image is on paper, until it's back into the realm of reflected light.
So, if you're serious about landscape, you've got to have those images in the form of ink on paper. We are not going to cover printing in this course, but I have an entire course on it called Inkjet Printing for Fine Art Photographers, or Fine Art Printing for Inkjet Photographers, something like that, you can find it. It's under my name. It covers everything from how to select a printer to how to use that printer. Again, it's not a requirement for this course, but if you don't have any experience printing, I would argue you haven't really seen your images finished. So, if you've got those tools, you're ready to get going.
- Making global adjustments
- Cropping and straightening
- Global tone and color
- Making localized tone and color adjustments in Lightroom
- Moving from Lightroom to Photoshop
- Thinking like a painter