Creating the Perfect Lighting in a Landscape Photograph

Many times, when we go to places that are exceptional for their landscape photography potential, we may not be arriving at the most optimal time frame. What can you do to still take exceptional imagery that recreates the look of beautiful light?

Coming to you from Thomas Heaton is a great walkthrough of how to post-process an image to create optimal lighting conditions. Heaton’s video takes you from location-scouting to the final image with not only his thoughts at capture, but what he is hoping to pull out of the final photograph through some very simple post-processing techniques. As he has stated before, Heaton is not a Photoshop guru, but with some rudimentary ideas for mimicking light direction and glowing contrast, he creates interesting and emotive images from less-than-stellar subjects.

Keep in mind while watching the video unfold how the lighting is impacting the scene in the raw imagery. Overall, it's a fairly flatly lit image with no directional lighting in the scene, but it does have some color and structural character in the subject of the tree. When creating scenes that have a bright color within the image that will direct the viewer's eye where to go, you can do some very light dodging and burning to enhance what is already there in the image itself. Heaton goes on through creating layer masks, cloning, and semi-advanced contrast techniques to create an image you “feel more than see,” as he describes.

Breakdowns like these from beginning to end are incredibly valuable to those photographers who are just starting their journey in landscape photography. The knowledge gleamed from Heaton is sometimes more nuanced while giving real-world expectations when capturing stunning imagery.

What did you find was a great piece of info that Heaton shared in this latest video? Let us know in the comments.

JT Blenker's picture

JT Blenker, Cr. Photog., CPP is a Photographic Craftsman and Certified Professional Photographer who also teaches workshops throughout the USA focusing on landscape, nightscape, and portraiture. He is the Director of Communications at the Dallas PPA and is continuing his education currently in the pursuit of a Master Photographer degree.

Log in or register to post comments