How to Add Depth and Drama to a Landscape Image in Lightroom

Half of creating a landscape image is in the editing process. This is where you shape the photo to match your personal style and to make whatever statement or evoke whatever feeling you'd like it to. This helpful video will show you how to add depth and drama to a landscape shot using Lightroom.

Coming to you from Andrew Marr, this video shows how he edits a shot of an imposing mountain to create a sense of drama. For me, the salient takeaway is how Marr controls the light is his post-processing to not only increase the depth of the image, but to strengthen its message. He wants the mountain to look imposing and perhaps slightly foreboding, and to accomplish this, he takes the naturally airy and light clouds surrounding it and gives them a much darker edit while centering the mountain and tilting the crop so it seems to point straight up. This in tandem with highlighting the path that leads toward it helps to draw our eye initially to the trail and then follow it straight up into the mountain as it looms between spots of light and the clouds. It's a great lesson in how an edit can really make an image. 

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4 Comments

I watched it all, and it was well worth it. I did not learn anything new - no new tricks or gimmicks - but I was reminded of all the things that can be done. I specifically appreciated the burn and dodge at the end - I had forgotten about that. Great sculptural technique with this approach, though I must admit, I may not have the nerve to make it so dark. Very brooding image, nicely done.

Alex Cooke's picture

I was really impressed with how dark he went with the edit too; that's braver than I would have been, but I think it worked out very well for him. Glad you enjoyed it!

Very much so. And very good to be reminded once again that you can do all this within Lightroom. So often these days I end up invoking this or that plugin, but really, you don't need to. Lightroom has most of the answers.

Charles Murray I learned a number of new things that I was not aware of. It was a very interesting video. I would like to know how you sharpen your final image for printing. Great video.