Shaping the Light of a Landscape Photo Using Only Lightroom

There's often the belief that creating a fully polished photo requires the use of Photoshop at some point in the process. However, Lightroom is itself a very powerful program, and often, one can create a finished image using only it. Here's how to do just that with a landscape photo.

Coming to you from Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect, this video will show you the full scope of local adjustments in Lightroom while guiding you through processing a landscape image. People often view Lightroom as a program built around global adjustments, and while that's certainly a large chunk of its purpose and function, its local adjustments are actually fairly capable. I especially appreciate when I can finish a photo in Lightroom, as it means less moving between programs and just managing a single file. As Dinda mentions, be sure to pay attention to the direction of the light in your original shot; the idea is not to work counter to what's there, but to tastefully enhance it. On that note, remember that in general, just like Photoshop, less is more. If you overdo something, you can always grab that adjustment's handle and change the settings whenever you please.

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William Faucher's picture

So... this is just an introduction to LR video?

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

No, this is simply a tutorial.
If you look for an introduction this video is a little old but I don't think that is outdated and the photographer is really fun:

Giorgio Rivalta's picture

I think is a good tutorial to show a technique and the importance of shading and shaping, but to me its definitely overdone, look at the FG, is brighter as , if not more, than the sky itself, the source of light!

Anonymous's picture

I'm not so sure. In this case, the source of light is the sun, which is out of frame and probably a lot brighter than the sky, in frame. Clearly that's not the case in the actual photo but is believable, which is the goal, nonetheless.

Giorgio Rivalta's picture

Right, but look at both of the hotspots in the sky and on the water. water surface is dull compared to FG. Water is specular to the sun should be brighter than the ground in this case.

Anonymous's picture

But, again, you can't see the sun, only a bit of light from it. I don't disagree with you. I'm just not sure.

Giorgio Rivalta's picture

You don't need to see the sun directly in this case, you have its specular reflection in the water and its diffuse lighintg in the sky. Yet the ground has even brighter spots. This won't ever happen in nature, grass when lit by the sun is not that reflective, not even if wet with morning dew.The whole point here is to make natural light more interesting while still being believable. I think this is where it fall short, it's not believable.

Franklin Newton's picture

The thing is, it was never purported to be believable. These photographers who make these images will be the first to tell you that they're not going for realism. The photos and the editing done afterwards are all done to evoke particular emotions, rather than a believable representation of reality. Show me a single photographer who uses this editing style that is trying to pass it off as anything believable. The photograph is simply used as the basis of digital art.

derek bell-jack's picture

hi guys,this is my own image,and i edited it very differently from the video.i think the edit is relevant to the persons own interpretation of the scene,rather than a true representation of the actual scene.obviously,the raw file again,is so different from the finished edit.