Post-Processing Techniques for Stunning Landscape Photos

The ability to transform a raw image into a final piece is a crucial skill for any landscape photographer. If you're new to editing your images and need a little guidance, check out this fantastic video tutorial. 

Coming to you from Matt Shannon, this helpful video guides you through the steps of enhancing a landscape photograph using Lightroom and Photoshop. Shannon emphasizes the importance of understanding both global and local adjustments, demonstrating how each plays a vital role in creating a balanced and impactful image. 

The video begins with basic adjustments in Lightroom, such as adjusting exposure, contrast, and vibrance. Shannon then transitions to Photoshop, where the real magic happens. He utilizes adjustment layers to selectively apply color grading, dodging and burning, and other fine-tuning techniques. By working with layers, you maintain flexibility and avoid making irreversible changes to the original image.

One of the key takeaways from the video is the power of color balance and how it can dramatically alter the mood and atmosphere of a photograph. Shannon demonstrates how subtle shifts in color temperature and tone can evoke feelings of warmth, coolness, or drama. He also explores the use of curves adjustments to control contrast and create a sense of depth, effectively drawing the viewer's eye towards the focal point of the image.

If you're just starting, Shannon's video offers valuable insights and practical techniques that can elevate your landscape photography. His step-by-step approach makes it easy to follow along and experiment with different adjustments, ultimately helping you develop your own unique editing style. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Shannon.

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out our latest tutorial, "Photographing the World: Japan With Elia Locardi!" 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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For many PS just has so many selections to remember and I fall into that group! But having PS available with Lr as a pair with subscription with this video I may have to dust off a couple books and get involved. My eyes were opened with the ease of using the the black and white and the brush where it is a lot like Lr and using the brush in it, but the different blending modes (long list) make a big difference. Kinda weird we capture an image and change it like a painter with different brushes and colors. I used to watch Trey Ratciff do his magic to an image and no one would ever be able to get the same image so it was a real original image.
Only one wish for adjusting is that like in the base of Lr but is different in the brush section and in PS is to put white and highlight with dark and shadows sliders under the curves section makes things so much easier than playing with the curve!
Thank You for a great display of editing with both Lr and PS together.

What an overly complex, convoluted process--all of which could be done in Lightroom Classic. And while image optimization is obviously a personal preference, for me, the example fails the integrity test. It's too far removed from the original to lend any credibility of what the scene actually looked like. It's images like this that give photography and Photoshop its deserved poor reputation.

--- "the example fails the integrity test. It's too far removed from the original to lend any credibility of what the scene actually looked like."

You mean like, converting to black and white and some dodging and burning here and there, because it's so much closer to the original? BW?

You completely missed his point. He's not talking about BW but simply poor editing. The luminosity of the waterfall is coming in waaaay too hot and generally this doesn't have that magical glow that you see in many refined and heavily edited landscape photos.

And, you completely missed mine. I brought up BW because Reid does BW landscapes with selective dodging and burning and hyper-realistic sharpening which removes from the original.

Editing to bring attention and focus to a part of a scene Is not uncommon. It's done in all types of photography.

Do you really think this Ansel Adams image was SOOC? You know, that glow on the waterfall. This is the problem with you wannabe purists. You think editing is something new; something that just came up only in the digital age.

B&W isn't trying to look like the original, because it's B&W, duh!

Same can be said with color. Use your head. Think. And, as you eloquently put it, duh!