Dramatic Cloud Edits in Lightroom

Editing dramatic weather images can be challenging but rewarding. This helpful video guide focuses on using Lightroom to enhance such photos.

Coming to you from Christian Möhrle - The Phlog Photography, this informative video dives into editing an image with a dramatic sky. To start, Möhrle merges multiple shots into one using Lightroom’s cylindrical projection, which best showcases the cloud formations. He emphasizes the importance of cropping to remove unnecessary parts and centering the composition. Adjusting exposure is critical, particularly for balancing the bright sky with the well-exposed foreground.

In this video, Möhrle demonstrates how to manipulate highlights and shadows to reveal cloud details. Bringing down the exposure and highlights, while slightly increasing the blacks, helps achieve a balanced look. Adding texture, clarity, and dehaze enhances the image's sharpness and contrast, crucial for weather images. These adjustments make the image pop, showcasing the clouds effectively.

Möhrle further refines the image using masks to target specific areas. He creates a linear gradient for the sky, adjusting exposure and contrast to highlight the cloud formations. Adding clarity and texture gives the clouds more depth and definition. Möhrle also uses radial gradients to enhance specific parts of the clouds, making them stand out even more.

For the final touches, Möhrle uses a color range mask to boost saturation in selected areas, adding vibrancy without overwhelming the image. He tackles overexposure by introducing a subtle glow effect, softening the brightest spots. More linear gradients help fine-tune the sky and foreground, ensuring the entire image maintains a cohesive look. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Möhrle.

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.

Log in or register to post comments