How to Transform Your Landscape Photos With Basic Lightroom Techniques

Transforming a basic image into a stunning photograph often only takes a few simple adjustments. Here's how to pull them off in Lightroom. 

Coming to you from Christian Möhrle - The Phlog Photography, this practical video tutorial demonstrates how to enhance a landscape image using Lightroom. Möhrle starts with a raw file and shows how to make the mountain peak and clouds stand out. He begins by changing the profile from Adobe Color to Adobe Standard, which reduces overall contrast and provides more control over the adjustments.

Next, Möhrle focuses on creating a dramatic look by reducing the exposure and bringing down the shadows. He carefully monitors the histogram to avoid underexposure while achieving the desired dark and moody effect. Bringing down the blacks further enhances the contrast without losing essential details. This approach highlights how tonal adjustments can significantly alter the mood of an image.

To balance the darker tones, Möhrle increases the highlights and whites, adding contrast without overexposing the snow patches on the mountain. Adjusting the white balance to introduce a golden hour feel, he raises the temperature and tint slightly. This technique adds a warm glow to the image, enhancing its overall appeal. Adding texture and reducing clarity creates a sharper yet dreamy effect.

Möhrle then moves on to local adjustments using Lightroom's masking tools. He starts with a color range mask to darken the sky, adding more contrast and making the mountain peak more prominent. By introducing a linear gradient, he further darkens the sky, creating a vignette effect that draws the viewer’s eye to the center. Using a radial gradient, he adds light from the right side, enhancing the glow and depth of the scene.

Möhrle also fine-tunes the image with sharpening and sensor spot removal. By adjusting the sharpening settings, he ensures the details are crisp without overdoing it and creating quality issues. Those are only some of the techniques, so 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
1 Comment

Thanks for sharing. This was very informative and I learned a few new tricks.