Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] Hello, friends. In this week's episode, we are going from this to that. If any of you have had a chance to capture photographs while you're flying around in an airplane, you know how exciting it is to stick your camera out of the window and to compose a frame, but then how disappointing it can be with aerial photography or landscape photography in general, when you get back and the colors aren't there, and all the detail, and texture. So how do we go from this to that? How do we do that? Well, in this week's episode, we will be working in Lightroom and Photoshop in order to achieve that. Now, with this image, just start off in the basic panel. Now, in the basic panel, we tend to start near the top and walk our way down. But before I even do that, I know that this image is going to need a lot of clarity and is going to need a lot of dehaze. So I'm just going to boost those kind of right out of the gate. I'm just going to say, hey, you know what? I can tell there's a lot of atmosphere going on, and I'm just going to crank those up. I also know that I'm going to need a lot of vibrance and a lot of saturation. And the reason is, is clarity tends to remove saturation, so I need to compensate for that. So I'm trying to bring those values up. So already, without having done a lot, these adjustments are making it look so much better, right? Now, on top of that, we might want to boost exposure a little bit. We might want to increase our contrast. When we do that, you're going to see the colors just come to life, like, oh my gosh, like, yes, that's what it looked like. Now, the shadows, a little too dense, so we're going to go, yeah, let's bring some of that shadow detail out. Let's let's bring those shadows up. This is better. Let's darken the deepest blacks there. This is looking so much better and gets exciting. I mean, this is when, for me, I'm like, yes, you know? The original image as we, as we had, was not looking very good. Let me show you this way. How about that? That was the original image. Now this one's looking so much better, so we're going in a good direction. Now, there's some things we want to retouch away, which we'll do. But before we get too far into all of that, what I want to do is go down to the detail panel, and I want to add some sharpening, because, again, because of all the atmosphere, I know that this image is going to need some sharpening. So I'm bringing my sharp need value up. Detail. I want a lot of those little details sharpened. Little bit of noise reduction, 'cause I know there's going to be noise in the hazy areas. I'm going to go to lens corrections. I want to remove any chromatic. And I want to enable my profile correction for this lens, a 24 to 70. And so all of these things are really just kind of helping to bring this image to life. Now, I like how it's kind of opened up the image, and fixed some of the things, but sometimes it can be nice to have a little bit of vignetting, or darkening, or selectively do that. So let's add a little bit of that back. To do that, I will go back to, or not back, I'll go up to my tool strip right here, I'll choose a graduated filter. And what I'm going to do is just choose an effect with lower exposure, maybe a little bit of contrast, and let's just try right there, and I'll just click and drag over this area. Now, in doing that, this has, remember, the hue adjustment I used previously. So if I double click that, it will remove that. I do not want to change the colors of this area. Basically, all that I'm looking to do here is just kind of add a little bit of a darkening effect on this part of the frame. I felt like it was too bright. And so maybe that highlights come down, exposure comes down a little bit. It's not a total vignette, but it's just preventing the eye from kind of falling off in this part of the image. Okay, speaking of the edges, the top edge needs to become brighter. So I'll go ahead and click new, bring up my exposure, and I'm just going to click and drag over this. And I'm actually going to just white out the sky. And that's going to give me this ability to just say, hey, you know what? Just brightening that up and having a lot of brightness there. Do one more one. And I'm going to click and drag this down over the lake, and this part of the mountains. Not brightening, so I'll double click to reset those. Not color, double click to reset that, but I will add a little bit of dehaze, a little bit of clarity, maybe a little bit of contrast, maybe a little bit of warmth even. So you can see with this one, now I'm getting those mountains in the background to kind of snap and pop. We have this stuff over here, which is looking so much better. And this one I made a mistake with. I left my hue adjustment as is, let me remove that. I don't want any other colors there. I'm also noticing that there's a little bit too much yellow in this area right here. So I'll grab my adjustment brush, and I'll turn off auto-mask, make my brush nice and small, and I'm just going to paint over this area here. Now, I know that this is too intense. Make my feather more, my flow a little bit less. I'm just going to paint over this a little bit here. Why I'm doing this is, I'm feeling like, one, there was a color issue on that side, and, then, two, it just wasn't quite even or bright enough. So I'm just going through, and I'm painting this adjustment here, which you can kind of see is starting to help me to even out the sky. Okay. Are you with me still? Are we tracking? Are we making some good progress? I think we're doing a lot better. So here was before, and then now here is the after. Now, there are some things we can do here in Lightroom, as far as retouching, spot healing brush. I could go ahead and say, I want the tail of the airplane wing out. So I'll go ahead and paint over that, and then bring this to an area of trees, which are very similar, bring the opacity of that adjustment up, and we can have healing so that it blends in really nicely. There's a little road, which kind of takes away from the beauty of this. So if I click and then hold down the shift key, that allows me heal away things in a straight line. And if the overlay graphics are annoying or distracting, just tap the H key. You can always try to then move this around, and if it doesn't get everything out completely, you can always retouch on top of an area that you've retouched. So, again, I'm just looking to, again, really reduce and simplify as much as possible. Okay, well, I'm liking the direction that we're going in. Basic. I need to brighten the image up. I feel like a little more contrast. And I think that's kind of cool. And I guess I'm hesitating here, because what I'm noticing is this side of the image is really cool. I want to warm that up. So one more graduate adjustment. Sorry about that. I had to had to think. It's always hard to teach and and think, you know, at the same time. You should try it. I mean, if you've never tried it, it's harder than you think. So I'm dragging this over. We have all this warmth in here. Do we need that much? No. But I just felt like that side of the image was kind of leaning a little bit too cool. What I really want, the cool tones to be in the water. Okay. Before we exit out of Lightroom, let's go down to HSL, and in HSL we can go to our saturation area, grab the target adjustment tool, and we can click and drag, right? So we can click and drag to change the intensity that we have of these colors. So you can see how we can increase them or decrease them. And I just am loving all those blues, and kind of the combination of greens and blues, and all of that stuff as well. Another fun thing you can try from in the basic panel, is I haven't modified my temperature slider as well, but we could also bring that a little bit to the left if we wanted a little less of the yellow look to it, of the overall image. Okay, we've done enough. Let's move on. Command + E on a Mac. Control + E on Windows. This will send the image over to Photoshop. And in Photoshop, there are a few things that I want to retouch out of the image, and I want to do that, really, just to simplify the scene. And so in this case, this will take us over to Photoshop. Go to full screen mode. Zoom in. And the area that I want to work on is over here. So the way I'm going to do that is grab a lasso tool. I'm going to make a selection of this. And this is not, obviously, a realistic landscape. This is just something I'm having fun with. In other words, what I mean by that, is I'm not trying to make a one-to-one representation of the way the landscape appeared, I'm just trying to minimize some of these things that I'm feeling like are taking a little bit away from what we had there. And I'm seeing a little bit of this road here too. So I think straight lines, things that, that are kind of indicating that this is not completely wild, make it less interesting to me. So I'm just lassoing up those. Press the spacebar key. Move over here to the other side, see if there's anything else. I don't think so. I think that's about it. All right. And then there'll be a little bit more we'll do in a second, but we'll go to edit, content-award fill. And sometimes what you want to do is you want to do this in passes. In other words, you want to do one segment of it. I will go ahead and do this on a new layer. Click okay. And then just see how it see how it looks. So here's kind of our before and after. Okay. That's okay. Let's merge the top, Shift + Option + Command + E, and then I'm going to do another area right on top of what I did before. And the reason I'm doing this and going to content-aware fill is, with a lot of retouching, very rarely is it perfect on the first pass. So in this case, you can see it's going to sample from these surrounding areas, and that looks good, and do it to the current layer, and click okay. So we're kind of retouching that away. And then I want to retouch a little bit of this away over here. And maybe a little bit of that away. Again, reduce and simplify, edit, content-aware fill, and then we'll click okay to apply that. And that didn't do a very good job. I'm going to undo that and go to edit, content-aware fill. I was going too fast, I think. Let me illustrate what's happening here. So it's pulling in from underneath it some of the other river, or dry river bed there. I don't want that. I just kind of want that covered up with trees. So that's a lot better. So you paint that away using the brush with the minus icon on it. All right, next step, you've seen me do this before, but I'm going to go to curves, and just darken, and then press Command + I, grab my brush tool. And if you notice this part of the image is really bright, so I don't want it so bright. So what I'll do is I'll paint with white on that mask, which allows me to darken this part of the image, again, because our eyes going to travel to those areas where there is some brightness. And in this case, I did not want the eye to go over there or go to some of these edges that we have. And so here, let's take a look. Here you go. See that before and after? See how that's darkening that up a little bit over there? So what that does for us when we see the whole landscape is we're not as attracted to that area as we were before. Now, as I've talked about before as well, if your brushstrokes are noticeable, just double click the mask and increase the feather till you see the edges of your brush strokes fade or dissolve. And it depends on the resolution of your file. This image, let's see how big this bad boy is, it's about 8,000 pixels across. So it's a really big photograph, so that's why I needed to have such a higher value on that. But if you have a lower res file, your feather may be somewhere down over here. This was captured with a Sony a7R IV, and, so, again, it just has this really, it's just a really big, big file. All right, well, at this point, I think we've arrived at a good stopping point for this image. Actually, let me just do one more curves adjustment. I'm just going to do one more brightening layer, and then hit Command + I. The reason I'm doing this is I just want to brighten up that sky. Basically, I want to go for a nice bright white sky, and then have that sort of come down a little bit more here. I don't know why. I just think it's kind of fun, and leaning into that and these bright vivid colors. And we could experiment, maybe add a touch of vibrance, or a little more color saturation as well. I'm just really, really having fun with this beautiful landscape. I want to bring back the feeling that I had when I was there, and when I was in that airplane. And so here in Photoshop, oops, sorry about that. Here in Photoshop, you can see our before and after. Not a ton of work, but it's just a little detail works, right? That helped us to kind of fix up some of those things which were distracting us away from this beautiful landscape. All right, well, that wraps up a workflow for landscape photographs using Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. I hope you have a great rest of your day, and I'll look forward to seeing you in next week's episode.