5 Post Processing tips for Better Landscape Photography

5 Post Processing tips for Better Landscape Photography

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The power of landscapes is something magical that captures, that attract, that relaxes us. Being transported by the images of natural landscapes is something that fascinates, that allows us to imagine and transport

As a landscape photographer in shooting natural sceneries I always try to guide the viewer’s eye in the frame and post production helps to amplify this aspect towards our imagination and nature

In this article, we will see 5 Post Processing tips for Better Landscape Photography, thanks to which with some we could restore the original beauty of the scene you see or enhance that scene further and push it more toward’s imagination


1) Correct Color Cast

Color Cast can happen in several photos situations, it constitutes a somewhat unavoidable element of photography in many situations, for the white balance not always perfectly set or using an ND filter that leaves us a cast in the photo

On how to remove the color cast from a photo I published a specific article some time ago called 4 Methods to Correct Color Cast in Photoshop, the video below will show you how I removed the cast from the shot with 4 easy ways


2) Light Bleeding

This technique is very useful for enhancing the sunset colors with excellent results, through light bleeding we will literally go to painting directly within our image with the color we want to enhance

Let’s see how to do it:

Create new layer: To create a new layer, go to the button left of the trash can in the layers panel and click on it;

Select Color Picker tool: and find the color you want to enhance, when the color picker tool window will open, move the cursor to the color tonality you want to enhance;

Paint across the frame: into the new layer created on all areas you need to affect of the paint;

Change the blending mode to soft light: decrease the opacity to softener the effect;

Mask out the ares you don’t want to affect: in case you acidentally wrong with brush, just create a layer mask and paint with black the unwanted paints


3) Add Orton Effect

I like very much the magical feel created by orton effect, it’s a great way to add glow and give more impact to your image. Many times the dreamy feel of orton effect fits very good to landscape photography, increasing the dark mood and glow

I created a guide to create different types of Orton Effect, you cand find them in the dedicated article 3 different ways to Create Beautiful Orton Effect.

Below the main steps to create Orton Effect

Duplicate Background Layer: Right-click on it and choose duplicate layer or press Ctrl+J (Mac Cmd+J);

Apply Image: Navigate to Image>Apply Image. On the dialog box make sure to change the layer to background, channel RGB and select multiply;

Image with strong Orton Effect

Apply Gaussian Blur: Now on the same layer apply gaussian blur, I usually set radius between 22 and 45 it depends on the image;

Change The Blend Mode: Now change the blending mode to screen and reduce the opacity as your taste


4) Use Detail Enhancer

A very effective method to give greater impact to your photos is to add details and create beautiful textures that complete or guide the viewer’s attention through the scenery

When you apply the details enhancer remember that is a enhance that performs better when used through a selective application, for that I recommend you to read my article on this thread how to increase details selectively which you can find the related video below:


Pro Tip

A further step to the selective details enhancements is to add them through the use of the luminosity masks and apply the selection, to better understand it I created a course dedicated course to the use of the luminosity masks including the selective application of the details called Mastering Luminosity Masks


5) Dodge and Burn

Another powerful editing tool that I often use in my workflow is dodge and burn. It is a tool that allows us to emphatize some elements of the photo in a very specific way

Through the use of dodge and burn it is possible to darken or lighten some areas and following the direction of the light, thanks to this it is possible to create situations of great scenic impact. But how to create a dodge and burn filter?

Below the necessary steps:

1. Create a new layer;

2. In the new Layer dialog box select overlay and Fill with overlay-neutral color (50% gray);

3.  Select the dodge tool or white brush and paint all the areas that need to be lightened;

4.  Select the burn tool or black brush with the same opacity and paint all the areas that need to be darkened;

If you get a look at the grey thumbnail for the “dodge and burn” layer in the Layers palette, you can see all the areas  painted with black or white like the image below;

Here a before after image with dodge and burn filter applied, you can see some areas are lightened or darkened simply using paintbrush


Pro Tip

The next step to dodge and burn is to apply it to luminosity masks and avoid every change to wrong the paint over the picture, there is a specific tutorial I created about this you can find in my dedicated article How to Dodge and Burn using Luminosity Masks, below the related video:


Conclusions:

These were 5 Post Processing tips for better Landscape Photography for feel free to write me to let me know the ones you use. As always if you have any question write feel free to contact me, I am always happy to answer you!


How to Dodge and Burn using Luminosity Masks

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Dodge and Burn is a very used technique in photoshop, it allows you to emphasize some of the main elements a image focusing on some points of it. Dodge and burn is mainly use to guide the viewer’s eye to the leading lines. Some time ago I wrote an article about this technique called Dodge and Burn 2 non destructive techniques compared where I talked about how to create the effect without any risk to make any damage to your image

Among the methods illustrated to create dodge and burn there  is the use of a 50% gray  layer and to use separate layers, both are efficient methods but they apply globally to the image. The risk is to apply the effect where is not needed, for this reason the application of luminosity masks into the dodge and burn layer is the key

In the video below I explain how to dodge and burn using luminosity masks. If you do not know how to create luminosity masks I invite you to download my free panel where you can create luminosity masks and launch some very useful effects including dodge and burn

I hope you find all this useful. I always love to ear this from you!

 


Dodge and Burn – 2 non Destructive Techniques Compared

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It is quite common to have to raise or lower the level of exposure in our pictures. The Dodge and Burn tools in Photoshop are used to either lighten underexposed areas of a photo or darken overexposed areas. The terms “dodge” and “burn” refer to techniques that were used to either lighten (dodge) or darken (burn) specific areas of a picture by increasing or limiting the exposure in those areas. Unfortunately Dodge and Burn tools  do not work on the original pixels and can cause permanent damage to our image.

One of the most used and efficient Dodge and Burn method is by using a 50% grey layer: this method allows you to create a dodge and burn very effective not being at the same time too intrusive

 

How to apply Dodge and Burn using 50% grey

 

1. Create a new layer;

2. In the new Layer dialog box select overlay and Fill with Overlay-neutral color (50% gray). (The new layer created will set automatically on Overlay and in the layer’s preview you wull see it filled in grey);

Schermata 2016-04-05 alle 22.54.33

 3.  Select the Dodge Tool and paint all the areas that need to be lightened;

4.  Select the Burn Tool with the same opacity and paint all the areas that need to be darkened

If you get a look at the grey thumbnail for the “Dodge and Burn” layer in the Layers palette, you can see all the areas  painted with black or white like the image below

 

Schermata 2016-04-05 alle 20.51.40

 

Although I consider this method one of most valid in dodge and burn technique, but I prefer to use the technique with direct brush using separate layers

 

How to apply dodge and burn using separate layers

Simply by creating two empty levels and by drawing directly above them. The steps and the process of this method of dodge and burn can be even more simple than 50% gray method but it requires more precision and attention in the paint

1. Create two separate layers. The first one will be your Dodge, the second your Burn tool;

2. Select a white brush and paint inside the Dodge layer using a very low opacity, around 2%;

3. Select a black brush and paint inside the Burn layer using a very low opacity, around 2-5%

as you can see this time go to paint directly on the image , but with such low opacity where you will not even need to change the blending mode

I prefer this dodge and burn method, using the separate layers because it is the most versatile. Painting directly on the separate layers it allows to create levels as many are your needs, for example you can create a new layer to increase dodge/burn of greens, blues, yellows etc… or if you need to intensify the brightness of a color , without apply  filters

It is very usefull when you want to lighten/darken some colored areas of your image, a typical example is the use of this third method on the milky way, to make more visible some of it’s colors. In this case:

 

1. Create a new layer

2. Use the color picker tool and sample the color you need to dodge/burn

3. Set the opacity around 10%-20% and paint directly on the area you need

4. Change the blending mode to soft light

Schermata 2016-04-05 alle 21.30.27

You can create as many layers as you need to create dodge and burn, using this simply method. Below you will find the before/after of a light dodge and burn applied in my image


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Hi, my name is Giuseppe Sapori, a professional photographer and author of this website, created by yours truly to show my work and share with you the techniques I use. My expertise is in the field of Landscape Photography... (Read More)

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