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Adventure Photography

Lesson 31 of 32

Using Lightroom with Outdoor Photos

Lucas Gilman

Adventure Photography

Lucas Gilman

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Lesson Info

31. Using Lightroom with Outdoor Photos

Lesson Info

Using Lightroom with Outdoor Photos

So go and work on this image I thought this was pretty cool um you know, the first thing I do on these things after when I've edited is all go in and I will say ok is this sharpen it this is a seven, twenty feet guys so yes, it is sharp but yeah, I'll go in and make sure there's not too much motion blur and that will be one of the first things I do uh on this one you know again horizon line not quite perfect wide angle lenses it's really hard to get a perfect horizon line and even when you're looking at it in photo shop sometimes or in light room it's you think it's perfect and it's not the easiest way I found is this angle tool here which is right here the top when you when you hit this button which is your crop tool or you could just hit the r which will bring up your crop tool um you just go to the angle tool you find something on the horizon and you just draw right along the horizon and it just fix it ever so slightly and now that's a true horizon ah, the next thing I do typically ...

um especially with wide angle lenses is I'm gonna go all the way to the bottom I know we said that we always go teo, you know, in order, but there's a lens correction tab right here towards the bottom and weaken, we can basically move that higher if we want, but I'm gonna go ahead and enable that profile and see what it does see just fixes that curvature just a little bit straightens that wide angle lens out a little bit, all of a sudden we got a little bit truer horizon line, and we're sort of working our way, and we're coming along to a pretty nice shot. Um, so we've got that, and now we're gonna go back to our this the same sort of work flow I'm gonna look at the exposure I'm gonna go up here, maybe dragging around, and what I'm looking at is his rgb hissed a gram appear the forty three point five forty six, forty seven so pretty good. Um, this horizon is a little washed out. I'd like to bring a little bit of color back into that guy. I feel like there's, a little bit of detail there, so I'm gonna go to this graduated nd here, which is a new tool, which is pretty cool, and what we do is we just go to the area that we wantto fix, and we just sort of dragged that out and a new palette pops up right here, we've got exposure contrast highlight shadows blacks clarity saturation sharpness noise we have all these things that we can deal in a localized capacity so if I wantto fix that, you know, all that's going to do is just go in that area and then we'll just move that down here and I don't want to do that with blacks, but I'll probably start at the top and go with exposure and just sort of see what looks a little bit natural and looking at my screen in this feed screen are completely different so um you we'll just sort of go with it though, and then from there a lot of times what I like to dio is I felt like there was a little more color maybe just add just a hints of yellow maybe a little red and all of a sudden we've got a pretty you know, pretty nice sunrise again and we're just dealing with this area of the frame to get out of that we could just hit return twice and it's going to bring us back to our original dialogue, which is our top to bottom workflow pretty simple and then we can go in there and start working with our highlight shadows and we can see what's going on um that's not really doing much and a lot of times I'll just sort of play with these and see what area it's working because what it thinks is shadows and what I think your shadows and what it thinks there black so what it thinks are highlights to me maybe look a little bit different, so sometimes I'll just go in for a fact to make what happens if I drag the shadows all the way up it's pretty flat, you know what if I go all the way down? Yeah it's not really working accepted to go there, but it doesn't really have a lot of the images kind of flat right now. So what I found is if I go to the white channel here, it just gives it a little bit of ah ah little bit of brightness in that sort of white area and notice he's on a white area in the frame so I'm thinking, okay, let me just add a little bit of white to that guy and maybe a little bit of clarity, which is a little bit of contrast to see how that's working on the rocks and everything uh, too much of that is too much obviously, but, um, you know, we're just sort of doing some global changes here and making this look pretty good um yes audience feel free to jump in with any questions um have a question, dear clients, you know, the national geographics do they have specific today some do their first of all do they ever ask for raw and just take your rock? And or do they have certainly is that you want that they want you to specifically process the photo so each client is different? Uh, this day and age time is money, so a lot of clients I say the book, the majority of clients that I deal with, they want to hire a stiff and they want it yesterday and they don't want to they don't want to pay somebody to go in and do you know what you did, you know, to make it really sing national geographic? I will send them my vision of what the image was high rez tiff, and I will also send the ross that they know that it in fact, that I didn't do any doctoring or manipulation outside their standards and norms, which are, you know, nothing that you couldn't do in a dark room. We're not adding or subtracting, we're not making this crazy different we're just making sure that this is real tow life. Um but you know, by far in large, most everybody just wants to have it done yesterday, preferably you're doing your own c m y k conversion typically no, because every printing press etcetera is completely different, so unless they were to send me their profile and then tweak it, you know, that's where, like, for instance, geographic or some some clients that would like to have the raw? We'll see your vision, though, and they'll actually have somebody go in and and tweak it in c m y k so that it it basically looks like what that original looked like. It depends on how honestly, how high quality the printing is, uh, low quality printers, blacks run all over the page and all of a sudden, dark images just looked really muddy and bad because they don't have that separation higher. And printers, you have much more control over the blacks not bleeding into certain areas and so on and so forth. So it really depends on the end result. I typically keep. Everything is ah, hi res jpeg as well as a high rez tiff. Uh, hi. Rez j pegs saved number twelve is totally sufficient for ninety nine percent of the people out there. Um, for anything that's not going to printed, you know, uh, you know, the size of a building. But that being said, if I'm going to go back and make any modifications on an image, I'll either go back to that raw image that's in the catalog still or if I don't have that readily available, I will work on the tiff I will not work on the j peg because of j peg is kind of like a piece of paper the more times you fold it open it the more artifact ing and such you're going to get um and I'm sure you guys all know this but the way it works is when you close it it says all this stuff over here is white all this stuff over here is black throw it away and it says when you open this up builds a little outdoor them it says when you open this up, this is why this is black, so it saves that space, which is great because then you're not filling up as many hard drives but you you can have some artifact ng if you continually open and close the same picture, especially with a high compression value thank you. So you know, this is marry in question on these long exposures where you're trying to hold a person still for ten seconds and there's some motion blur do you have any sharpening techniques to tryto serving him up? There is actually some great stuff s so at this point, if we want if I got a little bit emotional or going on and I'm looking at it, I would go in here and I first of all go in on him and say all right what are we what are we looking at and this is going to be a photo shop specific thing in a minute I'm looking at it I'm going ah you know light room is great but there's just certain things that it's not perfect at so I'm gonna go ahead and I would send this to photoshopped now because there's some really fine tuning sharpening tools that they've added two photo shop recently which are really cool so it's goingto build me another one hundred sixty eight megabyte er tiff out of this because that's what my preference is because I always I would like to be in sixteen bit if possible it's just obviously larger color space, more data and the more data I had to work with the better so typically I'm working in pro photo uh it's a wide gamut I also take it back to the beginning all my cameras are set in adobe rgb because that is a bigger box of crayons than a srg b which is a smaller box of crayons please yes, thank you I'm sorry I asked what color space you're working in so the color space I'm typically working in is a dhobi rgb in the camera and then when I import them into light room I'm using pro photo which is a much wider gammon on the reason I don't have my camera set on srg b s it's just uh, I mean, it's one thing, because the reds looked great in s rgb, but they're they're much more poppy, but you just don't have the control later on to be able to get those nuances out of the images. So now that we're in photo shop, um go and bring this up and we'll get this guy pretty big here and there's some pretty cool, pretty cool tools and if you go command and space and you go over where we are, you can zoom in on specific areas of your frame and then if you drop that and just have the, uh, space bar, you can drag that in the middle so the more you khun, use your quick keys in photos off, the faster you will be so there's a lot of cool things in these filter palace here, we could go to sharpen their shake reduction, which would be if I was actually moving a little bit, but for by and large, the smart, sharpened function that is built in here is kind of crazy. Ah, and there are things such as lens, burglar and let's go ahead and try motion blur uh, that is not quite showing up yet, and what I want to see is, when does it start changing, right? All of a sudden look at how much we just sharpened up his face and why am I looking at his face because again what we look at first we look at people's faces so we're all of a sudden getting a pretty good represent patient and what I'm going to use I'm actually gonna go overdo this and I also work in layers sometimes just because you have a little more control but for this this tutorial we're just going to go in a normal photoshopped function so I've under overdone this basically this is going to sharpen this whole image and it's going to be pretty sharp it's going to be like this a global adjustment we've worked the whole image and it's going to be sharpening all these things that it thinks our motion blur which I don't want it to do uh I'm gonna go in there we'll go to my history channel I'm gonna go back one step too just the open so you can see what we just did from there to there going blow him up how much that sort of sharpen him up from there two they're all of a sudden wow but we're getting a little bit of ah ah halo here so I'm gonna go ahead and redo that and we're just gonna go to that step because actually I take that back there's some way we could do it okay we'll go back to filter wouldn't do that one more time because I don't like how much it sharpened it so we're gonna smart sharpen and we're going to go to right where we were um the other thing we can do here we can show the shadows and highlights is well, um and as well as um we can save these presets that we had a few pictures from our previous sequence that we're the same like this um let's go and just fade this a little bit see how we're getting that little bit of fade off of him in the back all right that's looking a little better the halo doesn't bother me that much I just don't want it to be anywhere near his face because this right here there's a way we're not going to deal with that here in a second so we've got his face looking good make sure there's no halo on his face again just looking at the areas that we want to modify, we go back in he's gonna add that sharpness or not to have it on his right on his face. Um I just don't want to have any halo ing on his face so um all of a sudden see, we got this halo on his shoulder but his face is looking pretty good still and that weird one hundred percent so we're being this picture at one hundred percent so I'm gonna go back one step to where we were before so now we haven't applied any sharpening right? So I'm gonna go over here to my history brush which was right here and I'm gonna go over here to my history of the smart sharpen and then I am just going teo paint in the sharpening in the areas that matter to me which are basically just his face and a little bit of the surfboard maybe and just the areas which which I think people will actually look at so all of a sudden we've added a lot of sharpening to his face we brought that back with question right here while you do it this way as opposed to doing the mask you know, this is one of those things where it's just the way I learned it a mask would be one thing we could go in and we could you know, smart select his face and we could just sharpen that but this just makes sense to me because I'm just like basically painting in that sharpening and the great thing about doing it this way is I can change the opacity and then I can do a little bit here I could drop it down to like, say seventy percent I could do a little more here and all of a sudden seventy I'm not getting the halo there and I could just continue to work on that instead of having the mask each area separately uh it just makes a little more sense to me so we fix that little bit of ah motion blur on his face and now all of a sudden he's a lot sharper which is kind of cool um and then I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna go teo another nick filter here which is our color effects pro too and there's a lot of crazy filters in here there's a couple I use a lot um and this is going to take a second here because this is already two hundred bags uh it's not the black and white one which just popped up but there's a couple that are really cool down here there's a thing called total contrast which if in its own entirety if you view out of the box uh it's way too much but if you could spring these all back to zero um or close to it it's adding too much but the nice thing is what this is all of a sudden I could just like be working on the blacks a little bit similar to light room but it seems to perform in a little different way but it doesn't work on every image I'm not really liking the way that's looking some to go I'm gonna go to a different filter which is my brilliance and warmth one of my favorite filters in color effects pro because saturation which all of a sudden gets very blocky this just has a really natural look, almost like you were having an eighty one a b filter on front of your lens, it's almost like that warm straw color and adds just a little bit of warmth. Obviously, we don't want to go super crazy because we're getting a bunch of crazy craziness up here, but, you know, we can add just a little bit of warmth, just little bit of saturation, and all of a sudden we've got a pretty cool image. We're just going to save that it's going to put it in another layer if we want to be able to come back later on and all of a sudden, well, wow, we've got, like, a really nice sort of sunrise shot, and we can we can get back and we can see what it looked like before and then what it looked like after is right there so again, I'm no photoshopped uh, master or light room master, these air just really simple, uh, techniques that I used to just bring things back to their sort of what I would say, the normal state and the way we saw the sunrise of that morning, how we dealt with that, someone go and close that want to save it and it's gonna bring it back in the light room, and we're gonna have a pretty nice looking image without having to do a lot of work do you have any questions out there in internet land? Um questions from internet land of folks are wondering how how often in your in your complete processing do you spend time going back and forth from photo shop to light room to nick you know, honestly there's a lot of image like for instance and this is my errand that one of the producers here she she said, well, why don't you put any images from the first day in the the light room to tour and I said, well, because they were all pretty they're all great, you know? We had like we had great light we had, you know, all you know is there they were like ninety percent there there's just certain images like these long exposures sometimes which need a little bit of polishing a little bit of tweaking locally as opposed to globally. So you know, I'd say that hopefully the majority of the time I'm spending the majority time in light room and just getting everything done there and not having to go back and forth but uh these these effects are pretty nice and it's nice that I don't think they're very expensive they sells a sweet now and they're really sort of cool so this is eric we just brought him in and we saw that from our our session here and I'm gonna go ahead and just make him stand up properly uh, first of all, um and first thing you're going to do again is we're going we're going to crop this and this little area right here kind of bothers me I mean, I could knock it down a ce faras burning it or whatever and it wouldn't be as noticeable, but, you know, honestly, I'm just gonna go ahead and just do this as a normal frame, and so now we've got a nice clean frame we've looked around the edges, there is nothing that sort of bothering us, and we're just going to get this back to sort of, you know, where I'd like it to be like we obviously used a light on this and we've got nice sharp face on him, but this image here, I think really would look good in black and white, so when I when I shot this, I pre visualized this as a black and white shot uh, and a lot of times all shoot things specifically that are going to be black and white and all basically because they're already kind of monochrome besides the board, you know, he's he's, not really all there s oh, my favorite I mean, there's a lot of different ways to do this, uh light room has a bunch of black and white looks over here on the left you can see but again I'm not really the sort of preset kind of guy um you know, so and I on the presenter mode I would probably go teo silver effects is a plug in, but I don't have it plugged in here, so we're gonna have to go to photo show began because I do have installed there from goto photoshopped cc there is a plug room plug in for light room for all of the nick filters I just don't have happened haven't installed in this version of light room, so we're going to go to our silver effects, which is down here I already miss it see analog str that we are solar effects too and it's going to bring up all kinds of versions of black and white that we were going to be able to dio again these air huge files and what I do first is find one that's kind of like in the range it's not too flat it's not to contrast e it's not he's obviously not that dark. I'm looking for something that's kind of bring out the spectrum of color and we could go over here into our color filter and we could be going through and figuring out well which which color actually makes the best contrast for a surf board, but you know, I'm just going to find that something it's kind of a baseline to start, so I've got this eric's looking pretty good. Although he's a little dingy, we're gonna bring this out here. I'm just looking specifically right now at his face, trying to get, like, a nice sort of, um, total value on his face. We can deal with all the other stuff later on, uh, let's, go ahead and see what the tonal values do here. Not doing much right? So we got eric space right here, it's looking pretty good. Uh, but it's kind of like a overall kind of washed out. We brought the global exposure up a little bit too much. So what I'm gonna do uh, in here, one of the cool things that you can dio is like the visa you've got these little control points and we can go in and we can go brightness we could knock that down when we could make this bigger. So all of a sudden it's dealing with all those in the same total value and contrast, so I said, I'm making those trees way more contrast in the background, but see it's it's not dealing with his feet right now, it's just kind of bumming me out because I want this to be a consistent sort of filter effect over all of this so there's a really easy way to do this you know, this is faces same pretty consistent um so all I have to do is apple d which will duplicate that right there and I could just drag that down to this zone right here and I have the exact same filter that's up here down here so all of a sudden I'm like, oh, wow, this is kind of cool and you know, I'm like well, maybe it did mess of this face let me check that yeah, actually it did so let's go ahead and zoom in on this guy a little bit let's go teo let's say one hundred percent when you're shooting, do you think about things and black away? And as you're shooting, it would be like yeah, this one's gonna be oh yeah, totally I'm constantly looking for those moments which which will will bode well in black and white so now that we're zoomed in, I'm just gonna go ahead and I just want to deal with with his face um and sort of get that total value to where he's got some texture uh the contrast, you know, I want him to have a little bit of years to him this is not something I would say if you're retouching a beauty shot that you'd want to go hot you know crazy on the contrast because he could look pretty old pretty quickly um so just bring that in just a little bit I'm gonna go out and basically zoom out where he's at and all of a sudden we're pretty good I mean like it's looking pretty cool right? Um overall we've got a good tonal range here uh his surfboard I don't know let's see if we just change that just a little bit what's that going to do if we if we jack up the brightness is going to make it better or worse you know like all of a sudden like oh well now I'm suddenly surfboard looks old and sort of interesting well, go ahead and put more contrast which is going to bring out the dings and all the all the things in it so all of a sudden this looks a little more old timey and where it is going to make sure his face looks good so cool we got a pretty cool black and white portrait and now I'm working again top to bottom and that's how all these photo editing software is a kind of working these days we have a choice of going in and we can do some film types you know, old school film that's going to do a bunch of weird things we can add grain if we'd like uh, typically, don't use grain that much, we can do levels and curves. Um, but we can also do a vignette, which all of a sudden is kind of cool. So we've done this sort of vignette here, um, which you can do a bunch of different ones on that black frame fall off. So all of a sudden, we've had a little vigna I know you can do this in my term as well. Uh, but this is kind of cool. Ah, one of the things that we could do, uh, is we can give it a little bit of, ah color cast essentially under toning, we can go up, and we can give it a really interesting sort of ah, old timey feel I stick to usually the stevia types just a little bit of the color shift here, and all of a sudden, we have a kind of a cool, interesting old timey sort of rustic photo. So you know, again, I don't spend hours doing this, but on occasion on a on a porch or something like that it's kind of fun to be able to go in and produce something kind of interesting like that, um and think about it ahead of time, uh, just another note. What you're seeing there is it's a little bit more contrast there's more black involved in what I'm seeing on my screen but, uh, pretty cool stuff wanted to go to the in studio audience to something I had any questions and I do have meant to ask last segment but didn't just in terms of getting yourself out there. What do your thoughts on stock photography putting your stuff out on stock sites? Um, stock photography used to be, uh, amazing business. It's really deteriorated. Unfortunately, over the last few years, I my you know, all I can say is I can give you my sort of scenario of what I do, and you can take it or leave it as faras if it works in your scenario, what I do is I basically go out. I produce images specifically for clients, you know, hopefully either their magazine or commercial client. From there, I tried to shop those around and resell those to the clients that I know might be interested. Maybe it's, another commercial client or something else. And then from there it will go into my archive for maybe say, six months, and then from there it would go to my my stock agency and go on and be sort of lived there, so yes, there are some sales to be made it would be very hard to make a huge living off of stock photography these days but you know you could be the one in the million that could you know, do very well there are some people that still do well in stock photography it's just not something I've ever been particularly good at and that's sort of my scenario goes editorial to commercial, you know, figuring out where it goes first and then from there it's sort of the instead of shooting stock for the sake of shooting stock I'm hoping to have a home for it before it gets too stock can you answer? Are you really hands on with your post processing like is this like when someone hires you? Is this lucas gilman from a to z? Yes before it goes out the door it will have my stamp of approval. I will make sure that it has my vision and I may have whether we're shooting video or stills I may have somebody bring them in and get the collection together, but I will make sure and I will go through every single image before it goes out the door because it's one of those things where people see your portfolio they see your work and they want you they want you to be the one to make sure that they're you're delivering the type of image that they got and you know for me I'm dealing in an outdoor space I know that there are a lot of people that shoot, you know, weddings and events where they're shooting thousands of images and it makes more sense to just to send those off to somebody once they have your sort of look because it's it's a numbers game where I'm really sort of boutique and then I'm I'm producing a relatively small number of images I'm not shooting, you know, six thousand images of wedding and delivering five hundred of those to the client, you know, I'm it's a very small number, essentially and in this day and age where clients say that they want it yesterday, how much post processing do you do before you send it one hundred percent typically, um I don't let anything go out the door without it being what I would consider satisfactory because without fail, all of a sudden you'll see it on their website, it'll be in a brochure and I'll have your name next to it and you'll be like, whoa, whoa, what happened? Guys like this is not this's so supposed to be a preview and I oh, we didn't get the memo so it's it's one of those things where you know, you know, everything that goes out the door typically unless it says proof across the front really big eyes, you know pretty much camera ready or ready to print is the way I'd like it to be there are certain times where I will send them really low rez versions that they're not going to do anything with because they need to be able to see them relatively quickly and then they can say, well, we want, you know, seventeen, fifty six and all of these and they can give me a list of images they want and then we can focus just on that and make sure those get out all initially get those out and then I'll go ahead and make my own at it and say, I know you like these guys, but I think these air also really nice because and they may be like, oh, we didn't even see those thank you for doing that and all of a sudden you have a happy client who hopefully brings you back awesome and then you have a few rounds between them and you making little tweak exactly, exactly. Typically the hardest ones are not the outdoor shoots it's the commercial shoots where there's all of a sudden cem cem logo's involved or you know you're you're on location and, uh it's a you know, a car company or an apparel company and, you know there's just one little thing that they want retouched or removed on dh that's where it gets sticky because I'm always like, well, I don't really want to remove anything. But, you know, I understand that from a legality standpoint, that certain brands and logos have be removed because it's, you know, we're not gonna get releases on everything, so it is what it is, but I don't send them all the images, you know, photoshopped the nine, you know, with everything taken out, give them the images initially, uh, camera ready, but say, you know, hey, this is what this is my vision. And then from there, they'll say, okay, that's, great. But, you know, that little white logo on the back really needs to come off or, you know, and we go back and forth and figure those sort of steps out.

Class Description

Learn how to capture the intensity and movement of an epic experience in a single, still photograph with Lucas Gilman in Adventure Photography.

Lucas is one of the most celebrated adventure photographers in the industry. His work is infused with color and energy and in this class, he’ll show you how he creates his amazing images. 

You’ll learn: 

  • How to take powerful adventure and outdoor images
  • The key to selling to commercial clients
  • Gear and equipment essentials
  • Post-processing tips and techniques

Lucas will share the history and process behind some of his most challenging and exciting shoots. He’ll also offer tips on how to prepare for long stretches of intense outdoor shooting and how he keeps his gear bag stocked for adventure.

Let one of the industry’s most exciting photographers show you how to inject excitement into your outdoor images in Adventure Photography. 



This class is perfect at all things. The best class for nature photography with or without model. Personally for me this class is best of all because we have most practical learning, that is perfect. I have sense just like I am there. I am gladly wait for starting today class because this class is two days. Buy it that material must to watch and have it on your hard disk! Just perfect. Regards to Lucas and Creative Live.


Lucas is an amazing photographer. I love how he keeps it simple with the way he explains and shows things. This class is perfect for anyone with a camera, as you can take his teachings and apply it to not only adventure photography but to any style.