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Boats on the Water

Lesson 8 from: Landscape Photo Editing with Adobe Lightroom Classic

Philip Ebiner

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Lesson Info

8. Boats on the Water

Lesson Info

Boats on the Water

Welcome to this photo edit. Today. We're editing this other landscape or Seascape photo. We're turning this photo on the left into something like this on the right. You can see that I really was artistic with this one, use that artistic discretion to add some color and vibrancy to really make it pop. So if you're following along, this is uh this photo called water and by Rick James. Thank you for posting this to we saturate.com for photographers and photo students like us to follow along with this original photo right here is honestly not anything really special. Uh And there's a lot of things that we can do to make it pop a little bit more. So that's what we're trying to do. We got, it's a great scene. You know, you're on this beautiful looks like ocean with these boats, you got the hills in the background. But aside from that, the setting is itself is beautiful and the location, but the photo itself just doesn't pop. At least for me it doesn't wow me right now. So the first thing I'm...

going to do is crop this photo. So a big thing is we have the horizon right here. That's not level, the easiest way and quickest way to straighten that horizon is using the straighten tool. Click that level right there, click and drag across the horizon. It helps if it is a body of water because those are automatically going to be level. And there we have a level photo in terms of the aspect I think because the main focus of my photo is and I want to be these boats, there's too much negative space in the sky and in the water. So again, I'm going to crop it a little bit thinner. 16 by nine might be what I end up with. I think I that's what I did for my original edit, but I think I'm actually going to just do a custom crop, try to crop it in even more just so that the water and the the sky aren't overpowering the subject, something like this looks pretty good. And even if I want to put my horizon on the lower third, that looks actually like a much more balanced photo and pleasing to the eye. Now, depending on the quality of the photo, let we let's actually lock this aspect ratio. Now I might crop into these boats and we have the boats on the intersections of the third line. So actually this is looking pretty good and there's a lot of detail in this photo. It's a big photo. So something like this cropping in this much is actually completely fine. I think uh especially if you're gonna be posting online. If you're gonna print this out too big. It might, the detail might not be as crispy as you want. But anyways that being said, the crop, I think this is better, at least in my mind. So the overall exposure of this photo as you see here in the histogram is it's a little flat. So usually what I like to do is boost that contrast. So I'm gonna make sure that the blacks are more pure black or closer to pure black and then the whites are pure white. We got a lot of highlights. So I'm gonna bring down a lot of the exposure by bringing down the blacks, bringing down the shadows, even bringing down the highlights and then boosting the whites to bring back some of that contrast. Now, this looks a little bit too dark when I do that because I actually want to see some of that detail in the boats. So there's some ways that we can maybe bring down the exposure of the hills behind, but make sure that the boats aren't as, as dark and those are with some individual filters or maybe with our HSL panel below. But as a starting point, actually bringing up my shadows. So the boats are exposed properly and then bringing back down my blacks, that's actually closer to where I want it to be in terms of the overall saturation. I think that it also needs a little bit of a boost. Uh So I'm just gonna bring up the overall saturation just a little bit. I'm also gonna probably go into my HSL panel and bring up individual colors in a minute. De haze is also going to help a lot with this photo because with the clouds which I can tell there's a lot of detail in and in the water. If we want to bring in that detail, you can use the de haze tool like this to make those aspects pop. But when I do that, you can see that it starts to make the boats and the hills look a little wonky. So I'm gonna wait to do that until I use some individual sliders moving down skipping over tone curve which I'll use at the end to play with my contrast at the very end, if I want, we get to the HSL panel and here's where I can play individually with specific colors. So I might go in and with the slider boost the greens hoping that there's some green in the background that will be boosted. Same with the aqua. Now with the blue, I'm not going to add blue saturation, but with the aqua, you get a lot of that green in the background and in the water. So doing these two things look pretty good, you kind of see the before and after it's very subtle right now and then I just might go in here, boost the yellows so you can get a little bit of pop on that boat. Same with the rad. Just little, little things to, to make it pop a little bit more. All right, subtle. But we're getting there next. I think I'm just going to jump right into our graduated filters. Let me just zoom in here really quickly. Sharpening. Everything's pretty sharp. Might boost this a little bit just so edges are a little bit crispier. If I didn't want to do that, I could actually go back up which I skipped over the clarity slider because I didn't think I was going to add clarity. But actually for this photo might look a little better just to use that clarity slider that's looking pretty good. All right. So now let's go in and try to boot, make that sky a little bit better. So with the graduated filter right here. Oh To see where I'm editing, I'm just going to create a filter along the horizon like this. Now, I just want to choose the sky so I can use a color or luminance range mask. I think for this one color is going to work better. So you can click my eye color pick, eye dropper, click and drag to create a selection of my sky. And you can see that it automatically selects the sky. It does a pretty good job right then and there. I don't even have to play with the amount I'm going to increase the de hay slider to bring out that detail and then maybe drop the temperature just a little bit to get it to be a little bluer. I'm gonna blend this in just a little bit by increasing the feathering of this graduated filter you can see here and I think that looks pretty good, something like that. All right, click new. Now, I'm going to do the same but for the ocean, so select just the bottom and again, a range mask for color will work well. Color picker. Select our ocean. This time, I am going to decrease my mouth. Actually, I might redo my color picker. Ok. So now just selecting one part of the ocean works a little bit better. Selecting the whole ocean. Ended up picking a lot of the blues and aquas that are in the boats and the hills behind which I don't want. So something like that looks pretty good. All right. Now, what are we gonna do this? I think I'm going to try to make the water and enhance that teal color. So I'm gonna drop the temperature and also drop the tint. So we get that nice teal look. I've been to, I don't know where this photo was taken, but it reminds me of going to the Philippines where the water truly is. This kind of teal color. It's beautiful. All right. So that's looking pretty good. Now with the haze, the decision is, do I want more detail or do I want it to be a little bit less detailed? I think for this photo a little bit more. But if I go too far, you can see that just starts to look distorted. So you gotta be careful with these things again. Sometimes it's good to look away, walk away from the computer, then come back and see actually how good it looks. And as I do that right this second, I see uh the color of the water is a little bit too teal compared to the clouds. So either I go up to my clouds and add a little bit of green tint to it because obviously the water, the clouds are gonna reflect off each other and should match a little bit in terms of hue, maybe bring back down the hue of our water overall. So this is looking pretty good. I like that. Now, at the end of all this, I might come back and actually decrease the original saturation that I did because it looks over saturated to me. But for now, I'm just going to keep going with the style. I'm going for to make this even more of an interesting photo. I noticed that we have the sun coming in through the clouds over here on the right hand side, it's reflecting over here on the water over on the right hand side, but it's sort of just like a white light, maybe as a creative sort of thing. Let's make it warm. So to do that, what I'm gonna do is use an individual brush and just brush over the horizon over here. We, we're gonna leave auto mask on because we don't wanna select too much of the mountains or the land. And as I brush over you can see that it's selecting pretty much everything over here except for the mountains. I went a little bit too far with that one. Wasn't able to get just the mountains and maybe connect over here. I can take my eraser, something like that looks pretty good. Now, let's just see what this looks like when I add some warmth. So if I go too crazy, that starts to look a little bit uh wonky, but just a little bit of warmth, a little bit of tint to make the, what we're doing is basically creating a sunrise uh is pretty good uh with this uh slider. Now, I think I wanna blend it a little bit better. So I'm gonna take my erase brush, make it really big, decrease the flow and just brush over the edges and that's going to kind of do the reverse of painting on it, paints off some of uh the mask over mask that we painted on originally. All right. So that's looking pretty good for the horizon. What about the ocean over here? What I'm actually going to do is use a radial filter. And I'm going to create a big sort of circle like this. We're going to invert it. And this time we are going to do a range mass for color. And we're going to just pick some of this ocean. Let's try that again. Just pick one spot again, just playing around, get in the right spot, something like that looks pretty good. And we're gonna add some warmth to that as well. So we have this sort of sunset or sunrise that's being applied to the ocean as well as the sky, which makes sense, right? So that's looking pretty good. We can play around with how big this is. Again, sort of increasing the size of these overlays and these masks with the feathering can make it blend a little bit better. We can e even increase our feathering, which will make it even a softer transition and look a little bit more natural to me at least. All right, that's looking pretty good. So that's pretty much what I'm going for. I could play around with the colors of things a little bit more. But as I go through this, I realize that I do think the overall saturation looks a little bit too saturated. So I'm gonna go back drop our sat overall saturation a little bit, bring back that sort of natural color. One thing that I want to just play around with is the luminance or the exposure of these hills in the background. I want the boats to pop even more. So if I go to my HSL panel, click on the color picker and let's go into these mountains in the background. Yeah. See, that's the thing I was worried about is depending on where I pick, it's going to increase the blues of the background or the sky. So, what I could do if I really want to play with this, let's create a brush, let's make it big. Let's brush over these mountains with this. There's lots of ways to do what you want to do in lightroom. So that's looking pretty good. Now, let's see if we could erase. Now, you could go in here and spend a ton of time. Let's increase our flow, a ton of time making these selections perfect. Now, I'm not going to do that in this lesson because that's going to take too much time, but something like that I can work with. And then what I also might do is a, let's do a luminance selection range mask and decrease this. So it's just selecting some of the darks, which decreases some of the selection in the boats, increase the smoothness just to smooth it out a little bit. All right. So now if we do this, let's just take our overall exposure up just to show you what I'm doing. And if we do that, you can see that obviously that doesn't look good, but increasing the exposure kind of helps our boats pop out a little bit more. Maybe taking our shadows, bring those up. And again, I think I would wanna mask this out, spend a little bit more time masking it out. Um Just so that it, the boat parts of the boats aren't being affected as well. Just wanna see what happens if I drop sharpness. Um, not much color, maybe make this a little bit greener and warmer. That's pretty cool actually. That's pretty cool. All right. So there we have that edit and I think I'm happy with that. And then the last thing I'm gonna do is just play with my overall tone curve again, maybe make the everything popped just a little bit more in terms of contrast, just subtle, just subtle, something like that. So now if you see the before and after of our original photo to this one, you can really see a major difference in the photo and I think it looks a lot better, at least in my opinion, uh It's uh definitely more eye catching. I think I would go back and play around with the brushes and maybe smooth out this uh and play with the color of the sunrise color because I think it looks a little bit unnatural at this point. Um But just maybe play around with the color blend it in a little bit more to the sky above. Um Actually let me just quickly go in there and just, I want to see something really quick if I go into this graduated filter that's selecting the sky. What if we made that warmer? Hm. It's something to think about. Definitely something to think about. If I want to blend that in. Maybe uh another sort of brush over here. If we take our brush, you can take this brush right here and then let's decrease the flow and density, turn off auto mask and just brush over a little bit into the sky just to add a little bit of warmth. There looks a little bit better. I think maybe blend it into the mountains on the boats, on the bottom of the sea. You can see as a brush on it. It's a very light brush at this point and that's starting to look a little bit better. Maybe decrease our tint. I can play with these things for hours. But I think you get the point of what I was going for with this photo. Uh Definitely a big change from the original one. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope it gave you some good ideas for what you can do with your landscape photos in the future and we'll see you in another lesson. Cheers.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Practice_Photos_for_Landscape_Editing_Course.zip

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