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Desert Footprints

Lesson 7 from: Landscape Photo Editing with Adobe Lightroom Classic

Philip Ebiner

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Lesson Info

7. Desert Footprints

Next Lesson: Boats on the Water

Lesson Info

Desert Footprints

Welcome to this new landscape editing tutorial in this one, I'm editing this desert landscape. This is another photo from we saturate.com. So thank you to the author Christoph or the photographer Christoph. So I'm actually not, you might have gotten a glimpse down below really quickly, but I'm not going to show you what the edited photo looks like because I think I want to leave it a little bit of a mystery because while I was editing this photo for the first time, it was actually a little bit of a surprise of what I ended up doing with this photo, at least to me. So let's get straight into it. So I actually like this composition. It's pretty, pretty good. It's got these leading lines that kind of go off into the distance. And whenever I'm editing a landscape photo or even if I'm shooting a landscape photo, I'm still trying to figure out what the subject of that photo is. Sometimes there's not really a single subject, maybe there's not a single tree or a single mountain or a single bui...

lding or something that is your key subject. But in this one, I like to think that the subject or the key focus of this photo are these footprints uh going off into the distance. That is the one thing from this photo that kind of makes it a little bit different than just a sand dune. Now, if these footprints weren't here, I would say the subject or the main focus would be the peak of the sand dune, this line going into the distance. So if you're confused about what I'm saying, when I say what the subject is, it's really where do you want the viewer's eye to be drawn to? And that's our job as a photographer and even as a photo, photo editor to enhance that. And that's ultimately, what we're trying to do is get the viewer to draw their attention to some aspect of our photo. So uh actually, without really any mystery left, what I'm actually going to do is crop this in a much different way than what I typically do. Typically, as you've seen, if you've been watching the whole class, I crop wide. But in this photo, I'm actually going to crop as a portrait. So to do that, you can either just click the crop tool and change the aspect to a specific vertical dimension or if you have one of these other dimensions selected. So say I have a 16 by nine selected, what I can do is click the corner and then just sort of drag all the way to the right or left depending on what corner you grab. And as you see when I do that, ultimately, it will jump into the vertical portrait sort of crop. Now, I'm gonna make it the full width or the full height of this photo and a 16 by nine crop. It's pretty skinny. But what you'll notice is this is the perfect aspect for a lot of smartphone screens. So this is pretty skinny. But as you can see here, I move the crop over here to really get those footprints as the main focus. And when I do that, I'm trying not to crop this peak over on the right hand side because I like that. And I'm also trying to not crop too far to the right. Even though this feels a little bit more balanced down here, you see that what doesn't feel balanced to me is when the peak goes over to the left, I'm trying to keep that in the center as well as much as possible. So trying to balance this peak on the right side and the left side, I kind of like how that goes from right to left. And then these footprints also are balanced on this third line, kind of intersecting right in the middle of the frame. Something like this is where I'm headed. Now, I might adjust it later on, but uh for now I can leave it at that and actually I didn't crop it like this until the very end. When I was practicing, I made all my color exposure adjustments and then I realized, wait a second, if I want the focus to be these footprints, I'm gonna crop it like this. So jumping to exposure and color adjustments, I want to add contrast to this photo with the shadows. I really wanna enhance those and the colors of the sand dune, beautiful sand dune. It looks like this was shot at sunset or sunrise. I'm guessing sunset just the way that it looks to me. So enhancing that warmth as well. So with the individual tone curves, uh I think overall it's a little bit bright and so I'm gonna bring down everything like the shadows, especially the blacks. You can see if I go too far and I'm paying attention to the histogram up at the top. If I go too far like this, it starts to look a little bit uh too contrasty, but going like this somewhere along there bringing a lot of this down into the darks looks pretty good to me highlights. I'm actually gonna bring down as well which brings some detail and color into the sky. But to bring back some of that contrast, I'm gonna bring up my whites moving this histogram as you can see over to the right, just bring back some of that contrast. So just before and after you can see that this is actually a pretty good photo. I would be happy with this photo as is. And so let's move on to our presence. Sliders D Hayes. I, I just want to show you I'm not gonna add D Hayes to this photo because there's not much detail in the sky that I want to bring back. I could do a graduated filter just for the sky and add some dhas but for this one, I'm going to skip that. I skipped over clarity, but I am going to add a little bit of clarity just to not make it sort of an HDR look going crazy, but just to make it a little bit more crispy and detailed, you can see it as I bring up the clarity. What's interesting is that we lose a little bit of that saturation. So that's one thing to just note in the future. If you're adding clarity, it can desaturate. So you might want to bring back that saturation somehow with a slider up here or down here with overall saturation with things like that. All right. So now I have my vibrance and saturation sliders. I would not want to use the vibrant slider in this photo because vibrance increases the vi the vibrance and the saturation of all colors except for or at a lower level, the yellows and the reds and the oranges. So adding this is going to look kind of weird when you're trying to boost the actual yellows and reds. I can do the overall saturation just boost overall saturation or I could come down here to the HSL panel, go to my saturation tab, click on the color picker and let's just pick the specific colors I wanna boost. So I'm gonna go in here where the orange is a little bit darker, the yellow is a little darker and just boost that orange. And that looks pretty good to me. You could also go into these individual sliders and see what that does. So boosting yellow. So it's mostly the orange that is being affected. But I'm just going to do that. The other thing you could do if that's not exactly the look you're going, if you want it to be even more warm, you can just change the temperature and make everything warmer. So that's adding a little bit of warmth. That way is also a nice stylistic approach. All right. So this is looking pretty good in terms of the detail. We don't have a lot of noise, but we might just add a little bit of noise reduction just to get rid of some of that, that um that grain that you see in the sand. It's something that I I added clarity. So adding clarity is going to increase the noise. But actually as because the edges are pretty sharp, already adding some noise reduction to make it as clean as possible is actually pretty, pretty nice. So you can see if I increase the clarity a lot, you get some of that noise back in there. Actually thinking about that for this edit, I'm going to decrease the clarity and I'm just going to have that noise reduction actually be a little bit higher than I normally would just get everything soft and clean. All right. So this is looking pretty good. I like this going back to this idea of the footprints being the subject of my photo. What is one way as a photographer or a photo editor that we can further enhance further guide the vision of our viewer focus. So this can either be done in camera with a lens and dropping the uh aperture or the F stop so that you have a wider open aperture, shallower depth of field, this depth of field, it does start to fall off in the distance. It's a little blurry, the focus, you know, really goes pretty far though from basically the camera where they're standing to maybe that's I don't know, ft away. So to further enhance that effect, what we're actually going to do is create a graduated filter and drop or actually create sort of that shallow depth of field effect. So o on my keyboard, so I can see what my mask overlay is and then click and drag down. So we're affecting what's above this oh to turn that off and I'm just going to decrease our sharpness and also decrease our clarity just a little bit decreasing the clarity too much makes edges glow and not look too good but decreasing clarity a little bit actually helps with sort of that blurred look. So I'm going to increase this feathering of, oops, let's come back undo, increase this feathering of this effect quite a bit because that's typically how a lens would look. You wouldn't have like this sharp sort of foc focus loss or focus change, uh, from in the distance from like 25 ft to 26 ft. So it would be a more gradual sort of thing. So I'm gonna keep it like this. We're gonna keep most of these footsteps in the bottom half of the frame in focus. So that's looking pretty good. We can click done so we can kind of see what this looks like if we want to enhance this even more. What we can do is let's go back to our graduated filters. We can either create a brand new one or a cool trick if I haven't taught you this already is right. Click the filter that you've already added and click duplicate. So see that duplicates it. Now, for the second one, I'm going to actually make the feathering even more larger and then move it up just a little bit so that it's a little bit more blended into the background, this entire effect we're going for. So now if we see the before and after or if we do this, why, why before and after I think this photo on the right is a lot more dynamic. The colors are a little bit more punchy and the your eye is drawn a little bit more to the bottom half of frame. Now, I think that for me, my eye is naturally drawn towards the middle to the top of the frame typically. So this is one where if it was printed out, it might look a little bit better, but still on the computer, I still think that my eye is drawn down towards the bottom. The crop is a little skinny and I think on my computer it looks extra skinny on my phone. It would look amazing. I might go in here. I might just uh change my aspect ratio to like a standard five by seven to get a little bit more width. That might be a better print, something like that. And I think that looks a little bit better for me before it looked a little tight and squished and something like that looks pretty good. So if we compare and contrast this to our original photo that we had, so let's reset this other one. And so here you could see on the left and the right, our original photo to our edited photo. And I think definitely the crop helps, at least in my opinion, it helps, looks a lot better. And uh the other effects we added, I might just boost the contrast just a little bit more this time with the tone curve dropping down our darks and then bring up highlights just to bring up some of that contrast make it pop a little bit more. When I do that, the saturation starts to look a little over saturated to me. So because of that, I might just undo some of these HSL edits. Sometimes, you know, you go back and forth with these different things because I don't want it to look unnatural. But I think this looks pretty good and with the graduated filter effect, I think that actually makes it look natural, a natural shallow depth of field, especially the layering of those graduated filters. So keep that in mind as an option when trying to direct your viewers attention to a specific part of a photo. All right. Thanks so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed this one and we'll see you in another lesson.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Practice_Photos_for_Landscape_Editing_Course.zip

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