Skip to main content

Basic Editing in Lightroom: Part 2

Lesson 29 from: Landscape Photography: Start to Finish

Matt Kloskowski

Basic Editing in Lightroom: Part 2

Lesson 29 from: Landscape Photography: Start to Finish

Matt Kloskowski

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

29. Basic Editing in Lightroom: Part 2


Class Trailer

Course Introduction


5 Things Every Landscape Photographer Should Know


Camera Gear


Gear Q & A


On Location: Weather & Safety


On Location Pre-Visualzation Sutro Baths


On Location: Camera Settings


On Location: Composition


Matt Klowskowski - My Story


On Location: Bracketing


On Location: Artistic Choices


On Location: Pre-Visualzation Marshall's Beach


On Location: Long Exposure


On Location: iPhone


On Location: Wrap Location


Location Challenges: How to Shoot in Open Sun with No Clouds


Location Challenges: How to shoot Cloudy, Stormy, & Blah Weather


Location Challenges: How to shoot Beaches


Location Challenges: How to shoot Waterfalls


Location Challenges: How to shoot Panorama Vista Scenes


Location Challenges: How to shoot Lakes


Location Challenges: How to shoot Mountains


Location Challenges: How to shoot Deserts


Location Challenges: How to shoot City Skylines


Location Challenges: How to shoot Snow


Location Challenges: How to shoot Backlit Situations


Outdoor Landscape Workflow & Organization


Basic Editing in Lightroom: Part 1


Basic Editing in Lightroom: Part 2


Lightroom and Photoshop: Intermediate Techniques Pt. 1


Lightroom and Photoshop: Intermediate Techniques Pt. 2


HDR for Landscape Photography


Panoramas for Landscape Photography


How to shoot Landscape with Adobe Photoshop in Mind


Sky Replacement in Photoshop


Processing Project: Stormy Mountains


Processing Project: Crashing Waves on the Rocks


Processing Student Raw Images


Final Q&A


Lesson Info

Basic Editing in Lightroom: Part 2

Alright, so that kind of takes us through our photo editing. Now, important to know, that everything I just did here, I have my linear process that I follow, but it doesn't, Lightroom doesn't stack changes. Alright? Back in the day, if seven years ago, six years ago, you read a book and it said, "You have to do this first," "then you have to do this, then do your Retouching" "almost last, and then do your Noise Reduction last," "and then do your Sharpening second to last." Digital files used to be touchier than they are today. Alright, so you could degrade them, number one, RAW wasn't as prevalent as it was today. So, you had your JPEGs, and your goal was to not degrade your photo that much by applying changes in the wrong order, by saving a JPEG and then opening it up again and re-saving it, and each time you save it, you lose quality. So, so the goal was, let's protect our photo. You don't have to do that anymore, alright? You're not hurting the photo here, Lightroom doesn't stack ch...

anges, it doesn't care if you do your Sharpening first, or you do your Sharpening last. It doesn't care if I go remove spots first, or retouch last. So, as for the order of you do, how you do things, don't worry about it. Don't stress over that part of it, there's a lot of other things to worry about, that is not one of the things to stress over. So, if I wanted to come back here to my basic panel, I think for you guys in Studio there's a light shining down on there, it looks a little bright, on my computer screen it actually looks a little bit darker, so, I would probably come, the easy thing to do is just go to couple Presets and just kind of bump up, see which one I like. Obviously too much, but, it's just the exposure slider, so. I would probably bump it up a little bit, again I know you guys, for you guys out there it's just a hair brighter on there, but just 'cause I didn't do that first doesn't mean I can't go back and change it if I want to. Okay. Alright, so let's take a look here. So, that is our before photo. And that's our after. Before. After. I haven't brushed, I haven't gone to Photoshop, I haven't done anything selective, I haven't done anything. These are all just sliders inside of Lightroom. And, I know, I mean, we've been sitting here for a while doing that, 'cause I'm explaining it, but if you look at what I did, I went, almost all of it is in the basic panel. You saw it before, what else did I do? I didn't do anything in Tone Curve, HSL, I mean god that's, that's negligible. Detail was my sharpening, Lens Corrections, the Vignette, that's it. That's all I did to this photo, so, it's not like this Photoshop crazy trickery stuff. It's me trying to make this photo look like it felt when I was there. I'm standing in the, standing there on this morning, and that's kinda how it looked and felt to me and I'm just trying to get that back across to you guys. Yes ma'am. So is there a way to save this developed setting, and then automate it or apply it to the rest of a series that you may have shot at the same time? Yeah, great, great question. So, is there a way to basically take this, almost make it a little recipe, and then apply it to the rest of the shoot? I think some people think Presets for that, I don't think this is a Preset type of a thing, because it works for this photo, it might work for the photos in this shoot, but I don't necessarily wanna make it a Preset. So what I would do instead, it's very similar to what I did before is, I have this photo, and I can, let's say the rest of these photos were all very similar in nature, so I can just shift-click, and it selects all of 'em, alright, and if you look down here at the bottom, it says, "Sync," so you just hit your Sync button, and then you tell it what you wanna sync. So, I wanna sync White Balance, Tone, Clarity, Sharpening, Color, I didn't do any Local Adjustments, I didn't do any Noise Reduction, really, Lens Correction, sure, I did Post Crop, Calibration no, Spot Removal, and then Crop, do I wanna sync the Crop? Probably not, unless my camera was on the tripod and I took the same photo the whole time, I guess I could want, but if I was walking around and just taking some different compositions of it, I don't wanna sync the Crop, so I leave that one turned off, hit Synchronize, I'll hit it, watch the film strip down there, you'll see 'em all change. In about seven to 10 seconds. Hello? Come on. There we go, there's one. There's two. You can do it. There we go. (audience laughing) Who's a good Lightroom? (audience laughing) There we go. Okay, so. I'm always battling hard disk space on my laptop, so I think, think my computer's having a little trouble keeping up with me today, but that's the idea, that's what I do. The other thing that, and I do this quite a bit, is, and you'll see this when we get into the, when I start editing photos from our, our field trip the other day in San Francisco, is I'll go to settings, and I'll choose Copy Settings, same thing, check what you like, hit Copy, and then I might go to another photo, and I might process this one totally different, and then I'll go to this photo and be like, "Huh, think that I'll use the same settings before." And I can just use the keyboard shortcut and paste it in. So, if you go under the Settings menu, you'll see it's got keyboard shortcuts for it. So that I use a lot too. In fact, I'd say I use that more than I use the Sync process. 'Cause for me, it's more of a, I don't know, just, it's more of a fluid process, I'll edit one photo, the next one won't be the same, but eventually I'll come up on one where I like the settings and I'll just paste 'em in. Alright, and can I show you one more tip? You're like, "No!" (audience laughing) If, if you're editing the photo, alright, and you hit the right arrow key, and you think, "Huh, this one will look good with" "those same settings," just hit the Previous button. And it, but it copies everything. So, Crop, the whole nine yards, it copies the Adjustment Brushes, the whole nine yards. But, yeah, just hit the Previous setting, the Previous button and it'll just paste the previous settings in. Let's take a look, so we'll kinda, let's expand a little bit now. So we got our basic settings down, I'm not gonna go so slow through every panel and kinda talk about what everything does from this point on, so I'll kinda just go through things. Unless I come upon something new. So here we got the photo of a stream that I took in a forest somewhere. So, what are some things that we'd do to it? Well, I could try this one, we saw down here in Camera Calibration there's the Standard, there is Camera Landscape, I kinda like Camera Landscape, it's a good starting point, adds a little bit of contrast, a little bit of color, we'll go there. So, then I'll come back, here's my, here's my one kinda little complaint about that is, I think the Camera Calibration stuff is cool, it's just such a shame it's at the bottom. It's like, we don't, it's that, I always, we always, I always equate things, and I'm not the only one, I always equate things with their usefulness of where they're placed. So, Adobe is notorious, when you look at the Blend modes, it's like useful, useful, useful. (groans) Like when we start, get down here, we start getting really very specialized. Go to the Filter menu, it's like as you, as you go into every filter, Field Blur, Iris Blur, those are very popular Blurs, Tilt-Shift, Spin Blur, like how many times you wanna spin a Blur? So it's, I just equate it with where it's placed at how useful it is, but it's a very useful thing. Anyway, so, we know that I like, I like a warmer photo so I'll probably come up here and kinda warm that a little bit. Remember, Highlights and Shadows, that's usually gonna be my first stop. Not too much on the Highlights, I like the water a little bright, I don't wanna, I don't wanna take all that away. Kinda mixing in a little bit of what we talked about yesterday in Composition, and artistic, when we're looking at taking a photo, if I could do, if I would do a self-critique of this photo, I would say, remember I talked about snow, and it's great if we can have that nice, pristine snow right after it snowed and it doesn't start to get mixed with mud and dirt and everything like that, so if I were to do a self-critique, I'd say, "I would love this photo even more if the snow" "was a little bit more pristine and clean than it is here." But, kinda like I said, I don't wanna make everything, I don't mind a little bit of white there. My Shadows, I'll kinda boost those up quite a bit. Highlight, or Whites and Blacks, remember, Option or Alt, click on Whites, drag to the right, get a little white point. Option or Alt click on Blacks, drag to the black, or to the left, and get a black point. If you're ever wondering what keyboard shortcut I clicked in Lightroom, chances are it was the Option or Alt key. Alright, so, that's the popular one, is Option or Alt, usually changes whatever the slider does. So, we got our Whites and our Blacks, I didn't really talk about this too much before but, the one thing that our Whites and Blacks does too is, is I use it to help give myself a base. Kind of a base editing point, and what I mean by that is, is your monitor is gonna be in a different place than mine, yours might be near a window, yours might be in a dark room, yours might be in a bright room. Mine might have a light shining down on it, all this is going to be different. Yours is gonna be brighter than mine, mine is gonna be whatever. Whites and Blacks is the same on any computer. So whatever up here like, that stuff looks, see the, see the like you guys can see, but when I look at the screen up here, that stuff looks white, but on my screen, I see detail in there. So that's exactly what I mean is, that's the white point, no matter what screen we look at, so it gives me a base. I can't control, and you guys come to grips with this one, I can't control what my image is going to look like as soon as it leaves my computer. Unless I am printing and I'm controlling the printing process, I can calibrate, I can control that. But once my image hits the internet, and it leaves my computer, I have zero control. Because the chances are, you know what, maybe all we're all great about calibrating in here, the other tens of thousands of people that are out there did not calibrate. Most of the people looking at your photos did not calibrate their screen. So, we have no control over it, so the best thing I can do, is just make my work consistent. And that's what I do with the Whites and the Blacks, is it's a consistent point for me, rather than am I using it to control a color managed workflow? I'm not, it's just a consistency start for me. So, we got our Whites and our Blacks, I'll kinda push a little bit of Clarity in there, a little bit of Saturation. Okay. Cropping, to me, to me I kinda want this straight. So, I'm just gonna rotate that around a little bit. Okay. Move on down, no Tone Curve, HSL, I mean, I don't know that there's really even, there's too much that I need to worry about with it. Detail. So let's zoom in on some key spots I think, think I'm probably gonna want over here sharp. So, crank that up, 1.5. Again, I'm just gonna watch the texture over here. I don't think that's enough texture to really worry about so, I'll just pull the Detail back a little bit. Cool. And scroll down from there. Lens Corrections, again, not too much that we're gonna have to worry about. It usually fixes a little bit of distortion, and you'll also see it removes a little bit of edge Vignetting. Alright, and I'll remove that only to go add it back in just a second here. But this is the ugly edge Vignetting, this is, the corners get Vignetted, we don't like that. So, we got, we got our Lens Corrections, Effects, you guys think it needs a Vignette? I do. (audience laughing) There we go. Dehaze? Need a little bit of haze. Cool. So here's where I wanna start having a little fun with it. We've got a couple tools up here, that, you notice everything that we've been doing applies to the whole entire photo. We got a few tools up here that will let us selectively apply settings to the image here. So, as I look at this, this is something, this, I do this a lot to my post processing, so this is a real, this is a real deep look into what I do. Whenever I see light in the photo, especially light like in the forest or woods or some kind of covered area, it always looks and feels better when we're there, and then you get back on the computer and it's like, "Man, that doesn't," like I look back there, and I was like "Oh wow, look at that," "it's kinda foggy, makes a big impact." I look on the computer, I'm like, "Eh." So, what I'll do is, I'll make it glow a little bit more. The best way to do that is, I go to the Radial filter, alright so that's the Radi-- so we have a brush, real simple, we have a brush if I wanna paint something onto the photo, I wanna make a spot brighter, I just brush. If I want to use the Graduated filter, it's basically a gradient, if I wanna do that, I just drag. So, the Radial filter does that, it just does it in a circle, okay? So I'll take the Radial filter, and so I'll use one of my Presets here, which is gonna be one of the glowy, glowy Presets. Sunset, or Sunshine, or Sunglow Strong, okay? So what that does, is it adds warmth, it adds exposure, and here's the key to it, is it drops the Clarity. So you saw Clarity made the photo a little bit Contrast-ier, negative Clarity kinda makes a soft glow to the photo. So then what I'll do here is, you see this area back here? I'm just gonna click and drag, now it's actually gonna happen the opposite of what I want, but I'll do it, watch. I click and drag, and so it's applied that Sunglow setting to everywhere but the center of the circle, so all I do is, if you look at the bottom of that panel, there's Invert Mask, so now it just applies it there. Okay. And so then I'll just kinda maneuver that, little bit. I think it's probably a little bit bright for this photo, so I'll probably pull back on the Exposure a little here. You can even rotate it, so I can kinda bring it in. Oops, not create another one. A little bit like that, eh, maybe I'll go a little. Can even make it warmer, I can make it glow more just by dragging my clarity the other way. So, take a look at what that does. That's before. That's after. Yeah, that, seriously guys, that is one of my favorite tricks to do. You'd be amazed as you look through my portfolio how many shots that I did that to the photo in. Anytime I see a spot where I can enhance the sun coming in from usually outside the frame, it's tough to do when the sun's in the frame, 'cause it'll already do it, but if I wanna put light somewhere, it's, that is my go-to technique. I usually use the Radial filter, you can use the, so the cool thing about my brush Presets is, they work for the, and even for you, if you go to your brush, and you go down here, and you can create your own Presets, Save Current Settings as a Preset, it actually works for all three of those filters. They're the same, so they use the same settings. So when you install a brush Preset, it actually works for Radial and Graduated. But, sometimes I'll brush it in, sometimes I'll use the Graduated filter, but most of the time I'm gonna use the Radial filter in it. So we'll come down here to Effects and probably tweak the Vignette a little bit. Cool. Let's see here, so, we'll click Done. Last thing I'll do to this one is gonna be, let's go to, see that little guy up here? That's the Spot Removal tool, okay? But it also works as a brush. So it's not just for removing spots. So I would probably go in here and, I get picky, I can use the left and right bracket keys, to make the brush larger or smaller, but I'd probably go in here and clean up some of those guys. So, you get the, well here let me zoom in a little bit more, I zoomed in way too far. So I got that, got that spot, I kinda do it in, you'll see I do it in halves, especially when there's a line somewhere, it tends to just work a little bit better. Get that one, and you get the idea, I'm not gonna got through the whole photo 'cause it'll take us a while, but I'd go through and I'd just clean up a couple of those little spots there. The Clone Heal tool, the Spot Healing brush inside here, it works, I mean you could see like, if I turn it off and I turn it back on, you could see it does a pretty good job. We're gonna get into Photoshop later, and the difference between it is that inside of Lightroom, it has to sample from part of the photo. It's basically cloning part of the photo from one spot to another spot. The difference is in Photoshop, when you, when you use that content-aware stuff, it looks at what you're painting over, it looks at what you're painting near, and it makes its own. So, sometimes this works, if I can do it in here, I do it. Sometimes we're gonna need Photoshop, and I'm gonna make that jump over because it'll just make its own spot and it'll pretty much almost flawlessly remove stuff that Lightroom can't do, so that's the difference between the two. You got the microphone. On your Detail slider, you didn't do any masking. Was that intentional here, not to mask out any of the detail? Yes, that was intentional 'cause I didn't, there was really no flat surface areas, like a sky or skin or anything like that that I thought I needed to mask it from. And, it's a, it's a tough one, guys, because you can see some texture there, right? So you're thinking maybe, maybe you'd wanna mask it out of there. I know that when I print this, you won't see it. And I know that when you look at it on-screen, you definitely won't see it. So, I know that when you're looking at it on-screen you're never gonna see it, and I know that when I print it, that will smooth out and I won't see it, the only other thing, so how do I know that? I wish I could tell you something else, it's just practice. It's just doing it, it's just printing enough that you get a feel for what's gonna be seen and what's not gonna be seen, and like I said, I wish there was a formula for it, 'cause it's a question I get asked so much, but if you want help with that stuff and you want to print, the only way to get better at it is to print, so. Alright, let's see, let's take a look here. So, that is our, that's our before photo, and that's the after. (mouse clicking) So, we got a little bit more trickery in there this time, but still, I mean, we're staying in Lightroom, we're using all the tools that Lightroom has, so. And I didn't really dive into any more places or parts of Lightroom. Alright, let's see here, so. The other thing is, and we talked about style, I'll go through my one-click, this, it's definitely worth, don't, don't settle yourself like, we go through and we kinda edit a certain way, but as you make your own Presets, open up that navigator, and I'm serious guys, like hover over, 'cause you might see some, like, see when I hover over that, it's a very different look for the photo, but I kinda like it. And, if Presets, and you know you got all these effects programs, I mean, you know, ON1 effects, Nik effects, Topaz, all these, everybody has these effects pro-- they have any benefit to me, it's ideas. Sometimes, it goes a direction where I never ever saw it going, and sometimes I like it more because I'd went through and I looked at a bunch of different ones. So, just hover over, and you never know. See, I even like that. You know what, it's called Forest and Trees, that's probably why I like it. But I made all these to kinda simulate what I thought looked good in certain situations, but I kinda like that one too, so. It's a good, it's a good tool to, to get in there and see more about it. So I'll throw the slide up, I know there's a couple questions out there but, if you wanna know where I got those Presets, you can find 'em over at the website there. When you put the, when you changed your Preset, your Radial filter seemed to also, it didn't change in that, in that last image that you showed, so do those adjustments that you made earlier stay in place if you used a gradient or anything like that? Good, really good question, 'cause essentially what you're getting at is, when I, when I make changes to a photo and I apply a Preset, does that Preset wipe out the changes? So, the, the best, the best thing that I can tell you is, is when you click to add a Preset up here, you click that little plus icon, you tell it what you want to include in that Preset. So if I include White Balance, and Basic Tone, and Clarity, and Sharpening, and Color, and all that stuff, that's what it adds to the Preset. So, let's say, for example, let's say for an example, I went and I changed the Exposure of this image, and I went and I added a Vignette. Okay, now I go over here and I create a Preset, check None, and I only include the Exposure, hit Create. The next photo that I add this to, it's only gonna change the Exposure. If that photo has a Vignette on it, it'll leave it alone. If I added the Vignette to this Preset to create it, and that photo had a Vignette on it, it's gonna use the settings from this Preset. So, your Presets will leave settings alone if they weren't included as part of it. If they were included as part of it, it'll wipe those, those settings out on the photo. So, a good way to avoid that is, when you create your Presets, if you don't want that to happen, check everything. And if it stays at zero, then the next time, when you apply a Preset to the next photo if there are any settings, it'll zero all those other settings out and just apply the ones that you want.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Matt's Photography Gear

Ratings and Reviews

Christian Ruvolo

Mat Kloskowski class is really amazing, full of very useful tipps and inspiration. Wonderful pictures by him help to understand the explanations an I am learning A LOT from him!!! Thank you for the class!!! TOP!!!!


I love Matt's teaching style, humor, honesty, friendliness. I love On1 and all the other demos and critiques he does. He makes me enjoy the craft/art of photography much more and is a great inspiration.

a Creativelive Student

This class was for beginners and I believe Matt did a great job of giving students an great introduction to landscape photography. More on the practical than technical side, but that seems appropriate for an intro class. He comes across as a "real" guy who loves what he does and is eager to share his knowledge. Those new to photography will get a lot of helpful information and tips in this course.

Student Work