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Photoshop and Lightroom for Landscape Photographers

Lesson 1 of 19

Intro and The Basic Lightroom Formula

Matt Kloskowski

Photoshop and Lightroom for Landscape Photographers

Matt Kloskowski

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Lesson Info

1. Intro and The Basic Lightroom Formula

Lesson Info

Intro and The Basic Lightroom Formula

We are here to talk about Photoshop Lightroom for landscape photographers. Awesome. Basically my entire workflow, and it's an entire day, so I'll go over everything pretty much from start to finish. You'll see my raw files, I don't really hide anything, and we'll go over the entire processing. So sound good? Cool, alright. So I'm gonna take at least you guys and everybody watching, you're into landscape photography, right? The interesting part about landscape photography is, at least my feeling on it when it comes to camera and post-processing, is we wanna capture obviously the best image we can in the camera. So today is not necessarily about that. By all means, if you have any questions about what settings I might use for an image, I'm happy to answer that stuff. But I'll talk about the stuff that we did in camera, but when it comes to post-processing, to me our job as a landscape photographer is to help somebody feel like they did when they were there. It's a little bit differen...

t than some other areas of photography, because anybody that's shot outdoors before knows that when you take that camera and you point at something and you take a picture, there's no way what's on the back of that screen looks like what you just saw. Your camera just can't do it, and we're not out there, we're not using diffusers and flash and strobes and all these things to balance light because this is Mother Nature and the flash is not gonna reach 1,000 or 2,000 feet in front of us. There's no way that that picture looks like what you just saw. So my feeling on it is is it's our job when we get onto the computer to make that happen. Because you can't make it happen in camera. There's things you can do to help, but really when it comes down to it, my job on the computer is to make that happen. So that's a lot of what we're gonna talk about today. A quick rundown of the day. We're gonna start off, I'm gonna just jump right into Lightroom and the basics. I wanna show you right off the bat how much power we have inside of just some of the basic adjustments inside of Lightroom. I'm not gonna get all crazy and use five different programs. We're gonna start off with Lightroom. From there we'll jump into some specific editing scenarios, things that we encounter as landscape photographers. What happens if you have to put on a really wide angle lens and the scene calls for a polarizer? Well, if you ever put a polarizer on a really wide angle lens, you'll notice that there's a blue gradient in the sky because it's so wide, so how do you take care of those things? Things that hit us as landscape photographers. When we come back from lunch we'll talk a little bit more about some of those specific things. We even get into focus stacking and panoramas and all that. And then what I did is I saved a workflow section for the end of the day. Sometimes I start with it. It's the morning, I kind of just ate breakfast, and I know everybody's concerned about workflow when it comes to how to organize and do all these things, but it's just, you get a little tired. So we're gonna jump right into the fun stuff. At the end of the day what I'm gonna do is we'll go through an entire shoot. I'll show you how I organize the shoot, how I get it from my phone if I'm taking any iPhone pictures, which by the way, I think I have some cool stuff to share with you on that later. If I'm doing anything on the phone, if I wanna have my photos on the phone, on my iPad, on my laptop, how I edit the photos, how I don't spend six hours editing the photos, and then all the way over to the print. We'll save that for the end of the day. We'll do the whole thing in the last class. Alright, so let's go ahead and get started here. Just the developed module inside of Lightroom is probably... It's gotta be probably 80%, 85% of what I do to my photos. And you'll see that. It helps us tame so many different areas. Let's go grab a shot that I'm sure none of you guys here have seen before. This is Mount Rainier. We're in Seattle, so you guys wake up and see this every day. Do you guys ever get tired of seeing it? Never. Okay. Because I go to Portland a lot, and it's like God forbid you go take a photo of Mount Hood and show it anybody in Portland and they're like (sighs) Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, you've got this gorgeous mountain, and it's just like, you know, meh, it's Mount Hood. But it's so cool. Anyway, I'm glad to see that you guys love Mount Rainier. It's a beautiful thing. I got out there one morning. It's funny because if you've ever been out there, there is a place called Reflections Lake that has this great reflection in it, and you just drive up to it. This place was about a mile and a half hike, and I'm thinking, it's a hike? It's gotta be better, right? (audience chuckles) And I get there and there's literally no shoreline to stand on. You have to creep through bushes and all this stuff and then basically you're in the water. So I had to do what I never ever wanna do, and that's put dead trees in my photo, just to get a foreground in there. But this is the shot here, so let's go through and talk a little bit about some of the things that we do. The basic panel is pretty much where I'm gonna start off with. Temperature, tint, the white balance settings, that to me is one of the keys. We have to convey what type of feeling we have there. Generally I love warm feelings, so I'm always gonna go a little bit toward the warm side there with my temperature slider. Exposure. Exposure for landscape photos is one of those things that it's hard to set right away because generally we have competing shadow and highlight problems in our photos when it comes to landscapes. Portrait photography, a lot of times you're using strobes and lighting and diffusers and soft box and all these different things to help balance that. But with landscape you can't. There's just a lot of harsh lighting circumstances there. The exposure, I think you're gonna find you always battle with it. It's like I wanna go darker because I know there's a lot of detail in the sky, and I wanna go brighter because I know there's a lot of detail up in the foreground here. So what do you do? The way that I combat this is I go straight down here to highlights and shadows. So what we'll do is I will pull the highlights back. You can kinda see that does a good job of just kinda taming that top area a little bit. Alright, I'm not gonna go all the way. I don't have to go all the way. And then we'll open up our shadows a bit here. One of the things I'll tell ya is be careful. When you have the edges of the trees there and you start to really get drastic with your highlights and shadows, you'll start to notice a tiny bit of glow. You can get a little bit out of it, and it's gonna be just fine. But if you get really drastic with that stuff, you'll start to notice a little bit of glow in there, which is why I'm not just gonna crank back on my highlights. Whites and blacks. Whites and blacks is, it's a good way to just get an overall amount of snap and contrast into the photo. There's a nice little formula that you can use for it, which is if you hold down the Option Alt key, click on the white slider you'll see everything is probably gonna go black. And then if I drag it to the right-hand side, you start to see a couple little specks there. That means I have a white point in the photo. If I do the same thing on the blacks, it goes white. If I drag it to the left, you start to see a couple little specks. So that means I got a black point in the photo. So what's that really do for you? Think about contrast. You add contrast, it boosts the whites and boosts the blacks. It's the same idea here. If you were to think of our histogram, which by the way what I just did is just a different representation of doing levels. If you've ever used Photoshop before or moving the histogram, you'll notice I don't keep the histogram open much because the only reason I would use it would be for that little highlight area over here and that little shadow area over here, and I just did that with those sliders. So that's why I typically don't keep it open. But that's what we did there. The nice thing about that is that my editing environment here is gonna be different than yours, it's gonna be different than yours and yours. Somebody's gonna be in a bright room, somebody might be in a dark room. Somebody might have a window near 'em, somebody might have a light stand here. What happens is that all affects the way that we edit our photos. If you're in a dark room, you might edit your photos a little bit differently than if you have a light shining on your computer screen. We can tell everybody, hey, this should be your editing environment, and we know that'll never happen. So what this does is this gives you a good base because when I do this white point, I know that on any screen that's the white point for this photo. Doesn't just matter on my screen. I could put it on any screen. If you're developing brighter or darker or whatever, that just helps to even the playing field. Now that doesn't mean that everybody else's screen that you give your photo to is calibrated and everything's gonna look great. But at least it keeps it as consistent as possible for ya. So we got our whites and our blacks. Clarity just kinda adds a little bit of boost and contrast to the photos here. Vibrance is great on portraits because it'll boost the colors and it'll leave skin notes alone. With your landscape photos you're gonna find that you can go and you can tweak the saturation a little bit more. That boosts everything in the photo, and generally we're okay with that. We don't have to worry about skin tones or anything starting to look radioactive. We can boost that up there. Alright, so once I get done with that, I'm gonna hit back the backslash key. That's before. That's after. Before. After. So pretty decent change already, but we're gonna take it to the next level here. You notice before, I wasn't really able to get my highlights where I wanted them. I wasn't able to get that sky where I want it. We've exhausted the basic panel. I'll probably warm it just a little bit more just 'cause I like that warm feeling here. But we've pretty much exhausted what we can do in the basic panel. And so what we have up here are just three tools that are probably gonna be the other 10% to 15% of where we spend our time inside of Lightroom. So we got the graduated filter, the radial filter, and the brush. They all do the same thing. They all let us paint exposure onto a photo or sharpness onto a photo, just in a different way. The grad filter to me is my favorite one for the sky because it simulates that neutral density grad that we'd use in the field. You hold that in front of your camera, it's dark, transitions to clear. What we do is we bring our exposure down. Don't really know how much at this point, but I just bring that exposure down and then I just shift click and drag downward. So now I'm able to do exactly what I would have done in the field to the sky. I'm able to darken that sky, kinda tame it down a little bit, and still keep the foreground where I want it. What's nice about it is in the field, if you've got a grad filter, you're stuck with the one that you have. You can buy a one stop, you can buy a two stop, you can buy a three stop. You've got three filters, you gotta figure it out. The nice part about this is you don't have to worry about it. If it's too dark I just kinda reel it back in there. The other nice part about this is that 'member how I warmed the photo before? If I go here and I tweak the temperature, I can get a little bit more blue back into the sky. So by warming the whole photo and by bringing the warmth up in the foreground, I also made the sky look a little bit yellow. I can bring a little bit of blue back in there. I don't wanna go too far with it, but just a little tint of blue back into the photo. And then the other cool part, this is probably one of my favorite ones, is just as if we used one of these filters in the field, when we hold it over, whatever that line is over gets dark. That was always something we had to deal with in the field. Now one of the tricks I was always taught is you hold it over and you move it up and down during the exposure. But if it's a fast exposure, doing, you know, if it's 1/60th of a second, doing that's not gonna help it. But that would help ease that transition a little bit. Imagine what we have here. If I were to use a slider to open this up, what it would be. The shadow slider. Well, I have a shadow slider with a grad filter. See that? So look at the difference. Now I'm able to bring the detail back out of those trees. It's not gonna do anything to the sky because the sky is not a shadow. So it's not gonna see that, it's gonna affect it. It's just gonna affect the area in the trees here. Just like that. Okay? So as we go through here, that's probably about all I would do. There's not too much more to do to the sky here, so we'll close that up. And then as we scroll down here, just to kinda round out the workflow, come here to the detail panel and we'll add a little bit of sharpening. You gotta be zoomed into 100%, so I'm gonna zoom into 100% on the photo here. I wish I could give you some long elaborate formula for sharpening, but if you're watching this class that means that you like to shoot landscape and outdoor photos, and that means that you're lucky when it comes to sharpening, because you don't really have to worry too much about what's going on there. Just crank it up until it looks sharp. There's not really much of a formula for it. With people and with a lot of different areas of photography, event photography you're gonna deal with noise and movement and all these different things, but with landscape photography chances are you're on a tripod, so you're not gonna have to deal too much with movement. And you're not gonna have to deal too much with noise. We're gonna talk a little bit about that stuff later. You don't have to deal too much with that stuff. You're essentially gonna crank up the amount slider until the photo no longer looks good. And your landscape photos will hold a lot of sharpening 'cause there's a lot of detail there. So if I could give you any bit of advice, it's don't overthink the sharpening part too much. It's a crucial step because it's really gonna help your photos stand out, but at the same time there's not much wrong you can do. The only wrong that you could do, and I get people that ask a lot, like, how do I know how much is too much? If the photo goes from being that to that, that's too much. (audience chuckles) If the photo looks crunchy, if it starts to glow around the edges around it, that's too much. I can't tell you what too much is gonna be, because it's gonna be different on every single photo. The best I can do is tell you what to look for, and that is when it's crunchy, starts to glow, back off. You can get yourself out of trouble in here if you keep your radius right around 1.4. You won't get yourself into too much trouble with amount, even if you crank it up. The detail's where you'll really start to get into trouble, because if you crank that up way too much it starts to get all textured and crunchy there. We're gonna back off, so somewhere around 40, as a max on the detail is gonna be that. So have at it with the amount setting. You can crank that up. The radius setting, just leave it like 1.4, 1.5. And then your detail slider, don't really go much above 40, 50. Alright, last thing that I'm gonna do here is go down here to the effects panel and just about every landscape photo gets a vignette. So I just add a little bit of a vignette here. Just kinda darkens the edges. Tames everything a little bit. I didn't do any cropping. I'm probably gonna go to my crop tool and take my straighten tool and just drag along that shoreline. It's looking a little bit, not too much, but it's just looking a little bit off. Landscape photos can be hard sometimes with that because if you don't have a horizon line, then it starts to get a little bit tricky. What do you straighten off of, because that shoreline could actually be fading away from you. So a lot of times, I will go and I will straighten based on that shoreline. If that shoreline is fading away from me and it makes the photo actually look more crooked, the other little trick you can do is I'll fake it here. Let's say this is what the photo looked like and I didn't have anything to straighten it off of. A little trick is if you take the straighten tool and you drag vertically along something, it'll straighten your photo based on that. So trees are usually a good thing. If you're shooting super wide angle and the trees are going inward, you've got some other work to do, but that's usually a good rule of thumb there. If you can't find something horizontal to straighten off of, then grab your straighten tool and try to find something vertical and just drag straight up and down there. Okay, so let's take a look and backslash key, remember that shows us our before, and backslash key shows us after. Before. After. I know I took 10 or 15 minutes just to explain the settings to you. We're gonna start to move a little quicker. I'm gonna do whites and blacks as we go through during the day, and I'm not gonna explain it every single time, but 10 or 15 minutes as I explain things, but hopefully you guys see it's not like I pulled out every trick in the bag for that. I mean, we used the basic panel, we used the graduated filter, sharpen, and vignette. All inside of Lightroom. If you think there's a complicated workflow, there's other things that we can do later on when we come into certain situations, but I'm gonna tell you that probably the big bulk of your photos can all benefit from just some of these basic changes. This is always gonna be where I start. I'm gonna try to get as much as I can done right here with all these different settings, too. Okay. Questions. She's like, yes, I got one. Yeah, back there. Hi Matt, I have two questions. I feel like I have to stand up, you stood up. Oh well, I know. You don't have to if you don't want to. I'm comfortable either way. One question is, why do you do the vignette on each of the landscapes that you do? And the other one is, what is that really neat trick that you just did with the straightening thing? 'Cause I don't know about that. Okay, so two questions. Why do I do the vignette? The vignette's funny because if you think about it, that's always been known as a problem, right? It's a lens problem. Lens corrections actually fix that stuff. To me it's part of a style. To me I want people to focus in. Generally there's not a whole lot going on. Just in my personal style there's not a whole lot going on in the edges of the photo, and the vignette naturally helps people settle in toward where I want them to look in the photo. You'll see later on as we go through different examples sometimes that point where I want them to look at in the photo is in a different spot, and there's some things that we can do. In fact, that's a good question, 'cause let me show ya. Let's say I pull back on the vignette. I've got this whole workflow panel of presets that I'll almost use as a way to just run me through my photo and it will give me a lot of different options. But one of the sections that I have in it are vignettes. So rather than go and manually add the vignette every single time, I wanna show you guys how to do it, 'cause I kinda feel it's important before you create a preset for it. But I have a vignette that does a light, it does a medium vignette, it does a strong vignette, and then what I created is some of the radial filters. And so what I'll do is if my focal point is in a different part in the photo, I can focus in the top left, the top right, the bottom left, or the bottom right. Not for this photo, but it's gonna happen to us at some point today where the focal point's not gonna be in the center of the photo. I use a lot of my presets for that if it doesn't happen, but it is a style thing. It's definitely more just my personal style for the photo. And then the other question was... Was, was, was, was... Oh, the straightening thing. I went to my crop tool and there is the little straighten tool. The way the straighten tool works is you're supposed to click it on something that is horizontal and drag it across and it'll straighten for you. If you can't find anything that's perfectly horizontal, then that's why I explained try something that's vertical. Works great at the beach, anything, find a horizon, 'cause I can guarantee you, none of my horizons will ever ever be straight. Do you guys ever have one of those little bubbles on your camera? Do you know how many I've broke? (audience laughs) 'Cause they're not cheap. They're just expensive enough that it hurts. I don't know, they're, what, $5, $6, $7? Something like that. They're just expensive enough that it hurts. I put it on the top of my camera and then I put my camera in a bag and I just hear crack. I'm like... So I just stopped using 'em. I just eyeball it and I'm usually wrong. Okay. Alright, so let's take a look at another photo here. Gonna switch gears more to... A little sunset probably about 20 minutes from my house. This is really when you start to see some of the creative things that we can do, but it's gonna be the same settings. So what did I say before? Exposure, really difficult. I can't crank it up, can't crank it down. I know there's detail in both spots. So what I'll do here is I'll switch over to the highlights. I can tame that. Open up the shadows. Still lots of shadow detail there. Blacks and whites, Option or Alt click. Like so. To me, a big part of this is color temperature. It had a much different feeling when I was there. This was a little bit after the sunset, twilight, the blue hour. It took on a very, very blue tone to it. So I'm definitely gonna go toward the blue side, and then even tweak that toward the magenta side a little bit. That's more of it what it felt like to me. Clarity, we can add a little bit. We don't have to worry too much. There's not that many details in here. And then saturation'll just kind of boost the colors for us. Let's go through here. I've got that done. Let's come down. I just said that I never have a straight photo, and I think I might have succeeded. Let's try it. Yeah, it's just a hair off, but every once in a while I get lucky. We got our cropping done. I might even grab the crop tool here and to me this is nothing great going on here, so I might crop some of that out. Kinda just pull that in a little bit more. Let's see here, bring down the overall exposure. Open up the shadows a little bit more. Personally I'd like to see more of the foreground. One of the things that you could do is you've got these tools up here. See, I've maxed out my shadow slider over here, so if you max that out, then there's nothing saying you can't go and paint some more on. If you go to the brush tool over here, you could increase the exposure, which is gonna make everything really, really bright. I don't think that's what I wanna do, but I can open up the shadows a little bit. I might even have to go with the exposure. Yeah, I think I got the shadows as much as they're gonna go. So I can bring that up just a hair. The same thing goes with what I said before. I'm a big preset guy, so I create presets of all this stuff and it just makes it really easy for me as I'm looking through it. I have one called Brighter Foreground, which does exactly that. Here let me delete. As I paint, it brightens the foreground. Anybody, do you guys create presets? Ever make your own? What I do is I put my style on 'em. I like things warm, so when I make something brighter I also add a little bit of warmth to it. Rather than just make it brighter I might as well take care of two things at the same time. We got that taken care of. We got our cropping, we have our overall color. Let's go down here to detail. Really the foreground is gonna be the bulk of all the detail here. Again, I just crank up my sharpening, radius, detail. I'm not gonna even go that much higher. I think we're plenty sharp. I'll go back, look at the boat. Yeah, that's fine. We're plenty sharp on everything, and then we'll go down here to effects, add a little bit of a vignette. You notice I always kind of feather it out a little bit? That's why as you start to create these things you can tweak your own, but it makes it a little bit easier. Light, medium, strong, not too strong. There we go. Alright. Let's take a look. Before. After. Before. After. Alright. I'm not gonna lie. Sometimes I'll develop a photo. I wish I could say I didn't. Sometimes I'll develop a photo and I'll take it a direction and I'll be like, I'm not sure if I like that. There might be times where I'll come back here and I think, maybe I did brighten the foreground a little bit too much. I kinda like it a little bit darker. You can go in there and you can bring those things down. It's gonna happen. To me I think it's kind of a process. Good. Alright, so that's another example of just our basic stuff. Let's go through one more before we switch gears, and we'll take a look at super crazy contrasty beach scene. Let me reset the photo. There's a ton of contrast going in here. I'm shooting into the sun, so right there, that's gonna make your post-processing much more difficult. What I said in the beginning of the class, which is, there's no way what we see is what our camera sees. Our camera cannot capture all that stuff. It's our job to make this scene look like it did when we were there. When I was there... I know that the sky was much darker, so I could definitely see all the detail in the sky. I could see the colors in the sky. But I can't really do much with my exposure, so what we'll do now is I'll go to shadows. I'll bring the exposure back up, actually. And I'll open up those shadows. And then I'll take my highlights down and you can see I contained that a little bit more. This is a good example because this touches on, I've got a list of things later on that we're gonna cover after one of the segments where, just from running into people, that I see people stress over a lot. One of those things that we stress over is the sun and making the sun not white. Well, the sun is white, so it's okay. But what you do have to be careful with is when you bring your highlights down, see how it kinda makes the sun look a little artificial? Especially around the edges there? So in this type of a photo, you gotta be careful with it. When it comes to shooting into the sun, we wanna try not to really do too much to all of our highlight settings. Our shadow settings are gonna be the bulk of what we're gonna do. On our highlight settings we're gonna take care of that with one of the filters, so we're not gonna worry too much about that. A lot of this is gonna be about color, too. I want a warmer feel. There's a lot of warmth going on on the rocks on the side here, so I wanna definitely make sure I get that warmer feel onto the photo. We'll do our whites and blacks. We're gonna get a white point pretty quick. It's called the sun. And we'll get a black point pretty quick, too, 'cause there's a lot of detail back here. Okay, we can go to our crop tool and we can take our straighten tool. I'll take this moment to introduce another handy little thing, which is under your lens corrections panel, there's something called a profile, a lens profile. When you attach your lens to your camera you take a photo, you import it into Lightroom, it's got profiles for all that stuff. It's built it all. If you enable this checkbox, you'll see it tweaks a little bit of some of that distortion and it also removes some of that vignetting here. We're just gonna add it back later. But that's one of the checkboxes, especially as you start shooting wider, that you'll wanna make sure that you hit. The other one is down here under Upright, it'll analyze your photo and it'll look for straight lines and it'll automatically fix things for you. You can always go over here and just click Auto and give it a try. I'm not sure if that's straight, but let's see. Is it me, or does it look crooked? It's me? Okay. He's like, yeah, it's you. Let's see. Yeah, I guess it did. I should trust the computer, it's a lot better than me. Here, that's off and that's on. And it's got some different versions over here. It's got level, it's got vertical, which I can't imagine would work here. It's got full, which apparently those don't have any code behind them and actually don't do anything. So we'll just click back on Auto, and in fact, none of them do anything except Auto. Come on, guys, do you work? Okay. Just one. You know what? I'm determined. I've gotta see if they work. Level, there we go. There is code behind them, okay. I take it back, they actually work. Alright, but that's a neat little trick to straighten your horizon lines, because that way you don't have to go grab the thing and you can just let Lightroom do it for you. The other thing, too, is we've got lens corrections over here where we can start to tweak some vertical and horizontal distortion, everything. But what's cool about the Upright technology is that it analyzes the photo in a different way. When you get over to some of those advanced, you think they're advanced, they should be more powerful. But honestly, when you get to those it's like, it's push and pull, right? You straighten one thing, you make something else crooked. Where this looks at a bunch of different parts of the photo and straightens it for you. Alright, so what are we going to do here? We've got to do something with the sky. The sky is a little bit too dark. You got my graduated filter I showed you before. Honestly, what I'll usually do is I've just kinda run through some presets. One Stop Hard, One Stop Soft. I usually use the soft one. I can just run through a couple of 'em and just see. I'm probably gonna go to the one stop. The other thing is I've got some other ones like Blue Sky. See, it makes it bluer. Sunglow kinda puts some sunshine, which is actually not, kinda looks, it looks cool, it's just I know it was much more blue. And that's too contrasty. That's why it's called Super Cloud Contrast. Alright, so I'm gonna stick with a grad filter here. And then what I'll do here is you'll notice the settings that I gave to that grad filter automatically, it's not just a grad filter. I actually make sure that I open up the shadows whenever I add one of those, so that way I don't have to tweak all those sliders every time. And I might just add a little bit of blue back into it here. Close that up and we'll go down to our effects. Add a little bit of a vignette. I think overall I might just tweak the exposure. Just a little bit brighter, okay? Let's take a look here. Backslash key. Before. After. Before. After. So a lot of stuff that we can do with that. You run into, and we've probably all either done it or run into somebody, a very purist that will look at those shadows and say, oh, there's no way that your camera captured those shadows. I know my camera didn't capture those shadows, but I can tell you when I was there, I could see all that stuff. The sun's out. The sun's out, the sun's shining on it. I could see all that stuff in there, so to me it's important to bring it out, because I wanna bring out what I saw and sometimes I wanna bring it out and I wanna make it look better than what I saw. I kinda wanna enhance it a little bit. Alright, so that kinda wraps up our basics, just running through, just going through the basic stuff inside of Lightroom. Any questions out there? When you had the brush panel open, I saw you access your presets from that panel. Is that correct? Yeah. What you do is, and I think everybody can hear the question, but it's in the brush panel that you can access presets. Lightroom actually has a bunch of presets that it comes with. If you look you can see it's got all these presets up here and it's got Iris Enhance, Soften Skin, Teeth Whitening, but doesn't have any landscape presets. What I usually do is if I always find I'm always brushing something brighter and a little bit of warmth, what I'll do is I'll set those settings there and then if you go all the way down to the bottom you can save it as a preset. And then it'll show up in the list here. I put numbers in front of mine, for one, they start at the top if you put a number in front of them, and then the other thing is is it kinda, I always know, oh, I use number five a lot. So rather than searching for the list, I always know my favorite ones. You'll start to remember the numbers after a while. Have a question about diffraction and banding in the skies when you shoot around F16. How do you handle that, especially when it shows even more when you convert to a JPEG? Alright, so diffraction and banding. There's two different things in there. Diffraction is more the quality of the lens. You shoot a wide angle lens, and as it gets out toward the edges, I can probably find a photo that you'll see it in. But as it gets out toward the edges, you'll start to see just a little bit of degradation or blur. Is it really that blurry? Wow. That's a good photo. Anyway, the idea is you'll start to see a little bit of degradation as it starts, there we go, as it starts to get out there. There's not too much you can do with it. What I would say is, let me see if I can find, you know what a good example would be, because the only thing that I would worry about would be like let's go back to the photo that we edited earlier. If you really zoom in, and by the way, if you're asking about diffraction you're a pixel peeper. That's the only way you'll see this stuff, is you zoom in. But you'll start to see a little bit of degradation. You see the color fringing around there? About the best that you can do is you can go to your lens corrections and there's a little checkbox here called Remove Chromatic Aberration thingy. Doesn't have thingy on here, but Remove Chromatic Aberration. And you see how it gets rid of that little fringe? That's about the closest related thing to diffraction, anything that you can fix here inside of Lightroom. But what I would say is honestly, the photographer's gonna be the only person that sees it. When you put that print on the wall, nobody's gonna look that close at it. And if they do, they're another photographer. And you're never gonna please them because they're always gonna look at it and say, I could have done that. That's not so hard. And then the banding in the sky, that's a tough one. I don't know if you've ever seen any banding in the sky, but it's like a stepped type of a gradient in the sky. It rears its head every so often. The worst is when it rears its head during a print. On the computer screen you won't see it too much, but the only trick is really just blur it a little bit. But if there's clouds and things like that, then that gets tricky. What I can tell you is that, and to the person that asked, is when you print, when the ink settles and hits the paper, it does tend to spread out a little bit so sometimes you won't see that banding as much. But a blur is really the only way I know how to get rid of that one. Awesome, and you wanna take one more? Sure. On the internet? So Chris has a question: I find lowering my exposure on grad filters sometimes ends up muddy. Do you find yourself using a combination of contrast, clarity, and saturation to do the same principle, but without the muddiness? Yes, I agree, it does end up muddy. Which in the photo that we're looking at right now is almost exactly what happened. You could always boost the saturation. If you have clouds in the sky, which I didn't in this one, you could boost the contrast, but what I'll usually do is I'll actually manually go in there and tweak the temperature. Because muddy usually means yellowish, and if you tweak that temperature toward the blue a little bit, that way get a little bit back in there.

Class Description

Outdoor photography is about capturing the feeling you have when you are actually out in nature. Learn how to make photos that reflect the beauty and mood of the landscape you see with your naked eye in Photoshop and Lightroom for Landscape Photographers with Matt Kloskowski.

In this class, Matt will show you his personal workflow for enhancing outdoor images, so they reflect the world as it truly looks and feels. 

You'll learn how to: 

  • Create the best looking skies you've ever seen
  • Manage the entire landscape workflow – from start to finish
  • Implement the "go-to" adjustments Matt uses on every photo

Matt will even offer insights on preparing and printing the final image. You’ll learn the latest techniques for giving photographs of beautiful places the same color, atmosphere, detail, and feeling they had when you took the photo.

Whether it's images of the sun, water, snow, trees, or that magical light that you are always looking for, Photoshop and Lightroom for Landscape Photographers with Matt Kloskowski will help you bring your landscape photographs to life. 

This course is part of the Lightroom tutorials series

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015, Adobe Lightroom CC 2015

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lightroom Presets

CreativeLive Sky Pack

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Barry Walsh

Great class Matt! I am about two-thirds the way through the class and have learned a lot about Lightroom and the objective of this course. I must admit I was over-whelmed by the amount of material covered and that was probably due to not having prior knowledge about Lightroom. I have since signed up for the 7 day trial of Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan and then went through their "beginner's" tutorial. If you are contemplating taking this course, I would highly recommend taking the Adobe Lightroom tutorials first. They cleared up a lot of confusion on my part and I now have a better understanding of the concepts Matt covered. I'm actually going to go back and retake what I viewed to help reinforce both what Matt initially covered and the basic concepts tutorials offered by Adobe. Again, great job Matt and thanks for all the useful information!

a Creativelive Student

Matt is the best and he his the same in person. I had the fortunate opportunity to run into Matt on the side of the road at Dallas Divide in Colorado a couple of years ago.... he is the real deal. I have learned almost all my LR post processing from him when he was with Kelby and have continued to follow him over to On1 as he is the best teacher out there when it comes to Post. Great class and bring him back again. Another great CL class ....... bravo!........ Johnny Boyd @