Photoshop and Lightroom for Landscape Photographers

 

Photoshop and Lightroom for Landscape Photographers

 

Lesson Info

Replacing the Sky in Landscape Photography

Are you ready to replace the sky right now? Everybody has to raise their right hand and become part of the be part of the it's like it's, like a religious debate when it comes to replacing it. So I need to know this up front is anybody like anybody opposed and that's okay, because there's a lot of people that won't do it. Does anybody opposed to replacing this guy? You're right, you're not going to do it. Not going. Teo went out. You want? Just like. So let me ask you this you won't replace. Oh, yeah, I'm just, uh, a lot of a lot. I was running to something. It won't. What if there was a coca cola? Can you're taking a picture of a beach and there's a coca cola can on the beach and you didn't see it ahead of time? Will you remove that? I can have a long philosophical answer. The truth of the matter is I've never used a photo shop before, so this is brand new to make, so I never knew how to do it, okay, even though I might have said, wow, that would look great if you know something, so I...

've never known how to do it so it's kind of oh so you're not like not like super morally opposed to it no no I'm gonna watch and then I'll make a decision afterwards I've never done it before I just want to know if it looks real or not exactly all right so what? Okay hold on I almost feel like just as I come across these photos another thing you can say I should have said this before when you paint on your clouds um you can paint inside the clouds and you can kind of you ever see clouds that glow so what I'll do a lot of time is all used may I got the present but it's just it's contrast highlights shadows and clarity and rather than paint all around him just paint inside of the clouds and it really gives it a little bit kind gives him a three d type of a quality to it like bright shiny object sorry okay back to replacing skies so the first the first the first thing I could tell you about replacing the sky is you've got to find the right image for this isn't the kind of thing that you can take a picture and not like the photo and say I'll replace the sky one out of every probably one out of every ten images that I go to replace this guy on does it actually really work and so in some ways you know I'm with you like I don't want to do it, I'm actually never really happy when I do it, but I will do it, but I'm not really happy when I do I'd love to go. I actually would prefer to go back and reshoot the scene in hopes of getting a better a better sky rather than replace it because it really is it's so touchy. So what I can tell you is that, like, take a photo like this, there's no way that I could take and I've got it, I've got an entire I've got a whole folder of clouds here, I'll show you want to pull up a couple of them. There is no way I'm going to take that those clouds and put him into that photo and make it look realistic and you're laughing, but I've gotten questions like this before, I mean, they're you know, they're some if you don't see the light sometimes it's you think, oh god, yeah, I can replace it, but there's, no way I'm going to take that photo there's no way I'm going to take that photo and put it in there no way I'm going to take any of these photos and put him in there yeah, no, maybe maybe some of the blue sky ones would but this is it's still be it'd be too noticeable. So you've got to find the right photo for first so things that I look for when I want to replace the sky um, here's a good a good example let's go and actually open up open this one up in photo shop take off the sky so so here I am at a place which I got to tell you this is ah, off the big sur coast I have to tell you I was this ecstatic to see it because I've been there so many times and every time I light it was foggy like I couldn't see my hand in front of my face so I was just I've literally been t this place like five times never saw so I was just happy to be there and see it but of course it's like, you know, I've got the opposite all right, I got it. I got clear, clear sky right at sunset so to me, this opened up the possibility to replace the sky. So as I, as I decided I want to replace the sky I started looking through. I have I have a cloud library and I started looking through my cloud library, but what I do is I literally just walked around whenever I'm out shooting whenever home driving around my camera's in my car if I see cool clouds, I just stopped when I look up and I take a picture so that's how I build a cloud library um but you know, I'm looking through the cloud library I'm looking to find you clouds that I think would work I came across this one what struck me about this one wass the the sun was clearly going down over here, and then the warmth fades as it goes away, and as I looked at that cloud, the cloud texture, the sun's going over here and that warmth faith as it goes away, so thinking right, I might be able to make this work so let's make it work, we're going to go ahead, we opened up our our foreground photo let's go ahead and open up our cloud photo and photoshopped I could I could have selected both of them and got in there, I just, I'd say they'll save the layered photo before, so I'm gonna go ahead and copy and then paste all right free transformed just a hair just to get it teo to cover it. By the way, if you don't know, free, transform, edit, go down to free transform I just use the keyboard short kid, cut a lot, commander control t so just extend it so fits the whole canvas there so now I got my cloud over there the biggest part about this aside from finding the right cloud to put over it's going to be the selection every once in a while you have a really simple selection it won't be any problem I'm just going to take you right to the harder selection which is going to be trees and anything that's what I'd be like that so let's go ahead and take our quick selection tool and we're just gonna paint right along anybody seen raise your hand if you've seen refine edge so about half of you the other half of you be prepared for to be blown away it's literally the coolest selection technology and photoshopped with literally the worst name possible because you never think like this is the hair and tree selection tool and it's exactly what it is so on a click refine edge and we'll zoom in over here on the left hand side so this is our original all right well it's got a radius which basically tells it start to go outside the line and figure out the edge I mean it's essentially what's to refine the start to go outside of that line how far do you want to go out? I just start cranking it up so just by moving a slider that's before that's after we show you the black and white view that's before that's after pretty crazy we're going to detail now the problem is as the slider doesn't give us a whole lot of control it's it's not really letting us finesse it at all because it's going to it's going to apply that radius to the whole selection wherever it wass I don't necessarily want to do it you see the fade that fade down here I don't necessarily want to do that because I know that's going to be a fairly hard line, so what I'm going to do is pull back on the radius about four five pixels and there's a brush over here this brushes the refined radius brush so all I have to do is just paint as done so that's four that's after not too bad uh we can tweak a couple of the settings here I might go pull my radius back a little bit more to so it doesn't fade out too much smoothing is is going to actually smooth those edges and we don't want that we don't want it we've got a lot of detail there, we don't want to smooth it feather is going to make the ed softer again we had a lot of detail there we don't necessarily want to make it softer contrast some kind of firm up the edges a little bit and then shift edge shifts everything remember when we did expanded the selection on the panorama you got a selection here they're going to shift the edge out we're going to shift the edge in so we can experiment with that little because I do see a couple little couple little black areas there we'll give that a try alright so when we're done output to selection so I saved this quick okay it saved it as a selection so now I have a layer on the top well before remember we were adding a layer mask and we paint on it with black and white if I have a selection active and I add a layer mass to a photo what it does is it automatically keeps that area and hides everything else around it's like we painted it with black so watch what happens when I click layer mask see it kept what was selected and hit everything so I don't know about you but I mean I think that's pretty dead on right now are you convinced yeah I'd never know it was changed so so here's here's where the other fine art of of replacing skies comes from and it's it's kind of in a way having the vision to see what what you would do because I knew that this wasn't gonna be the sky that I replaced I knew that this was what I was looking for so I have that that that layer it's connected to the layer mask if I go to transform it go to free transform see what happens peels it off that's because the layer mask is following it around it's because there's a little link icon says layer mask follow layer so what I'll do is I'll turn that link icon off and now I'm going here and I can free transform I can move this around so now I expanded out a little bit like so I can even make a little bit bigger try to get a little bit more of that warmth carlos I want to go to the blue too much so now we're working with something it's on a layer so I can reduce the opacity okay would I love it to get everything up full of passage e with color and everything like that I would but it's not gonna happen it's not gonna work so I'll take anything I can get up there so I'll reduce the opacity a little bit it brings back some of the the warmth that was underneath there but right raise it up a little bit more so that's ah that's a little bit about replacing your sky it really is it's goingto work on very, very you know, if I get one out of ten photos where it works on great it's not going to work all the time you're never going to your also never going to take a photo on you know I'm never gonna take that photo and make it work with that's guy you know that's not gonna work not gonna work with that guy or that one so you really have to find it's more of an art of finding the right the right admits to work with uh had one more I want to try let's go go to I actually found when I was getting my files last night I found this one didn't really could my disclaimer is I was tired but and it was late but I didn't really quick and it looked kind of cool, so we're going to try it on and it will be a much easier selection because we don't have all the trees and everything I'm gonna go and I'm going to develop this photo pry open up the exposure a little bit, get some shadows in there whites and blacks it's pretty I mean this is the raw photo it's got some decent color saturation already, so I'm not really couldn't mess with it any more I think it looks good maybe a little bit of clarity ok, so let's open this one in photo shop I'm gonna go to my cloud library and look at our look at our sky right? So anyone jumping out at you thinking that one what grabbed this one for me was the sun was obviously over here you can see the war coming from that side and there was obviously the son was over here you can see it's casting light over on that side there so that's kind of what grabbed me about this one so we're going to give it a try again I could have really just been tired so I'll copy that layer go over teo my other image I'll paste it in free transform make a little bit bigger and then let's just do our select should again it should be pretty pretty painless for this one it did select that area in the foreground or the background over here so option all clicked puts it into minus mode and get rid of that now we go turn on our top layer remember wei have a selection active we hit the layer mask icon it keeps the selection keeps what's inside of it so it kept everything inside the selection and then from there from there you could do one of two things if you pasted it over a blue bear sky like I did you could do what we did before and reduce the opacity alright if you pasted it over another sky that maybe that look is good if you reduce the opacity you're gonna start bringing in clouds and stuff from the other sky so what I do then is commander control l for layer are for levels and then what will usually do is kind of tweak tweak that middle slider a little bit and it will start to fade that okay, so might reduce the opacity but close I could write try I could play with that won enough that that one would work again and much easier selection to do so I put I know, I know you mentioned the way we should probably mention it. Now I put five of those into five of my my top clouds and into a little preset zip files. So part of the bonus things exactly I wanted you to talk a little bit about, so if you so if you get the course in addition of the presets you do get but there's five in there, he said, so yet five clawed background so you can play around with that on your own shots. And I think ana, if you like home, get those first because they come with the class, but if you like him, I've a packard like fifteen of them on my website for for not mac a photo for like nine bucks, so you can do it so let's, really good I have to say on it doesn't take very much to dio, but I sort of do like the idea of just going back another day s o my internal compass says, I just every time I go out and I shoot this spectacular once in a lifetime the moment that I want to go back and make it twice in a lifetime yeah and then go back every year I don't blame him I I'll do mike sky replacements but at the same time I really feel better if I get to go back and reshoot it and get this out and people make fun of me because I'll keep going back like I went to abandon beach which is the south southern oregon with a friend of mine and the first day was blah the second day was blossom set you're clear skies third and I kept going back to the same beach and like do we've already shot this beach like five times like I want this shot it's like replaced this guy already so uh any questions? Thoughts, anything? What do we got? Anybody on the radio cool? Yeah. So photo girl wants to know what camera calibration color profile and light room should a landscape photographer use given your presets uh what camera calibration profile like adobe cameras? Yeah, so? So the nuts and bolts behind what she's saying is if you go to the camera calibration panel you've got all these all these calibration they're only going to work with raw and dmg photos so that's the first thing to remember they're only gonna work with rhonda angie photos I choose the generally choose the camera landscape ones but I put him into I put them into the workflow preset pack so when I get teo you can see that it's actually the very first step so nikon camera landscape sometimes nikon vivid uh or canon camera landscape but the landscape cannon can only has landscape it doesn't have the same vivid one nikon sometimes will switch between landscape and vivid so there's other ones I just don't use them for landscapes that's why didn't put him inside of there okay, so going back teo minimizing haz mat wants to know if you'd ever use a uv filter minimizes I have used uv filters and they they've never done anything significant teo to minimize the haze for me so and what happens is then is you have that uv filter on? I'm generally using a polarizer polarizer will also help, by the way, but I'm generally using a polarizer mohr so now you're stacking a polarizer on top of a uv filter and then if you're doing a long exposure now you're stacking and andy filter on top of there and to me the less filters have to stack on top of each other the better uh, mindo wants to know do you ever how do you fix a polarized image when you don't have a second image? How do you fix a polarized image when you don't have a second image uh one of the things you could do sure, I mean it's it's a pretty quick example. One of the things you could do is open up your photo um, make a selection of the sky okay at a new layer and then what you do is take your eye dropper tool sample from the top and what that does is that grabs a sample of that color, all right? And then what we want to do is is that that sets the sample to the foreground color. What we want to do is is we want to sample another color from the for the background so I could I could swap these and then then you kind of click down here and that with sample the other color. Another quick, easy thing to do is if you just hold down your option or all key when you click, it sets the background color to that so sample here sets the foreground color optional click just so you can see here I'll click down here see that sets the background color so click wants to set the foreground click again to set the background. In fact, maybe I'll try over here foreground are foreground and the background and then we take our greedy in tool and we do the foreground to background grady in I have a selection I have a new layer waiting for, so I just click and drag so you just you have to play with the color's a little bit I'm not I don't know them totally crazy about that one remember that little trick before why went into levels levels is a great little tool when you just want to make subtle adjustments to something uh commander control l and you could go into levels and uh I could make it brighter I got the grating and that's the key if you just fill it with blue it's not gonna look right so I could go in here and can't tweak that and try to get what I was looking for a way to do that again that was that wasn't planned so I will do it again okay remember the question was if you didn't take two photos and this is what you have how do you fix it same kind of steps is before right we make a quick selection of the area that we want to fix I'm gonna make a new layer toe hold that selection so now I can adjust it independent of everything else I want to sample colors I could sample from this photo I could open up another photo could do whatever but want to sample colors so I click once that samples to my foreground option click that samples to my background I get two different blues here go to the gratitude to the grady in tool the very first greedy in't there is foreground background so what happens is I just click and drag just added ingredient chances are you're not going to nail the colors right off the bat so commander control l and then I can adjust it and try toe try to get it to look right so you grab the great into and just brought it down if you were to go from left to right or right to left across the horizon that was great okay, so that's exactly what I mean and then there you see that I mean come on you see that out in the desert all the time don't you looks like a led zeppelin album cover get loathe how do you deal with an overcast sky ugly but you're stuck with it I've taken pictures that like blown out but it's just uh blah white overcast sky do you have a preset for that? Ah white over cat so yeah so not a lot of definition of the clouds I think just sort of like um I have something that'll work for I think the biggest thing is let me find a photo let me see if I can find something that would uh would help them it's a tough one I don't know if I have uh this isn't I mean this is by no means white overcast blah but it's still it's still hazy and kind I mean it's not great so I'll show it on this, but one of the one of the things is if you go teo, I'll show you that I'll show you the preset in then I'll just show you how I made it as I have one blue sky so blue sky light blue sky strong okay, so it adds a lot of blue in there uh what I did is I created a graduated filter I moved the temperature over to blue in this case I wanted to darken the sky so they would just have to figure out they want to darken our late in the sky but even if they don't, they don't have to include that as part of the pre set and then and then opened up the shadows a little bit in case there was any definition in the clouds and then see down here under color if you click on that, you can actually specify a color to go inside of there too, so I'm getting a little bit of blue tent, but I'm also I'm also able to kind of mix in a little bit of a color tent with it so there's some preset here usually just start with that one and just drag it down a little bit so I mean, you know it's not a total white sky like they're talking about but that will add a little bit of blue back into it so it's paul h has a question. Do you ever use a color, check her passport to get your colors in the ballpark? Never often thousands. If you were, I know what they are. They're they're those few ever seen in there cards with a lot of different colors on them. I think if you're working in a highly, highly color managed workflow, where I'm the photographer, and I'm working with a designer who was working with a layout person, who's, working with a printer, I think they're a little bit more important in that work flow, because you want to make sure everybody's dead on. But the problem is, I'm the photographer. I'm going to send it to the lab, the lab's not using the color check. Yeah, there's really no reason to do it for just me.

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