Improve your landscape photos in Adobe Lightroom

by Jeremy Gray

posted Sunday, April 3, 2022 5:00 PM EDT

For most digital photographers, capturing a beautiful landscape image is only part of the overall photographic process. After going out in the field and grabbing your image, it’s time to open your RAW files in your favorite photo editor and bring your creative vision to life. Photographer by Nigel Danson the latest video should prove very helpful in improving your photography after the initial shot is captured. In the video below, Danson edits photos with Adobe Lightroom Classic, one of the most popular photo editing applications. Danson discusses brightness, wide-angle lens distortion correction, and more. It also opens Photoshop to make specialized edits. Unlike many of Danson’s other editing videos, he edits photos that viewers have submitted rather than his own footage.

Let’s start with the brightness. The first image Danson works on is very dark because the photographer, Tom Poundall, needed to shield the sky highlights at the expense of exposing the rest of the scene. Luckily, if you shoot in RAW, you can recover a lot of shadow detail in Lightroom. Almost all modern digital cameras offer impressive dynamic range and allow you to extract plenty of detail in shadows and highlights. Danson starts by balancing the image by reducing its overall contrast and bringing out some shadow detail. Lightroom Classic has many different masking tools, such as a brush, luminosity masks, and gradients, that allow you to make precise and selective edits to specific parts of a photo. You can use these tools to bring out shadow detail and brighten the image without increasing the highlights. Poundall’s image looked really good straight from the camera, and with careful selective editing, the brilliant composition is accentuated nicely.

The second photo is from Cliff Sun. It’s a beautiful wide-angle landscape image that just needs a bit of editing with distortion. Even high quality wide angle lenses may require lens corrections when mounting. Many lenses have corresponding built-in lens correction profiles in Lightroom and Photoshop. If these profiles don’t exist or don’t work, there are also manual correction tools you can use to fix the distortion quickly and easily. Danson takes it a step further in Adobe Photoshop to make additional corrections using the warp tool. It’s a useful tool, but it requires a subtle touch.

To see the rest of the footage featured, watch the full video above. Danson discusses compositional positioning, paying attention to objects near the edge of the frame, converting images to black and white, showing how a simple crop can dramatically change a photo, and using selective editing techniques to guide the viewer’s eye through the frame.

To see more landscape photography videos from Nigel Danson, subscribe to his Youtube channel. You can see more of his images by visiting his website and the next on instagram.

(Via Nigel Danson)

Recommended reading:

• 7 guiding principles to improve your composition skills • 7 landscape photography tips Nigel Danson wishes he knew from the start • 7 common landscape composition mistakes beginners make and how to avoid them •