Landscape Photography Post-Processing in Lightroom: Start to Finish

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This week, Adobe released Lightroom 5, which adds even more sophisticated editing tools to its repertoire. Photographers who have already been using prior versions of the powerful software for processing their images know that it can help make a drab RAW file into a stunning work of art. See how French photographer Serge Ramelli used Lightroom to process a landscape scene of Venice from start to finish:

Starting with the “before” image below, Ramelli adjusted his photograph using the following Lightroom workflow:

Before:

landscape-photo-lightroom-1

  1. Open up shadows with the Shadows slider.
  2. Bring down highlights.
  3. Add a gradient filter to sky to lower exposure and add yellow and magenta tints.
  4. Set the white and black points (hold down option key while using the sliders).
  5. Adjust the white balance.
  6. Add vibrance and saturation to make the photo pop.
  7. Re-adjust the gradient filter in the sky for color and exposure.
  8. Add a second gradient filter at the top of the frame to add more blue and create a vignette effect.
  9. Boost the saturation using the color controls.
  10. Crop and level the image to improve the composition.
  11. Use spot healing to remove distractions.
  12. Dodge and burn specific elements with the brush tool.
  13. Use the lens correction options to remove chromatic aberration and enable profile correction.
  14. Add a post-crop vignette.
  15. Use the noise reduction tool to reduce graininess.
  16. Add sharpening and use masking to keep the sky soft.
  17. Adjust clarity.
  18. Adjust the image’s contrast.

After:

landscape-photo-lightroom-2

This tutorial demonstrates what a difference a few minutes of adjustment in Lightroom can do to enhance a photograph without the use of any other post-processing software.

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4 Comments

  1. randy says:

    This is not photography. Lol :)

  2. Ray says:

    Sure it is, Randy… Only now you’re using digital tools instead of chemical tools.

  3. Matt says:

    Nice step by step example. Good stuff and great final image.

  4. Hans Solo says:

    Ya, that is good.

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