How to Edit Landscape Photos

In my latest editing post, I talk about editing a cinematic scene. Inspired by the lights in the darker days of winter. Now there is howling wind, rain and solid grey, the time is perfect for looking back at old adventures are re-editing some landscapes. So here is my guide on How to Edit Landscape Photos.

Read more: How to Edit Landscape Photos

Landscape Photography

The most popular form of photography. You’ve seen National Geographic with its amazing photos, now it is your turn!

When we look at a landscape, our eyes travel over it and selectively focus on the elements that we find aesthetic. Our field of vision encompasses a great deal of the scenes, but we have the ability to focus on the details. This is where editing a landscape photo comes in. Highlighting the details captured by the sensor.

The first few steps are the same for cinematic edits. This is a personal preference, of course, so skip these if you don’t want this effect.

Step 1 – Exposure

Exposure. A balanced exposure simply means that your photo isn’t too bright, it’s not too dark, and it is balanced. To correct an image, use the basic sliders of Highlights, shadows, whites and blacks to flatten an image. For example, if the sky is too bright, bring down the highlights. You can also use the Auto button to automatically fix the basics of an image.

At this point, I like to hit the Lens Correction tools to know what I am working with from the start. In Lens Corrections, check the Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration. This will help improve the quality of your photo further and get rid of any discolouration around the edges.

Step 2 – White Balance

The white balance setting of your image will be the basis of the image’s temperature. If you are wanting more of a warm summer’s evening, you will want to have a warmer yellow base. If you are wanting to have the cinematic lights in the rain, go for a cooler, more blue base.

how to edit landscapes, suprise lookout in derwent water Lakes

Step 3 – Tone Curve

Using the tone curve allows you to create a more creative contrast. In landscapes, I like to use the exposure curve as well as the individual colour curves to create interesting dynamic effects.

Step 4 – Hue, Saturation, Luminance (HSL)

The HSL adjustment lets you edit the hue, saturation, and luminance of all the colours in an image. This helps to completely change the look and feel of your image or even add complementary colours – green and red, orange and blue etc.

For landscapes, I want to make the various greens and blues stand out. This again is a personal preference, and you can make any colour you want to stand out. As I use a lot of green in images, I like to raise the luminance of red and magenta to create deeper contrast.

How to edit landscape photos - hardknoot fort uk
Hardknot Fort, UK – Lumix G7

Step 5 – Colour Grading

The colour grading tool in Lightroom offers an advanced way to add certain colour hues to your photos. For the cinematic editing style, this is one of the most important steps in the process. Depending on which types of colours you want your photo to favour, you can quickly add them via the three-colour wheels. These are for the highlights, mid-tones and shadows.

Choose your colour-grading across all three wheels and then pay attention to the balance and blending tools:
The balance slider allows you to control whether the highlight or shadow hue is more dominant in your photo.
The blending slider will dictate how hard of a transition lies between the shadows, mid-tone, and highlight hues.

Step 6 – Details

Time to look at sharpening masks and denoising the image. This step is not 100% necessary, however, if you have an image with a higher ISO, denoising and sharpening slightly will greatly help. As an optional sharpening technique, go to the masking slider and drag it while holding the Alt key. (Option key on Mac). This will give you a preview of your sharpening mask as you tell Lightroom exactly what you want to be sharpened. Everything white will be sharpened, while everything black will not. By increasing the masking slider, you will tell Lightroom to refine the sharpening adjustments to only the dominant edges in your photos. 

Step 8 – Export and Share Your Photos!

There we have it, landscape edits from Lightroom to share! If you enjoyed this post let me know in the comments, or share your work with me!

Skips the steps: How to Edit Landscapes Preset Bundle

Struggling to get the perfect edit of your image? Worried that you are being heavy-handed on the sliders? I was once in that position. This is why I am offering my Landscape preset bundle! I made these with UK/Europe walks in mind. Think countryside, lakes, and mountains.

For more photography posts look here:

I am currently taking bookings for shoots and competitions local to me. Feel free to get in touch for information!


Published by Briony-Molly

Photographer & Designer. Horse Owner, Book Fanatic

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