Lightroom has the power to completely transform your landscape photograph into something far more powerful, something that hits home with viewers, and something that pops off the screen.
By default digital cameras create flatter image files than what you see with your eye. Your eye has the ability to see dimensions like no camera can really capture. Although many try.
What is Dimension?
The definition of dimension is: an aspect or feature of a situation, problem, or thing. When utilizing the word dimension in your photograph, think of the features of specific locations and objects within the frame. As an example, in the photo you will see here, there are multiple layers of dimension to play with. There’s the sky, the water, the rocks, the buildings, the grass, and the shed. Each has its own uniqueness to it, and can and should be treated as such.
Many photographers take their camera’s autofocus (AF) system for granted because it’s very effective in so many situations. However, it’s worth getting to know it a little to help deal with those occasions when it doesn’t do exactly what you want. If nothing else, at least understand what the problem is.
Adobe Camera RAW image editing software makes it incredibly easy to tone images, far easier than in a traditional darkroom, but it’s often a technique that’s applied as an afterthought.
Just as with untoned monochrome images, however, it’s far better to have the end point in mind at the shooting stage.
Helpfully, most cameras have a toning option available within the monochrome Picture Styles, Picture Control or Film Simulation modes and although we’d always recommend shooting raw files for post-capture conversion, it’s well worth investigating these to find the settings that you like, or that most closely approximate the look you want to achieve with the raw files.
*TIP: Check out my FilterSim Lens Filter Simulator actions for toning, getting White Balance, and creating excellent B&W or Color conversions in Photoshop or Elements – or grab them below with no hassles (the download link will automatically be emailed to you once checkout is complete)
Converting color images into black and white is a fun process, especially if you know what you’re doing. But most photographers are shy of getting their hands wet because of the sheer complexity and workload. Hopefully this video by Andrew S. Gibson will clear the air around the process:
When it comes to dodging and burning, everyone has their own technique. Some take a little more time than others, but the results will ultimately be better. Fashion, beauty, and portrait photographer Michael Woloszynowicz shows us four different approaches to dodging and burning in Photoshop and explains when you can use each—and what limitations to expect:
1. Dodging and Burning on a 50% Neutral Grade Layer
Lightroom is all about productivity and workflow, making you a more efficient photographer who works smarter, rather than harder. Here are some of the handiest tools for becoming more efficient with the program and cutting a massive image-editing job down to size.
Neutral density or ND filters have the sole purpose of cutting down the amount of light as a whole. A perfect neutral density filter would transmit all wavelengths of light equally, so there would be no color change. Though not actually perfect, it can be used equally well in both color photography or black and white photography.
We all aim to tell a story through one single image. For many occasions, though, a well-assembled collage is an excellent way to pull the viewer in for a full experience. Consider this method for sharing photos from an event, a real estate shoot, or even a family photo session!
Collages are easy to put together in Photoshop, so let’s walk through the steps. Note that I am working on a Mac with Photoshop CS3, so your system may have slight variations in the key commands needed.
Photo selection is crucial. You want to select a mix of scales that will span the entire event. That means you pick some wide shots that show the entire scene, and some detail photos that show lots of texture and personality. Without one or the other the story will not be complete, and won’t carry the same emotion that it could.
The easiest way to get started with Lightroom’s Book module is to create a simple photo book, letting Lightroom do most of the work for you so you don’t get bogged down in the extensive design process involved in making a more complex book.
Here’s a useful video on five photo retouching tips and tricks. You’ll learn how to fix blown-out details, use the healing and clone tools on a separate layer, reduce haze, paint in a blue sky, and utilize Photoshop actions to use Photoshop in ways you couldn’t before. And you can learn it in less than the 10 minute attention span most people have.