Articles, Blog

Landscape Photo Editing Workflow – Part 2 RAW Processing

August 19, 2019


hello I’m Robin Whalley welcome to this
second video in my new mini series the series is looking at how I edit this
image to come up with a finished version if you miss the first video I’ll put the
link in the detailed information below in this second video I’m looking at how
I convert the raw file and I’m using Capture One Fuji Edition now there is a
free Capture One version for Fuji which is very good now don’t worry if you’re
not using Capture One the process is very similar in most other raw
converters it’s more important to understand the concepts of what I’m
doing if you’re not familiar with the interface it’s arranged here in a series
of tabs along the top left and each of these has a set of tools in it at the
moment I’m just looking at the exposure evaluation I’m going to start though
with the lens correction module which is the next tab in there I can do several
things but the key thing I want to do is this diffraction correction what it
actually does is it allows for any diffraction in the lens because I’ve
been shooting at a fairly small aperture and it will correct that and sharpen up
the image if i zoom in to 200% you might be able to see what I mean here you can
see the bridge in the distance if I turn off the diffraction correction it
softens turn it back on and it sharpens it up the other thing that I’ve got is
the chromatic aberration on because where you can see these branches against
the edge of the lake here there’s a little bit of chromatic aberration if I
turn it off you can see the colored fringe one thing you can do in this is
analyze the image so that you get a specific chromatic aberration correction
and that’s a little bit better than the default I’ll zoom back out now and I no need to
look at the next panel which is the color adjustment panel now in here you
can see that I’m working on the background image and this represents the
entire image you can see on screen I have the option to add layers and adjust
those layers individually and I’ll do that in just a moment
first though I want to create an overall well-balanced image the first thing I’m
going to do is correct my or change my curve you’ve got a various different
curves in here which you can apply if you’re using Lightroom that’s very
similar to the camera profile adjustments you can apply now I’m
actually going to use the film standard adjustment here it makes a nice job of
the image and it tends to open up the shadows in the Heather which I was
worried about previously so that’s an improvement on the contrast level next I
want to adjust the white balance now the image is rather blue at the moment so I
just want to warm it up very slightly and I may actually increase the pink
tint just very slightly as well now I don’t want to go overboard at this stage
I certainly don’t want these distant hills looking orange and that looks
about right to start with the other thing I can do is adjust the shadows
independently so you’ve got this color balance option here and I can go to the
shadows and I can actually say well I want them to appear blue and I can
increase the saturation of the blue in the shadows no that’s actually picking
up some of the Heather as well so why don’t I go to a magenta bluey color
and that looks about right I could also do the same with mid-tones if I want to
and you can see that applies an adjustment to mainly the Heather but
also the sky to some effect and you can adjust that and how you want it to look
so I’m just going to move it more to the Reds and I’m also good to just dumb it
down very slightly I’m then going to move on to the highlights and those I
want to be more yellow and I can can those down a little bit as well now
having made those adjustments I’m not happy with the tent I think it looked
better when it was the original tent which is just a little bit less than
that let’s move on to try to address some of the other colors in here now one
of the things I can do is use this color editor and in here I’ve got a picker
tool and I can actually pick the Heather to adjust it and here you can see the
original color in here you can see the adjusted color so I can now increase my
saturation of that color and I can also darken down the Heather very slightly
because that has the effect of intensifying the color and making it
stronger I can also push the hue for that Heather over to more of the orangey
red end or I could pull it back and make it more blue I’m gonna put it more to
the orangey red so you can see here we’ve got a blue a magenta color and
this is a warm and magenta color now the other area I want to sample is this
grass and I want the grass I’m just going to widen that slightly and I want
the grass to have less saturation and I want it to look a little bit darker and
I’d like to just warm it with very slightly as well so I’m happy with that
finally I’m just going to pick on the yellow in the sky which happens
also be the same as the grass in that so I’m just gonna have to reduce the hue
just very slightly just to balance out between the two I’ll adjust the sky
independently in a moment because trying to adjust the grass and the sky at the
same time causes the image to fight with itself so what I need is a separate
layer that I’ll be able to adjust that on independently and I’ll show you that
in just a moment let’s then have a look at the exposure panel and this is where
we’re going to correct some of our problems now at the moment the
highlights are just a bit too bright so I can use this dynamic range slider here
to pull down that brightness and recover it so I’m happy with that that is
created a good dynamic range in the sky and I can do the same with the shadows
now that will open up the shadows in the image which you can see over here I’ve
got the levels adjustment and I can actually make the levels here the black
level just a little bit darker so that the blacks in the image become more of a
true black or I can soften it very slightly which I’ll do open the shadows
just a little bit more and now I can go and balance out my exposure settings now
contrast if I push it up it just makes the image look a bit ugly what I want to
do is reduce the contrast now as I’ve done that you can see up here in the
histogram it’s opened out the shadows even further so again we haven’t gotten
much of a black point in the image one of the things I can do though is use the
exposure slider and if I move the slider over to the left it darkens the image
down quite nicely the brightness slider though can be used just to lift some of
those shadows a little bit further and all the time that I’m doing this you can
see the shape of the histogram is gathering into the center and flattening
out so I’m lowering my contrast and we’re at the point where we can tackle
the adjustments independently now and we’ll tackle the sky and the other area
is this heather in the foreground I’m quite
happy with the hills in the distance and the middle area to create a new
adjustment layer I can add a layer here and you can see that’s being created
we’ll call this sky and now I’m going to actually create the
area that I want to adjust and I’m going to use this linear gradient mask and
you’ll find that you’ve got something similar if you’re using Lightroom and a
lot of other rock converters have this feature in there as well so then I start
by just drawing out the mask and the selection that I want to make I’m
reasonably happy with that what I can do now is use it to increase the contrast
in that area or I could reduce the exposure but what I’m going to do is use
this recovery just to recover the highlights a little bit more I’m also
going to open up the shadows slightly because this area up here as we said in
the first video it’s just a little bit too dark now I quite like that but I
also want it to be a little bit more saturated and especially the saturation
in the Pink’s so I’m back now in the color adjustments and what I can do is
pick the pink in the sky and I’ll saturate that more now it’s a little bit
narrow at the moment so I’ll just widen out the range of colors that we’re
affecting and I want to blend that more evenly into the sky now I can adjust a
hue to make it appear a little bit more orange and I can also make it darker or
lighter now I’m just going to reduce the saturation down a little bit because
I’ve made it too strong but overall I quite like that effect if I wanted to I
could adjust further the Kelvin scale here to make it warmer or cooler I’m
just going to make it that little bit warmer and we could adjust a tint to
make it a little bit Pinker as well now overall that’s really really strong so
I’ll go back to the exposure layer and I’ll adjust the saturation back down and
I might actually just increase the exposure level as well
so all the time I’ve been working on the sky layer and I’ve had access to all the
same controls that I had previously I’m now going to add another sky layer and
this time I’m going to be drawing it just here so you can see the selection and I’m going to use this now to lighten
the exposure so just call it sky two and now I’m going to open up the shadows in
sky two and I’ll probably brighten it as well I’m not too happy with the
adjustment yet so I’m just gonna move it down a little bit further just so it
covers more of the sky and there we are I’m quite happy with that now the third
layer know that I want to create is one where I select the Heather in the
foreground so we can see that being selected what are the problems I’ve got
when I select this prop play is that it spills over into the water here now what
I can do about that is use this luma range filter and I’ll just display the
mask and now I can use this so that the adjustment doesn’t affect the bright
areas which you can see that know that I’ve
got my selection in place I can adjust the brightness or the exposure and I can
reduce the contrast as well finally the saturation in that area so that’s
starting to look a little bit better again
I’ve got my curves that I can use and that’s intensified the color in the
Heather quite nicely and all I’ve done is adjusted the exposure values really
and just adding in a small amount of saturation again what I could do is go
back and target the specific color that I want to use so go to the basic editor
this time and we’ll add in sorry the I’ll use the advanced editor just so I
can up this improperly and I’m going to just boost the saturation in the Heather
and we can push the hue slider over to the right just to warm up the heather as
well though to be honest I don’t actually
like that so I’m just going to reset it and this time I’m actually just gonna
warm it up very slightly in that area now what I’m trying to get to is a
reasonable starting position I’m not trying to complete the adjustments in
the editor and this looks like a reasonable starting point for further
adjustments that I’m going to make in Photoshop using the Nik collection and
then after that Photoshop itself one of the thing I want to do though before I
move on is just check the sharpness now if you zoom in to 200% I’m just going to
move around so we can see them the distant Hills need a little bit more
sharp link now I need to select the background layer because I want to apply
all my sharp link to the background layer I’m just going to increase the
amount I’m just going to reduce the threshold very slightly and we can
100% that’s done a very very good job of pulling out loads of detail in the image
now I know I complained in the first video about how sharp this lens is but
that’s not a problem because when I later soften this down you’ll understand
what’s happened so back to looking at the overall image
there’s the adjusted image that was the starting image and if you compare the
two you can see it’s made a substantial improvement to the overall image in the
next video I’ll look at how we can adjust this
further using some of the Photoshop tools and the Nik collection I’m Robin
Whalley you’ve been watching Lenscraft I’ll see
you in the next video

10 Comments

  • Reply usedg August 16, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Thank you for posting this . I still do not understand why you are using C1 …very near the end you inform that you are going to move it in to Photoshop when you will also use Nik . This is a lot of money spent on software ..Nik is no longer free, C1 release an annual version for which a further payment is needed to stay up to date . No bracket merging in C1 , no de haze slider .I shoot XT 3 too and really can see no point in incorporating C1 .

  • Reply Paul Anderson August 16, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Nice example. I personally set WB first, then exposure black and white points then do as you do, but start with highlights and shadow recovery. Thanks…

  • Reply Mac McMillen August 16, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Great video and series (so far). Thanks!

  • Reply Dan Buchman August 16, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Hi Robin, very informative.
    When making adjustments in your layers, do you ever lose track of where a specific adjustment was made (i.e. background, sky 1 or sky 2)? I use the history tab to go back but it can become confusing when searching for a small contrast adjustment among many small adjustments. It seems even harder when making adjustments in sky 2 that affect the ground.
    Thanks for sharing, Dan

  • Reply Sergio Quiros August 16, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    This is wonderful! I see so many photographers, especially those just starting to improve their work to bring it into a professional level, underestimate the fundamental importance of mastering even a medium level of post-processing knowledge; I think some of them diss off spending time learning post-processing because they're lazy, and others because they fall for the trap of thinking they can just throw money at the problem of improving their photography by instead buying more expensive gear (which, as we know, doesn't improve anyone's photography by itself unless you know good post-processing.

    I hope that excellent material like this video series helps more of these photographers to feel less intimidated about investing time in learning good post-processing (or that it encourages those who are just lazy about it.) I've seen photographers using really old gear, or even the most entry-level DSLR cameras, but who've mastered really good post-processing produce work that really bleeds into the category of artwork and is so much better than what many "filters and lutz" new "gearhead" photographers with $5000+ cameras are shooting, because they know the magic only post-processing can bring.

    Keep the fantastic work, Robin!

  • Reply Stephen Stevenson August 16, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Fantastic video Robin. I appreciate the patience you use in describing every step until you get an image that you like. I have been using C1 for a couple of months now and your videos have been vey helpful in explaining the various tools used. Thank you!

  • Reply Melissa Hall August 17, 2019 at 3:49 am

    I really appreciate these videos a lot. Love watching people edit 🤗.

  • Reply John Collins August 17, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you Robin for getting me to take more time over post processing,I tend to rush too much and do not study the photo enough to see where I can improve the various aspects within the image.I have read that you can double edit a Raw file,is this a method that you employ?Great to see someone like you taking the time to explain not only the editing workflow but the reasons you are making these adjustments.📷😎😎

  • Reply Clifford Mcfarlane August 17, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    This short, detailed and informative instructional video is excellent. It's good to see the subtle and balanced use of the tools in Capture One. I'm learning a lot. Thank you!

  • Reply Richard Rostant August 18, 2019 at 1:35 am

    Thanks again, Robin. I’m impressed with Capture One. Looking forward to the next video.

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