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Presets KILL Creativity! How to edit Landscape Photos with Lightroom

September 10, 2019


presets kill creativity I know it is a strong title maybe a
little aggressive but I strongly believe that you will be better off if you learn
how to use Lightroom rather than buying a preset made by someone else that was
now with you when you took that photo that doesn’t know which kind of feelings
emotions or moods you want to communicate when you share your photos
stick with me follow this video and you will know what I mean welcome to my channel here we talk about
photography and I make videos just like this one where I share my Lightroom
editing techniques so if you didn’t subscribe yet maybe this is the right
time to do so as I mentioned before every single photo will need different
kind of adjustments and this is why in my opinion presets are useless you will
immediately realize that when you apply a preset that was thought for a photo
that will never completely work as is in your own photo and in the end you will
need to adjust the presets that you bought so why not to understand how to
create your own preset for every single photo you took that’s what I do
I never use presets editing is a very creative process and I actually enjoy
editing my own photos sometimes I like to go back to my library check out old
photos and re-edit them maybe with a different mood in mind and I think is a
very interesting process from the same photo you can actually create very
different images depending on what you felt when you took the photo or what you
feel while you’re editing it I will never get tired of saying that every
photo is unique and so is its editing that’s why every month or so I am going
to do a video where I will be editing photos in Lightroom so that you can see
my workflow and also see what kind of adjustments I apply in different kind of
situations I also created this playlist so that if you missed some of the videos
that I did in the past you can actually check them out but now let’s jump in in
today’s photo this photo this photo was taken in
diamond beach in the south east of Iceland this beautiful ice rocks are the
result of the melting glacier that is happening in the glacier lagoon which is
maybe half a mile from this beach acted this photo in May of 2017 and this
picture was taken at about 11:00 p.m. as you can see there is still a lot of
light considering the time of the day at the same time is a pretty dark scene I
didn’t need to use an ND filter for these 1.6 seconds exposure which I took
at f8 ISO 64 with my 20 millimeters F 1.8 okay let’s go into the editing now first thing first I always do I always
check whether the horizon is leveled and I do trust especially when I have a very
clear horizon the auto straighten horizon tool that I have right here then
another thing that I like to do right away is to decide if I need to crop this
image and what kind of image for my size I want to use and in this case
especially because on the very top of the image I don’t really have a lot
happening I believe that I’m going to use a 16 by 9 ratio so will crop a
little bit of the sky and I will move down the image because I
want to see all these nice movement of the water I’m also using a sixteen by
nine because I want to use this image as the thumbnail for this video the second
thing that I like to do is to make sure that I don’t have any dust on my sensor
and to do that I will check this spot removal and I
will click into the visualized spots to see if there are clear signs of dust in
my sensor then of course we will open the basic panel and I want to adjust the
white balance I will pick then a neutral target either
white gray or black I will go for the white because I have a very clear white
right here and this will adjust the white balance for the entire images and
as you can see there’s quite a difference I personally think that this
is a little too much so I like to have a little more blue in my photo so I will
adjust the temperature to about 8600 of course this image were shot in raw and
that’s why I can change the white balance or everything else then on the
basic panel you can easily tap Auto and see what happens and maybe you’re super
happy with this and then you just move forward I want to say that rarely I’m
super happy with the auto adjustment so let’s go back what I like to do instead
is to adjust these sliders one at a time and the first sliders that I like to
adjust in general are the whites and the blacks basically I want to see the
entire range of my histogram before making other adjustments as you can see
my histogram is squeezed in a very small area I want to expand the whites and the
first and is how I do it that shift double click on whites tap shift double
click on blacks as you can see the histogram changed quite a bit
and now I have an expanded histogram with a lot more colors a lot more light
and a wider dynamic range so now that I really expanded the histogram I can
understand whether the exposure of this picture is right or not and I believe it
is right something else I want to do is actually to decrease the highlights a
little bit and bring up the shadows just a tiny bit will increase the contrast increase a little bit the clarity not by
much and the clarity basically is the contrast applied only to the mid-tones
I will increase the Behe’s just a tad increase the vibrance and a little bit
of saturation the vibrance I think right I think I went too far with the vibrance
they 1/2 the vibrance will increase the saturation of the colors that are less
saturated in the picture while the saturation will increase the saturation
of every single car at the same time and we can see that just with these basic
adjustments from the very first panel we have a very dramatic difference flat row
image versus much nicer shot let’s open the tone curve panel by the way if you
want to see one panel at the time you can tap control while you’re here and
make sure that solo mode is tackle in this way when you open a panel the other
one will close so if I open the turn curve panel
the basic panel will collapse I will apply a medium contrast to this image
I’m not going to touch the you saturation and luminance in this image
because I am pretty satisfied with it but I will open the split toning panel
and I might change something here especially because this is a sunset
although the Sun is setting exactly behind me you can still see in the sky
that there is some colors some pink and I want to bring this up a little bit so
I can pick a color that I think will represent the past the colors that is in
these clouds and I can increase the saturation of the highlights using that
specific color and and this is really something that you need to try an
experiment until you find the appropriate color and appropriate level
of saturation with them without there’s a little too dramatic weird and without and of course you can apply a different
color to the shadows as well often in the shadows I like to set a bluish tone
and especially in a seam like this it’ll make a lot of sense okay let’s move to
the details right now as you know light will apply an amount of 25 no matter
what I will decrease the radius increase the detail to a level of 50 and then and
then by clicking on alt and moving the slider related to the masking I will be
able to decide where to apply these sharpening and basically I want to apply
the sharpening to everything but the water and the sky so whatever you see in
white will be affected by the sharpening whatever is black will be not affected
by the sharpen and now I can decide whether I need or not to add some sharp
ring level 51 yeah I like it it seems nice
and sharp let’s close the detail panel open the
lens Corrections as you can see when I import my images in Lightroom I always
make sure that remove chromatic aberration and enable profile
Corrections are already set I will not touch the transform panel but I will add
a little vignette expand all and usually minus 7 minus 8 is what I like I do like
to increase the midpoint all the way but then I will smooth the roundness and the
feather and we can see with without see is there but subtle and with
these I am done with the general and global adjustments let’s see the
difference before after and with the slash key on your keyboard you can
toggle between the two before and after but if you want to see the two images
before and after next to each other you can just tap right here and you will
have the before and after click again you can cycle between different
visualizations next thing I want to do is to take care of some local
adjustments and the very first one that I usually use is the graduated filter
right here double click on effect to reset all the sliders and holding the
shift key and dragging down the filter these will stay parallel and then you
can just where you want to have it what I like to do here is that I want to
reduce the difference of brightness and luminosity that there is between the
upper part of the scene and the bottom so before touching the exposure I
actually will work with the highlights and also I like to use the contrast a
little bit which will darken my sin if I reduce the blacks a little bit that will
also help and sometimes the D haze will also decrease a little bit how bright
the sky now if I want to add a little color in the sky rather than just adding
a bunch of saturation everywhere which will not do much I can add a color right
here and let’s see with maybe a purple blueish color what is going to happen as
you can see this maybe is a little too much so I can easily decrease the amount
that I want to add but I can also apply a mask and decide which luminance of the
image will be actually affected by this color adjustment this is fine as far as
concerned my the upper part of the scene let me apply a new graduated filter for
the bottom part and here I might just want to increase the shadows the clarity
and the sharpness so this is my final image I hope you like it before and
after so this is all for today I hope you
enjoyed this video I hope that sharing my workflow in Lightroom will help you
to learn new tools my recommendation is not to fall for the
one click fix it all precept that people will try to sell you but just improve
your own skills you will be better off in the long term thanks for watching and
I will see you in the next video

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