Mastering Lightroom for Nature Photographers - 200 Level (Exciting) | Paul Hassell | Skillshare

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Mastering Lightroom for Nature Photographers - 200 Level (Exciting)

teacher avatar Paul Hassell, Pro Wilderness Photographer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (57m)
    • 1. INTRO

    • 2. LEVELS - Don't edit like a 6th grade girl does makeup!

    • 3. ND GRAD FILTER - Getting skilled with the most useful tool in Lightroom

    • 4. ZION CANYON SUNRISE - Correcting distortion and other essential adjustments

    • 5. HOODOOS AT SUNSET - Building skills and making impossible things possible

    • 6. OKAY, TO WOW! - Oxbow Bend of the Colorado River

    • 7. SLOT CANYON SUBTLETY - Let it glow!

    • 8. GRAND CANYON SUNSET - Hopi Point

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About This Class

What would you give to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ansel Adams in the darkroom? To watch him wave his hand beneath focused beams of light as a reverse image of Full Moon over Half Dome burned into the paper's silver surface. No two prints would ever be precisely the same. He was as much an artist here as he was in the field.

As much as I love to keep my teaching focused on in-the-field technique and creative inspiration, at some point you have to address the other HALF of the art form. This is a course for wilderness photography enthusiasts dedicated to that other half of the craft. I hope this course is much like that experience next to Ansel might be. Except that in the place of a darkroom, we have a lightroom. Instead of Ansel, you have me.

I have been shooting as a professional wilderness photographer for the past 15 years. I've been published in Time/Life, National Parks, Nature's Best, and National Wildlife.

I'm a purist. I started my first decade in photography shooting with slide film. Photo clubs made sure you followed rules!

So, if you want the guy who will give 7,499 Lightroom presets to make your images look just like his (over saturated and artificial as they may be) then I advise you look elsewhere. This is for the aspiring outdoor photographers who wish to train their eye (and hand) at editing their RAW images with ease and joy. For those who wish to truly be artists in the room of light. And to do so with as much simplicity and organization as possible, so that you can get back outside taking pictures, since that's what caused you to fall in love with this in the first place.

I believe you will see that it isn't about having profuse knowledge of every possible trick in the book, it is about acquiring a skilled hand with just a few essential tools.

100-level 1st hour - The essential stuff you MUST know so that your digital life doesn't become a monster and try to eat you in your sleep.

200-level 2nd hour - This is the fun part. I walk you through recent images of mine made in the Southwest US demonstrating tasteful use of the essential tools you MUST know in Lightroom. I intentionally leave out plenty of tools for two reasons. One, I only use the ones that we cover here. Two, it does you no service to waste your time teaching you things you don't need to know.

This is everything you need to know and none of the other shenanigans.

See you inside the Museum of Art!

Meet Your Teacher

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Paul Hassell

Pro Wilderness Photographer


Paul has been published in National Parks Magazine, Time-Life, and Nature's Best. He has shot wilderness photography professionally for more than 15 years. For nearly a decade, he has instructed beginner and intermediate photographers on-location in Patagonia, Alaska, Africa and beyond, leading them quickly through the fundamentals of outdoor photography and launching them into the exploration of their own creative vision.

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1. INTRO: welcome to Paul's non boring Light Room 101 And to a one course entitled Becoming an Artist in the Room of Light. This is everything about editing. You actually need to know to be a pro, and none of the other shenanigans all and two packed hours. Yeah, what would you give to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ansel Adams in his dark room to watch him wave his hand beneath focused beams of light as a reverse image of full moon over half dome burned into the papers? Silver surface No. Two prints were ever precisely the same. He was a much an artist here in the dark room as he was in the field. As much as I love to keep my teaching focused on in the field technique and creative inspiration, at some point you have to address the other half of the art form. This is a course for wilderness photography enthusiasts dedicated to the other half of the craft. I hope this courses as much like that experience next to Ansel might have been as possible . Enable lens profile corrections ready that just little warp on the sides fixed it to get here Let's look at all the things we get over here, except that in the place of a dark room, we have a light room instead of Ansel, you have me. I have been shooting as a professional wilderness photographer for the past 15 years. I have been published in time, life, national parks, Nature's Best and national wildlife magazines. I'm a purist. I started my first decade of photography shooting with slide film. Yes, photo clubs made sure you followed rules. So if you want the guy with 200,000 presets to make your images look like hiss oversaturated and artificial as they may be, then I advise you look elsewhere. This is for the aspiring outdoor photographers who wish to train their eye and hand at editing their raw images with ease and joy. For those who wish to truly be artist in the room of light and to do so with as much simplicity and organization as possible so that you can get back outside taking pictures. Since that's what caused you to fall in love with this in the first place, right? I believe you will see that it isn't about having a profuse knowledge of every possible trick in the book. It is about acquiring a skilled hand with just a few essential tools. The 100 level. That's the first hour we learn the essential stuff you must know so that your digital life doesn't become a monster and tried to eat you in your sleep. Been there in the 200 level the second hour. This is the fun part. I walk you through recent images of mine made in the Southwest US, demonstrating tasteful use of essential tools, you must know in light room, I intentionally leave out plenty of tools for two reasons. One reason I cover everything I actually use. Second reason is you don't need to learn things you don't really need to know. This is everything you need to know and none of the other shenanigans See you inside the Museum of Art, where you can become an artist in the room of light 2. LEVELS - Don't edit like a 6th grade girl does makeup!: It's gonna be a wild crystal. Thank you, sir. Thank you very much. All right, let's make sure we're thistles. The really really, really crazy fun, sexy, exciting part. Okay, ready. Um, let's turn your turn your sheet over. All right. The very first concept that I want to make sure we really understand is, ah, levels. So here's how it works. In developed. We want to hop over here. I'm gonna get the unprocessed version of that same shot. We want to hop over here and look at these air the levels of that shot. Now, they're gonna be different for every photograph. So the important thing is to know what they mean. So over here on the left side of the levels are blacks over On the right side are our whites. Okay, so there's a big spectrum of of, ah white stuff over here. Black stuff over here. The important part is no white stuff. Stuff falls off that side. No black stuff falls off this side. What am I talking about? Don't look at the photograph real quick, but just look at the history Graham itself. I have white stuff falling off to the right side you look at my photograph, I can see there's something wrong when I look at my alert, meaning my my, bring my cursor right up here to the triangle. It tells me that the red screen of death in that particular area it says that when I go to print, that is what over exposure really means no equal. Lay down on the page. That's really technically what it means when it comes down to the print. If you ever do that anymore, then there's no ain't gonna lay down on the page, all right? And so, um, so I'm just gonna look funny. It just won't look right. So and especially in the in the print world, that's a really big deal on online world. We call that the white seamless all right, because you're on a white website and the photo kind of falls into oblivion. That's kind of cool. That's neat these days, but that's just important. To understand how that works. How do I get back to how it was Command Z Control Z. I didn't do all right, So, um, I like to reiterate that's the important principle to understand levels. Let's go to contrast That's just a general ah general understanding of when I slide this to the right. What happens is my darks get darker, my lights get lighter. That's the definition of contrast. Increasing contrast at it. Undo highlights that simply means the areas that are the brightest will become dolar and less full of pop. Okay, so if I increase my highlights here, my sky becomes white. The problem is, I lost all my color, so I don't want to do that on it Commands e leave it as is I'm going to decrease my highlights. And all of a sudden I have a really powerful punch. The blue sky. You like it? Keep it. If not, don't do it. I can always tell you if any time you take your highlights to the far in negative 100 it's a little extreme. Never doing one of the extreme Never doing Want to take the saturation slider. Just skip down to that and go bam! Bring it all the way to the right. Yeah, but there people, there are people. Todo people that do it are like middle school girls learning to do makeup, right? It's a disaster, right? Well, yeah, I got this mascara stuff. It's like black and globs of stuff. That's what your photos look like if you go over the top. So learn what the sliders do when we're all the makeup blush and well, that you know this stuff, learned what it does and then do it subtly enough that no one notices. It's the same idea in editing right that now is the best thing I've said. All right, so the idea to me not skip past him. So highlights. Shadows, shadows. I'm going to in my shadowed areas pull up the shadows and all that means is my highlight areas aren't touched. Notice my sky doesn't change. See, that sky doesn't change, but where the shadows are dramatically changed easily one of the most powerful tools in light room because it's very sophisticated. And when working with a raw file, that's, Ah, you've got a lot of latitude would be the word. It's very forgiving more than a slot slide film back in those days. Then I go to my whites, and that deals with the right side of the history. Graham. Okay, to increase my white, see the hissed a gram. It just kind of ran off to the right side by increasing the whites in this case, not what we want to do. My blacks goes to the left and I pulled my blacks off to the left side. And essentially, if I go up to my little triangle, the blue screen of death OK, it's the You fell off the horse on the other side. You went, you went too far and it undo making sense so far. Clarity. I don't do much of its anybody. Love it great. It helps in real estate. What? Tell me what it does if you can scribe. It helps in flooring. Almost it almost. Yeah, Okay, so without sharpening, it almost creates the carpet has more texture. It's like you could reach out and touch it or would Okay, that's great. So that would be optical, In that case, Vibrant. Who uses this? You're allowed to say yes, he's on against rules A little bit. I'll use it sometimes. The salamander photos recently pulling them off of the white. That's a caveat, but sometimes the vibrance really helps more Southern saturation saturation. If you go more than 10 write me a letter and explain Why? OK, eso Just as a general, if you're going in tow, increase it will, you know and Europe 200. Come on, people. It looks terrible. Um, how we want to do saturation is down here. Notice I skipped the tone car for now we come back there will skip that. Let's come down here color I could individually This is how you do saturation properly, in my opinion, individually in the reds mess with the saturation That's sophisticated It's fun is it in my oranges? There's lots of orange in this image I can adjust the saturation just in that area c around the tops of the mountains Just gonna affect just certain regions blues There's plenty of blue in the sky So you see how I can go to all the way white If I take all the saturation out of my blue channel and pump it up like crazy If I want to do that once again we're gonna go over the top on all these and then rein it in All right. Gonna learn how the makeup works and then use it so suddenly that no one notices. Here's the fun part, President, If you view the graduated neutral density filter before. Terrific. Okay, I get to change some lives. You ready that sky needs some help. It's just a little bit washed out. Um, meaning When we brought the saturation up, I thought, Ah, that's a little nicer. It's about the right tone. Might right, tone ality. But you never want to fix something where there's an exposure differential. Translation. Little too bright here and will too dark here. I never want to fix something with a slider when there's a dramatic difference differential and exposure. What we want to do is just like in the film days when you didn't have any of this to have to deal with this kind of nicer in a way that you got your beautiful image. But unlike Table, brought your friends over and you had coffee and you enjoyed the photos as opposed to Hey, get on Facebook in your house and never come visit me and see him there. But let's get back on track. So what I want to do is, I want to grab this guy right here. It is the graduated neutral density filter 3. ND GRAD FILTER - Getting skilled with the most useful tool in Lightroom: graduated neutral density filter. The real thing light room tried to replicate it, and they did a really good job, which is great, what it physically is. It goes on the front of your lens. Must landscape people and wildlife people, too. But but landscapes. I mean, it's a big deal. Goes in the front of a get of the lens is a piece of glass plexi something. And on the top, it has sunglasses on the bottom issues glass. So in the bottom, it does nothing. And on the top, it rains in the dramatic brights. So here's how it works. Like click on it. I'll show you this five or 10 times. All right, here's the crosshairs. If you have a mouse, I'm gonna click and then drag the mouse down. Watch this drag down. Can I tweak it to the side and all that sort of thing? Yep, I can. Which you don't want to do, is not pull down far enough because then when I goto left and right, it's like, ah, and it spins and has a dance party. You don't want that to happen so immediately pulled down. Did you see that process and it undo show you again click and pulled down immediately. Then what I've done is I've just placed the filter there. There's a dialog box that pops up in the right side of the frame. What I end up doing now is I get to play with what I want to happen in just that region. That's cool. So I'm able to change after the fact how much exposure comes in in that sky. Now let's do it dramatically. That's way over the top and then rein it in. All right, let's learn how it works. Let's go decrease the exposure by what this number says is negative two. That's two stops of light. Less. What if I didn't place it in the right spot? This little hand pops up and I can grab and pull it all around. Well, that's awesome. So then you say Okay, well, because of the beach and I wanted a hard stop, neutral density grad filter. So I put it right there. Beach, meaning the horizon was just right. So I have a hard stop right there. The problem is, uh, nice. Might need to be a little more subtle, don't you think? So to make it more subtle with the hand on this bottom portion. I click and I pull it down, and it becomes a very subtle transition line that makes sense so far. Well, how do you get back up there? Grab the center, Pull it up when you get home. Do play with this. This takes a lot of time in practice. I'd say a year until you're excellent at it. A day until you're good enough. Toe not botch a photo. Too bad. All right, but it takes more than an hour. But you gotta play with this until you really get it down. And And are there other options other than just decreasing or increasing exposure? Yes. And they're all right here. So contrast Highlights shadows, clarity, saturation, sharpness. Even just within that dialogue, just within that area of the photo, the upper area is that cool? Can't get an amen. All right, All right. So let's let's be done with that for now. Um, this is the image I ended up with. Do we like that better than this? Yeah, that's that's a pretty shot, huh? So, um, how did I get there? That look on the left. This is all the stuff I did that's your history. Asked my history. You see all that history like fish That statement, then? Absolutely. So you see in that history that I'll just keep the metaphor going for better for worse, I added some mascara that's too strong, and can you pull it off? I don't know you. Not really. What's the stuff in your face foundation? Yes, I had too much rouge. Know what Rouges? So let's say so. I put the pink stuff. I put the pink stuff on. It is too strong, I said. I only pulled off. I pulled off too much. So I put a little bit back, and that's that's when you become an artist in light room is learning how to play. My goal is to give you the right tools to go home and play. That makes sense because we're always going out there. We meet up, we take the shots and so on. So says I do the HDR 33 past process and do the sharpening and blah, blah blah. And then I do this, and then it's either overwhelming at least or it's depressing at the most. You get home. You go shoot. You know, I don't know what to Dio. So you go back to shooting J. Peg. Just hope for the best and put him on Facebook. No, no one knows what I hope. As you can start shooting the raw Pullman here and do all the tweaking you want to because J. Peg, you're gonna look at the photo. That's J Peg versus neurologists right out of the camera. JP looks better. Uh, just a format. Yes, it's a format is compressed, but also bumps the saturation increases. The contrast generally makes it look better. It's for soccer moms. All right, we got any of those in here. Good. All right. It's for soccer moms that don't want to go through this. You do. You came tonight. You're at the Museum of Art. You want to be an artist. Let me give you the rest of tools. So you saw that? This is where I started. And then you saw that This is where I finished. What are some of the things I did in there? Let's see. Let me just guess we're gonna work on this one, Okay, Let's just guess first, I'm gonna get the exposure in the right general range. So I'm gonna grab my neutral density filter right there. So click on it, pull it over here, and I'm gonna grab it and pull it down and then decrease my exposure value in the sky until the area and the rocks on the top, right appear looks the same value as everything below it. Because there's some light hitting right here. So I want the same value. If I go too strong, see how it's too dark compared to the rocks below it. So I need to be the same value. We're done closer in the right region. Now what I'm doing to decrease the highlights in the sky just to touch Okay, that brought the sky back, use it would be the language. Then I can increase the color temperature of just the sky. Could go a little more yellow, which is warmth. We can go a little more blue, which is colder, generally in the sky. You're never gonna go colder. You could you could if you really wanted to feel colder. Generally, that's not what we want to dio. So we can warm that slightly or I can look at it as I look. I go, you know, I really like the blue. I don't want to mess with the blue, so I'm gonna just edit undo that. So all I've done is to just the sky. I've just kind of balance the exposure properly. Look at my history. Remember that levels conversation. See all that space right there, That dead space. We want to get rid of that. Here's how we do it. We go to the white slider, increase the whites until the whites almost fall off the edge. But don't so pull it. Ride about two there, and let's just compare. Here's where we started. And here's where we are so far you Do you see that? You know what? Uh, teach me, Ault. Okay, I think that is option option. And then what? Down here. Okay, Ault. And then it goes to the right. Oh, that where I'm blowing out if I blow out, OK, got you. Why, That's awesome. That's an awesome trick. Okay, So, just to repeat, his suggestion is I'm gonna hold down all or the option key. If you're shooting a shooting with the Mac using a Mac Nikon Canon language. I'm sorry. Um, grab the slider. And what it's showing me is the areas that are potentially blown out, right? So I blew out my sky and lost Lost would be a word. My whites. So I want to go to the point where I almost do, but don't. So if you really into that, I don't know that I'm gonna fall in love with this, but that's a neat trick. I'm glad you showed me that. Um Okay, j And then And then what o j in the move it. Okay, so basically a real time version, right of having to go up here and then hit that that triangle. That's neat. That's really neat feature. So the next thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go, Man. Those rocks originally had a lot more glow, at least how I remember it. So I'm gonna go not into this saturation slider and go right? We don't want to do that. I wanna I wanna mess with the blue sky and the oranges and the reds, which is in the rocks. So I'm gonna go to my reds, increase my saturation again. I'll go too far is too far somewhere in that general region. It's looking a little better. Oranges. I mean, increase my saturation, and that's gonna deal with those rocks right up in this region. Right in here on Lee. OK, so I'm gonna go do it. Feels right and again, that's that's the it's up to you. Um, plus 18 looks about right in my blues. I'm going to increase my saturation in the sky. Just a touch, then, in my loo minutes. What this does is it adds some depth to the sky, right versus that, which would wash it out entirely and adds depth. So I'm going to go from zero. What feels right is probably again. That's extreme negative. 17. Subtle. So maybe again, I can click on this and use my arrow keys and go down somewhere. Let's just go negative. 10. What else could be done that would make things stronger? Let's just increase the contrast in general, okay? And and that's I'm not liking that. It's getting really muddy and the sides, so we're not gonna increase the contrast to dramatically in this case. What we can do is let a little bit of detail into the shadowed areas by increasing the shadows just to touch. Okay, we could add some depth by letting there be more black in the black areas. Sounds counterproductive. You're bringing out shadow, but then you're adding black. Try it. You'll see that sometimes there's a right bat white, a right balance of the two that is just right. And what I mean by depth is some images air flat. They just look flat and like those carpets were talking about, They just need a little help. And sometimes the blacks aren't black enough. And so we're gonna slide that black two left, and it can add depth to your image. In this case, let's leave it on just under zero right there. 4. ZION CANYON SUNRISE - Correcting distortion and other essential adjustments: right there. General contrast. We could increase out of touch. I can tell you this already, by comparing to the finished image here. Okay, So this is the image we've we've finished with when I had time to really work on it. And here's where we are right now. See how it's a little different shapes. Different. Do we know why? So this is a really cool feature. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna slide down here to the bottom and I'm going to enable profile corrections, and it's going to correct for the distortion of my lands. Holy smokes. Gotcha. And you can do that automatically import Very cool. If you have varying lenses within that shoot, it's gonna since it. That's awesome, man. You taught me something else. It's awesome. So in the model right in here, you're going to select your lens if it didn't select it for you already. Is the cannon 16 to 35 millimeter lands of 2.8 and automatically it's going to correct some of the vignette ing that comes in and then you can slide it and say, You know, I kind of like the natural vignette ng you know you might a shot slide film with that same old old dusty Linz. And you just loved how the edges got a little darker. Well, then topless, back to zero. Don't let it correct it for you If you don't like it, These aren't right answers. This is your in the artsy part. Now, now, distortion that generally you're gonna leave right where it has it, because it's just gonna feel right. Look right. If you want a little more work to the edges, you know, the kind of bendy look, Then you can toggle this around and mess with it, but generally you want to leave it about at the 100 point. It leaves it at 100 state by by default. So then the only other things I might mess with are just in general. All this doesn't have quite the punch in detail I'd want. Well, what drew my eye and notice how I said that What drew my eye when I took the photo? Were these plants in the foreground. So I'm gonna go specifically just to the Yellow Channel and increase the contrast of the yellow foreground. See how I can find out if there's yellow or how much yellow there is by sliding all the way , the right all the way to the left. When I go all the way left notice, it becomes almost gray, so that shows me there's a lot of yellow. They're 100% a little strong. Let's back off and go pretty high, though. Looks like maybe, you know, 25% something like that. And then when anything else in Orange is not really. I think we're darn close to what we want. I just would have increased my overall exposure. I'm looking at this and it just feels a little bit too dense right, and used to kind of lighten it up. Just a touch. I'm going to take him overall exposure and slide it to the right. The problem then, is then I start to lose in these areas. If you can see it's really subtle. But as I as I click over this triangle, there's some little red guys that flash right there. And so here's Here's A Here's another technique. You ready? Put another graduated filter on there. Grab it Now there's already one there, And just by activating this dialogue like click on the graduated filter. You see that it's there. There's no reason there's nothing stopping you from adding a 2nd 1 Click it. Don't click on this. Let your crosshairs create another filter, okay? And then under expose just a little bit. And the only thing I could dio if I wanna, you know, some depth in the sky. But I don't want these rocks right here. So all of a sudden get really, really dark. I can then take my shadows up just in that region. You see that subtle shift, but it's not messing with my sky at all case, I'm gonna pull that up. Awesome. So let's now compare what I just did very quickly, hastily to the edit when I spend a ton of time on it There it iss a little bit of difference, though, right? You see that? A little bit of difference. In a way. I like this one better for the sake of the projection, because you can see the changes will dramatically the name of the game. Just keep saying this over and over is subtle to the point where you no one else can notice . And this is the most important part of all, it felt like it felt when you were there. Because no one knows what it looks like when you were there and you don't remember. But you had a feeling, and it just when you look at it, that feels right, that feels true to form. Now you're gonna go to somebody else's little tutorial and they're gonna go. Ah, but you have to tweak this and you have to do this and it's gonna make you depressed. So I just want you have tools to Goldman play until when we get back from a shoot, it feels parkway or whatever. You know what to do, right? And you know how to tweak this, a toggle that slide over this thing until it just feels right. And if it looks fake and artificial, start over. How do we start over? Go over here, slide to the bottom, hit it at the very first thing which will say import. And then you start back in the beginning. Why do I say that? You know the frog in the kettle Example. So so you. You heat up a frog in the kettle and eventually starts boiling frog dies, right? That's what you're trying to do. You're trying to cook the frog. But if you toss a frog in the boiling pot, they jump out, you get the idea. Just the same idea is this. You make these subtle changes, subtle changes, subtle changes, subtle changes. And pretty soon your dad it looks terrible. And you don't even know why. Just start over or as you go through, make dramatic change. Their huge, like goto boiling immediately and you allow That's terrible. Does that make sense? So that's just the process of mentality to develop when thinking about editing above it. Because watch this the moment I make a change, I'm gonna go to increase the contrast. Watch on the left, watch. Watch this area right over here. Everything else disappeared, and now my top thing was the contrast. I just did that. Make sensible at it. Undo. Okay, Now, the question earlier, Uh, if you take settings from another photograph and apply to one authority, has setting time doesn't stack it on top of it. Correct? It increases that stack. It just You had another. Does this make sense? By the way, this day, Okay. I used a lot. Never ask anybody if it makes sense. That idea You create another one of these. You're just stacking overlays on top on top, pay settings, pacesetting space settings. And then eventually you shoot that light just like the project in the dark room, through all of those changes and out pops A J p. You got it? Absolutely. Yep. Well, well, well. Said, what did I want to pull up for you next? Here as an example. 5. HOODOOS AT SUNSET - Building skills and making impossible things possible: Okay, This is gonna be crazy. Um, all right, here's our photograph. That's that's the finished product. And that is exactly how it felt. We've got a lot of read, write it here and blues up in here in the final image. And so the idea was when I started, this was one of those where you generally, if you shot J pick, for example, you would just throw this in the trash. Look at this. Come blah, right. Terrible. But I guarantee you, it looks so much better than that. But he was there. Whose Great, Um, it was the Earth's shadow was creeping up. You know, after sunset, we had that glow on the rise and 100 degrees from the sunset. Man, they got this Hoodoo is awesome. So the light was phenomenal. That's what every great photographs about. So to get to here, I had to create multiple grad filters and actually in situate exit accentuate in the the filters, certain color tones. Okay, now it's dangerous. That's like handing a rifle toe a four year old. You know, no offense anybody, but if you if you learn this too soon as you apply too much fancy this too fast. You'll be one of the millions on Facebook. They're posting oversaturated stuff. A sky that's purple in the foreground. That's yellow. Don't do that. Please. Can we just take an oath not to do that? OK, but here's how I did the photograph. Um, let's just click and see how many. Whoa, three filters. All right, let's undo him. Real quick. Click and just watch. What changes if that filter was not there. Very subtle change, right? If this filter was not there, delete. Ah, pretty big change in the sky. Right? See the depth fits in the sky Gone? If this was not there. Okay, so But you saw a minute ago. Let's say undo, undo, undo. Bring them all back. This is where we started. The thing was, here's Here's my process. I say, Okay, let's start anywhere. Doesn't really matter. But the foreground doesn't have near the detail in it that I recall because you're I can automatically I can shoot hdr for crying out loud, right? We can see all these exposure values, so I start with exposure. Start with the basic stuff. Okay. I'm gonna increase up. I mean, the grad filter so that might happen to you. So let's say I went here and I thought I was playing with exposure and nothing's changing. That means I'm in this dialogue the graduated neutral density filter, and it's highlighted s so I could see that said it under you come out of in that image, come out of this by clicking on it once. And now I'm in my normal dialogue. What? I'm gonna start with this exposure. They ordered this very brilliantly. This is the thing that's most important. That you got a nail in the front end and if you don't, you probably rescue it. Just find these days. So let's increase the exposure. I'm just looking my foreground. Increase my contrast a little. And that's a better foreground. That feels right now. I got to go to town on my sky introducing grad filter. Pull one down in this 1st 1 I want to get a general kind of fix for my sky in terms of exposure. Value notice. I'm not gonna come all the way down. I'm gonna come to where the red starts in the foreground. We'll come right about two there and that's too strong. That's too bright in this case. I can toggle it manually or, you know, very precisely, with my arrow keys somewhere right in there is a good starting point that's just under exposed by half of the Stop that subtle, right? Don't try to do too much too fast. Okay, That should quit this. But, you know, put a little on, Look in the mirror. Now a little more, a little more. And then you get bit and it's all terrible. Washed the whole face and start over. OK, so let's go to now. Let's stay in that one. And that one. Originally, I can say, you know, there was a little more blue in the sky. It wasn't great. That was what was so beautiful about it. So right in here, I'm gonna add a little blue to this guy just a little. But as it went up in the sky as the light travel up in the sky, I got a lot bluer. I got help it out. Just a little to create another filter. Drag it, pull it down. Notice Aiken, tweak it all sorts of directions, but keep it consistent. You don't angle one this way. And angle this other kind of color tone this way that is a pure in truce on. You're not following any patterns of nature whatsoever. And that's the idea and nature photography of stay true to the fact that arise in bins. Just a touch to the that to that angle. You can see that from the light at the bottom. So let's not come down on top that who do. In this case, let's just come ride in there and take our exposure to zero. All we're gonna deal with is the color tone making a little bluer in that region, going a little extreme, but it helps the example. And then, lastly, what did we do? Oh, I know. We wanted to add a little bit of more pink in this region. Now that's challenging, right? How do I get it just in that region? Well, apply to everything with a filter down like that. Take my exposure value. Zero. Apply just the magenta to that region, you say Well, Paul, and applied it to that region and all of this. You're right. So now we gotta go click on one of the other filters and pull it out of the other region. You stand with me. If I add some here gonna pull some off here and everything above this, I'm now gonna pull back towards the green side, away for the magenta, and that's gonna balance it right out. Okay, So where do we start? We started here. We ended here. Image had a lot more punch to it. And we got back to that. That blue and magenta in the foreground. I'm gonna move fast, but I got to show you a couple more examples here before we get any complicated questions. 6. OKAY, TO WOW! - Oxbow Bend of the Colorado River: complicated questions. Okay, here's where we started. Here's where we ended. You say, man, that's subtle. Yeah, but that's everything. That's the difference between Cool man and and that's the idea. If it made you say wow, then it better say that after the fact. Right, If you in your first year, 1st 10 years of photography, keep working at it. But if you're in your 20 or 30 you need to be able Togo. When you look at the photo of the moment that made you say wow and eventually you'll get there if you're not yet. This is a really subtle thing, but let's look it again. We started there. We ended there. What in the world that I dio Well, I can tell you this. I spent about 30 minutes on it. So this is what I wanted to really, really focus on. So the thirst things I see when I look at the first image here first things I see is the water didn't have quite the blue that I remembered. All right, The sky is perfectly fine. It was washed out. It wasn't didn't have a lot of depth to it, but this had a little more glow and that had a little more glow. Right. So let's just start with this. We're getting down to the final step, which which is the adjustment brush? The adjustment brush? The best thing you can do. Once you have all these tools in your tool belt, let's go practice, um, over and over and over and over. Mess up tons of images and then throw him in the trash. You know, in other words, don't do anything with them. That's the trash can, right there is the drive. Yeah, they don't and get exported. So to get here, just look at all the things we get over here. Yeah, but, you know, we're talking 1/2 hour. Just talk going through first things I did. And I'm just click through just for the sake of showing how you can go back and look at what you've done. It might be a fun way to show it. Enable lens profile corrections ready that this little warp on the sides fixed it then. Yet ing scale. I didn't want to go totally white on the size. I like it when it kind of gets a little darker from the edge is ready, man. That subtle right? Ready to show you again? They're really subtle distortion scale. I played with that and I didn't like that. It distorted it. Um, zero. I like that. There's a little bit of bin and it kind of matched the river. So I went with that. I added a grad filter on the sky whom the idea here is The grad filter is in the right place. That's what matters. Now I go and I update the grad filter to allow for the proper exposure update again now globally changed exposure by. I looked at it and I said, You know, those rocks will have quite the depth Nothing does under exposed. Right. So I let things be less bright, just subtly my highlights. I wanted to just kind of look and see what would happen in these highlight areas if I messed with my highlights. DeLeo right here. My slider highlights and I did negative. Seven. Got subtle. Okay, the aqua saturation shift. Let's go check that out. Nothing happened. And what I mean by that is I went into Aqua, which is right here, right? And nothing was really going on because There is no aqua in that that area, right? So let's see what else we got here. Okay, That's that's when we start getting dramatic shift. I'm trying to find where my big changes where? Let's fast forward what I'm What I'm wanting to get to is that you're subtle, subtle, subtle. And then then towards the end, you might get into things like areas right in here that were a little too bright. Didn't have quite the depth you wanted. Just that little area where the light was hitting didn't look right. And when I was back, come on, catch up to it. Peter's taken minutes. Come on. Okay, so I'm back here, and I want to add just a little more depth into these areas and maybe right up in here. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go up to my adjustment brush and see what I've done by clicking on it. I just did a brush right in here. And this is a new tool, your fifth tool. I want to give you tonight. And I brushed in certain areas that I wanted to have an effect just in that area. So the grad filter is a horizontal line, so it's for landscapes, specifically this brush. As for brushing and changes to just certain regions now, why would I click on just that little region? See where it goes? Red, I can tell you. When I applied the grad, the neutral entity grad, it made anything that was above that line dark. And so before I changed my exposure by 1/3 of a stop up in my shadows by 17 up. Let's look at what it looked like. Zero on shadows, zero on exposure. And if you look really closely, this is subtle stuff right up in there gets dark on that part of the rock. Did it? Actually, No. No. It was an even tone all the way through there. The reason I got it got dark is by trying to pull the sky back. That would not affected, too. And the only way to go and save that rescue that is to hop into my adjustment brush again, click here and just just paint in that one little area, okay? And you just literally you click and you use paint certain areas. And then I've got basically just like the grad filter. I can click on it and then I can go in toggle in my changes. Where were they? So I had it up by 2/3 of the stop approximately. And I was getting really specific because I remember it was plus 36.36. My shadows were 17 and then, you know, on a monitor where you can see these subtle changes, you're able to tell that now that matches the rest of the rock, See how subtle that is, those kinds of details I want you to start seeing. 7. SLOT CANYON SUBTLETY - Let it glow!: Okay. This is the example you saw online beforehand. So hopefully you're kind of curious on how we got to. Um, Come on, now and on just taking him and catch up, I think. There we go. OK, is getting there. Sorry. Everybody wait for it. Wait for it. Um, you'll see the change over here. Okay. Okay. We'll leave it there. Okay. So the ideas in these air you'll see in the history these air various times of export of this image for different purposes. But the ideas, this is your most recent stuff you've done, including exporting. So how do we get to that? And that's definitely what it felt like, Right, Betty and my honest. Okay. But it was their This is how it felt. Had a lot of pop is really exciting. And, um, this is actually what came out of the camera. Blow right. You see that, Blah. It's gray. There's no red. There's no punch to it whatsoever. And so we can look through these changes and see what we've done. But again, I'm going to use a mix of the grad filter saturation selectively if I need to The adjustment brush in this case. I absolutely didn't need to, so don't use it. Don't use makeup. You don't have to use people will notice. He used it. Right is what you absolutely have to use. What else? We increase the contrast a little bit and then the very first thing I did I'm going backwards. Was levels I just those levels so that the edges of the mountain touched the corners. And if they don't, then you've got blacks that aren't fully black and you have whites than artfully white, right? And if edges of the mountain to use illustration fall off, you have whites that are so white. There's no inkling down on the page you have blacks that air so black. There's no detail. It was straight black ink on the page, that making sense. So let's go to this and just see if I can do it quickly or not. Um, I don't like to be under the gun, but let's try. Let's try to do it. See this right here? The levels. One way to do this is just click and click and grab. Pull it to the right. Now we're getting the right ballpark. But the way that I like to teach. It is down here under your whites because that's the white side and you can slide the whites to the right until you almost fall off to the side. But not so far you fall off. So right there is that making sense, that principle this the best thing you could take away from this whole time? Because if you just do that, look out close. We are to the final result. See that? And I didn't do that by brightness and contrast and all this other stuff What I noticed. It's compared to the finish. One, this is a nice illustration is when I slid to the right, my foreground got really bright. Now here's where you got to be True to the experiences. You know what the foreground was a little brighter than everything else because that's where more lightness hitting, no direct sunlight but in the canyon walls, A little more light sitting a foreground. I didn't like that. The I was drawn to the foreground so much more than arch Notre Density Grad filter from the bottom. Ah, 200 level. So we normally click this these crosshairs right here we click and drag down to add a grad filter. Not if you're not doing with Sky, and you want to just do a batch correction to this area. Gonna use the adjustment brush? Absolutely. We'll do that next. See what we like better click and drag up, and it applies to change sunglasses to the bottom. Now that's way too strong. So let's knock it off a little bit. Toggle it another way somewhere like, Ah, did you see I'm squinting right now. It's not cause I have bad eyes, you know, that's what you laughing. You think I'm bad? Have great eyes, Actually, 2015. What happens is if you squint, it increases the contrast that you notice, and you focus less on colors. We're very color geared, but you increase the contrast visually, and I'm able to see the balance between the sky and the foreground until I know it's just right. That's it. Nailed it. All right, so that's a good starting point. However, the change might be too dramatic. Let me make it too dramatic. Okay, that's a very small change, and I can see or a quick change. Rather, it's very small, filter radiant, and I can see the change way too much, way too fast. So I'm going to start down here, grab this edge of the filter and pull it up. And now my changes so gradual. It's done tastefully. No one's going to notice and it just feels right. What else? OK, these edges go to solid black. I don't like that a whole lot. Let's go down to the winds. Profile Corrections. If you haven't done that on import already, click. Yes, thank you and we'll law, you see that in one click. It recognized my lens, corrected some of that vignette ing I could I could help it out a little more Do even less than getting on the edges. But I happen to kind of like a little bit of vignette ing. So let's leave it alone. And it did get darker on the edges. So last thing I want to do in that is in the saturation. Let's go into Where are we? Let's go to the Reds, the Red Channel. See how much red is in there? A lot. However, let's leave that alone for second. See how much oranges in there ready? Okay, there's actually tone of orange to see how it goes. Almost black and white there. So I'm gonna do most of my work in the orange layer and bring it up Just a touch and then always go back to the beginning. Where do we start? They're okay. It started a little gray. Not anything traumatic that started little gray. And I like that. We're doing close. I'm almost done. Okay, let's compare to the one that I spend a ton of time on. Ready? What's different? Okay, the one that's been a ton of time on the highlights are little more tastefully done. Notice. I never touched the highlight slider on this one. Let's go to the highlight slider right here. And I can pull the highlights. Either increase them so that the highlight areas are really bright. Or decrease them just like this. And I'm gonna go all the way for the second example. And all of a sudden we've got a lot closer to that final example Over here. See that? But my floor in the final example actually has a little more depth to it. Meaning I probably pulled in a second grad who knows? Let's click and see. Okay, Here's what I did. I did a really subtle correction just to that bottom corner. I didn't even pull the center line, which is where the transition stops would even pull it up into the arch area. But I did it by, um, 2/3 of a stop. Let's go back and see what I just did on the one this evening and I clicked my grad. I click on the filter their notice. I still did the angle. This is uninformed from a couple months ago. It just was front without in There you go. I did it by almost exact 2/3 of the stop. That's what feels right. If you do it two years from now, you're editing will be a little different on these raw files. It's gonna be pretty close because it's gonna need to feel right. And your skills were changing. Old man, that came out with this feature that answers the following thing that I never knew how to do last thing. I want to show you first of all, any questions before I do my last little teach. When you're adjusting to getting for the camera land use in appointing shoot have I don't know if it has point shoot versus just DSLR. Does anybody know? If you use a point shoot if it's gonna since it all I know is they got a lot of info in there. Here's all the different manufacturers. What point you do you have So the Yes. Hey, Sony s six hundreds go Sony and then Sony Ah s 600. So I don't I don't know that it does, but that's all the Sony lenses it has, so odds are, yes, but I'm not sure that I'm gonna be able to find it right this second. Um, control Z and we're back to where we were. Okay, let's get one final example in here. 8. GRAND CANYON SUNSET - Hopi Point: uh, let's grab scrap something like this guy's kind of complicated. And I showed you that originally. So let's let's pull him in and what I'm going to I'm gonna go back to the before I did any of the changes because right here. That's right. That's right. I'm gonna go create virtual copy there. So I right clicked, creating virtual copy. So I'm Kate, trading extra copies. All I'm doing again. Nothing with the raw file in there. But I've got a copy now of that one. And this one identical. Until I go back to my most recent change, which is eventually, which is right there. Okay, so let's compare. That's where the raw file started. This is where I finished. That's the difference between wow. Framed on my wall and throw it in the trash can. Right? Might be wrong. What did I dio? What do you think? I'm not hiding anything from you. Yeah, I start with the grad filter that run down. We'll make sure my levels are roughly close, at least for the foreground. Don't worry about sky. Gonna pull down on the ground filter. Then I go and, um, messing my saturation in different channels of certain things aren't quite popping, right? Never go over the top. You'll get ostracised at least by me and hopefully the entire photography community. So do it subtly, please. And and then the adjustment brush if needed on this image, I did not use adjustment brush just for certain ones where there's just a spot they didn't quite right. The moment you use an adjustment brush adjustment brush early on, at least you will do it very poorly. So be okay with that. But keep playing, because let's grab it and see what happens. Um, it's this guy right here. I click. It's like, Come over here. I can paint in changes to certain areas, See how that works. Okay, If I want to bring it down here, See, I'm painting, in this case, a deepened exposure value. Um, if I want to decrease the size of the brush, I use the bracket keys to decrease and increase the size. Okay, so I can go in and just paid a certain little areas that I want. But in general, I've created a layer just like in photo shop, and that's what it looks like in red. So everything in that area will be affected to the tune off the exposure value changing to the X tune of my highlights changing. I've done a hideous job on purpose. We can see the effect. OK, All right. So let's undo that guy. Do all our little changes. Okay, We're back. We're back. Um, here's what I noticed on this image, the sky. And he's more depth to match the foreground. Um, maybe even the sky lost some of the pink that I recall being there. That's a really nice pink layer in there, but it came out really flat. Oh, another detail. See those little spots on the lens? No one else has those, right? So we can get rid of those with this guy right here. Just click him and then we can just click on him and they disappear. That's gone. That's another. Okay, so you click there and that one disappears. All right? There's sort of this other little one. I use my bracket keys to get right on it, click it and then pull this over here if I have to, because it's gonna take a sample from wherever this touches. So I got to kind of pull that over there. And then Look, it's gone. Here's before ready. Here's after after hover stand. Yep. Same idea. Healing brush. It's It's all similar concepts. Yeah, yeah. So that's That's just I want to make sure you don't leave without seeing that, But let's let's work on this really quickly and see if we get close. You'll notice this is definitely a two grad filter option I don't use to grabs or three grads very often. But I wanted to give you those examples because that's what you came for. All right, so let's ah, let's decrease the overall exposure all the way down into the canyon. Now. Notice I didn't stop right here. The Rising. We don't know why we'll watch. Watch what happens when we stop right there at the horizon. Let's do it. To what? To the degree that this guy really needs it, and then you notice that it looks like somebody maybe put a filter right there on the edge of horizon, Come down into the scene with it, click it to activate it and pull that on down. You see that making sense? Okay, so what I'm gonna do is gonna pull it all the way down and then tastefully create a look that is visually again. You could squint if you need to. Um, but create a look where the sky and the kind of the canyon matches the rocks in the foreground. That's darn close, Okay? And, ah, that's all I'm gonna do in the 1st 1 is the 2nd 1 Let's deal with just the sky and I can come down a little further, pull it down into the scene just to touch and don't go. That's you know, I start with a stop and 1/2 of under exposure. Don't go that far. Go somewhere like 2/3 and then let's see what happens if I increase that some warmth in my sky. Well, Ah, see that How The warmth in the sky really started bringing back Now if you like that blue or you like that yellow more power to you. But the goal is I came from the purest photography clubs. That s a and B And man, if you did something that wasn't true to life, they shoot you on the spot dead just like that. So my idea is I'm trying to match What it actually waas. And the truth is, that raw file comes in flat, doesn't have a saturation. So we're trying to get it darn close. And so I'm gonna leave it right in there somewhere. We can increase the magenta, just a touch, And to prove I'm not lying, if you look very carefully at that cloud in that light, the exact same they came from the same place, right? That son projected light under that cloud and it projected that same light under that rock . So if those two are the same, you're nailing it. That makes sense. When I click in here and I see this rock, I go. Man, that is flat. Like the carpets in the wood in your homes. It's flat. Could we do clarity? Let's try it. Whoa! Right Just in that region, taste a more tasteful way to do that, in this case is actually adding some depth with the blacks. So I'm gonna take my black slider on the slide it to the left, and I'm just adding a little depth into that foreground and everywhere else doing this globally. But notice we also didn't do our levels. The beginning because I got distracted. So let's take those whites and go to the right about that much. And then let's zoom out and see, See where we are. Are we exactly the same? Is that final image over here? No, we're a lot closer notice. One thing I saw is that the Rising is not actually straight. I just thought it waas how we straighten arising to click on this guy right here. And the moment I start spinning it gives me a nice, beautiful grid, and I can look and see just what feels right. And where is that line match? The rise in, um, somewhere in there is when it's matched that subtle. But that's a lot closer. See that the only other thing is different about that Final one compared to this one. Is that final one here? I did my lens correction and I forgot to do that on my image here. So let's see the lens correction. You haven't done it on import. Click and let's compare escaped Take that Been getting down. So we have something darker edges and like that, let's compare that to our final one here. The only thing you we haven't done yet is the saturation channels and you guys know how to do that. But the idea is there some blue and purple in these hills that I recall. So I'm going to go in to the blues and purples and this image we're back to the one I've been working on. Ah Blues. Let's increase the saturation. Just a touch too strong. We can increase the luminous. This basically like adding blue light in the area, the magenta. So it's kind of toggle that guy. Now, don't mess with that. See, it's just kind of, Ah, stark line. Don't mess with that in this case, the oranges and bring in a little orange. Yep, I like it. Increase the loom in. It's just a touch the sky starts to glow. Don't like that goes down and gets dark. So let's not mess with the loo. Minutes and anything else were darn close. Are there some other teeny little tweaks I might do? Yeah, I might paint in with the adjustment brush Certain areas where got too dark on the tree right in here. Turned to solid black because of the grad filter. Where actually, if you look here we have detail in the tree. So could I paint in with the adjustment brush right here and bring back detail just in the tree? You betcha. Any other big, huge questions or questions specifically about these five? These five that it be illustrated the night. These tools, do you think? All right, let's put together. You guys were quit. You feel like you know, kung fu anybody way?