Dramatic and Captivating Rural Photography Editing Made Easy (Sample Photos Included!) | Nathan Hope | Skillshare

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Dramatic and Captivating Rural Photography Editing Made Easy (Sample Photos Included!)

teacher avatar Nathan Hope

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Using Exposure Compensation and Bracketing


    • 3.

      RAW vs. JPG


    • 4.

      HDR Merging


    • 5.

      Benefits of HDR


    • 6.

      Shadow/Highlights Correction


    • 7.

      Color Correction (Hue, Saturation, Luminance)


    • 8.

      Split Tone


    • 9.

      Wrap Up


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About This Class


In this class I want to demonstrate my method for creating dramatic and captivating rural landscape architecture using Adobe Lightroom. 

This class should be suitable for most all skill levels and includes the entire editing process for this image from start to finish.

Concepts covered in this class include:

  • Importance of shooting RAW format
  • Exposure compensation
  • Merging HDR images
  • Color correction
  • Split tone

Meet Your Teacher

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Nathan Hope


Photographer from the U.S., now permanently residing in Norway. 

Love connecting with other photographers. You can find me at @nth.hope on Instagram!

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1. Introduction: Hi. My name's Nathan Hope, and I am a photographer in also Norway. Today I want to talk a little bit about how to really capture those rule architectural landscapes and how to harness the power of using raw files and using HDR, emerge, Teoh, capture as much light as possible and create these really dramatic looking images. So I'm gonna be walking through the entire process of first how I shot Thean management settings that I used and how to merge the images together and then how to completely edit it from start to finish. So I hope you join and I hope you enjoy it. Thank you. 2. Using Exposure Compensation and Bracketing: All right, let's get started. So this is a building? I took a picture of really old somewhere out in the middle of nowhere in Norway as old farm type building. And, uh, I didn't I didn't take this in one single shot, I shot a bracketed meaning I shot three different exposures of the same damage. So as you can see here, this is my quote, normal exposure. This is my under exposed, and this is my overexposed. And you kind of see why I did this in a little bit. But I just wanted Teoh for beforehand explain everything. Um, in addition to shooting this image bracketed. I also shot it with excusing using exposure compensation. And that basically means that I took every single image and the camera actually went about half a stop under exposed the normal. And, uh, the reason I do that is because it helps kind of retain the light in some of these really bright areas. Thes kind of shots where there's a lot of sky, I tend to shoot under exposed on purpose. But since the shooting in Morocco will be able to recover a lot of this light that we've lost, especially after we emerged. These three exposed these three bracketed images in the next section. But, uh, I just kind of wanted to explain why it looks a dark and why we're using three images here , so next will go ahead and merge these using HDR. 3. RAW vs. JPG: before we go ahead and merge these images. I just wanted to talk really quickly about the differences between shooting rob versus J pig formats for the camera and, uh, because of this, it's just to demonstrate it really fast. When you shoot just J peg format with your camera, it's the cameras basically doing all the thinking for you. It's computing all the different light levels that shadows the highlights, and it's giving you a finished product, whereas with raw you can actually have access to all of that different information and use it however you want. For example, you can see how much control I have over these shadows. Same thing of these highlights. So it's something that gets asked, I think pretty often by beginning photographers is why should shoot raw. And when you're shooting raw, it's a given that you're going to have to do some post processing because your cameras not really doing any of that for you. Uh, but I think it's a good habit to shoot Rob because then you can get the most of your images . So if this is something you're still kind of I'm familiar with, then, uh, you know there's a lot of different resource is online or YouTube, things like that. Or maybe I'll end up doing a video. Some point about it on here, I don't know, but I just wanted to bring that up that it's really important when you're doing things like this to shoot in raw. Uh, I know most DSL, ours and wireless cameras, the all shooting raw, and I think some new phones, new iPhones whenever I think they're actually started to shoot Roswell. But if you have the option with the camera to shoot raw or JPEG, definitely choose wrong. 4. HDR Merging: The next step here is, uh we're gonna take these three images our normal exposure or under exposed overexposed. I'm gonna click shift, I like all three of them and then right click and then we're gonna go to photo emerge. It's year. And as you can see, this AutoAlliance already checked for us. If you don't have this checks to definitely check it, this is going Teoh. Just make sure all three of our exposures are perfectly aligned. And this actually works so well that I don't even use Ah tripod. A lot of the time when I'm just kind of walking around taking shots like this. I didn't use a tripod for this, but it's it's good enough to know, You know, if you've got a relatively fast shutter speed when you take all three shots, they're going to be pretty close to the same but, uh, auto tune. I usually keep unchecked because I don't like the initial corrections that it makes them exposures right away so you can check it if you like how it looks. But I personally don't like it. De ghost amount. This kind of depends on the setting. If you've got a little wind, for example. You might have leaves that air in different positions in every single frame because of the wind. And this will go ahead and kind of fix some of that working. But that's kind of a totally different, uh, topic you can. If you do have problems with things that foliage being in different positions through each exposure, you can go ahead and mess with these. These will kind of try to go ahead and, uh, limited down to a single exposure rather than having these sort of ghosted images. But if everything looks good like this, don't worry about that. We'll go ahead and click merge. You can see a periods creating the HDR image. So here's our image right here. And the reason I know this is the image that we created its first of all the file name, right? Click on that. You can see it upended a HDR to that file name over in this area way have a river. And we've also got these little icons here saying that the foot has been cropped and we've had some other adjustments. So this is your HDR. This is what you're gonna be working with next 5. Benefits of HDR : So let's talk a little bit about why we did that merge to HDR. The reason we did that is because you know how I was talking about shooting raw. Well, we actually have all the lighting data from those three different exposures toe work with. So any light captured from those three images is now contained within this one single image . And I think when you hear the word hdr, a lot of people think you're crazy looking over vibrant photos. But what HDR actually is high dynamic range is just the ability to utilize as much lighting information as possible. And what you do with it is up to you. But you can get some pretty great and products with having that much lighting available to you so and we can go ahead and get started on the initial adjustments that we've got our HDR image, everything that's good. So 6. Shadow/Highlights Correction: first thing I always do with an image like this is just to go into this crop overlay tool and just make sure we've got some straight lines. And, uh, I'm just gonna move this a little bit. So our horizons a little bit flattered. That looks pretty decent. So it done. Okay. A Z you can see when we move that way. Kind of went off the cameras here a little bit. So if you can see these little white edges, that means that your when you went to realign things, you basically ran out a photo for that photo size. What we'll do is we'll go ahead and just crop it just a tiny bit. And to do that, we'll just grab one of these corners and just pull it down a little bit. Reposition. We should be good. Okay, so now we don't have this little white edges. So let's get into the actual color. Uh, I think our white balance is pretty good, so we'll keep the temperature sent the same. Um and see, that's maybe a little bit of contrast. Not a whole lot 12 highlights. We've got a lot of white, bright white in the sky. So we're gonna turn that down a little bit, save up 48 shadows. We definitely need to turn up our shadows here. So this is really the power of using this raw HDR marriage. As you can see, we could just pull this right up. It's really good. So take the all the way up to 100. Um, the next whites, um, I'm gonna go ahead and pull the whites up just a bit. So you really get a white sky here, The whole 50 blacks, you know, Let's take the blacks down a little bit and get it. Get a little bit more contrast. Well, uh, all right. So I think these these lighting levels looking pretty good so far Clarity. This is something, you know, it doesn't always look good, but I think in this particular type of image where we've got a lot of texture, I've got a lot of lines. I'm gonna pull the clarity of just a bit. And so this is where you kind of start to really get that hdr ish in, uh, sort of, uh, look to it. But I don't want too much. Stick it down to me 79. Yeah, those. And when you pull the clarity up, it's sort of wipes up some of your colors a little bit, So let's just pull the vibrance up a bit. So we get some of that green and yellow back some of blue, and I think that's OK for color. For now, the next thing we're gonna do is just kind of go in and adjust each color coming by color and until we get a look that we really like. 7. Color Correction (Hue, Saturation, Luminance): next step, we're gonna work on the eight your cells and go ahead and get down here to your ages Cell tab, and then we're gonna go ahead and just click. Also, you can see all of these a trestle settings, and I'm probably going to do a lot to the hue blue sky right here. I think I want to take that into more of a Thiel just a tiny bit. That's too much about 20 20 two. That's good saturation. Uh, I think that's what we moved to next. I'm pretty happy with these other Hughes here. That's got a nice sort of soft color. Um, I wonder being the orange saturation of just a bit. As you can see, we've got these sort of orange leafy areas. It's winters. We've got a little bit of dead dead grass here, but I think it's pretty cool. So I want to emphasize that a little bit by pulling up the orange and the other. So let's go ahead and do that here. Not a whole are same thing with Thea, and I'll show you the difference here in sec. Okay, so if I turned all of these off, you can see the difference here. It's not drastic, but it's just enough. And, uh, next thing we're gonna look at is the ruminants. And this is something I kind of messed with quite a bit as well on images like this. So I'm gonna just go ahead and start pulling the orange up a little bit. She brought 20 Cornish something. The yellows. So now we're really starting to, um, really pull out these colors here in this grass in its texture. Greens were also put up a little bit of that. And right now it's looking maybe a little bit Teoh two vibrant for my taste. But you'll see what we do here in in a sec. I'm actually going Teoh just set these, actually, let's pull this back up. Okay, so we've got some pretty cool, soft colors here. Um, it's a little bit too vibrant, too saturated from you right now. But, um, in our next step, we're going to go in and you split toning to kind of even out these colors a little bit. And it'll make a pretty big difference. I think so. 8. Split Tone: so were last up here is split town. And I kind of knew I wanted to do this from the beginning because we've got all this white to work with, that we can kind of inject our own colors into. And so let's go ahead. And just first thing I normally do is just take a little bit of saturation on a lot. And, uh, we're gonna move our balance all the way up to the highlights here. And as you can see already, we've got a little bit of color added here in these white areas. But I want to kind of Adam or a purple. So let's move into the purple range here. It's about right there and you can see the difference here. We've kind of even out some of this blue here with this purple. I think it looks really nice. So, um, Republican really do much with shadows is not a whole lot of shadows here to begin with, but we could try it out and see you a little bit more saturation. And, uh, it's kind of maybe try out some greens. No. Okay. Lets doesn't look too bad. Actually, let's turn off the split town and completely and see the before and after. Yeah, like that. So, as you can see in the shadows right here, we've kind of added this blue green. And, uh, you've got this purple appear in the sky. I think it just kind of gives it a nice, cool, even tone for the picture itself. So that's really all along I want to do. I'm pretty happy with this. So a little wrap up things here, I usually add a little bit of in yet so good on here, Teoh pro supposed crowd getting and just take just a little bit. Got these sort of exaggerated corners here now, and it really just brings your eyes right to the center of this picture. So I'm pretty happy with this. It didn't take us all a lot of time, and I think above all else, this kind of really showed the power of using raw files in general. So 9. Wrap Up: all right. So we got our final image here, and I just kind of wanted to recap on some of the things we did. So first step Waas. We took our three images here, a Z you can see totally different looking from the from the finished products, but it took her three exposures. We created an HDR, and next thing we did was set up our our lighting or shadows or highlights or contrast and add a little bit of clarity, which really gave us a nice texture in his clouds. And it's grass. And, um, I think, really sort of enhanced this picture. And when it ended our individual color adjustments, we used the hue to just kind of soften up the colors a little bit. Not a whole lot of adjustments were done here. Saturation. We put up the oranges and the yellows just a little bit to bring out some of those additional colors in the grass Luminant. Since we just kind of used that to make those orangey yellows and greens a little bit more prominent and just kind of pop, and you split toning to just kind of add some. It's a nice, soft even coloring to the entire picture as a whole. So I hope this is helpful. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks.