Landscape Photography: Practical Tips & Inspiration to Improve Your Photography | Phil Ebiner | Skillshare
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Landscape Photography: Practical Tips & Inspiration to Improve Your Photography

teacher avatar Phil Ebiner, Video | Photo | Design

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

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.

      Welcome to the Landscape Photography Workshop

      1:04

    • 2.

      Your Location Matters for Great Landscape Photos

      7:45

    • 3.

      Why do you want to take this Landscape Photo?

      2:10

    • 4.

      Choose the Right Lens for Landscape Photography

      4:08

    • 5.

      Lighting: The Easiest Way to Improve Your Landscape Photography

      5:00

    • 6.

      Composition and Landscape Photography

      1:37

    • 7.

      Leading Lines | Landscape Photography Composition Tip

      5:04

    • 8.

      Negative Space | Landscape Photography Composition Tip

      4:12

    • 9.

      Symmetry | Landscape Photography Composition Tip

      2:08

    • 10.

      Foreground Elements | Landscape Photography Composition Tip

      6:36

    • 11.

      Show Scale | Landscape Photography Composition Tip

      2:05

    • 12.

      Framing within a Frame | Landscape Photography Composition Tip

      2:03

    • 13.

      Patterns & Textures | Landscape Photography Composition Tip

      2:06

    • 14.

      Change Your Perspective | Landscape Photography Composition Tip

      5:19

    • 15.

      Focusing Basics in Landscape Photography

      5:09

    • 16.

      Advanced Focusing Techniques in Landscape Photography

      11:36

    • 17.

      How Editing Improves Your Landscape Photos

      6:49

    • 18.

      Basic Landscape Photo Editing

      4:42

    • 19.

      Advanced Landscape Photo Editing

      12:20

    • 20.

      Course Wrap Up

      1:28

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About This Class

Quickly learn techniques to improve landscape photography with better lighting, composition, focus and editing.

What makes a great landscape photo compared to a mediocre one?

How can you quickly improve your landscape photography using the camera & lenses that you already have?

What are the easiest ways to take landscape photos that make others go 'WOW!'?

If you're interested in landscape photography, but struggle to capture images like the ones you see from other photographers, this is the perfect photography course for you.

This short & to-the-point workshop contains dozens of tips & techniques that you can start implementing today.

Key concepts will you learn:

  • Learn the easiest way to instantly improve your landscape photography... LIGHTING

  • Learn how to use several composition techniques capture more interesting photos

  • Learn how to properly focus so that everything from your foreground to infinity is sharp

  • Learn basic and advanced editing techniques to make your photos pop

After just 1 hour, you'll be more confident taking photos that inspire you, get more likes, and wow your fans!

This course is taught using photography inspiration from professional photographers around the world, your instructor's real-world case studies, and historical photography great Ansel Adams. This course is based on advanced photography theory, and you'll come away with an in-depth knowledge of what makes a photo... great, compared to okay.

If you want to quickly improve your landscape photography, this is the photography course for you!

Meet Your Teacher

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Phil Ebiner

Video | Photo | Design

Teacher

Can I help you learn a new skill?

Since 2012 have been teaching people like you everything I know. I create courses that teach you how to creatively share your story through photography, video, design, and marketing.

I pride myself on creating high quality courses from real world experience.

MORE ABOUT PHIL:

I've always tried to live life presently and to the fullest. Some of the things I love to do in my spare time include mountain biking, nerding out on personal finance, traveling to new places, watching sports (huge baseball fan here!), and sharing meals with friends and family. Most days you can find me spending quality time with my lovely wife, twin boys and a baby girl, and dog Ashby.

In 2011, I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Film and Tele... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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Transcripts

1. Welcome to the Landscape Photography Workshop: Welcome to this landscape photography workshop. My name is Phil webinar and I'm so excited to have you here. What is this course all about? This is a class that's meant to help inspire you and give you some really practical ways to take your landscape photography to the next level. You might be scrolling through Instagram or reading the National Geographic magazine saying, why can't I take photos like that? Well, it does take lots of practice to get to the level of a National Geographic photographer. But that being said, there are some really practical ways that you can capture amazing landscape photos yourself. And we're going to go through those steps so that by the end of this course, when you're out on your next adventure, whether it's close to home or across the globe, you are confident and excited to be able to take better landscape photos than ever before. So without further delay, we're going to jump right into the lessons in the next video, starting with what makes a good landscape photo. 2. Your Location Matters for Great Landscape Photos: What makes a good landscape photo? Let's break down the typical things that a good landscape photo has. Most landscape photos use a wide angle lens with a large depth of field. So most things are in focus, a low ISO not getting a lot of noise or grain. Good exposure overall, it's generally not to contrast D or creatively contrast it with things that are super. Blacks are overblown, generally good overall exposure, and an interesting location. And that's the most important thing when it comes to landscape photos, because we have to start with location. And the truth is that not every single location is going to result in epic landscape photos. So there are times and locations where it just lends itself to a better photo at the end of the day. And that might not be right in your own backyard. But I am hoping that throughout this class you will learn ways to take better photos of the landscape, right in your own backyard before you actually go out traveling or going on a photo adventure, It's important to scout the location. Look at the time you'll be there. What's the weather going to be like? And look for photos, spots that people have photograph from before. Here's a photo from a trip that I recently did to Big Sur. Big Sur is one of the most iconic highways in the world. It's in central California, between just south of San Francisco, between San Luis Obispo and San Francisco. And when I was planning this trip, I made sure to go online and not only look for the specific highlights and the things that might look cool, just make sure I was going to stop there. But it also I looked for specific photographs to see what angle do people shoot at, what time of day where people shooting at, and what did those photos result in? You can look on you can look on Instagram, you can look on Google and just search for the location and look for photos and the images. On Instagram, you can actually just put in a specific location and photos that are tagged at that location will pop up and generally the most popular ones will appear in the results first. And so that gives you a good sense of specific photos that you might be able to capture. Sometimes you might want to go into a place without any of those distractions, without a preconceived notion in your mind of what a photo might look like. But I've found that for myself when preparing for a trip, I end up taking better photos. When I do scout the location, talking about whether to there's a lot of things that will change if it's a cloudy day, if it's a bright sunny day, if it's rainy. So that's going to play a big part. One of my students went to Paris recently on a photo trip and she was a little bummed because it was rainy the entire weekend she was there. I encouraged her to get out there and take photos because Paris in the rain is also a beautiful site. So you can always come back with great photos, no matter what the weather is, it just might not be as epic or as beautiful or as specific as what you're idea was in the first place. Here's an example of this. Here is big B bridge in Big Sur, and this is a photo and most of these photos that I'm showing you are either my own. They are from photographers on unsplash.com or we have some great photos from Ansel Adams, one of the greatest landscape photographers of all time. Here. I know that this photo was taken at sunrise or a little after sunrise because the sun is coming from that particular side of the bridge. And I really liked the lighting that it has on this bridge. I'm always a fan of backlighting are subjects where in this photo the the subject is the bridge itself. Here are two other photos from the exact same location. The one on the left, you will see the sun is setting and it has a lot of golden light, golden shy at golden hour shining on the face of the bridge. But to me this is just isn't as interesting as a photo. And this is one location where golden hour at sunset, I don t think was as good as at sunrise. On the bottom right, you see a photo where it was a little bit more overcast shot during the middle of the day. Nothing wrong with this photo, but as you can see, the weather completely changes. What this photo looks like and the time of day that you're shooting. Here's a photo that I saw before I went to Big Sur and I was like, I want to get this photo. The Milky Way over these mountains and somewhat long exposure, you see the streaks of the headlights going across the bridge. Really, really cool photo. Well, you're not always going to see the Milky Way. Depending on your location. If you're in anywhere with light pollution, you likely won't see the Milky Way galaxy like this. And depending on what time of the month, If it's a full moon or anywhere near a full moon, you're not going to see the stars like this. And that's what happened when I went, this is the photo I captured and I didn't get the Milky Way. And you can see that I compose the photo a little bit differently because of that, I panned or tilted down a little bit, and you still see a lot of stars. But the ocean itself is really brightly lit and that's because of that moon. So a lot more light in general compared to this one where you can barely see the hillsides and the ocean down below compared to mine where there's just so much light. Still though. I think it was a pretty good photo that I came away with. I'm really happy with it. This is one that we'll be editing later on in the course because there's some fun things that I'm going to show you about landscape photo editing later on. But the point is that if you're going and you're thinking, Oh, I'm gonna get that Milky Way shot. Well, it really depends on going at a specific window of time during the month, and that might not be possible when you are going. The location is really important. And before you go out and location, make sure you scout it. Look for spots that you'll be able to take photos, get inspiration from others, and prepare for what the weather is going to be like. The best thing you can do to improve your photography and your landscape photography is to take your photos at a different time of day. If you're generally out during the middle of the day when the sun is shining, everything's evenly lit and you kinda get a good, decent photo, but it's not as Interesting. Well, try going at sunrise or sunset and stay after sunset or go before sunrise because those are the times where the light and the color in the sky is the most complex and the most interesting. So that's my number one takeaway from this video. If you're going out and you want a great photo, try going super early or super late in the day. Alright, see you in the next lesson. 3. Why do you want to take this Landscape Photo?: Like any photo, there should be a reason behind why you are taking that photo. With landscape photography, you generally will still have a subject and it's good to have a specific subject in mind when you are taking your photos. You might be taking that photo because the subject is interesting. Perhaps. You are simply just documenting your trip and you're just taking photos of the various locations you've been so that you can look back and have those memories clear in your mind with those photos. Are the photos you're taking informative or more abstract? For informative, I would say that it's more aware. You see that photo and you look and you say, oh, that is Yosemite Valley. I know where that is and I can see what time of year it is. I can see the colors in the tree, the weather, what it was like, versus a photo like this that you see where this is a photo of some sand and sand dune. And it's more of an abstract visual and that you're just trying to get more creative. And at the same location you might be able to get both types of photos, but have, think about it. Why are you taking that photo? Perhaps you're capturing time, you're capturing the change in season. Here. You're capturing photos of the landscape for scientific information showing the change in the weather, change in the climate, or long exposure like this. Just a capturing the time right here in this moment. Or of course, maybe encompassing all of these reasons here. Just simply taking a photo because it's interesting to look at it visually beautiful when you're heading out to take photos, just keep these things in mind. Why are you taking this photo? What is the subject? Who are you taking the photo for? These things will change what you actually end up with. Alright, let's get to actually how we improve our landscape photography. Coming up in the next lesson. 4. Choose the Right Lens for Landscape Photography: How to capture a better landscape photos. The first thing is choosing what lens you're going to be using. I'm not going to talk about camera bodies because I believe that you can take amazing photos with any type of camera. Think about the first digital cameras that came out in the nineties and the early 2000s. The sensors that were on those cameras are nowhere near what our smartphones sensors are like today in terms of megapixel and nowhere near what the cheapest entry-level DSLR cameras are today. And they were still taking amazing photos back then. So I don't want you to get in your head thinking that if I had a better camera, I could take better landscape photos. Absolutely not true. That being said, the choice of a lens will affect what your landscape photo looks like. Generally wide-angle lenses is what we go to for landscape photography. And that's because landscape photography we generally think of as a wide-open Vista. We see the hillside, we see the Great Plains, we see the big desert, the vast forests, whatever your landscape is. We generally think of it as wide on a crop sensor camera. This could be something like a ten to 16, maybe 20 millimeter on a full frame sensor. This is more anything like a 16 to 24 millimeter around. They're not exactly. Once you get wider than that and you start getting that fisheye effect, you can still take great landscape photos, but it might be a little bit warped and not as natural looking. I find though, that even shooting on a 16 millimeter on my crop sensor, sometimes it's not wide enough. And that's because when you're out shooting at specific vistas like you see in this photo, you might not be able to get this entire rock formation in your frame with that lens. And so sometimes having a wider or an ultra wide angle lens is necessary to get that shot in your mind. You can also shoot with telephoto lenses. This allows you to more single out a specific part of the landscape, especially if you are farther away. Here's a photo of the Matterhorn and Switzerland. And this was shot with a relatively telephoto lens. I'm not exactly sure what it was shot on, but the focus is of this mountain. We will see later on in the course examples of the same location shot with a wider lens and how that changes what the photo story is. Basically, having both lenses is important and I think it's a great thing to have both when you're out shooting. Here we see the cliffs of more in Ireland and you can see a wide angle shot on the left side versus a more telephoto lens are shot on the right. Different stories. On the right you are simply seeing the cliffs. On the left, you are seeing the cliffs with people above the paths telling a different story of what this location is all about. If I were to take this photo myself, and if I were using a telephoto lens, I wish I would have had something that could zoom in further on the photo on the right so that that one rock formation water is more of the subject. And I could get a little bit tighter on this photo. Out of the two of these, what do you like? I think I prefer the one on the left, just because the composition, the leading lines that we'll talk about later in this course about composition. Everything comes together in a more interesting photo to look at, in my opinion. And maybe the editing comes into play to telephoto lenses are great at capturing those specific details of the landscape, abstract photos, things like that. So don't discount using a telephoto lens for your landscape photography. Next, we're going to talk about lighting in more depth. 5. Lighting: The Easiest Way to Improve Your Landscape Photography: Let's talk about lighting for landscape photos. And the light source for your landscape photos is going to be the sun or the moon, which is I guess just reflecting the light of the sun. So the sun is your light source and where it is in the sky high, how bright it is, what's filtering the sun is going to dramatically change what your photos look like, like I mentioned earlier, it's the single thing that you could change yourself to take a dramatically better photo simply by changing the time of day that you take your photo. Here we see Yosemite Valley in the afternoon light. You can see that because the sun is a little bit lower, we're getting some shadows on these epic, majestic rock formations in the Yosemite Valley. Still a great photo, but different than the ones we're going to see here. Here's sunrise, and it's a completely different type of photo. Now, this might be edited to add these types of colors, but I'm sure that there is some integrity here in the colors of the sky and the landscape shot here at Sunrise or before sunrise. Shooting at those times adds more color to the sky and usually results in a more dynamic sky. Now, the time, I will say that doesn't happen is if you have some really interesting clouds or cloud movement that you can capture with perhaps a long exposure right in the middle of the day. But in terms of getting color in the sky, sunrise or sunset. As I said, this is the easiest way to quickly improve your landscape photography. Here is another example of this, the cliffs of more again, on the left and overcast day shot, I would guess a little bit earlier in the day. On the right, it looks like a sunset shot. I think the lighting, the warm tones, much more beautiful on the right right-hand photo doesn't make the one on the left bad, but I just prefer that one on the right. What do you think? Here is a dramatic example of the difference of time of day. Here is Arches National Park from in the Southwest of the US. Here's a general photo captured during the middle of the day, cloudy sky, even lighting. So interesting shot. And if you are here at this time of day, this is a great shot to have. But if you were to stay here in the evening, at night, when it's not a full moon. When you can see all these stars, here's the type of shot. You can get. Completely different photos. Same location shows how you can capture a completely different photo. Here I am in Big Sur and this was the location I went during the middle of the day, five for state beach and the sun. You can see on the top left, just nothing special. Here I am standing in front of that documentation type of photo on the right using a more telephoto lens. Joshua Sortino captured this photo in the fading light of sunset. With that light bursting through that opening of the rocks. With the midst of the ocean waves being able to cast that light even further and glow even more, I think is super interesting. I just wasn't at this location at this time. And so I never would've been able to capture this this boat on the right-hand side. And I accept that. I'm okay with that. But it's just important to know that when you are taking your photos, that there might be photos that you see that you just can't capture because the lighting is not not there. Here's another example. I shot the photo in the top left, beautiful waterfall and this cove in Big Sur, the ocean looks beautiful. It almost looks tropical that teal in that water. But it's a different photo than the one on the right shot at sunset. Now, I don't know which one I necessarily prefer. I think the one on the bottom right, I think is one most people will prefer. The one in the top-left is a great general photo of what this location looks like. It's not very artistic. The one in the bottom-right shot with a longer shutter speed. So you get that smooth motion in the water. The light changes. Everything. Might not be the last time I say it, but it is one of the most important things I want you to take away. Get there for Sunrise, get there for sunset, and see how much better your photos quickly turn out to be. 6. Composition and Landscape Photography: Now we turn our attention to something that you have more control of. Sometimes you don't have control of the lighting when you can be at a location and you definitely don't have control of the weather. So what can you control with photography? And that is composition. Composition is what's in your frame, is how you compose the landscape in your frame, where you place the subjects. How wide, how narrow isn't on the left, right centered up, down, what's on the edge of the frame. Everything that is in your frame makes up your composition and what are you choosing to not include in your frame as well? And how does this help tell the story of your photo? Here's an example of some skiers that appear to be flying right above or in front of the Matterhorn. A completely different story. The photo that we saw before of the Matterhorn itself, including elements can change what your photos say. So in the next videos, I'm going to break down specific compositional techniques in terms of landscape photography. And these are just ideas I want you to look at the photos, see how these techniques are used. So that next time you go out and take photos, specifically think about, okay, how can I use leading lines in this photo? How can I captured this landscape using framing within a frame and all of the other techniques we're gonna go through. Let's get to it. 7. Leading Lines | Landscape Photography Composition Tip: Composition technique number one, look for leading lines. Leading lines are the lines in your frame that naturally draw the eye towards something or through your frame. Here in this photo we can see that there are a couple of lines. One going from the bottom, we have this pathway, this is in Yosemite, and we have this path that goes towards the waterfall. For future photos, I want you to pay attention to what is your eyes naturally go to? Does it jumped to the waterfall? That waterfall goes down, down, down. Does your eyes follow that waterfall down into this forest and then maybe bounce down to this guy walking down this pathway. Do all these lines in the mountain help naturally guide your eye down towards this person at the bottom of the frame. These are just things that when you're consciously thinking about it, it's hard to understand. Is that really happening or is it something that I'm thinking too hard about now? But as a photographer know that when you have leading lines that lead to a specific subject, it does make that photo a little bit more interesting for viewers. And one of the reasons is it just draws our attention and it lets the viewer stick with your photo a little bit longer than if there was nothing. Drawing our attention in. Let's look at another example here again at Yosemite. Here's the photo of Half Dome, one of the most iconic mountain rock formations. And if it was just a photo of Half Dome, it would be interesting. But here we have framed between these trees the lines of this road leading us to that rock formation are I drawn down the path of this highway to this rock formation telling a different story than just the rock itself. This is telling you the story of being here at this location, driving down this path, seeing this epic location while you drive down the highway, it almost feels like you are driving down that highway yourself. Here's one where the leading lines don't necessarily lead to a specific subject, but this is often what leading lines do in a landscape photo and that's just lead us into the horizon. So here we have these lines along the edge of this lake going to the horizon that ends up being blurred out into the distance. Here we have these lines on the sand dune leading us again to the horizon. This photo is not as powerful as I would say. This one is. In terms of we have the leading lines of the foot prints, the peak of the sand dune leading to our subject in the distance. Now I wish I had this photo was a little bit brighter. I think in terms of the editing, it could be a little bit more easy to see visually if it was brighter. This one shot at a different time of day obviously is interesting in that it's abstract but not as interesting in terms of the subject. And so I like how this photo, the lines lead us to the subject on the peak. Here we have one of the photography grades and slow atoms taking landscape photos, photos that many people have had never seen until an SSL, Adams was taking these types of photos. The leading lines of the river leading us to these giant mountain tops in the distance. Here we have this photo. I just want you to look at it for a second and see where your eye ends up. If it started on the cliff side, it probably was drawn down to these dwellings that were built into the side of this cliff by the native inhabitants of the southwest United States. And just incredible photo and it would just be a lot different if we didn't have these lines on these hills or if it was cropped or shot in a different way to not see these lines that just draw our eye down. And I like showing these old photos by photographer is like Ansel Adams because it shows that these techniques, he might not have called it leading lines back in the day. But it was a natural way that prolific photographers composed images to be able to use these natural leading lines in their photos to draw our eye to a specific subject. It's just more pleasing to look at. When you're out there shooting photos. Look out for those leading lines. 8. Negative Space | Landscape Photography Composition Tip: Use negative space. Negative space and positive space make up your photos. Positive space is the space that is taken up by the subject. So in this photo here we have the Matterhorn again. And the Matterhorn, the mountains at the bottom of the frame are what I would call the positive space. This photographer Joshua, frame, this photo specifically to show the stars in the sky that make up. What I will say is the negative space of this photo. Now the stars themselves are a great subject and I think that some would argue that that's positive space. If you couldn't see the stars though, if it was just a blink blue, dark night sky, that would definitely be more of negative space in a very interesting way to compose this image. And almost makes the matter or not as epic as it is when you see it like this with the rest of the mountains next to it. And still protrudes and it's still epic, but negative space can have that impact. It can sometimes make your subject feel smaller, while it could also make them feel more epic because they're alone. And then the only thing in your photo here is a shot of the sand dune. Remember the one we saw in the last lesson with leading lines where you were seeing most of the sand dune took up the frame here. Most of this photo is negative space of the sky. I find this composition very well balanced. It's using the rule of thirds as well with the horizon line about at the third of the frame. Here is a different kind of landscape photo. This tree in the middle of this body of water and lots of negative space around the tree. Here, hansel Adams is using negative space with this landscape. Using the sky. It's just showing how big this landscape is into a more extreme checkout, this one where he composes the water and the mountains at the very bottom of the frame. So the point of this is to get to a location. And perhaps you might generally frame this mountain range right in the middle of your frame. But try to think, can you compose this in a different way? Can I use negative space in this location? Maybe it's simply just tilting up a bit so that the subject, the landscape is at the very bottom of the frame. Maybe I am at a location like this one where if I was tilted up or if I was zoomed out a bit, there would be boats around here. You could see the top of the edge of the lake, at the top of the frame, maybe some foreground elements. But I want to compose it using negative space. And so I'm going to zoom in a little bit tighter so that I just see this one tree on this rock in the middle of the water with nothing else. These are things that as a beginner photographer, you might have to consciously remind yourself, write it down, keep it in your phone. Say try a negative space photo. As you progress, you might just naturally end up composing your images that way. I don't necessarily believe that insulin Adams was there thinking, okay, I gotta get my leading line shot, I gotta get my negative space shot. I think he just got to a point where he was composing images the way that we're pleasing to his eye. And we're able to categorize these compositional styles now with these terms. But as a beginner, I think it is important to test it out, try it out and be conscious of the compositions you are trying to achieve. Alright, that's it for negative space. Let's move on to symmetry in the next video. 9. Symmetry | Landscape Photography Composition Tip: Our next compositional technique is to look for symmetry. Here we again have the Matterhorn, but they found this body of water where they can use the reflection of the Matterhorn to make it a more symmetrical image. Again, doesn't make it a better photo, doesn't make it a worst photo. If it wasn't symmetrical, It's up to you to decide. I find symmetrical photos interesting to look at. But sometimes I like completely off symmetrical things. I generally like things that are like off-kilter, off to the side of a photo. But that being said, another thing to check out this photo particular if I were them, I would have just cropped it a little bit because it's the horizon line is not completely level. It's not completely centered. But that can be done in post-production. Here is another photo of a landscape, the dolomite in Italy, again with the reflection in the water showing that symmetry. Similar location and the doll amides. You can see though, how the reflection and the symmetry of that reflection change the photo dramatically. And this is because at different times of day, depending where the sun is, depending on where you are, how your angled, you're just not going to see that reflection in the water. Doesn't make the photo on the right bad. I love that teal blue water that you're seeing there. But on the left-hand side, it's very interesting to see that reflection. If I were them, I would have tried to widen out a little bit. Again, maybe not possible if they didn't have an ultra wide lens. But just to see the peak, the top of the mountains in the reflection to make it a little more symmetrical. Now I'm showing you photos of reflections, but also when you're looking at different elements in the landscape, maybe there's ways to balance either side of the frame with the landscape on the left and right as well, and not just reflections top and bottom. 10. Foreground Elements | Landscape Photography Composition Tip: Add foreground elements. This is something that I think will really take your landscape photos to the next level in terms of just being more interesting to look at, but also telling a different story of your landscape. Here you can see the Matterhorn with the foreground of the town or the village underneath this amazing mountain top. Completely different story than just seeing that mountain top by itself. Here is this waterfall, long exposure. And the photographer decided to include this mossy rock with this one sort of plant, leafy plant in the foreground, everything is in focus. And this photo, in terms of the subjects, the waterfall to this foreground element and we'll talk about focus in a future lesson. Dive deep into advanced ways to focus and get things in the foreground and the background in focus. But this was a conscious decision to compose this photo, not just of the waterfall, which would have been interesting in itself, but also to include that foreground element. Why is this interesting? Why is it a better photo? Maybe it's not a better photo. It's up to you to decide. But for me it's interesting because it just keeps my attention on the photo. There's more things to look at. I am looking from top to bottom to see what is in this photo. And sometimes that's simply what makes a photo better. It just what it's going to keep your viewers attention on that photo a little bit longer. Here we have some more photos of the Matterhorn. Different though we're shooting from a different perspective lower. So we see this giant mountain top looming over this village versus the one we saw before, which was from up above. Here we have the foreground elements of the villages in the buildings and the cabins, chalets, whatever you call them. Underneath the dolomite in Italy. Different story than just seeing those rocks. Here we have the cliffs of Maher, again, very similar spot are practically the same location. But the photographer on the right decided to widen out, tilt down a little bit to include the foreground grass in front. This is a case where I think I prefer the one on the left. I like the clean line of those clips, just being able to see it. But the one on the right is also interesting. It tells more about maybe the time of year this was at. And it shows you, it feels like you are there yourself standing on that hill with that grass in front of you. Here's a photo that a couple of photos I shot in Big Sur using the foreground element. Standing up on this little cliff overlooking this cove. Both have foreground elements, but the right one, I really focused actually on the succulents and the plants in front of you. And I actually didn't get this right because the focus was on those flowers and the background was not in focus. We're gonna learn how to prevent that in the focusing lessons of this class. But I would think that for this photo, everything should be completely in-focus. Here we have Angela atoms, including this tree in the foreground in front of these mountains. I believe this is the Teton mountain range in the United States. Without this tree here, it would be a completely different photo. Might be just as good of a photo or a better photo. But this one's interesting to see that tree here on the left. The Tetons, big, majestic snowy mountains. On the right. You see those mountains, but in the foreground is that this driftwood. He's on the lake or the body of water. And it's a compositionally, a more complex image. And therefore a little bit more interesting to look at. Sometimes you want both photos though. And speaking of forgone elements, sometimes you want to simply focus on that foreground element. You want the background to be out-of-focus. You want it to just play that background role. And then here we have a photo from Big Sur. Focus on these flowers in the foreground with the landscape behind falling out-of-focus. Here's a couple of photos from Lake Tahoe, the same little bay or cove with this little rock island in the middle. The photos are very different. They're shot at similar times of day, but on the left, they decided to edit it so that the landscape is silhouetted. On the right. The editing is different. The shadows are brighter. You can see the trees, but you also see that they have focused on this snowy patch in front of them. Very conscious decision to capture it and compose it like this, tells a different story. You can tell the weather what it was like sitting there on that rock more than the one on the left. Both are really great photos. Here, hansel Adams focuses on the water, the ripples of the water in this landscape. Which I think was probably a smart idea because if he was focusing just on the hills in the background, It's honestly not that interesting of a photo seeing that rippling water. That is what is really interesting, that pattern, the textures of the water, I think is more interesting and the right thing to focus on. So try when you're out shooting landscapes, adding some foreground elements, maybe it means tilting down, crouching down, moving to a different location with some foreground elements and try focusing on those with the background out-of-focus or focusing with everything in focus as well. And if you need tips on that, we'll get to those lessons coming up on focusing because there's some really cool techniques to make sure that you're getting everything from your foreground elements to infinity in focus. 11. Show Scale | Landscape Photography Composition Tip: Something that can make your landscape photos even more epic is to show the scale of the landscape with people or other elements in your frame. Here we can see another location at Arches National Park. And because this person is standing underneath these rock formations, you can see how intense and how giant these truly are completely different than just seeing them alone. Here, I took these two photos of this cove. On the right-hand side. It's a little bit further down the cliff side. But my brother-in-law was climbing down ahead of me and I thought it was It's interesting to see him walking down. Not only does it help with the perspective of looking down and seeing what it feels like to be there. But it also tells the story. Maybe just to me as a reminder, maybe not to you, but to me as a reminder that we had to climb up that cliff to get this shot. I just think that the one on the right side to me is a little bit more interesting of a photo. Here we have two different forms of scale. On the left you see the gigantic sand dunes dwarfed by even bigger mountain tops. On the right you see these gigantic sand dunes that are so big compared to this lone figure walking down at the bottom of the frame. Both sand dunes, these aren't on the same location, I don't believe, but probably similar in size and epiglottis, but a much different story you're telling with these photos. Being able to see them compared to other landscape elements or compared to the person. So if you're in a location with something that is just ginormous, made me take a photo with someone in IT. Do a self. He can't hear yourself in that photo to show the scale of those elements. 12. Framing within a Frame | Landscape Photography Composition Tip: Look for natural frames. Framing your subject or your lens gapes within frames in your photo can make it a very interesting photo to look at here we see a DWI, Sioux Falls, South America. And you see that these falls are framed by the forest that is in the foreground. So this is foreground elements, but in terms of actually framing and not just at the bottom of the frame. Here we see the same Falls, two different photos. The one on the left not being framed, the one on the right framed by the tree branch at the top. Now, between these two photos, I think I prefer the composition of the one on the left. Maybe would change things a little bit editing wise. If it was shot at the different day where the water looked a little bit more blue with the sky being a little bit more blue as well, it would be more interesting. But out of all three of these photos like this one, I think that this one is probably my favorite in terms of being just the most interesting to look at. I always go back to which one would I want on my wall? I think this one. Here we have the doll minds again. Some rock formation in this mountainous region. Interesting photo. They've centered it, which is a different composition all style as well as centering your objects. Much different than this photo here, where the photographer found this cave-like structure and was able to backup into this cave to be able to frame these rock formations. Both are interesting photos. The one on the right, I find a little bit more interesting with that framing. So again, when you're out there shooting your landscapes, remember, frame within a frame, how can you compose the same exact scene using some sort of natural A-frame? 13. Patterns & Textures | Landscape Photography Composition Tip: Lookout for patterns and textures. This is something that I find to inspire me to get out and take photos when I'm a little bit sort of board of my location. And this might be something if you are trying to photograph around where you live and you feel like, Oh, well there's nothing interesting to look at. See if you could find some patterns or textures within the landscape. And maybe it means using a telephoto lens or just looking at things in a different way. Here we have these beautiful mountains and the misty clouds that could be photographed really anywhere in the world. This could be any number of mountain ranges. And what makes it interesting is this staggered pattern that we see. Here. We see from the sky view these great texture of the forest beating up against this body of water. And of course, this means using a drone likely to take this photo that you might not have. But this photographer was able to make this location more interesting by shooting from this perspective. Looking up, we see the texture of the sky, the patterns within these rocky arch way. Very interesting perspective to look at. Here, hansel Adams takes and captures the patterns and the textures of the Grand Canyon and beautiful black and white photography. The one on the right is a little bit more telephoto. And I actually prefer the one on the left because it's, it's more patterned in a sense compared to the one on the right. You still have these great textures. I like the contrast and just the lines that you see, but the one on the left, I just like the repetitive pattern that you see there. So look out for those patterns and textures when you're out taking photos. 14. Change Your Perspective | Landscape Photography Composition Tip: Change your perspective. What this means is simply changing. Like are you looking up, are you looking down at something? How are you looking at the subject of your landscape photo? And to really showcase this, we're going to look at how one location, one rock is photographed in a number of perspectives and how that changes everything in terms of how that rock is seen. This is El Capitan, That's great cliff in Yosemite. Here we have a standard photo of this Great Big Rock. Great photo. You got the foreground of the forest below that would be very difficult to get rid of. Looks big, right? Well, let's look at it compared to this photo and this photo captured from farther away. But the size of the rock and the frame is about similar. And that's because even though further away, they were probably zoomed in a little bit more and having this sort of framing with the trees on the either sides symmetrically framing this rock. You see the highway down at the bottom as well. And it really just shows how epic this mountain is looming over you as you drive down this road. Both great photos, but it gives off a different feeling. Here. You're closer to it, you're a little bit closer to the base of it. You're looking up at it. It's blooming at you a little bit differently, like it's about to topple over. You. Also shot at a different time of day, which makes this photo interesting in a different way, way too. Here we are zoomed in to the top. And this is where we saw at the very beginning of the class. We saw the lighting From son sat, where as the sun goes down, you're somebody valley of the shadow goes up over the face of these cliffs. And I think it was a great decision to make this a black and white photo because you can see the textures really well of this cliff. And it is highlighting the peak of El Capitan. Here we have from a different perspective, were turned to the side. It's like a profile shot, a copy ten. There's a few interesting things about this. One is if there was a person in this photo scaling this mountain, you would see how small they are compared to this giant cliff face. The other is you see what's called Fire Falls. This is when just for a couple of days of the year, I believe the light at it for just a moment shines onto where this waterfall is. And it looks like fire falling down the face of this mountain. And seeing it from this perspective is just completely different than those other shots. Here we have another shot from down on the floor of the valley. El Capitan is just part of the story. This is a beautiful shot. I love the lighting, I love the perspective, the wide angle lens makes it look epoch. And then here we have the entire valley El Capitan, just part of the family of majestic rock formations with Half Dome in the distance. These other great rock formations forming this valley. And it doesn't necessarily mean make El Capitan less impressive, but it certainly does make it seem like just one part of this beautiful location. So how can you take a photo of your landscape? Different perspectives. Sometimes you're stuck. There's one little cliff overlook where that's where you're going to take the photo from. Other times. Maybe you could change things up. You can move around, go to a different location, go up, down, fly a drone, go down from underneath whatever the landscape is. Try changing the perspective. Try capturing your location in multiple ways so that when you get back from your photo adventure, you have multiple options and see how it tells the story of that location in a different way. So in conclusion, composing your image is what you have control of. And I think the best thing to do to improve your landscape photography now is to have these things, these techniques in mind while you are going out, just like you have to have in mind. Okay, I'm gonna go at sunrise, not at noon. You want to be thinking, Okay, I'm going to try to capture this with leading lines or negative space or symmetry or any number. Because you can combine these, these compositional techniques as well, but try to be conscious of them. Now, so that later on it just comes naturally. 15. Focusing Basics in Landscape Photography: Let's talk about focus. Generally, there are some tips that will help you to get the best focus for landscape photos, whether you are focusing on just a distant horizon or if you are trying to include things in the foreground that you want in focus along with what's in the background. So let's get to some of those tips. The first thing that we need to think about though, is what is acceptable focus? Not everything is going to be perfect focus depending on what lens you're using and where you are focusing. But there is such thing as acceptable focus in the sense that while, what's that 20 feet away is going to be the perfect focus, that's where your lenses sharpest focusing on what's in front of that will also be in focus and what's behind that will also be in focus to arrange. And the key with landscape photography and photography in general is to make sure what in your frame that you want people to be able to see. Is it an acceptable focus? Because you have to choose, or there's times where we have to choose, where, whether you're focusing on just the distance or something closer up. And it's going to maybe not be the sharpest focus, but is it in-focus enough? And that's what you want. You might think that you want to just jump to the highest F, stop the smallest aperture so that you have the deepest depth of field to get the sharpest, best, most in-focus photos when you're shooting landscapes. And in reality, that's actually not true. There's a phenomenon called diffraction where using a higher f-stop, even if something's in focus, you get a little bit of distortion along the edges of things. The lines of you zoom into the highest quality photo of you zoom in as far as you can and you compare it from an F eight photo to an F22 photo. If you're focused on the same thing, the focus will actually look sharper with the lower aperture. So a good range to use for landscape photos is around F eight to 11. You still get a very deep depth of field, but you're not getting that diffraction. Another common misconception is that focusing to infinity is what you want. Sometimes you might want to focus to infinity, meaning the longest or the farthest part of your lens. And this might happen if you're shooting in autofocus and you're just pointing your camera out the distance, it might just automatically shoot or focus to infinity. But if you are trying to capture things in the foreground as well as the background. One, you might want to change from autofocus to manual focus and to focusing to infinity isn't going to give you the biggest range of focus. Meaning things in the foreground might be out-of-focus. And when you're trying to capture foreground to infinity and focus, focus, setting your manual focus to infinity or automatically doing it is not the right thing. One quick rule of thumb that might work for you is if you're using manual focus, set it to infinity and just back-off, just a touch. Remember that when we set our cameras focus to a specific distance, that it's a range. It's not just like that one plane of view is in-focus. Some in front and some in back is in focus. So setting in front of infinity will also include what's in at infinity and focus, but also what's in front of it. If you're shooting landscape photos where there's layers of elements from ten feet to 30 feet, 200 feet to 1 thousand feet. And beyond. Focusing on infinity and backing off just a touch might be a better option. Very unscientific way to approach this. Another rule of thumb that you can use is to focus 1 third up the frame. And this is often if you want or have foreground elements. Because your foreground elements will generally take that bottom quarter to a third of the frame, whether you're shooting portrait or landscape mode. But those foreground elements will generally be around that fourth to a third of your frame. If you're focusing on that, with most wide angle lenses, that element plus what's in the background will be in focus if you're using an f-stop around F8 to f 11. Now this isn't going to change depending on what camera lens and what aperture you're using. And depending on how far that subject is at a third of the frame, if what's that 1 third line is relatively far away from you, then yeah, it's gonna be easy to get the infinity background in focus all the way to in front of that 1 third line. But if that 1 third line is only a couple of feet away from you and you're trying to get that in focus with the background. Then the next step, a more scientific approach is probably what you want to think about. 16. Advanced Focusing Techniques in Landscape Photography: Have you heard the term hyper focal distance before? This is a scientific term to define the distance between the camera and a point in your scene where everything is an acceptable focus from half that point to infinity. And really what we're trying to do is get the biggest amount of range in focus from infinity to whatever's closest. And so an example of this is if you have a subject standing at ten feet and that's your hyper focal distance. Everything from five feet to infinity will be in focus. And for that hypothetical camera and lens and aperture because it changes with whatever lens and whatever aperture you are using. But with this example, this would be the biggest rain that you can get. If you, perhaps we're focusing at something at eight feet, What's add infinity wouldn't be in focus. Or if your, if your focus at something at 20 feet, then what's that? Infinity will be in focus, but maybe only up to 15 feet or ten feet. And so the hyper focal distance is really the way that you can get the most in-focus with your specific camera, with your specific lens at your specific aperture. How do we figure this out? Well, there are some apps and there are free apps. If you just search for hyper focal distance and the App Store, you'll find some free apps that will calculate this for you. You can put in your lens, your aperture, and where your subject is standing. And it'll tell you where is the hyper focal distance? Or you can, it will tell you, okay, you want to put your subject at ten feet and focus on that so that the most is in-focus. Doesn't sound like a fun way to do photography though out in the field and we'll get to what, how to do this. But in a more simplified method in a minute. But I think to help understand why this is important and why this works or doesn't work for photographing landscapes with foreground elements. Let's look at this graphic. I have put in my camera on my crop sensor Fujifilm camera with my 16 millimeter lens at an F8. And the hyper focal distance that it gave me back was 1.6 meters. And so that's why at the very top, there's that graph line that shows the hyper focal distance being 1.6 meters. Then I have from 0 feet or meters to infinity. Now jump down to where it says hyper focal. And here it shows that the x is where my focus point is. So if I manually focus my camera lens to 1.6 meters, which you generally can kinda figured out because of the lens, will have either numbers on the lens or in your viewfinder. You will see as you manually adjust your focus, you will see the graph or the bar going from 0 to infinity or whatever it, it shows up on your camera. And so if I manually set my camera's lens to 1.6 meters, That's going to give me the biggest range of focus, all the way acceptable focus, all the way from 0.8 meters to infinity. So everything from a little less than three feet to infinity will be in focus. And that's great because I can now have foreground elements, some flowers, a person that, That's only three feet away. And there'll be in focus and the background will be in sharp focus as well are acceptable focus. Converse that with if you jump up above really quickly to infinity. If I had, if I have foreground elements, but I'm setting my camera to infinity focus or automatically it jumps to infinity focus. Only things from two meters to infinity will be in focus. Now again, remember this is with my cameras, 16 millimeter lens out F8, and it might be different with your camera and lens. So if I had a subject that was at five feet from my camera, then it's not going to be in focus. And that might be an issue if I want it to be in focus. So that's why focusing to infinity might not work for this example. Now what happens if I manually adjust my focus? But I miss the hyper focal distance 1.6 meters just slightly, and I'm focused on something like 1.4 meters. Because that can be kind of easy to do accidentally if you're just manually adjusting. We can't tell our camera and lens exactly 1.6 meters. Usually it's just a little range and you're adjusting it. If I accidentally bump it or focus just that once something in front of the hyper focal distance, what happens is that I'm focusing closer, so things closer will be in focus. So something like 0.6 meters away will be in focus, but infinity won't be in focus. Does that makes sense? And that's the problem because if we are using this method to try to get the most focus range, hyper focal distance is the most range, but there's so much room for error that if you're manually focusing and you just bump it a little bit closer than hyper focal distance. What's at infinity or in the background might not be acceptable focus, and that range is smaller. So what do we do? One rule of thumb is to focus at what's two times you're hyper focal distance. And so you would say, Okay, I know my hyper focal distance is at 1.6 meters. And so I'm going to set my focus to 3.2 meters. And if I set my focus to 3.2 meters, then everything out at infinity is going to be in focus. As you can see here, the range at the bottom of this graphic, all the way as close as 1.07 meters. So I'm not getting as close to the 0.8 meters. 1.07 meters is almost three extra fee or an entire meter closer and focus. Then if I set to infinity focus and anything that's two meters or further is in focus. But I'm not living on the edge of having the background out of focus. If I'm trying to focus or setting my focus to 1.6 meters or 1.5 meters. And so this is a rule of thumb that if you want to go to the scientific approach and use your hyper focal distance, setting your foot, find out what your hyper focal distances, but then manually set your focus to two times that you'll still get most of your foreground elements and focus and the background as well. Now, a lot of us aren't going to want to do this. Again, doesn't sound fun to do photography this way. So is there a general rule that we can follow to achieve our goal? And yes, there is. It's called the double the distance method. And it's basically doing what all of these calculations is doing. But not in a mathematical way or not using calculators. What you wanna do is get to your landscape. If you have foreground elements, this is all if you have forgotten elements. Calculate or just roughly estimate how far that foreground element is three feet away from you, Is it five feet away from you? If it's five feet away from you, then set your focus to ten feet, double that distance. So we're not really caring what the hyper focal distances. But the way that most cameras work with an aperture that's a little bit larger or smaller aperture higher f-stop like an F8 to FL1. If your subjects 5D and your focus to ten feet, then that subject should be an acceptable focus. If your subject is three feet away and you're focusing to six feet, it should be an acceptable focus as well as infinity or your background. The only issue when you have this as if you're trying to focus on something that's like one foot away. And then you say, oh, well now I'm going to double my focus. I'm gonna focus to two feet. Most lenses, when you're getting closer than one meter, then the range will not be enough to get that subject and the background in focus. And that's just the nature of shooting at something super, super close up. But for most of us, when we're shooting landscapes, even with foreground elements there gonna be a meter away or two meters away or even further. And so just using the double the distance, quick and easy, just guesstimate my subjects ten feet away, I'm going to manually focus to 20 feet. You're likely going to get what's in the foreground and in the background. In focus. The key is to not focus closer than what the hyper focal distance is unless you want a blurry background, which is a totally legitimate style that you might want to go for. And the only way you really know exactly what you're hyper focal distance if you are, if you are calculating it and finding out what it is using an app or an online hyper focal distance calculator. But using this knowledge, basically the premise is that if you have a subject that's closer to your camera, then the background don't set your focus to exactly that subject. Focus on behind that subject. Either double or at least a little bit further past that subject so that that background is in focus. And that's why if you're struggling with capturing foreground elements in your landscape photos and getting the foreground to the background in focus. You don't want to use autofocus because you're autofocus is going to try to sharply attached to your subject. If that's where your focus point is on your camera, and that might be at three feet or exactly what you're hyper focal distances. Or it might be closer than your hyper focal distance. Alright? I think you've probably heard me say hyper focal distance enough. I hope this makes sense. I think this is definitely something that for me. It took me a while to capture and understand, and it also took me going out and trying to capture photos with foreground elements to really see this in action. The takeaway. If you want to not think about this at all, using the focus 1 third of the frame is generally going to work. And the other is double the distance. Thanks for watching and we'll see you in another lesson. 17. How Editing Improves Your Landscape Photos: Let's talk about editing landscape photos because truly, editing can make your photos more interesting to look at or better. So what do I typically do with landscape photos? I start with the fixes, I crop. I rotate so that the composition looks just right. I straighten out those horizons. I fix the white balance if it's off. Although most cameras nowadays, the auto white balance is amazing. I fix exposure so that it's not too bright to dark. Oftentimes I will lift, I will brighten up the shadows of the photo so that I can see more details. And here's an example of a somewhat natural edit that I did of The Big Sur coastline. I made those colors a little bit more vibrant. The exposure was generally spot on, but I added a little bit more contrast to make it more dynamic. I perhaps did a tiny bit of copying in there as well. Generally, I like to keep my landscape photos somewhat natural, somewhat realistic, and not completely abstract. Here we have one location. We saw this earlier. This is Lake Tahoe. And you can see how different editing can change a photo. And these photos were also shot at different times of day so that the lighting and things are going to change when you're shooting at different times, the clouds in the sky, all that's going to change. But you can see some photographers chose to edit it with super high contrast so that the landscape is silhouetted versus being able to see the trees, the boats in the water, shooting at a long exposure so that water is smooth and glossy versus a not long exposure. So you can see the detail of the waves now that's not necessarily editing, but I just wanted to bring that up to show you how these photos are shot differently. And then mostly with the colors. Generally, I think it's good to just enhance the colors that are already in your photo and your frame. Not try to make a cool blue sky look warm and Sadie. But there's times where you might want to add a little bit of magenta or yellow or orange or green, make those trees pop a little bit more and more. A forestry green than a teal green. Those are things you can do while editing. Here we have the Fire Falls and Yosemite. And you can see very similar photos. But based off of the settings or just simply editing, the colors are different, the contrast is different. On the photo on the right, you can see more detail in the clips, in the rocks, the textures, compared to the one on the left where the rocks fall, fall a little bit into the shadows, it's a little bit darker. You don't see those textures. Look at the sky, see how that sky is a completely different color. Was that editing, was that what it looked like? I only the photographer knows for sure, but I can tell you that the one on the right seems like they added a little bit more magenta to end red and orange to that photo to make the Fire Falls pop. And I think it also made the sky a little bit more purple as well. Whereas on the left it's a little bit more of a teal sky with that yellowish Fire Falls light. Not so much the orange. Here, the photographer chose to edit in black and white. And it's a lovely decision. I think editing your photos in black and white can be one of the best moves, especially if the sky and the colors aren't as interesting. Now, here's a photo that I decided to add it in black and white and there's a few things I like about that. One, I just like seeing the textures of the cliffs and the water and that is brought out by getting rid of the color. I liked the shadows and the contrast because this was shot during the middle of the day and just that lighting wasn't that interesting and making it black and white, I thought was interesting. And the last thing I like about this photo, because compositionally it's just not that interesting of a location. But story wise for myself, I like it because you can see at the bottom a mom and her daughter sitting there on these rocks. They had climbed around the face of this rocks over here from the left side and we couldn't see them. So we didn't know where they were. And we're like, I hope that family is okay. And when we climbed up the cliffs ourselves, we saw them sitting on the other side just enjoying the view. And so I thought having them here in this photo was somewhat interesting. After I do my basic fixes, the ways that I make my landscape photos better include using my favorite tools like vibrance and saturation to make our colors pop, clarity and texture to make those textures more texture dehaze, which will bring back some information in detail, especially in the sky which you will often have if you're shooting on a day where it's a little bit cloudy and or muddy, dodging and burning. What I mean by that is you are literally making certain aspects of your photo brighter or darker using brushes, radial filters, adjustment filters. We'll go into this in Lightroom in just a second to show you some examples doing selective sky edits because sometimes your skies just don't look that great. And so changing the color, the vibrance of the sky, the texture just of the sky itself, can be very good. And then specific color adjustments to bring out certain greens. The landscape were reds and oranges in the sky. In the right, you can see the before and after of this Big Sur photo. Be Bridge. Here's the before. Here's the after. You can see a lot going on, I started with a decent composition, decent exposure. But editing, I was able to bring out a lot of the color and the sky, the stars, the landscape as well. And so we're gonna go into the editing room and I'm going to show you how I added a couple of photos. Now the point of this is not to teach you how to use Lightroom to edit landscape photos. I actually have a full class on that if you're interested. I just want to show you the specific techniques that I'm using so that hopefully whatever editing app you're using, you can follow along and do similar edits to your own photos. 18. Basic Landscape Photo Editing: Here I am in Adobe Lightroom Classic. And the point of this lesson and the following ones is not to show you how to use Lightroom to edit photos. As I mentioned, I have a course specifically on Lightroom and on landscape photo editing in Lightroom for an in-depth training of how this all works. What I do want to show you are the basic tools that I use and some more advanced techniques that I used in that Big Sur photo right here. So here let's go and look at just basic photo and we saw that before and after. But I think you can see it a little bit better here before, after some of the basic things I've done. And you can see here as I toggle in our main basic settings adjustments, Well, I have adjusted the crop. So one thing I did was I just cropped in just a little bit. I felt like that tree at the top was taking up a lot of space compared to really the star of the show, which is this coastline. And then in terms of straightening out the horizon, I did that as well. Straight horizons are generally necessary for a photo that looks balanced and not sort of off unless you're going for that feeling of all off-kilter horizon. Then I just boosted the colors. So here you can see that I boosted the contrast. I brought the highlights down, I brought the shadows up, and then I brought the blacks down to bring back some of that contrast. I usually start with the highlights, bringing them down, the shadows bring up. Then, because I got a lot of information back in some of these leaves that I want with bringing up the shadows, I do lose a little bit of contrast. There's lots of ways to add contrast with these editing applications. You have the contrast slider, you can bring your blacks down. We also have the tone curve down here. Again, if I'm moving too fast, make sure you check out those other courses that go at a slower pace. Bringing up things like Clarity and Vibrance will also make your landscapes just pop a little bit more. So here if I see the before and after of what I've just edited here. There we go. So those are some basic edits, but I do want to tell you a little secret about this photo in particular. So here's what I started with, but I actually didn't edit all of that manually. I actually used a preset. Presets aren't for everyone, and these will only work in Adobe Lightroom. But if you want, you can download these actually for yourself. Because I've included this pack of presets, the HDR nature pop set here. And I'll include instructions on how to download and install them. You can see that they really make some of the colors and the vibrance and contrast pop for your nature photos depending on how much you want. The one that I used for this photo and for most of the photos on this trip is the HDR nature pop eight. And so here's the after, except for the crop, it's the same photo. So that is what I do with some of my landscape photos. When I just want a quick edit, I just slap on a preset. Here's the other one right here, the big waterfall cove. And we're just going to slap on that nature eight, if that's too much for you, maybe you want to bring down that amount which Lightroom now has an amount slider for the overall preset adjustment, which is pretty cool. And this one after you slap on a preset, it might not be perfect. I think this is a little bright, so I'm just going to bring down the overall exposure. And there's lots of other minor things I can do. The only thing I might do with these photos say you want a different type of blue. Let's go into our HSL panel. If I go to the hue and then I do my color picker for this ocean and drag up or down, you can get more of a deeper blue instead of that teal blue. But of course, if you might want more of a teal blue if you want as well, you could also pick that specific color here in the slider as well if you don't want to use the color picker. Alright, so those are some basic things to do. I would definitely recommend checking out those other courses. But in the next lesson, I'm going to go through some more advanced techniques that I use to edit this photo here. See you there. 19. Advanced Landscape Photo Editing: Alright, welcome to this landscape photography editing tutorial. I'm going to show you what I've done to this photo here on the right that resulted in this photo in the left. And I'm using a few more advanced techniques, specifically the dodging and burning of editing specific aspects of our photo, making some brighter, some darker, but also on top of just dodging and burning, adding specific color edits and clarity edits and things like that to the landscape and the sky. Let's get into it. Alright, so here we are with our initial photo, which compositionally it's a decent photo exposure wise. It's a bit dark, but because it's a raw photo, we have some room to play with. And that's the first thing I'm going to do is really bring up our shadows to see what information we have in that landscape in those shadows. If you really want to see what we can do more, instead of just the shadows, I'm going to just bring up the overall exposure and you can start to see that while we have that information, there is a quite, quite a bit of noise in there. I'm not too concerned about that right now. I brought up the shadows. At the same time, I'm going to bring down the highlights. You, you're probably wondering, well, Phil, why are you bringing down the highlights, this photos generally a bit dark. Why are we going to make it darker at all? And that's just because it's going to make those stars pop. Actually bring up our whites. Shadows, bring down our highlights just a little bit. I don't like playing, bringing up our blocks, because once I start to do that too much, it starts to look a little bit faded out. So I might do some specific edits to the landscape later on. But right now this is a good place to start. Next, I'm going to add a bit of clarity and texture. And D Hayes, under this Presence slider, clarity is just going to bring out some of those details. It also adds a bit more contrast in that landscape. So if I zoom in here, see how that brings some contrast and it just makes all those details a little bit clearer. And overall, dehaze is also going to help just a little bit. Generally, I only do dehaze if it's mostly a sky photo, but it adds a little bit more detail to the landscape as well. I'm also going to bring up some of that vibrance just to add some color to that sky. I want to bring some of that green in the landscape, but I'll do that with a specific edit. Maybe a little touch of overall saturation as well. Vibrance is bringing up the saturation of the colors in your photo that are not as saturated. So it's a more intelligent way to make your overall photo feel more colorful without making certain colors oversaturated. So that's a pretty good starting point. And then I'm going to just jump right into these more specific adjustments. Lightroom Classic has some great tools to mask certain parts of your image, such as selecting the sky. We have our traditional tools like the brush, linear gradient and radial gradient. Again, this is some more advanced stuff. If you don't know how to use these, I definitely recommend checking out my other Lightroom course. It's a good precursor to this class with a select skies tool. It does the job of basically selecting the sky. And you can see that it actually selects a little bit of the hillside as well. But that's perfectly okay because sometimes I find that when the sky is selected and it's just like a sharp line on the horizon or on these hills. Whatever I do to this guy looks a little unnatural in generally in photos when you're looking at the sky, the colors of the sky, the blues, will actually fade onto that landscape as well. So if I want to make this guy more blue and just drop the temperature down just a little bit. It makes sense that it's happening a little bit along the edge of the ridge line here as well. So one of the things I'm definitely going to do with the sky is decreased. Some of the noise there, there's a lot of noise in the sky. If I zoom in, you can see it's super noisy. And that's because I was shooting out a little bit of a higher ISO and a long exposure. So if I increase this noise slider, you can see that it gets rid of some of that noise. And I'm fine with that. It actually makes the sky look a little bit cleaner. You'll notice that the stars move a little bit in this photo and that's not because the stars are moving or the camera's moving, but that's actually because the rotation of the Earth, if you're shooting at a long shutter speed, you're actually going to capture that in your photos. Pretty crazy, right? I'm definitely going to bring up the dehaze a little bit more for just the sky. Now if I go too crazy with it, it starts to look a little unnatural. So I'm just gonna do a little bit like that. Maybe do a little bit of editing with the highlights. I'm just trying to make those clouds pop, stars, pop just a little bit more. Alright, so that's looking pretty dang good. I can see what it looks like with this mask on or off with this little eye picker. Pretty good. If you want to add more, a different type of blue, you could either now play with the tint a little bit. So something like a more purply blue or more greenish blue. Or you could even use this hue selector or color. So hue, going to do some crazy stuff. So you're going to just want to do it very subtly. Or the color down here. I can just add a little bit of any sort of specific blue. See how I scrub through this. So if I wanted to just a little bit of a darker blue, maybe something like that. All these tools, again, I go in depth in the Lightroom course. So that looks pretty good. Alright, so now what I'm going to do is I want to edit just the landscape. So I'm going to click Add a new mask. Now how do I select the landscape? There's no landscape featured everything underneath the skyline. What I can do is select the sky and then click the little invert button here and it selects the landscape. So now what I'm going to do is bring up the shadows of the landscape. Maybe just bring up the overall exposure just a little bit. Overall exposure. And then maybe bring down the blacks just a little bit. So we still have that contrast. The tint, I'm going to move a little bit down, so we have a little bit more of that green there. And let's just bring up the overall saturation just a little bit. See, I like these mountains get faded out just a little bit in the background when I brought up the exposure, I don't like that in the background. I could go do a separate brush and try to edit that separately. But a quick way to edit this, I think is just bringing back down our whites over here. You can use the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard if you're hovering over any of these sliders. And it does a little jump up to the next edit rather than drying, dragging these up and down. I think that's pretty, pretty good. Let's see the before and after. Pretty good. I'm gonna do one more to really highlight this streak. I'm going to click Plus, I'm going to use a brush now. You can adjust your brush settings here I'm going to set my flow and my density up quite a bit. I'm just going to brush over this light streak like so. Then what I wanna do is just warm it up. Warm it up like that. Maybe bring up the contrast just a little bit. And maybe the overall exposure just a little bit. Doesn't that make it pop just a little bit more? Pretty cool, huh? Alright, so those are some basic ways to edit specific parts of your image. One other thing that I want to show you with this photo is I got this lens flare from the moon. I didn't have my lens hood on it. And you can see this lens flare that really bothers me. So I'm going to use the healing brush, which allows me to basically brush over this specific part of the sky. And then it's going to take another part of the sky and try to use that to blend in and actually remove that quote-unquote blemish. This is a way you can remove things like pimples and unwanted items in your photo. Now, the problem with this is that you lose the integrity of what the stars and the constellations actually look like. And that's something that does bother me. But for the sake of this photo, I don't think anyone is really going to say anything unless you are a star expert. So that's pretty good. The last couple of things I'm gonna do is there is a little bit too much noise overall, even in the landscape. So I am going to go down to our detail panel. I'm going to bring up our noise reduction and just get rid of some of that additional noise. And that helps with the sky as well. Then maybe just a touch change to our overall exposure. I want to bring up the mids just a little bit, bring back down the highlights. Just a subtle little curve, just trying to bring up some of those shadows just a little bit more. Alright, so I think this edit, it looks a little bit different than our original edit that we did. Let's check it out. So here we have on the left, the original edit. Here on the right we have the active edit. I think one of the differences that I had on this new edit is I, the sky looks a little bit different. And I think what I did to the sky was I added a little bit more texture in the other photo. Maybe some clarity as well. Brought back, brought out even more of those stars. The colors. I also punched up a bit and this new edit. One other thing I can do is play around with the individual colors, with the HSL panel, with the hue. If I want to take maybe my yellows and make them a little bit more green. I can do that. That makes that hillside a little bit more green. Now this is where you're starting to get a little bit more creative and artistic with your photo. Is this an exact replica of what I was looking at when I stood here? No. Obviously not. It's not because it's a long exposure. That's not what my eyeballs SAW. But as an artist, this is what I want this photo to look like. So some people might say that's not fair, that's not what you should do. I am up to open to anybody editing your photos, how you will to create art. Sometimes I want my photos to look exactly like what I saw with my own eyes. Sometimes I want to create something that's a little bit more visually pleasing to my eye. And that's what I've done here. Alright, thank you so much for watching this. Hopefully you get some ideas for how you can use editing tools to edit your photos. After watching this. If you have questions, let me know. Otherwise, get out there and start taking photos and make sure you're using your editing tools to enhance them and make them even better. Cheers. 20. Course Wrap Up: Thank you so much for watching this series of videos. I hope that it has helped you understand ways to improve your landscape photos. And I know it was a short quick course, but I hope that being able to see these photos as inspiration and talk about them in more detail of what lighting techniques they're using, what compositional techniques they were using will help you when you go out on your next landscape photo adventure. I'm going to drill into your head one more time. I think the most important things to take away from this course to improve your photos is to go at a different time of day. If you're not getting the photos that you want. But you're only going out when the sun is high in the sky. Go at sunrise, go at sunset, and then write down those compositional techniques. And when you're out there, make a conscious effort to try something new. Alright, if you haven't done so yet, please leave a rating and review for this course that helps other students know whether this is the right course for them or not. Check out my profile. I have dozens of other photography courses that you might be interested in to advance your photography, taking and the editing and lots of other creative skills to thank you so much for being here. Much love, have a beautiful day and share your work with me on social media or hear on the platform, post your photos so I can check them out myself. Cheers.