A couple of weekends ago, I went over to the Yorkshire Dales with a very good friend of mine with the intention of capturing some great landscape scenes. We both took all our camera gear, including filters and various lenses, not to mention our flash guns, and reflectors (well, you never know when you might need them)!
On arriving at Semer Water, the rain was coming down quite heavy, the Tarn was full, resulting in a “wash out”. Semer Water is the second largest lake natural lake in North Yorkshire, after Malham Tarn. We were in two minds whether to call it a day before it even started, or see it out, and see what happens. After a coffee and a sarnie, we headed towards Ravenseat.
As we drove, the scenery got even better, and so did the weather. By the time we reached our destination the sun was out, white fluffy clouds appeared along with a nice blue sky. It was at this point I decided to use my camera like point and shoot. No filters, tripods etc. My friend did the same, and we continued this approach throughout the day.
Got to admit, it was quite a relaxing day, driving around Swaledale, stopping when we wanted, grabbing the cameras when we came across a scene we liked.
Back at home, the photos were all imported into Adobe Lightroom, the bad ones deleted. It was from this point, filters were applied at the post processing stage.
Brief Overview of my Processing
The techniques I am using I have only recently come across. I watched a Webinar presented by Joe Brady called Powerful Landscape Photography Enhancements with Adobe Photoshop – this is a two hour webinar, but its well worth watching. Its transformed the way I process my images on a daily basis.
Above is another example of my post processing using the technique explained by Joe Brady. The only extra thing I have done is add a ‘Warming’ Photo Filter in Photoshop. To show you the difference, here is the original photo, straight from camera.
As you can see there is a very visible difference.
- Edit general settings in Develop Mode in Lightroom before exporting to Photoshop.
- Use Viveza 2 and using the Control Points do selective changes rather than global.
- Apply Color Efex Pro’s Polariser Filter (this bits optional, but worth a go).
- Add a ‘Warming Filter’ using a Photo Filter Layer Mask in Photoshop.
- Flatten the image, and send back to Lightroom.
Ok, so that’s a brief run through, and hopefully you took a look at the webinar link above, so the following will make a little more sense.
First of all, I adjust the photo in Lightroom, altering Exposure, Contrast, and straightening.
With these settings applied, the photo is then sent to into Photoshop by ‘right-clicking’ the image, then choosing Edit in Photoshop.
With the photo open in Photoshop, Viveza 2 is brought into play. Using the Control Points, selective areas are treated, altering Brightness, Saturation, Structure etc. By holding down the ALT key and clicking on a Control Point, you can copy previous settings. Drag the new Control Point to another part of your image.
Keep repeating this process until you are happy with your end results. You can select all the Control Points, and then Group them, to make selective adjustments more easier.
Once you are finished in Viveza 2, hit the OK button to apply you new settings.
The next step is to apply the Polariser filter from Nik Color Efex Pro. This is optional, but it works a treat if you didn’t have a Polariser fitted to your camera when taking the shot.
Finally, add a Warming Filter layer mask by selecting the Create a New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Pallet, and choose Photo Filter. For this photo I used Warming Filter (LBA) and adjusted the density to suit, and because I was using an Adjustment Layer I was able to ‘paint out’ certain areas like the sky to remove the orange cast.
Finally flatten the image, and send it back to Lightroom by clicking on the Close button and clicking on Save when prompted.
Here is a before and after so you can see how the photo has been transformed. You can see the original photo is flat, and needs straightening.
Using the above technique, are is a selection of other photos from the day.