14 photo editing tips and tricks every landscape photographer must know

14 photo editing tricks and tips every landscape photographer must know

Essential photo editing tricks for landscapes: 14 Raw tonal control

Essential photo editing tricks for landscapes: 14 Raw tonal control

Most landscapes display a varied range of tones from light to dark, so it’s important to know how to control and enhance these tones.

The Camera Raw plug-in (or Lightroom 4’s Develop Module) is ideal for this. Begin at the top of the Basic Panel and work down through the sliders.

Adobe Camera Raw Basic panelSet White Balance first, either by choosing a preset or with the sliders. Alternatively, grab the White Balance tool and click over a tone that you know should be neutral.

Move on to the six Exposure sliders. Exposure controls overall brightness, while the others target different tonal areas.

You can hold down Alt and drag any (except Contrast) to see clipped pixels. The Highlights and Shadows sliders can help to reveal detail, and the Whites and Blacks sliders enable you to set the points at which pixels go black or white.

The Targeted Adjustment tool can also be useful for tonal control. Grab it from the Toolbar then right-click to choose from a variety of adjustments such as Saturation and Luminance.

Then you can simply drag over points within the image to alter colours and tones. For example, we can boost the bluebells in the image above by targeting Saturation then dragging over a blue tone.

PAGE 01 Master HDR
PAGE 02 Blend raw exposures
PAGE 03 Combine several photos into panoramas
PAGE 04 Reveal more detail with Layer Masks
PAGE 05 Control the tonal range
PAGE 06 How to make light rays
PAGE 07 Use Lightroom’s Adjustment Brush
PAGE 08 Use Selective Adjustments
PAGE 09 How to use focus stacking
PAGE 10 Make a ‘Dotscape’
PAGE 11 Make a surreal scene
PAGE 12 Light painting
PAGE 13 The key to editing in black and white
PAGE 14 Raw tonal control


Clever ways to shoot flat, lowland terrain
How to shoot dramatic pictures of the sea
Landscape photography ideas for rivers, waterfalls and lakes
Landscape photo ideas for creative pictures of mountains and hills

  • Patrick O’Connor

    Okay, I give up. Where do I find “rays_sky.jpg”, mentioned in “Page 06 How to make light rays”?

  • Ash_Innovator

    Same question. These instructions are not clear at all. Is there a specific sky i’m supposed to use? The sky in my photo I’m trying to add light beams too is the sky i selected. I don’t know what to do here.