14 photo editing tips and tricks every landscape photographer must know

    | Landscape | Photography Tips | 12/06/2013 00:01am
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    Essential photo editing tricks for landscapes: 06 How to make light rays

    Essential photo editing tricks for landscapes: 06 How to make light rays

    Professional landscape photographers will often visit the same scene over and over, waiting for the perfect moment when the clouds part and the scene is flooded with breathtaking rays of light.

    Unfortunately, most of us don’t have that luxury. But if you think a sky would benefit from moody clouds and a few ‘God rays’ then you could create the effect in Photoshop…

    01 Drop in a sky

    01 Drop in a sky
    Open your image then grab the Quick Selection tool and paint over the sky to select it, then press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the selection. Go to Select>Refine Edge. Set Radius 3px, Shift Edge +4, Output to: New Layer with Layer Mask, then hit OK. Select the bottom layer and go to File>Place. Load ‘rays_sky.jpg’.

    02 Render clouds

    02 Render clouds
    Use the Move tool to position the sky. Create a new layer at the top of the Layer Stack then grab the Elliptical Marquee tool and draw a circular selection that overlaps the top right corner. Go to Filter>Render>Clouds. Press 
Cmd/Ctrl+L to bring up Levels, then drag the white and black points inwards to boost contrast.

    03 Make light rays

    03 Make light rays
    Hit OK and then press 
Cmd/Ctrl+D to deselect, then go to Filter>Blur>Radial Blur. Set Blur: Zoom, Strength 100 and move the blur position to the top right corner, then hit OK. Press Cmd/Ctrl+F a few times to reapply the filter. Change the Blend Mode to Screen. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and drag the box to enlarge and position the streaks.

    04 Adjust the tones

    04 Adjust the tones
    Press Enter and click the Add Layer Mask icon. Grab the Brush tool and paint with black to hide unwanted streaks. If you want stronger rays, press Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy the layer. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves. Drag down the Curve to darken the scene and paint on the mask to hide the change over the building and hill.

    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


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    Posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2013 at 12:01 am under Landscape, Photography Tips.

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