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: 08 Use Selective Adjustments

Essential photo editing tricks for landscapes: 08 Use Selective Adjustments

or more than a century, landscape photographers have been selectively altering different parts of their images to boost skies, reveal detail and Fguide the eye around a scene.

The Graduated Filter and Adjustment Brush tools in Camera Raw make these type of adjustments easier than ever.

Both tools work by setting pins that represent a particular change in tone, which is defined by the settings you input using the controls on the right.

Essential photo editing tricks for landscapes: 08 Use Selective Adjustments

You can tweak either the affected area or the tonal settings at any time. In practice, it’s usually best to guess roughly the kind of change you want to make (for example, input a negative exposure value to darken) before defining the area with the tool.

Once the gradient or mask has been made, return to the sliders and fine-tune to perfect the look.

Graduated Filter
Drag a line with this tool to create a gradual blend between the tonal change and the original tones. Hold down Shift while dragging to snap the line to a perfectly horizontal or vertical angle. To make another gradient, simply drag somewhere else.

Adjustment Brush
Click over an area to set a pin, then paint to increase the area affected by the change in tone. Check Show Mask Overlay or press Y to toggle a view of the mask on and off so you can see where you’ve painted. Use ] and [ to resize your brush as you paint, and hold down Alt to erase parts of the mask. Click New or press N to set another pin.

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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  • 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.