Landscape photography was what rekindled my interest in photography many years ago. A trip to Glacier National Park with a point and shoot digital camera has evolved into a career that now focuses on other areas of photography. Landscape photography still has a special hold due to my love of hiking and exploring nature. Yet, the more I learn about landscapes, the more I realize the process of editing landscape photos is an art form.
Does this sound familiar? You are out hiking, come across a breathtaking view and are sure you captured it with your camera. Excited, you can’t wait to see it on your computer but when the file opens, you find the image is bland. Yes, you captured the scene, but it doesn’t have the emotional punch that you so vividly remember.
Digital Photography School, a great website full of information about all areas of photography, has just published a follow-up book by Todd and Sarah Sisson to their book Living Landscapes. Loving Landscapes is about editing landscape photos. Taking that digital file and trying to recapture the drama you remember. I will back up and say that if you haven’t captured a technically solid image, the result will only be as good as the original image file. To help you learn to capture good source material, the Sisson’s wrote an earlier book, Living Landscapes. Hint: If you want to buy both books, Digital Photography School is running a bundled price on both books – just follow one of the links to Loving Landscapes and look for the banner ad.
Editing Landscape Photos
There are many great books about Lightroom and Photoshop, but what sets Loving Landscape apart is its focus on editing landscape photos. Editing landscape photos presents challenges in color balance, dynamic range and depths of field that are very different from studio photography. Secondly, the Sisson’s walk you through editing images. They take the theory and show you how to apply it with their New Zealand brand of humor that permeates the writing. The writing is a little corny in places but you see their personality through it.
This book has three basic sections. The first, and largest portion of the book, is how to use Lightroom 5 to organize and edit your images. Lightroom 5 is my go-to application for photography and I thought I knew the program well, but I still learned quite a few tips and tricks to improve my workflow and image editing. Lightroom 5 is a program that is approachable, affordable and very useful for any photographer.
The second section dives into Photoshop. This is not a 600 page how-to guide, but they do provide the reader with tips and insights to help to demystify a potentially difficult software program using a landscape focus. I’ll admit, Photoshop still is daunting program to me even after reading this book, but, I feel better equipped to start to learn more.
The last section covers layering multiple exposure images. Taking the best parts of two or more images of the same scene and combining them to build a well-balanced image. This builds on the skills you have been learning in Lightroom and Photoshop and introduces a Lightroom Plug-in, Photomatix Pro 5.0.
This is a book that will give you more confidence in editing landscape photos and provide you with the basic technical skills to start learning how. Easy to read, this book has lots of before and after examples to help you see what is possible. The step-by-step workflows are easy to follow and the provided source material image files allow you to practice editing with the authors using the same images. The e-book format allows links to be embedded into the text, making it quick and easy to view videos and other additional training material. If you are an aspiring landscape photographer, Loving Landscapes is a book worth adding to your digital library.
Loving Landscapes by Todd & Sarah Sisson is an eBook published by dPS (Digital Photography School). The book is a .pdf download allowing you take it with you on your tablet, phone or computer.