For some beginner landscape photographers, shooting the images is only half the battle. The time spent editing the photos afterwards during post-processing can often make or break a shot.
And if you’re a novice who makes the editing mistakes landscape pro Mark Denney describes in the below tutorial, there’s a good chance you’re more frequently “breaking” a photo than “making” it better.
“In my opinion one of the more difficult aspects of getting into landscape photography has to do with obtaining a strong understanding and skill set associated with editing and post processing the images you capture while on-location,” Denney says. “Not saying that mastering your camera settings and composition is a piece of cake, but I found photo editing to be a big struggle when I was a beginner.”
In the video below, Denney shares six beginner editing mistakes he says will “ruin your landscape photos” and then shows you easy ways to avoid them in the future.
“I’ll review the most frequent editing mistakes that haunted me when I was getting started with landscape photography in hopes that my mistakes will enable you to avoid the same pitfalls that I encountered,” he says. “I hope you’re able to get at least one helpful piece of information out of this week’s video that you can apply to your photo editing workflow moving forward.
#1 Tunnel Vision
“What ‘tunnel vision’ [in photography] basically is if you envision yourself driving into the tunnel and as you’re exiting the tunnel you can see whatever the landscape is that’s in front of you on the outside of the tunnel but all the corners, all the edges of your proverbial frame you’re looking through with your eyes are all darkened,” Denney explains. “It’s basically the overuse of a vignette.”
#2 Simple Colors
“What simple colors are is not taking advantage of the multitude of different ways to enhance color inside of Lightroom. When I first got started, I only enhanced color one specific way and it was by coming to the Basic Panel and just selecting the saturation. And I would just pull the saturation up. The issue with saturation is that it impacts every single color in your overall photograph the same exact way.”
#3 Global Everything
“It’s the overuse of utilizing global adjustments in your overall photograph and not really taking advantage of all the amazing, localized tools that Lightroom has. When I first got started, I really never used the radial filter, I never used a graduated filter. I used global adjustments for everything.”
“It’s not using the crop tool near enough. The crop tool in Lightroom is absolutely fantastic. It’s a real game changer.”
“It’s getting a little bit carried away with adding structure to your overall photograph because in Lightroom there’s a lot of different ways to do it. Some of the most popular ways are cranking up the clarity or cranking up the texture a little bit. You can really get carried away with both of these.”
#6 Clipped Light
“Lightroom has an amazing tool built inside of it that’s like a warning system to let you know when you have areas of overexposed highlights. What overexposed highlights are is an area of pure white where there’s no detail. So, if you ever have those you want to start to bring your highlights down or maybe even bring your exposure down a bit until those clipped highlights are resolved.”