Create A Visual Story

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In this video I want to cover a wonderful landscape photography's little secrets. So as the landscape photography we find ourselves going into all these really really high traffic tourist spots. We often have to do that to get those stunning shots as portfolio shots that we see all over the place and we really want to capture that as well. So let me show you what I'm talking about. When I bring up my exposure just to show you so this is the Grand Canyon and as you can see, it is full of people there was there must have been hundreds of people all around this area. It was really really packed.

It was kind of hard to get front view of this sunset in front of this the line. So people were there early, you know they had a they had snacks It's it's kind of a challenge. And this is often the truth in many, many landscape photography situations. Usually those spots like you know, the Grand Canyon, like Antelope Canyon, by Horseshoe Bend, they're all get packed with people, you never see any people because it is your job as a photographer to get rid of those people in the field, I shot this as an example of what is there and what people don't realize that's there, and what happens. So it is our job to always get rid of this people usually in the field, if you don't manage to do it in the field, get a good composition so you can crop them out. So let's talk about this photo before we get into the editing.

So just like with any other photo, wanted to create a visual story. So I wanted to see the Colorado River. I wanted to see the sun and I wanted to see this majestic Grand Canyon. This was right before the sunset as you can see, and I wanted to create the story of the Grand Canyon, I used this leading lines to walk to lead us into the into the canyon itself and to show us the Colorado River. Now by using this lines, my eyes immediately start in the sun, they wander here, they come down and go right into the color rubber. So there's there's some magic that happens in your subconscious that you don't really realize.

You know you're right do not start here. It doesn't start here it starts in the sun. As you can see I put it off center and your eye kind of bounces this way and goes in To the river this way, and this makes you kind of go infinite and appreciate what's there. So very thought out composition, I did not just set up and start shooting. I actually thought this through, I moved around to make sure that the color out of the river was was in the right position. It took a while and getting through this people I'm telling you what's a battle.

And you being a landscape photographer, I'm sure know this. Or if you're starting out, you will eventually start going to all these places to get this winning shots, and they will be completely packed with people. And when you get there, it's really really crazy because you think wow, I did I've seen the show a million times I've never seen any people in it. So let's check out my settings. So it's one sixth of a second f 22 ISO 100 Now let me tell you why I went with F 22 the F 22 Let me reset the exposure, the F 22 creates this start effect in the light in the sun rays. And that's what I wanted to create.

That's why I want to have 22. And of course, I'm on a tripod, it's really getting dark and that's the only way to shoot this. So let's get started. First thing I want to do, let me get rid of this numbers here. Let me bring up the exposure and I just want to crop it. So basically, I want to crop the people out of this shot.

So I'll right click constrain aspect ratio and that will keep this this Rectangle Rectangle intact. I'm just going to crop the people. And I want to show a little bit of this rock right here. Let me see. Maybe right about there. And now I will crop the people out as you can see now you will never have any clue that there was people in the shot, you probably think I'm in the middle, which I am in the middle of nowhere, but it was it was full of people.

Alright, so now that we did the crop, let's get rid of our exposure. So as you can see, our son moved a little bit to the center, which is okay, we still have that composition that I was talking about your eye lands on the sun, it wanders off to the canyon and wanders in this direction to the Colorado River. So the composition is too great. And Murray said that, as I've said before, we always want to expose for the lightest spot on your photograph. You never want to expose for this for this rocks. For the simple reason that when you do, you're gonna get rid of all this, all this detail.

And when you're in the field, I don't look at my back screen. In fact, I have it shut off. Because every time you look at that little screen, it's gone. Plain play tricks on you, you're gonna be like, Wow, it's so dark. It's so dark. I don't know, I don't know if it's gonna come out, or trust me.

As long as you're exposing for this, this is easy to bring out. Technology and cameras are so good now that you can pull out all this detail. As long as you expose correctly for your sky. As a landscape photographer, you never ever, ever want to lose your sky. And this is why because it's got all this detail, and you want it in all of your photos. Okay, so we did we got that out of the way.

Now I see some sensor spots right off the bat. So let's get rid of those. So click on the Spot Removal Tool. We'll come down here to visualize spots, and they're really hard to see. But here's one here's one. Here's a couple.

Let's get out of that. I can still see some that I didn't see before. There's one important that you do this guys. I can never say that enough. Okay, so once I cleaned that image up, I'm going to open up my shadows. And as you can see, immediately, immediately, you get all of this back.

So in the fields, what you would have thought was gone. You get it all back, right off the bat. And it looks just amazing. So that looks really nice. Now let's go up to the contracts and give it that punch. Look at that.

As soon as you do that, all this detail comes out of the rocks. So let's bring that all the way up. That looks really really nice. Now next up, I want to focus on our temperature. Now this was kind of a cooler. It was hot during the day, but as the sun started hiding, it got cooler and cooler.

So let's see what happens when I bring this up. When I bring this up. It's actually looks really Eyes. And when I bring this the other way, it also looks nice. So as you can see, you can go either way. If you make it cooler, you can kind of see the layers a little better in the in the canyon itself.

Let me see if it's warmer. See when it's warm, Rick that those layers, that foggy layer kind of disappears. So you always want to keep those things in mind. I like him both really this is this is totally taste totally up to you. I really do like him both. I'm going to go with the cooler side of things just because that's what I was feeling.

As the sun was setting I started getting a little a little chilly. I actually have somebody took a photo of me and I had a sweater on and you could tell that I was a little bit cool. Now I just found another sensor spot. Let me clean that before I forget. So here it is right on the horizon. I'll click that and it's now gone.

And let's get On. So I think that looks really nice. Now I want to bring up my vibrance is the next thing. Again, I like colorful colorful photo, so maybe a plus 26. That looks really nice. It's a colorful photo as it is.

So you don't need to go too crazy on this. So just a few adjustments and let's go to before and after. Look at that you already have a winning shot, you can actually finish the call that a finished shot printed up and hanging on your wall. It's beautifully done. But let's let's keep going with it. So now I want to turn down the highlights.

Some people would do it that way but that is completely way too much. So I just want to tastefully tone this down and get more color out of my horizon. And a little more texture out of this cloud. So let me show you click the highlights twice. it resets it. And now watch the clouds the cloud texture and watch my orange So I'll just bring it down just a tad.

See the texture in the clouds coming up. That's perfect. That looks amazing right there. So I think that looks really really nice. Now let me bring this down a tad maybe to 20 I don't want to over saturate it. I think that looks good.

That looks pretty nice at 22 looks nice. Now let's play with that clarity. I know I never I told you I never play with this. I never I rarely use it. But there are there's so much texture in this canyon. That here it's okay to use.

So I can just bring it up a tad and see how the the canyon and the sky just comes to live just a little more. And I think that looks really nice. So now we can play with our whites. Bring up the whites. Bring down I think these we can bring up to like a plus eight. He just makes the image a little more, more crisp.

And then our blocks we can bring it down. Maybe right about there. Now the trick is again, hold the command hold the Option key, I'm sorry, hold the Option key. And Tony that see and I had it pretty right. So they say as soon as you start seeing blacks, that's what you want to do. Same with the whites click on as soon as you start seeing white, it's the right way to do it.

So there it is. So I still think that doing it by eye is a lot better option than using than relying on a on a computer program because a computer program thinks that's the right thing. Your eyes cannot lie and a lot of people will argue with with me on this but at the end of the day when you look at the finished product, when you look at the photo, I think your eye is the most Honest. There is. So I think that looks really nice. Now here's this 10th slider.

I rarely touch it. But in this situation, I think it's okay if you want to give it a little tiny bit of purple, you know, so let's press it twice, it resets it to how it was shot. And now let's just give it a tad purple. Maybe, right, right about there. And the reason I'm saying this is okay, it's because this rocks are already kind of reddish. So this just gives it a nice little tent, a very subtle tent, nothing crazy, just very subtle.

And here if you think it might be too blue, it's okay to to warm it up a tad. As you can see, just moved it just a tiny bit and it changed the whole thing. So it's just subtle changes that are very important to do and it's okay to come back and retouch sliders or As you move as you move along with the photo because the photos obviously constantly going to be changing. So let's press our y key so we can see before and after. And look at that, what an image. It just looks 100 times better.

And I think that looks like a really, really close finished product. So one last thing I do want to do is I want to add a little touch to it and I guess this is personal style. So you can grab an adjustment brush and I do this to a lot of my photos just to give it that special touch. And that will bring the exposure up just a little bit. And what we want to do is we just want to draw little touches on this rocks. And what that does, it just creates little highlights.

So your eye kind of dances around them and you don't have to go crazy. just literally Tiny touches. And I want to do this to the foreground because your eye goes to the sun, and then it comes around here and bounces around. So that's why I'm doing it to these rocks. But Should I open it up and as you can see, we'll press our o key. And that's what I've done very light, very subtle brushstrokes.

But let me show you before and after. Let me press the O key to get out of there. And then here's before and after. before and after. So very subtle touches, very good touches that create a big difference. And I think this photos pretty close to completed.

Now, let me close out of that. We'll come here remove chromatic aberration, as always enable profile corrections that don't work the image. Now here we have the effects. The Effects tab, and I think this could actually the vignette is a trick tool. Some people love it. Some people hate it.

Some people sometimes use it in the sometimes use it. I think some images are okay with it. I think some are not okay with it. I think this image, you can definitely use it here just a tad. So what vignette does it closes down the image so your eye focuses on the center a little more. So again, very subtly.

Let's bring it down just a tad. And I'm just closing in this corners, just so your eyes go this way a little easier. Not a huge deal. But I think that actually looks really nice. Maybe even less, maybe like a 10 minus 10 minus nine. That looks good.

And then again, let's finish it up with our detail. Let's sharpen it up maybe to like 71 not that you need to this image is flawless as it is. Now we'll come to a masking hold on the option and bring it up Remember what's being white is sharpened, what's been black stays untouched. And I think this is perfect. That go that and look at that. Let's go to our before and after.

Before and after and you got one winning shot. So by looking at this, you would have never known that there was people here and you would have never known what was below the sun.

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