Landscape Photos - Before and After

Shooting landscapes is what first really got me into photography. The adventures you'd set out on with friends, the new friends made along the way, the incredible places you'd visit - there's just nothing else quite like it. But when I picked up my first DSLR I realized theres a lot more to taking photographs than just finding the right composition, having the proper settings on your camera, and pressing the shutter button (although not having a good composition will ruin the photo no matter what you do to it during post processing, so it is imperative to get this right first).

What I saw on the back of the camera just wasn't what I saw with my own eyes. So I needed to learn how to edit these shots to make them look like what I actually witnessed. Most of my landscape shots are edited purely in Adobe Lightroom CC Classic, however, I will jump over to Adobe Photoshop if I am creating a composite image.

Lightroom is very easy to learn and there are plenty of online tutorials out there to help you get started with that program - that is how I learned how to edit in Lightroom. It just takes practice, practice, and more practice. While Lightroom is quite powerful, there are many times when taking a single photo just won't suffice. Take for example the images above and below this text. 

For the sunset photograph, the immediate foreground was significantly darker than the sky. So for this I used bracketing to capture several different images with different exposures. One exposed properly for the sky, one for the foreground, and another somewhere in the middle. You could try to use the HDR feature in Lightroom by combining all of these photos, but you don't really have much control over the final outcome if you do it this way. So for this type of shot I import the photos into Photoshop where you have total control over how to blend all the images together. Photoshop is incredibly powerful and you can do pretty much anything you can think of to any photograph. You will never stop learning when it comes to editing in PS. It can be a daunting task to first learn how to use this software, but it is worth it in the end. 

For the Milky Way photo above I have previously written a blog post on how I created that shot. It goes into much more detail as to all the steps I took to create that final image. There were a total of about 12 images used to create the final image.

The image below of Havasu Falls is another where I had to use bracketing to achieve the final result. With the canyon itself being in the shade and the sky lit up by the setting sun, bracketing was the only way I would be able to get the image I was seeing before me. 

Do you like seeing these before and after images of some of my work? Do you want to see the before and after of any specific image I have taken? Let me know in the comments below! Also, if you have any ideas about what my next blog post should be about, I'd love to hear from you!