Basic Landscape editing with Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom is a pretty powerful tool when editing your RAW footage, but it can be confusing when you’re using it for the first time. In this step-by-step tutorial I’ll show you some basic settings which I’m pretty much always using while editing landscape shots.

Drag the ruler left / right to see the results

Step 1 – Import the photo and change the Camera Profile

The first thing I do every time is changing the profile under the “Camera Calibration” menu on the right side (scroll all the way down in the menu on the right side as seen in the screenshot). You can basically use every setting you find here, just don’t use Adobe Standard.

Editing Landscape pictures using Lightroom
Changing the Camera Profile

Step 2 – Changing the White Balance

A lot of photographers want to get a one hundred percent correct white balance setting, but I’m just choosing which is looking the best to me. I’m going to make a whole tutorial about setting up the correct white balance soon in the future.

Editing Landscape pictures using Lightroom
Changing the White Balance

Step 3 – Highlights, Shadows and Clarity

As you can see from the screenshot, there’s not really much detail in the sky, that’s because it is to bright. For this reason I just turn down the highlights till the clouds get visible. Also I turn up the shadow-parts of this shot to prevent underexposure. (You could also prevent both problems by using HDR) Last but not least I’ll turn up the clarity to 100. Normally I don’t go higher than 50-60, but in this shot it doesn’t cause any problems.

Editing Landscape pictures using Lightroom
Highlights, Shadows and Clarity

Step 4 – Pushing the Colours

I really like strong saturated photos, that’s why I’m pushing the colours in this one pretty hard. You don’t have to do it the way I do. Just be sure to have a somewhat calibrated monitor otherwise you can get pretty fucked up results when watching your photos on another monitor (This is currently happening to me, as I have to edit my shots with a crappy laptop..).

Editing Landscape pictures using Lightroom
Pushing the Colours

Step 5 – Sharpening the Photo

This is easily my favorite part of photo retouching. What I’m doing here is just turning up the Sharpening amount to 150. If you see heavy noise in the 100 percent preview, don’t go any further. You can reduce the noise by upping the luminance.

Editing Landscape pictures using Lightroom
Sharpening the Photo

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Author Description

Christian Möhrle

Photographing landscapes since 2009, trying to help out the lovely photography community with tutorials, workshops and more

There are 3 comments. Add yours

  1. 24th September 2014 | Simon says: Reply
    Danke, sehr schön übersichtlich dargestellt! Mache es ganz ähnlich, aber immer interessant wie andere arbeiten. Vor allem +150 sharpness hat mich überrascht, da ich da immer sehr moderat vorgehe. Sollte ich mal versuchen.
    • 24th September 2014 | Noirlama says: Reply
      Freut mich das der Beitrag dir gefällt! Habe mich vor Kurzem auch noch mehr zurückgehalten was Schärfe angeht, allerdings hab ich festgestellt, das es garnicht viel mehr rauscht. Deswegen mache ich mittlerweile meistens nur noch 150. Wenn du irgendwelche Fragen hast zu dem Beitrag, sag bescheid! :)
    • 17th June 2015 | Juntak says: Reply
      Great tutorial, it hleepd me a lot!! Just thought I'd say something though that I've tried while watching your video. Instead of using photoshop for the color blocks wouldn't it be easier if you just leave background page space to the side of your photo and color it that way? You can still use Kuler to pick out the colors and get the hex code but this way you don't have to use photoshop, save a file for the color and have to import it to lightroom.

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