Now that we know the basics of Photoshop and the secrets of local adjustments in Lightroom (see Episode 1 here), it's time to go deeper and explore in details some of the most useful features of Photoshop for landscape photography postprocessing.
Let's dive into Photoshop. It's less scary than it looks.
In my opinion, the best way not to feel overwhelmed by Photoshop enormous number of functions is to take the bull by the horns (does that saying exist in English? It does in French) and dive into the details of each of them - or at list those that are important for landscape photography editing. Taken individually, they are actually quite easy to understand. In the playlist below, I have gathered videos with comprehensive explanations on Photoshop tools, layers and masks and blend modes. All of the notions detailed in this playlist will be super important when it's time to edit landscape photos. I also added a short, bonus video on how to make an adjustments to a single layer. This trick is so useful.
If you are not into long, detailed, sometime a bit boring comprehensive analysis then you can always skip this part a go straight to the next playlist. But that would be a mistake! The time taken to learn about these important notions will be very well invested. If you don't want to spend too much time on this, you can also play these video at X1.5 speed as I did.
Again, don't forget to click on the playlist icon on the top right corner of the YouTube video below to see the whole playlist.
Nothing tastes like a good blend
Now that the Photoshop's main tools have no secret for you, we can look at one of the most important and powerful method to dramatically improve your landscape photo: blending images. The main idea behind this technique is to take several exposures of the same image (generally using a tripod to keep the exact same composition) with different settings, changing your exposure value between each shot before mixing them together using layer masks. Thanks to image blending you'll be able to achieve perfectly exposed images even with challenging contrast situation (exposure blending).
The next series of video will also introduce the notion of luminosity masks, a technique that allows selections and masks based on luminosity value of an image, to select, mask and blend the dark, light or mid-tone parts of an image.
Another reason to blend several versions of the same image is to achieve perfect sharpness from foreground to background; with focus stacking images with different focus distances are merged to increase depth of field. Focus stack images with Photoshop is super easy when done automatically (it can literally be done with one click); but sometimes it has to be done (or fine tuned manually). The videos below explore both techniques.
In the next episode we will explore how to make photos look sharper and less noisy, as well as working on luminosity and color grading.