There are countless plugins available for Lightroom and Photoshop, some more effective than others. But which one’s are the best for landscape and nature photographers? Read on and you’ll find out.
Instructor Austin James Jackson is an accomplished landscape pro based in Southern Utah whose considerable skills belie his young age. In the 15-minute tutorial below he reveals “three plugins I think you should own for landscape photography.” In fact, he says he uses these helpful post-processing add-ons with virtually every image he edits.
All three of these simple tools easily launch from Lightroom or Photoshop and can be used at any point during the editing process, and that means you won’t have to change your entire workflow to take advantage of the plugins to easily enhance your work in a variety of different ways. You’ll find links to these top picks in the description beneath the video.
Jackson actually discusses four different plugins, but he says two are interchangeable, meaning you really only need three. His first choice is Nik Color Efex 6 that sells for around $150 with a few extras. When opening Efex 6 you’ll notice tons of filters in the panel on the left, and Jackson explains which ones he prefers and how they work.
This software offers a wide variety of other features, including presets, customization, import options, and more. The filters Jackson says he uses most are those called Polarization, Pro Contrast, and Tonal Contrast. As you’ll see, you can even stack filters atop one another for enhanced creative control.
Another top pick is ON1 Effects 2023, and Jackson says this one is interchangeable with Nik Color Efex 6, so it’s just a matter of which one your prefer. Despite its powerful capabilities, On1 Effects is significantly less expensive than Nik Color Efex 6: It has a regular price of about $70 and often goes on sale for around $50. He walks you through much of what it can do, so you’ll be able to make an informed choice.
There are a couple more plugins that Jackson considers “essential.” and he explains how they work to improve your editing experience. One is the very popular Topaz Photo AI and the other is ON1 Resize AI that does exactly what the name implies.
Bottom line: If you want the best edits possible these assets will help you get the job done, easier and more effectively than if you just rely upon Lightroom or Photoshop alone. After watching the video take a look at Jackson’s popular YouTube channel where there’s much more of interest for landscape photographers.
And don’t miss the tutorial we posted recently from another image-editing expert, explaining how to use Lightroom’s amazing new Point Color tool to eliminate ugly color contamination from photos.