Sunsets are among the most popular scenes photographed by landscape photographers, but sometimes it’s difficult to get colors and exposure just right. In the tutorial below you’ll learn several pro editing tips and pick up powerful free presets for getting the job done.
French photographer Serge Ramelli has a portfolio of stunning landscape, travel, and cityscape imagery, along with a large following on his instructional YouTube channel. He’s also an acclaimed image-editing expert, and the techniques described in this episode work wonders for enhancing both sunset and sunrise photographs.
You can follow along by downloading the demonstration Raw files with a link beneath the video, where you’ll also find Ramelli’s free presets. As he explains, Lightroom has some great tools for editing these types of images, and Ramelli demonstrates how these “secrets” work.
Ramelli is working with images captured on the beach during a recent trip to Iceland. While the originals aren’t bad, they become truly epic after the processing techniques he applies. You can either use the settings that Ramelli describes or let the presets do the heavy lifting. As he says, “sunset photos are among the most difficult images to edit.”
The trick, according to Ramelli, is perfecting the yellow and orange tones, and he admits that “it took me years to develop this workflow.” His first shot on the beach has dunes in the foreground, water in the midrange, and mountains in the distance.
Adding to the challenge is that the sun is setting in the left side of the frame, while the other compelling objects are far to the right. That’s why he made a panoramic image of the scene. His beautiful transformation requires both a proper rendering of the colors and careful adjustments to exposure.
Ramelli’s other images present different challenges, requiring an equally different approach, and he walks you through every step of the process. He uses a one-click preset to transform a dull shot of Matador Beach into a masterpiece, and another preset that’s “right on the money” for the next image in the lesson.
So pull up the demonstration Raw files and edit along with Ramelli. You’ll be very impressed by what you’re able to accomplish. All you have to do to find more powerful tips like these is pay a visit to Ramelli’s instructional YouTube channel.
And if landscape photography is your thing, be sure to watch the recent tutorial we posted from another accomplished pro who explains how to shoot awe-inspiring photos of the snow-covered winter wonderland.