As one of our favorite landscape photographers insists, “contrast is a crucial aspect of photo editing.” That’s because this key variable helps define the relationship between different tones and colors in an image.
In this quick episode from The Phlog Photography instructional channel you’ll learn seven simple Lightroom tips for maximizing contrast in landscape and other types of outdoor scenes. As you’ll see, by adjusting contrast you can make bright areas brighter and dark area darker.
Instructor Christian Mohrle explains that making these straightforward enhancements “can help bring out the details in an image and make it look more dynamic and engaging.” In short, contrast is important because it helps bring life and depth to photographs—making them more visually appealing to the viewer.
In barely eight minutes Mohrle demonstrates the contrast adjustments he makes to his world-class landscape photos. He uses common tools to accomplish this task, which is easy enough to implement for those with limited image-editing expertise.
Changing the profile is typically the first step in Mohrle’s process, and he explains why selecting Adobe Neutral is his preference. That’s because using this option will give you more control over the adjustments that follow.
Mohrle then discusses the importance of paying close attention to Lightroom’s histogram as you make further adjustments. By doing this you’ll have a better idea if you’re doing things right. He also reveals an unfamiliar trick that involves clicking on the histogram and dragging it out until you see what you want.
Other tips in the video include a variety of auto adjustments, local adjustments, and tone adjustments—all of which combine to facilitate a great final result. He also explains a few simple HSL enhancements, as well as how to make selective contrast modifications to specific portions of a scene.
After watching this video head over to Mohrle’s instructional YouTube channel where you’ll find a wide array of landscape photography tips and tricks.
We recently posted another helpful explainer, demonstrating how the “plane of focus” affects the sharpness of your photographs. So be sure to watch that one too.