One of the most popular photography subjects is Landscapes, most preferred by any professional photographer. Casual photographers or those who learn photography, like me, simply click landscapes at the moment, when visiting one.
Some ways of enhancing natural scenes to keep them looking beautiful are enlisted here. The techniques have to do with enhancing a single shot with acceptable effects without too much of exaggeration and overdose of HDR.
Tip #1: Enhance details
One of the quickest and easiest ways to polish any photo, taught by photography books, is to apply image sharpening which can be done via Photoshop. Emphasize on the High Pass filter by applying it’s image polishing effect on to the picture of the landscape shot you are seeking. This technique allows for the superb definition of the subject and surroundings.
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Steps for sharpening using the High Pass Filter
- Begin by duplicating the background layer, then change the blend mode of the new layer to overlay. The contrast in the image will be heavy, and then by applying the Overlay blend mode, you can preview the effects of the High Pass filter.
- Your next step is the application of the High Pass filter to the duplicate layer. This you will be able to locate in the Filter menu that you will find at the top screen. Go to the ‘Other’ section.
- Adjust the filter settings in the High Pass filter dialog box with which you can increase or reduce the strength of the radius value (i.e. the unit of the filter’s effect). The higher the value, the more intense the High Pass filter effect. Ideally, a low value between 1-5 pixels is best.
- Tweak the layer settings: Post applying the High Pass filter, fine-tune it by adjusting the blend style of the duplicate background layer and/or reducing the layer’s opacity.
Tip #2: Remove image haze
Many landscape images might bear natural weather effects like fog and haze, which can dull your photos. Such effects can be removed with the help of Photoshop.
The primary problem with hazy images is soft contrast & the quickest fix is to select the Auto Contrast function, located in the top menu dropdown under ‘Image’.
The weak contrast in an image is then spontaneously fixed based on pixel radiance (luminosity), which helps in drawing an overall better image contrast. Subsequent to Auto Contrast application, you can also adjust level, fullness and vibrancy to give an image a balanced look.
Tip #3: Enhance the colors in the sky
Sunsets while already beautiful in photographs (as seen in photography magazines) can be further enhanced to convey breathtaking effects by enhancing colors in the sky.
To do so, you don’t have to enroll in a photography school. Simply follow these steps:
- Create a new layer by clicking on the layer icon to the left of the trash can in the layers panel.
- Then go to the toolbox and select the Paintbrush icon. For a smooth transition, ensure the opacity is at 100% and the brush hardness at zero.
- Set your color: With the Paintbrush still selected, click on the Foreground Color, at the bottom of the toolbar. A dialog box appears and your cursor transforms into an eyedropper tool. Left click on the desired color in your image that you wish to paint with.
- Next, start painting over the areas of the sky that you wish to enhance. Apply brush strokes to your sky area.
- Change the Layer Blend Mode: After you’re done painting, right-click on the layer you painted on and change the blend mode to ‘Soft Light’ or ‘Overlay’ to achieve the desired effect.
- And behold! You sunset image will now be much more impressive.