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Finishing Those Landscapes

Landscapes can be some of the most desirable images to add to any library but they can also produce some of the greatest challenges as often you have to look beyond just the obvious. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to go somewhere beautiful in order to create beautiful landscapes. Well it is true that you have to go to certain places, say the ocean, in order to capture images of the ocean but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t options in every neck of the woods, all it takes is a little exploration.

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The two most common times that people go out over great landscapes are always sunrise and sunset. It’s not hard to figure out why, you find a good subject and then wait for the good light. In most cases this works pretty well even if it does take a little care in post to really bring out the drama. Post processing is actually a really important step when it comes to landscapes in order to bring out that little bit extra. Oddly enough most of the finishing I do actually doesn’t include increasing saturation, which is the one thing that most think about when it comes to finishing landscapes. Often times it’s better to bring down the shadows or bring up the exposure to make the eye go to where you want it to go.

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Then of course there is the classic black and white landscape that has been made famous by so many photographers in the past. The allure is simple in part because it’s how we grew up looking at landscape images. So many have been captured that way that it’s just enticing. In truth landscapes are all about emotion and sometimes the removal of color can break any image down to just feeling. While Adobe Camera Raw does have a black and white option I actually don’t prefer using it. It’s great for prepping the image before converting it by bringing out those areas that will look the best after the conversion but I still use SilverEfex Pro II for the conversion. On1 Suite does an amazing job with their black and white software as well.

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In the end my favorite shots no matter what the subject is are still the ones that require nothing in post. Why you might ask? Well as much fun as I have finishing my images to create what I see in my head, there are times when it is best just to be able to capture the world around you and enjoy. Even in the realm of landscapes there exists those images that require nothing in post, just click away and enjoy.

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