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Take your Drab Landscape photograph and change it into a Beautiful Landscape

Have you been with family and friends in some great places and just don’t have the time to set up your tripod and camera? Or you’re learning how to bracket exposures but don’t have the time to really understand how it works?

As a photographer or photographer novice. It’s frustrating! I know this has happened to most of us…so when Julie Miller asked me how do I take a drab looking photograph and make it pop I knew this would be great for a mini dive! BTW, check out her beautiful jewelry hereShe is one of our members…crazy happy to have her with us!


So here is what I do and I hope it helps you-

My favorite way to fix these shots is in Adobe Photoshop but if I just want to add a bit of fun I’ll Split Tone in Lightroom


Develop Module > Increase the Shadows > Decrease the Highlights > Play with Contrast and Clarity

> Split Tone play with highlights and shadow squint my eyes just a bit I move the slider Saturation to %50…move to see what I like. Do the same thing to the Shadow area.  I next play the amount of saturation in both highlight and shadow and if I need to, I’ll adjust the Balance to more of the Shadow or more of the Highlight color.

Last part I usually add a bit of vignette.

Now to my favorite…

In Photoshop – this has more steps but is my go to workflow.

fix your landscape pictures

Before and After taking a drab landscape to a pop landscape.

Copy your layer > Bottom Layer is highlighted > Command J

Image > Mode > LAB Color > Don’t Flatten

Image > Adjustments > Curves

In the Channel area click on the drop-down to “a”

Drag the Dark and Light tabs to the next Vertical line see below.

lab adjustments

In LAB adjust your channels.


Now click on the same drop-down and choose “b” and do the same steps as you did for the “a” channel.

Click OK

Go back to Image > Mode to change back to RGB

If the color seems too much change the Opacity a bit. I notice that sometimes the reds maybe too much so I will isolate in:

Filter > Camera Raw Filter> HSL/Grayscale to reduce the saturation in the reds/oranges if needed.

If your sky needs more pop, in your Camera Raw Filter area:

Graduated Filter > drag down the filter line > Dehaze

Take a couple of these quick steps and put a huge smile on your face seeing the fun times you had while photographing landscapes that just didn’t work for you at the time.



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