Skip to main content

Processing Student Raw Images

Lesson 38 from: Landscape Photography: Start to Finish

Matt Kloskowski

Processing Student Raw Images

Lesson 38 from: Landscape Photography: Start to Finish

Matt Kloskowski

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

38. Processing Student Raw Images

Next Lesson: Final Q&A


Class Trailer

Course Introduction


5 Things Every Landscape Photographer Should Know


Camera Gear


Gear Q & A


On Location: Weather & Safety


On Location Pre-Visualzation Sutro Baths


On Location: Camera Settings


On Location: Composition


Matt Klowskowski - My Story


On Location: Bracketing


On Location: Artistic Choices


On Location: Pre-Visualzation Marshall's Beach


On Location: Long Exposure


On Location: iPhone


On Location: Wrap Location


Location Challenges: How to Shoot in Open Sun with No Clouds


Location Challenges: How to shoot Cloudy, Stormy, & Blah Weather


Location Challenges: How to shoot Beaches


Location Challenges: How to shoot Waterfalls


Location Challenges: How to shoot Panorama Vista Scenes


Location Challenges: How to shoot Lakes


Location Challenges: How to shoot Mountains


Location Challenges: How to shoot Deserts


Location Challenges: How to shoot City Skylines


Location Challenges: How to shoot Snow


Location Challenges: How to shoot Backlit Situations


Outdoor Landscape Workflow & Organization


Basic Editing in Lightroom: Part 1


Basic Editing in Lightroom: Part 2


Lightroom and Photoshop: Intermediate Techniques Pt. 1


Lightroom and Photoshop: Intermediate Techniques Pt. 2


HDR for Landscape Photography


Panoramas for Landscape Photography


How to shoot Landscape with Adobe Photoshop in Mind


Sky Replacement in Photoshop


Processing Project: Stormy Mountains


Processing Project: Crashing Waves on the Rocks


Processing Student Raw Images


Final Q&A


Lesson Info

Processing Student Raw Images

Alright so, one of my favorite things, now, this one's kind of fun. I want a little bit of interaction from you guys too. 'Cause it's like, y'all say, what do you wanna do? You want black and white? You want this, you want that? Like I, we need a little bit of interaction for this one. Okay, so let's see here. This looked like a fun one to start with here. Alright, let's see. Develop module. First thing I wanna do, and so first thing I'll say is, super awesome, I love the composition of this. Love the composition, love that they kind of, almost filled the frame with what's really interesting about this. Because if you look, there's a lot of stuff goin' on up here. Had they put a wider lens on, I don't think that this would be as impactful of a photo. So I like all that about it. I mean, we can even look at the camera settings but, 35 millimeter. So yeah I mean, still it's not super super wide so. Definitely works. I'm gonna go to the crop tool, crop it and build a frame even more, with...

it. Like so. This one's tough to crop because it's like what's really up and down. I'm just kinda lookin' at it and seein' what feels right. Let's see here. So, I'll start off with my usual whites and blacks. This is a great example. There's not gonna be a white point. Like I'm not gonna push it to that. 'Cause that's, there is no white point here. So I'm not gonna make there be a white point. Blacks, I'll let there be a couple of little specks. Like so, and to me that's even a little too much. I'll probably pull it back. Alright? Let's see here. Shadows? We don't really have any shadows to speak of. We don't really have any blown highlights or anything in the highlight range to speak of. So, what does it for me in this photo is the contrast of yellow and blue. That's kinda what drew me to the photo. So that's a little bit of what I'm gonna kinda go after. Probably go to my brush tool. And, I'm thinkin' a sunshine-ish type of a yellow. Do you see here? Again, not hidin' it. It's just some warmth. And I might see what that looks like. There we go. So, now I'll make my brush bigger. Just paint across here. Like so. In the interest of time, you guys saw me do the auto mask thing, where I can auto mask and I can keep it away from the sky. You already know it works. I'm gonna kinda keep us movin' along here. I'm probably gonna add some clarity to that. And actually a decent amount of clarity. Okay pretty good. That sky I mean it's so, it's got so much blue in it already that I don't even know that I need to mess with it. I will try however, let's take our grad filter, and I'll go in let's, I'll go gritty. Try gritty. So, it's gonna make it blue and it's gonna add clarity. I'm gonna remove the blue. Let's just see what the clarity does. See how kinda makes it a little bit more ominous? It actually gets so blue guys I might even warm it up just to counteract it a little bit. Alright. That's lookin' good. Come down here. I'll hit it with some sharpening. Radius and, I don't even really have to go up one the detail. I think we're, in fact that could be too much. We'll pull it back. So that's lookin' good and you guys already know. So here's an interesting, let's go, I want to change this. I haven't done this yet today but I, I haven't done this yet today but I do it a lot. Is, you see the Vignette kind of assumes we're gonna go into the middle? Every once in a while that, I don't want it to go into the middle if there's a good focal point somewhere else. To me this is a key area of the photo. So rather than do the Vignette, let's go reset that. I'm gonna go up here to my radial filter. And, I'm gonna fake it. So, we take our exposure negative, and I click and drag, and it's like just makin' a little spotlight. So it's kinda like a Vignette, but fake. Rather than do it in the circle and the center we do it off to the side a little bit. And then you can feather it. So, that's no feather. And then that's a lot of feather. Could be too dark. Lookin' pretty good. Let's see here. I'll probably add a little bit more overall clarity. Take a look here. So, before, after. If it were me, and it is, (audience laughs) I'm gonna grab my brush. I'll go to darker foreground. I'll go to my darker foreground light version. And, that's still probably too dark. It's okay though. Yeah. (chair creaking) I think I like that a little bit better. So, before, after. Darkening the foreground helps bring attention to what I think the star of the photo is. So that's why I did that. Cool. Alright, that's one. Let's move on. What do we got here? That's pretty cool. I wonder if this is from a drone or... It's neat though. I love this bridge that goes through. I love the shutter speed. Can't be from a drone. I dunno. Anyway maybe it's just a clip that's up high. But I love how you've got that S curve going through the photo. I believe that's a clip. That's a clip? Okay. I believe so. (woman mumbling) So, I'm just gonna experiment. Kind of experimenting with some cropping. Oo. Think I like that. (chair creaking) So, one of the reasons why I did that, let me reset. Is is it just kinda went through the middle. So there's somethin', it's tough. It's a tough call. But I think I'm gonna go with it. Hold on. What do you guys think? I like the one that varies. Well, like you did. The one that I did? (audience chattering) Mike? (laughs) Alright. This is what we're goin' with. I'd probably leave a little bit more breathing room right at the bottom. There we go. Whites and black. Pull back on the highlights. So here's and interesting one. I think all the highlights over here are fine. There might've been, it might've just been brighter over here and all that kinda falls almost all white. If that happens, what I'll do is I'll take my graduated filter, and, I'll bring it in. I'll just reduce the highlights and bring it in to try to even that out. (man clears throat) Like so. So because I'm just reducing the highlights it's not really messin' with anything else in the photo. It's not like I did exposure where that would darken it in. This is, the highlights is just gonna make it all in the highlight areas. So I think that looks good. Let's see here. We got our whites and blacks. Shadows. Not messin' with the highlights. Over all exposure, I think we could push it. Warmth. (chairs creaks) Some clarity. (chair creaks) Detail. (chair creaking) Lens corrections. I didn't do this before but, doesn't really need any. Oh, it doesn't have a lens profile. Nothing. And then down here. I almost like a stronger Vignette on this too. We, anybody? Yeah? (laughs) Before, after. (chair creaking) If it were me, and guess? It still is. (audience laughs) I do the same thing I did before. Tone down a couple of these little spots. And then, I'm gonna hit new on the brush. And I'm gonna go brighter with the exposure. I won't do the whole thing. Just sake of time. But. See what I'm doin'? (chair creaking) There we go. So, cool shot though. Love that. Love that natural S curve in the middle. Before, after. Cool. Yell somethin' out if you want me to process it a certain way. Somethin' screams to you as a certain type of a photo. This one, let's go ahead and, so first of all nice shot. We talk about like what's the, we talk about shutter speeds for water, and I think had you not, whoever took this shot, had you not done a longer shutter speed to smooth out the water, I think you would've taken away like, you would've taken away the impact of that tree. Because the water gets kinda chaotic and it just, it occupies our vision so, if you don't smooth it out then you start to lose all the other stuff in the photo. So to me, I actually like the simplicity. If it were me and I could go back and shoot that, I'd probably go even longer. Like I'd totally smooth it out. So, somethin' to consider. You know what? We're gonna do it. We're gonna try it. First things first is is I gotta straighten this. This one's killin me. There we go. And let's see here. So-- What was the shutter speed? Shutter speed was two seconds. Oh yeah. You couldn't. 30 seconds woulda smoothed that baby out. (chair creaking) Whites and blacks. Boost up those shadows. Oo. I see why we didn't boost the shadows this much. There's a lot of stuff back there, that I don't think helps the photo. So we're not gonna boost the shadows. We will tame down. Tame the highlights a little bit. Got some clarity. We're gonna play with white balance on this. (chair creaking) if you guys want a little keyboard shortcut tip, if you ever want to experiment with what a photo's gonna look like black and white, hit V. V for Victor. Before, after. So you can get a quick look without like goin' and converting to black and white. But, there's too much, again too much color back there for me to do that. I think we can probably warm that up a little bit. Detail. You know we're not gonna worry too much about detail on this one 'cause, it's the background. There's really nothin' up front. There's nothin' up front that's super, it's all silhouette up front. So we don't really have to worry about that. So let's go ahead and grab this and take it into Photoshop. We're gonna try somethin'. (thudding) Maybe. There we go. (sighs) I'm gonna make a selection, of the water. Alright? Let's go up here to the select and mask button. Which is new inside of Photoshop. And, we can kind of get an idea of what's goin' on here. (sighs) See the minus button up top? So right now, this tree is part of the selection. I'm not sure if it's gonna work. I'm gonna paint over it. It's not workin'. (laughs) Let's see here. So let's go to radius. What I'm tryin' to do is see if I can get some of this to automatically, it's gonna be tough. (chair creaking) Hmm. I want to blur this and I've gotta get that selected. Well. I can show you what I would do and maybe with another 15 minutes to really go in there and try to mask that out we could do it. So, probably not gonna spend the time so, I'll just show you what I was gonna do to it. Which would be, and this is a little trick. Because if I just, if I just blur this now, it's not. What's gonna happen is is when it gets to the edges, you're gonna start to see the layer that's underneath it. So, I'm gonna press command or control J. (clicking) So that just punched it up onto it's own layer. Okay? And now if I blur it. If I go to, I'll go to, I'll go to a motion blur really quick. It's not gonna do what we want. See how it infringes over that? So the trick is, press, hold down your command or control key, and click on that layer. See how it puts a selection on everything around it? So now when I go apply a filter, it won't go outside the boundaries of that selection. So I'm basically protecting the rest of the photo. So I'm gonna go to filter, blur. We'll just go to motion blur. Drag that to zero degrees. You see what's happening there. Well we can fix that I think. (chair creaking) So let's pretend (laughs) that tree wasn't cut off down there. That's before. That's after. And since it's on its own layer I mean I can, I can adjust it. Darker or brighter too. What do you think? Darker? Brighter? Brighter. Brighter? Somethin' in there. I don't know. Somethin' a little bit different just to take away some of the texture in that water there but if I could go back and re-shoot it I woulda done like a 30 second exposure and really let that smooth out. I think it woulda looked cool. (chair creaking) somebody had a question? Yeah? What if you crop that vertically? What if I crop this one here? Up to portrait. Well let's, I'm gonna hit save and jump back over to Lightroom. (chair creaking) So crop it vertically. Do you guys know the little keyboard shortcut if I go into the little crop tool in Lightroom and I hit X? It crops it vertically. X goes back to horizontal. (chair creaking) You know I like it vertically. I like it vertical. I think I'd come up on the bottom and remove some of that water though. Yeah. I think I like it vertical though. 'Cause that's the star, to me that's the star of the photo is that whole tree with the birds in it. Maybe that's why they didn't do a longer exposure too. But you coulda. Start thinkin' ahead. Perfect back to our Photoshop stuff and shootin' in the field is, I do this, take one shot with normal exposure, click, get everything sharp, then do your 30 second exposure and then you can merge 'em together. That would've been an easy one to do it with. (chair creaking) Alright cool. Let's see here. What do we got next? (chair creaking) I think some shadows. These little puppies, little doggies. (audience laughs) Pull back on our highlights a little bit. Just like that. Whites and blacks, option or all click. Blacks. (exhaling) I mean the sky looks great. I could punch this one up in exposure more. Which is what I would have to do. Let's go down to lens corrections and get rid of, there we go. And then I'd have to take my grad filter. I'll use my, let's use my darker sky strong. (chair creaking) And that's pretty simple 'cause I don't really, like all that's a silhouette anyway. So I don't have to go back and paint anything out or anything like that. So that's actually an easy change. Might be a little too dark so we'll punch it up there. You guessed it. (chuckles) You know what though? Put the Vignette on. (chair creaking) Maybe we need to go that dark with it. So, that's before. That's after. (clicking) If you have some time, what I would say is, you, we got a little bit of noise. If you want to get picky with it go to the detail panel. And, little bit of luminesce. And then you can just crank up your detail slider to bring some of the detail back in there. Like I said I'm not gonna worry too much about it. If you had some extra time, what I would say is, go to your brush tool. And I mean some extra time like this is gonna take a little while. But you gotta do somethin' to, if you really like this photo of the dogs which I think that's cute. I think it's a shame that (laughs). Like, it'd be tough to fall in love with the photo. Because if these are your dogs I don't know that you'd want your dogs butt in your face. So, I don't know that you're gonna spend this much time on the photo but, you can kinda jump in here and you'd have to spend some time brightening up and doin' that. 'Cause it's just they're so, they're, I mean you saw our original. They're in shadows. The suns down. The suns down and there's nothing lighting them so, you'd have to go in there and you'd have to brighten them up. (chair creaking) Okay cool. Let's see here. (chair creaking) This one was a fun one. I was playin' with this one on the break. I was playin' with this one on the break because, I found like five versions that I thought worked for it and this was a good starting point so. I won't mention 'em. I won't mention 'em till the end of the class but, I had somebody say where's the one click preset? They're part of the preset package. So there's sky, one click, workflow, brush and print presets. The one clicks are part of that package at Matt K Photos so, but click through. Just hover over and when you find one, I found a really good one. Thought that was cool. That's pretty neat. That's cool. I really liked the moody. So, I don't do this with a lot of photos, but, I thought that was, take a little bit of the blue. I thought that was pretty cool and you make everything dark. And you just let the water kinda stand out of it. (chair creaking) Thought that was a neat one. What other ones did I try? Forest. Silhouetted landscape. Little bit brighter. Little less blue. But you can make some really moody type of photos from that. So I think that's a neat one too. Not the matte faded look, vintage. And it could be black and white. Want do you think? You want to go black and white on this one? I think black and white. Alright. We're goin' black and white. We're goin' black and white let's go. Let's see here. So, I want contrast. But I like a little, I like to see the shadows up here. Let's see here. Clarity's already cranked up. You want a little trick, if you ever want to add more clarity to the photo, and you already cranked up your clarity down here, you could go to your brush tool and crank up clarity and then brush over the whole photo again. So you can keep, and then I can click new. And I could brush more clarity on top of it. (chair creaking) We got a spot. Let's get rid of the spot. (chair creaking) So that's cool. I, I don't know that I'm gonna do a lot more. Alright. So, that was one of my presets. So that's a look to actually look what it did. Got some exposure, we got some contrast. That's the highlights. That's the shadow treatment. Lots of whites. Some blacks. Lots of clarity. Tone curve kinda, you can see it boosts it up a little bit. I might even, I wanted to tweak the whites a little bit. I say I never use the tone curve but this would be a good chance. So I can push the whites a little higher. Let's see here. No split toning although I'm not opposed, to tinting it. Nah. We're goin' all black and white. Sharpening. Haven't really done any yet but we can add some to it. Lens corrections. Effects. So it's already got a Vignette. I'll maybe adjust it just a little bit. (chair creaking) Before, after. What do we think? We like it? Mm Hm. Cool shot. (chair creaking) Really nice shot. Looks cold. (audience laughing) Love it. Great shutter speed. See remember how we talked about, like I know a lot of this could, I mean yeah it seemed so well done in so many ways. Look at all that pattern and texture. Like I think totally nailed it on the shutter speed for this waterfall. See all that texture? You can see the lines in it. To me that's what I'm, that's what I want. I want to see those lines in the water. I don't want it to go all white from too long of a shutter speed. And when I say all white, I don't mean overexposed, 'cause you can still use your neutral density filter to keep your exposure right. But if you let your shutter go too long, you lose all the detail 'cause the water just comes and fills in all the gaps there. So, I think the gaps in the water are actually what helps it. Cool. Let's see here. Man. Whoever took this photo just sell your camera. (laughs) Totally kidding. Justin. This is Justins's shot. Great shot. (audience laughing) Totally totally kidding. Great shot Justin. Our very own Justin Katz who's an excellent photographer in his own right so. Was it or Justin Katz Photography? J Katz Photo. J Katz Photo, so I was way off. J Katz Photo. J K-A-T-Z Photo dot com. Go check him out. He's got good stuff. Justin was on the videos with me. Alright. So, Yosemite? What's the name of that fall? That's Yosemite Falls. That's Yosemite Falls? It's, figures. (laughs) So let's see here. Let's go. I mean, you could just go with the gimmy. (laughs) Which is the black and white. But, we're not gonna. So let's see here. I usually kinda wiggle around my exposure. Kinda wanna see 'cause we got a little bit, looks like the sky didn't necessarily cooperate with us that day. So I'll wiggle around my exposure just to see what we have to work with here. So, I'm gonna pull that back. Pull my highlights. There we go. Shadows, not too much to worry about. Whites and blacks, option or all click. Blacks. Let's see here. Some clarity. Let's see. I think, I want to, see the clouds? Like I want to go, let's, yeah darker a little more ominous. The brush will probably do a pretty good job here. We'll go with, one of my brush presets. I'm thinkin', they're not white and puffy. (audience laughs) But I'm gonna try. (chair creaking) Nope. Alright we're gonna go gritty. Yeah. Let's go gritty. Ultra gritty? Oh. There's ultra. We gotta go ultra. So there we yeah. And I'm not gonna, again I would normally go to the auto mask and be more careful about that but I'm not gonna bother. So I'll do that. So the only little problem we're gonna have is is we blew out just a little bit of an area there. And when I say we I mean you. (audience laughing) So it's our only problem is we're not, like I keep wantin' to get that little white spot back and I don't think I can. I think it's, it's not there. And so, just kinda forget that but I love the clouds. Like that's, it's perfect. I'm gonna click new, and I'm gonna to, haze killer. To me that's too much. I'm gonna try sun glow really quick. Huh. I might like that. What do you guys think? No? Not feelin' it? (audience chattering) Haze killers better? Fine. Fine! (audience laughs) Go to haze killer. I am gonna pull back on all the, all the sliders just a bit. (chair creaking) Yeah. So, again use your auto mask brush to go in there and kinda you know. Clean 'em up a little bit. Can I add a little bit of warmth to it? Yeah. You guys cool with that? Just a little bit. How's that? (audience laughing) Is that too much? Is that too much? Yeah. Yeah. How 'bout this? How 'bout now? Is that too much? (audience laughing) We've created a masterpiece for you Justin. (audience laughing) You good? You like that? That's, see you think you gotta go there for sunset? You don't have to go for sunset. Like when you can get that I mean. Alright so let's take it back to earth. Alright. But you did allow me to add a little bit. (chair creaking) And dude I love the foreground. I love the reflection. I love all the grassy weeds and the... Man I wish I was at, I wish we went to this spot when we were there. Let's see here. So, close. And what do you guys think? What am I missin'? What do you want to add? I think it looks great. You don't need to make any adjustments in the reflection? Since you made one in the sky. Do I need to make an adjustment to the reflection? I mean, the sky got brighter do I want to make the reflection brighter? And I don't even know that I'd be too particular about the reflection. I would, if I were to do I might grab my, brighter foregrounds. Let's try it. Let's try clarity. Do we like that? No. Okay let's not. (laughs) I think just makin' it brighter to match that a little bit. What else are we thinkin'? Are we thinkin' Vignette? Mm Hm. A little bit croppy. Do you think we could crop this photo. Just look at the balance right there. Top to bottom. You know, I mean I don't know that I'd crop it. I love so many, so we have angle, we have this nice triangle leading us right in. This is a perfect example of horizon being centered but I like it. Like I think this is the right, you got these nice triangle shapes going here. If I could do anything I'd extend that up just a hair but, I don't know that I would crop it anymore. You guys want to crop it? I mean, do we go, you could have a shot. Okay. I'll put the sun right there. You could have a shot there. It's kinda cool the water falls over here. You can take your brush, and, take your brush. Make that a little bit brighter. (chair creaking) Maybe not. So, that's an option too. I like it both ways. Yeah? How wide of a lens was used there? Just curious because it... 14. Yeah it seems like the mountain's falling away. And if there any way to use the tilt shift or the transform and correct that a little bit? No. Without losing the, I think what'll happen is you'll lose the sky. Yeah. Maybe a little bit. I like either crops. I like 'em both. I like the crop that Justin had. What else-- I like it a little tight. Just like that yeah. I like it a little tighter too. But I mean I, you know what part of it is? Is I don't want to give up the foreground. (woman laughs) 'Cause it's so, I love that foreground too so. But, before, after. Like it. Nice job Justin. Nice shot. (chair creaking) Justin is, check out his website. He's got some awesome awesome stuff from Yosemite on there. So Matt I think we have time for one more. Cool. If you want to pick your favorite. You might want to do this one or take a look at your favorite of what's left. Feel free. Don't do that to me. Sorry Matt. Don't do it to me. (clicking) You're killin' me. (Jim chuckles) (Matt sighs) Alright, hold on, hold on. I'm gonna-- I'll give you two if you want. You know what? I'm just gonna do the speed round. So, crop. And whites. Blacks. I'm gonna run through the presets. Just 'cause I don't want to think there could be something here for... That was the HDR one. But I got to run through 'em all just to... See that's not bad too. (sighs) So many choices. So, do we like sunshine? You want to do it in HDR? Sun. Sunshine. Hello sunshine. Alright. We're gonna go sunny with it. Crop. I'll pull back a little bit on everything. Blacks, whites. Too much whites. You got it. Vignette. And the only other thing I want to add to that one is I'm gonna go to my brush tool. That's too much. And pull that back. I mean there's a ton of ways I could've gone with that one. (clicking) But I think the sunshine way to go and I think if you went more pure with it, just you know. You want more of something along the lines of that. (clicking) I think you could go that way too. Alright. I'm gonna do one more Jim. (Jim chuckles) You can't stop me. No I can't. You can't stop me. (chair creaking) Here we go. Ready? Whites. Blacks. I didn't do it for any others but, calibration. Whites, blacks, shadows, highlights. If I could go back and re-shoot this maybe a little bit shorter of a shutter speed. Here's the trick to this photo though. So much good lighting for it, okay? Remember we talked about flat lighting for waterfalls? Good lighting, there's just so much around here, that I know I'm doin' it on everything, but this ones needs, needs a Vignette and in fact somethin' like this I think, I think you get almost creative and dramatic with it. In, in the Vignette. Where you almost over Vignette it and let the bright stuff naturally like, I didn't bright it in that middle of the photo there but it's so naturally like it stands out. So. (clicking) So I think it just, I think something like that helps you to tame. Almost makes you feel like there's more lighting going on, in the scene. There's some streaks of light comin' through or what not. But I think that's, I think definitely one of the option.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Matt's Photography Gear

Ratings and Reviews

Christian Ruvolo

Mat Kloskowski class is really amazing, full of very useful tipps and inspiration. Wonderful pictures by him help to understand the explanations an I am learning A LOT from him!!! Thank you for the class!!! TOP!!!!


I love Matt's teaching style, humor, honesty, friendliness. I love On1 and all the other demos and critiques he does. He makes me enjoy the craft/art of photography much more and is a great inspiration.

a Creativelive Student

This class was for beginners and I believe Matt did a great job of giving students an great introduction to landscape photography. More on the practical than technical side, but that seems appropriate for an intro class. He comes across as a "real" guy who loves what he does and is eager to share his knowledge. Those new to photography will get a lot of helpful information and tips in this course.

Student Work