Photoshop Blog

Antarctic Photo Editing Tips In Photoshop and Lightroom with Julieanne Kost

Travel presents an incredible opportunity to flex your photography muscles, and no one delivers the goods quite like our own Julieanne Kost. Longtime Photoshop and Lightroom Evangelist, Julieanne recently had the opportunity to spend a few days in Antarctica, and she returned with an impressive portfolio featuring the chilly landscape.

On her approach to photography, Julieanne says, “It’s important to know what you can do in post when shooting. While we aspire to capture all of the key elements to make a successful image in camera (light, gesture, composition etc.), post processing is another tool that can be used to craft and refine your vision, and if you can pre-visualize what an image can become, you have an advantage.” Like many photographers, Julieanne uses Lightroom and Photoshop to reinforce her visual narrative, and today we’re lucky to have Julieanne give us a true behind-the-scenes look at her editing process and share a few of her secrets. I’ll let Julieanne take it from here in her own words. Be sure to follow the links for more in-depth tutorials.

 

Creating Color Contrast with Local Adjustments

LIGHTROOM

  • In the Lens correction panel, I began my editing by enabling both the Remove Chromatic Aberration and Enable Profile Correction options to remove any distortion and vignetting caused by the lens.
  • Then, I cropped and straightened the image to better balance the composition (and remove the distracting ice on the left side of the frame.)
  • Because of the cloud cover, the original capture was flat and lacking in contrast. I used the Whites and Blacks sliders in the Basic Panel to extend the dynamic range of the photograph across the entire histogram. I also increased the Contrast slider and decreased the Highlights slider to retain detail in the brighter area of the ice.
  • I adjusted the white balance of the image to neutralize the ice in the foreground by moving the Temperature slider towards blue and the Tint slider slightly towards magenta.
  • As a result, the sky lost its yellow color so I painted in the sky area with yellow using the Adjustment Brush to add depth and create color contrast between the foreground and background.
  • I added local contrast and clarity by painting with the Adjustment Brush, helping to make the icicles pop and boost edge definition.
  • Finally, I used the Spot Removal tool to remove the darker shadow on the left as well as some distracting imperfections and drips in the ice. 

Adding Light After-the-Fact

In a perfect world, we would have the time and equipment necessary to light our subject exactly the way that we want to, but in the field, there are often obstacles like time constraints, weight restrictions for equipment, small spaces etc. In these less-than-ideal situations, we move forward doing what we can with what we have, confident we can still shape and form our vision in post-processing.

LIGHTROOM

  • Here I followed the same workflow as the previous image: enabling the lens correction options, cropping, and making global tonal and color corrections in the Basic panel.
  • Then, I used the Adjustment Brush to dodge (lighten the exposure on) the ice, making sure that I also adjusted the reflection. When using the Adjustment brush, I lowered the Flow amount, used a large soft-edged brush, and painted several times over an area to slowly “build” up the effect in a more natural looking way. I used a second adjustment to burn (darken) other areas.
  • To draw attention to the splashing drops of water, I used the Adjustment Brush to add contrast and increase exposure. 

Pre-Visualizing a Photo for Post

Lightroom and Photoshop allow me more freedom with my photography. Even when I know an image isn’t going to be perfect straight out of the camera, I can pre-visualize what I can create after-the-fact. 

LIGHTROOM

  • While it’s always my intent to make as many corrections to tone and color as possible with the raw photograph in Lightroom, when it’s time for heavier retouching, making complex selections, and compositing multiple images together, I move to Photoshop to do the heavy lifting

PHOTOSHOP

  • In this example, I really liked the shape of the iceberg, but the algae bloom and the small pieces of ice in the water were too distracting. In addition, there isn’t’ enough space around the iceberg (tight spaces lead to tension, and I wanted this image to have a peaceful feeling). So, I opened the file in Photoshop and added some canvas size.
  • I then opened a second photo of a small iceberg that had a clean background. I didn’t want to spend hours trying to use the healing brush or patch tools because there weren’t many clean areas to sample from. And although you might be tempted to simply fill the background with a solid color, the lack of color and tonal variance and noise would be a dead give-away that I composited the file when printed large.
  • I placed the photograph that I was going to use as the “clean” water as a layer above the original iceberg image, added a layer mask and filled it with black to hide the contents of the layer. Then, I painted with the brush and the foreground color set to white, in the layer mask to reveal the clean water in the desired areas. 
  • To match the color and tone of the new water with the original, I added a Curves adjustment layer (limiting its effect to the clean water layer by creating a Clipping Mask,) set a point in the dark area of the curve, and dragged it downward to darken the image.

Prepping for Compositing while Shooting

When shooting, if I see a problem I want to fix in a landscape, I always try to capture the element that I will use to fix it. For example, in this image, I thought I might want to bring focus to the iceberg by removing the mountains. With this in mind, I took several additional photographs of the sky (with the same direction and quality of light) to use as my source material to cover the mountains. Because the mountains are a relatively large area, if I had tried to copy info from the original file, you might see repeating patterns. Or, if I had scaled the sky from the original image to cover the mountains, the difference in size and structure of the noise would have been a telltale sign of manipulation.

LIGHTROOM

  • I toned the image in the Basic panel, then added a Graduated filter across the sky area set to an increased amount of Dehaze and decreased Saturation to enhance the contrast.

PHOTOSHOP

  • I opened the image in Photoshop to remove smaller, distracting pieces of ice and creating a clearer path between the larger pieces of flat ice. 
  • Then, I used the sky from another image to cover the mountains.
  • To place more emphasis on the iceberg, I selected it using the Quick Select tool, added a Curves adjustment layer, and increased the brightness of the composite (RGB) channel. Then, I selected the blue channel, added a point in the shadow area of the curve, and dragged it up to add a creative color adjustment (making the selected area more blue). 

Compositing an Image in Photoshop

One of the images that I was really looking forward to making was an over/under shot in the water. However, the algal bloom made the water too murky to see through so I created my own interpretation by compositing multiple images together.

PHOTOSHOP

  • Starting with the iceberg, I removed all distracting elements using the Clone Stamp tool and the Healing Brush.
  • Then, I added a photo of the edge of a glass barrier (to create my version of the “transition” of the water line) and used Free > Transform > Warp to add the curve to the glass edge.
  • I then added the photo of the clouds, positioned them below the glass layer, chose Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal, and repositioned the clouds at the bottom of the canvas. I used the Lasso tool to select the area below the glass divide and added a layer mask to the clouds in order to mask them to only appear below the glass divide.
  • Next, I added additional clouds to the top of the image, compositing them together by setting the layer to the Multiply blend mode and decreasing the opacity of the cloud layer to 30%. I added a layer mask and dragged a gradient to slowly reveal the clouds at the top of the image.
  • Finally, I added a Gradient Map adjustment layer at the top of the layer stack to help unify the different color elements.  I created a custom gradient that transitioned from black to blue, then to gold, then to white, and lowered the opacity of the layer to allow some of the original color to show. 

Using Boundary Warp in Lightroom

LIGHTROOM

  • In Lightroom’s Develop module, I enabled both the Remove Chromatic Aberration and Enable Profile Correction options to all of the images in the sequence.
  • Then, with all of the images in the sequence selected, I chose Photo > PhotoMerge. In this case, the Cylindricle Projection worked the best.
  • Because the boat was moving while I was capturing the multiple exposures, the resulting panorama had very uneven edges. Using PhotoMerge’s Boundary Warp feature I was able to distort the resulting panorama to fit the rectangular area, while keeping the image a raw file for maximum flexibility and quality when editing. 

 

 

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  • By Matt Maldre - 11:26 AM on February 15, 2017   Reply

    I love how these examples use Antarctica photos! The tones are very gentle, so it takes a fine touch to adjust them. Also, I forgot all about the PhotoMerge feature. I’ll have to give that a try sometime.

    • By MAMUN FARABE - 11:02 AM on March 16, 2017   Reply

      Thanks for posting this blog here
      Which one is good in lightroom and phtoshop ?

  • By giong hat viet 2017 tap 2 - 6:14 PM on February 17, 2017   Reply

    create good contrast, adding a new perspective. I would love to!

  • By Dave - 12:02 AM on February 18, 2017   Reply

    Thanks. Good reading here while I’m stuck working a night shift. I have a suggestion for the next rendition of LR…why not let photographers customize the “develop” module/tab to suit reaches workflow. For example, when I edit (and Ms Kost too) the 1st thing we do is click on the lens correction. Then I go might try to change my image to Camera Calibration panel and give that a try, then to the basic. Then to Detail Panel….we should be able to move these panel around so we can start at the top and go straight down.

  • By miguel - 11:53 PM on February 19, 2017   Reply

    good job !!!

  • By dev chaudhary - 3:59 AM on February 21, 2017   Reply

    Thanks for posting this blog here
    Which one is good in lightroom and phtoshop ?

  • By Hira - 11:57 PM on February 21, 2017   Reply

    Nice Post. What a great information

  • By پشتیبانی شبکه - 4:59 AM on February 25, 2017   Reply

    from age 13 till now I loved and followed Photoshop practiced. thanks for great lesson.

  • By Mari - 1:04 PM on February 25, 2017   Reply

    it’s fantastic! Good job!

  • By Sam - 1:56 PM on February 25, 2017   Reply

    Thanks for providing the helpful information with us, it is really very useful.

  • By Rinjani Trekking Tour - 10:23 PM on February 25, 2017   Reply

    I am mostly blogging about nature, tourist attraction and adventures. This requires me to show photos to attract readers. I find gret tips here. Thanks gor sharing.

  • By Alvaro Peña - 1:03 AM on February 27, 2017   Reply

    Very interesting! Thanks

  • By Catia - 12:23 AM on February 28, 2017   Reply

    Nice post

  • By V k soof - 10:25 PM on February 28, 2017   Reply

    Can you please give me video tutorial link for this editing with lightroom.

  • By V k soof - 10:52 PM on February 28, 2017   Reply

    Can you please give me video tutorial link for this editing with picture.

  • By V k soof - 10:56 PM on February 28, 2017   Reply

    Great Tutorial for editing pics.

  • By Uzzal - 8:09 AM on March 2, 2017   Reply

    This post is rely nice

  • By adana web tasarım - 6:32 AM on March 5, 2017   Reply

    Unbelievable indeed. thank you 🙂

  • By Sourav Arora - 1:50 AM on March 6, 2017   Reply

    i love it…..

  • By Best wedding photographer kolkata - 8:16 AM on March 6, 2017   Reply

    Antarctica photo examples were very good one for this kind of posts
    Loved this post !!

  • By Mark - 11:54 AM on March 6, 2017   Reply

    Very impressive photos!

  • By sam mak - 9:40 PM on March 6, 2017   Reply

    this photo editing app required skills. its very hard to use

  • By A BROS - 7:24 AM on March 7, 2017   Reply

    Really good job, i love it

  • By Global Marketing Asesores - 11:10 AM on March 7, 2017   Reply

    Good Job!! Thanks for the post.

  • By John - 11:47 PM on March 7, 2017   Reply

    What a wonderfully succinct and informative tutorial. Many thanks.

  • By clashroyale - 2:07 AM on March 8, 2017   Reply

    very nice post really wonderful to read this post.
    thanks admin for this knowledgeable post.

  • By Mahiuddin Sharif - 5:43 PM on March 10, 2017   Reply

    I think every photographer aspire to capture the Antarctica photos! These beautiful, instructive photos made with real contrast and perk up perspective. Love this photography.

  • By Ibrahim Alnuaimy - 3:09 PM on March 11, 2017   Reply

    Great job keep it up

  • By clippinng path - 9:30 PM on March 15, 2017   Reply

    picture are amazing and editing quality also high level.

  • By Photo Editing - 6:06 AM on March 19, 2017   Reply

    Great tips. I just installed lightroom in my android phone and its all great fun to have lovely effects on my photos.

  • By photo editing - 8:02 PM on March 20, 2017   Reply

    The majority of the prominent artists here and it’s excessive to see enthusiast designers doing such prodigious work.

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