Keep it local
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine|February 2021
James Paterson shows you how to target areas of a landscape with Photoshop tools and make powerful local adjustments
James Paterson

THE MISSION

Use Adjustment Layers and masks in Photoshop to selectively enhance your landscapes

Time needed 20 minutes

Skill level Beginner

Kit needed Photoshop CC

One of the main challenges with landscapes is in balancing out bright skies with any darker landscape areas, especially if the foreground is in deep evening shade.

Let’s be honest, many of us when editing a landscape like this where the contrast between land and sky is too great, might simply lift the Shadows and drop the Highlights. It’s a quick universal fix that may help to pull detail out of the lightest and darkest portions of the frame, but can also lead to an image looking overprocessed, or almost HDR-like. Sometimes it’s better to take a more targeted approach instead.

By making local adjustments that are tailored to different areas of the image, the results can look more natural and ultimately more successful. In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to make a series of powerful local edits using Adjustment Layers in Photoshop. We’ll isolate the sky (using the helpful new automatic sky selection tool) and make it bolder, then we’ll select the land and perform a series of edits to enhance the textures and boost the contrast.

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