By Scott Umstattd
Some of the most powerful pictures photographers can create are of landscapes.
The world's overwhelming beauty can easily pop off a page when all of the elements fall into place. But there is much more to creating incredible landscape photography than simply pointing your camera at a pretty sunset.
This article is a review of the ebook created by husband and wife photographers Todd and Sarah Sisson. As professional landscape photographers based out of New Zealand, these two are more than qualified to provide some tips on how to make the most of your landscape photos after you have loaded them onto your computer.
That last sentence is your first key to understanding and making use of "Loving Landscapes - A Guide to Landscape Post Processing" (as if the title wasn't enough). This book guides you step by step on how to organize and edit your landscape photos. This is not a book that provides guidance on how to take better landscape pictures.
As a street/documentary photographer, I know I have a thing or two to learn about landscape photography, especially when it comes to editing landscapes photos.
This book covers practically every aspect of how you need to prepare your pictures before editing to making the necessary color and contrast corrections as well as some extra tips on how to remove unwanted artifacts like road signs or cars or people so that you can create a landscape image that reflects to true beauty that your eyes witnessed.
Photo Credit: Sarah Sisson
Sometimes it's easier to say what something is by demonstrating what it is not. Here are a few things that "Loving Landscapes - A Guide To Landscape Post Processing" is not:
If you are a reader of Picture Power, you know that my approach to photography is documentary/street based. For me, that means (among other things) that I don't do a lot of post processing work to my pictures. I don't strive for beautiful pictures inasmuch as I strive to capture beauty in real moments.
What this book taught me, initially, is that jaw-dropping landscape photography involves a lot of post processing. Yes, beautiful pictures can be made directly in camera (I even have some myself). But those images that you can't seem to take your eyes off require a lot of love and a lot of attention in the editing process.
Photo Credit: Todd Sisson
To make landscape photos that people will stare at (that will pass the Five Second test) you have to spend time editing them. You have to form a relationship with the picture. You have to ease out the beauty in some areas and remove the ugly in others.
This book has opened my eyes and shown me that great landscape photography is not a point and shoot process. Getting everything right in the camera is only part of what it takes. You must develop a true artist's touch to create landscape photography that will stand out.
While Todd and Sarah don't tell you which choices to make (that's up to you) they do show you what you need to consider, why you need to consider it, how you can approach the changes you will make and ultimately, they show you how to combine all of these steps in a way that will allow your own creative considerations to come shining through.
Honestly, this book is not for the faint of heart. Meaning, you need to bring a true desire to improve your landscape post processing skills. If you come at this book half-hearted, you may be disappointed. But if you come at with with a true dedication and desire to improve your landscape editing skills, this is a book that you will find yourself referring back to years from now.
Have YOU read this book? Please share your thoughts and feedback below.
Loving Landscapes - A Guide To Landscape Post Processing is available from Digital-Photography-School.com.