How I Mastered Photoshop

Glen Eilt, Scotland

Processed using Photoshop Layers & Masks – Glen Eilt, Scotland

When I was just entering into the world of landscape photography, I would look at images like this one and think to myself, “Where do I start? How do pro landscape photographers get such striking results, and what steps can I follow to make my own images the best they can be?

As soon as I discovered what shooting and processing in RAW could do for my photos, I was hooked. But even though I had fallen in love with post-processing, I found the sheer complexity of photo editing software like Photoshop to be completely overwhelming.

Glen Eilt, Scotland

After experimenting and playing with sliders – Glen Eilt, Scotland

In the beginning, my normal workflow looked something like this: I would shoot a RAW image then spend countless hours playing with different sliders, randomly exploring menus and experimenting with various tools, only to end up with a final image that looked like the badly-processed photograph you see here. I was wasting a lot of time and not getting anywhere near the results I was looking for. To make matters worse, I couldn’t remember which tools I had used for previous images, so I would constantly be starting the whole process over again – long hours of random experimentation followed by disappointment and frustration. Of course, there were plenty of post-processing tutorials out there, but none of them were geared toward landscape photographers. So I was left to figure it out on my own through long sessions of trial and error.

Over time, I was able to use bits of knowledge gained from a hodgepodge of tutorials to start mastering the techniques that are critical to landscape photography. I learned to deliberately manipulate colors, make adjustments to specific areas of an image, add sharpness and clarity and even combine multiple exposures together to create a single image. Though I eventually developed an effective workflow and learned to process images in a way that consistently achieved the results I was looking for, if there had been someone to guide me through the basics and give me a solid framework from which to work, I would have saved a lot of precious time and been spared loads of unnecessary frustration.

If you find yourself in a similar place, you don’t have to take the same route I did! We have partnered with professional landscape photographer and post-processing master Chip Phillips to bring you Photoshop for Landscape Photographers, a tutorial that is specifically designed for the landscape photographer who is ready to start processing her own images like a pro. This step-by-step, intermediate-level course explores a number of tools and techniques used by the best in the field to help you successfully navigate the complex world of Photoshop and create stunning landscape images. You’ll have access to a number of case studies that will show you how Chip processes the images from our Behind the Lens course.


About Author Jay Patel

I could startoff like this – “Seeds of Jay Patel’s appreciation for beautiful places were planted early in his childhood….” but it would get boring really fast. I will just sum it up and say that I am a Landscape and Wilderness Photographer who loves to capture dramatic light. My photographs have been published in various magazines, calendars and advertising materials throughout the world.
Patience is a virtue...unless you are chasing your dreams