Dull or flat-looking photos get ignored. That’s just a fact but it’s something pro photographers need to keep in mind if they want to get their images noticed so they can make a sale.
Yes, there’s a lot of competition out there so you should be looking for any way to get your photos to stand out. In the below tutorial, software guru Christian Möhrle of The Phlog Photography, shares a Lightroom trick he says is guaranteed “to make your photos pop.”
The secret is understanding Color Range Masks in Lightroom. As usual, he demonstrates the easy Lightroom technique in the video below using one of his own landscape photos.
“The original RAW image was super bright. I wanted to get all the details in a single shot,” Möhrle says. “To fix that I made everything a lot darker, especially the sky where I added a color range mask to give it a super strong ‘polarizing effect.’ This shot was fully edited in Lightroom Classic.”
#1 Base Adjustments
“I changed the profile to Adobe Landscape to get some more saturation,” he explains. “Then, I dropped the exposure quite a bit to make the light a little more natural. At the same time, I increased the highlights and dropped the shadows to get some contrast going on. For a sharp look, I added texture and clarity.”
“For the polarizing effect, I used a color range mask and targeted the blue part of the sky. To further adjust the mask, I subtracted a linear gradient from the bottom up to get a soft gradient in the sky. Once that was done, I dropped the exposure which gives the sky a great contrast between the blue and the clouds. For a more intense blue tone I also dropped the white balance temperature in there. I used another color range mask on the grass to bring up the exposure and add some texture and saturation. Finally, I added a linear gradient over the water to increase whites and clarity.”
#3 Color Grading
“Since I didn’t like the green tones, I changed them in the hue panel by bringing down the green and yellow hue. To give the grass some more brightness, I added orange and yellow luminance carefully. For the last step I used split toning to add a warm color to the highlights and the mid-tones of the photo.”