There are some things you learn in Lightroom you might use from time to time while editing your photos and there are some tricks you employ every day. In the below video, landscape photographer Mark Denney shares “a hard Lightroom skill that pays off forever!”
“There’s a ton of photo editing tips, techniques, and best practices out there, but none of them have had as great of an impact on my editing workflow as this Lightroom skill has,” Denney explains. “Now this isn’t the easiest skill to learn as it typically just takes experience, editing hundreds of photos throughout the years to develop this, but in this video, I hope to greatly reduce that learning curve for you.”
To explain this Lightroom technique, Denney shares an image of his that recently got a lot of attention on Instagram with many followers asking him how he was able to get the dreamy look in this pastoral scene. He compares the RAW file of the shot to the final version that was edited in Lightroom.
“One of my favorite aspects of this photograph is the light throughout it and the optical journey,” he says. “The viewer’s eye naturally gravitates towards brighter and more colorful areas of a scene or areas that are in sharper focus.”
The key to an effective edit in Lightroom is to emphasize that optical journey, whether it means lightening certain areas to draw the viewer in or darkening other spots to push them away. One of best ways to accomplish this is to “light the way” in the image.
While that might sound relatively simple, tweaking the light in a photo so that it looks natural while guiding the viewer on an optical journey can be challenging. In the video, Denney shows you how to effectively do this using Lightroom’s Radial Gradient feature in conjunction with other editing tools. Check it out below and see if you can add this pro Lightroom skill to your editing arsenal.