When it comes to landscape photography, there are two high points for me.
1) The magical feeling being out in nature, capturing its raw beauty as best I can with my camera.
2) The satisfaction of turning the dull, lifeless RAW data captured in camera, into a HERO shot in Photoshop.
No matter how well I connect with nature, soaking up the atmosphere of a colourful, stormy or atmospheric sunrise or sunset, there's always going to be some work needed in Photoshop to turn the RAW files into anything close to an ideal finished image.
And it doesn't help that the more colourful and amazing the light is when shooting a landscape, the harder it is for the camera to capture anything that resembles how it really looked.
But once I got it into my head that the RAW file is essentially a digital “negative” that will always need processing to turn it into a finished piece, that element of disappointment when looking through my images for the first time after a shoot suddenly disappeared.
Early on in my photographic journey, I would have probably overlooked the image at the top of this email when I saw the original RAW file (below):
But knowing in advance how to turn this ZERO into the HERO at the top meant I didn't skip past it, or decide it wasn't worth spending time on…
Or worse, it meant I didn't waste heaps of time trying to process it unsuccessfully and without direction!
But as it turned out, I got to enjoy both of my favourite things about landscape photography – being out there in the wild connecting with nature, AND creating a beautiful image for my efforts later in Photoshop.
To learn the exact process and techniques I use in Photoshop to make RAW file transformations like this, so you can turn your ZERO shots into HERO shots too, just click here now.