How to Edit Landscape Photos Like a Pro

Professional photo editing does not have to take a lot of time. If you have proper source material, all it takes is a few minutes and the right combination of tools to add that little extra that makes your photos shine.

In the feature video, I show my complete workflow in Photoshop and Luminar NEO for the editing of a challenging backlight image. To capture this photo, I used exposure bracketing and focus stacking in the field to capture all the details. In Lightroom, I applied some basic settings to the complete sequence of images and used the HDR merge tool for the background shots. I performed the focus stacking in Helicon Focus.

The two resulting photos are the starting point of the creative workflow I share in the tutorial. My photo editing is not about big changes with a single filter or setting. I like to build up the effect through a combination of subtle improvements. Each brings me closer to the final result while maintaining image quality that can suffer from drastic adjustments.

Maybe the most important part of professional photo editing is automation. In Lightroom, I already use a set of custom presets that reflect my typical editing style. In Photoshop, you can make use of actions. But what I like to do recently is use Luminar NEO. Similar to Lightroom, it allows the creation of presets. With a click of a button and some fine-tuning, I can quickly apply creative edits to my images. With some finishing touches on top, it took no more than 15 minutes for the complete edit of the example photo.

Michael Breitung's picture

Michael Breitung is a freelance landscape and travel photographer from Germany. In the past 10 years he visited close to 30 countries to build his high quality portfolio and hone his skills as a photographer. He also has a growing Youtube channel, in which he shares the behind the scenes of his travels as well as his knowledge about photo editing.

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