Today’s photo editing challenge topic is about processing landscape photos to bring out detail. I’ll also demonstrate the Luminar 4 AI Sky Replacement tool to show you how easy it is and I’ll show you how you can get a pack of 400 sky images if you want to use it for your images.
You will learn how to bring out detail in areas of the image that are overly dark or bright. Your challenge is to enhance the image, not go overboard, and keep the color natural-looking.
New Challenge for 2021: With the launch of Luminar AI, we’ve created a brand new 5-day challenge using its amazing artificial intelligence features. Luminar AI has a free 7-day trial available (I provide that for you), which will allow you to follow along with the NEW video tutorials. If you’re new to photo editing, I recommend you take on the 5-day challenge.
If you already own Luminar 4, or you use Windows 7 or 8 and are not able to use the new Luminar AI, you can still do this challenge and practice while improving your editing skills. A free Luminar 4 trial download is provided by email when you join this 7-day challenge.
To download the RAW file of 4 bracketed images to work with, join the 7-day challenge.
Subscribers have access to all my RAW files, a sample of textures from my texture pack, and a few sky replacement files to work with.
Luminar 4 AI Sky Replacement Feature
Dedicated landscape photographers can sometimes spend days at a location waiting for the conditions to be perfect for the shot they envisioned.
They shoot sunrise and sunset for days on end hoping to get the shot they want.
They’ll research the location ahead of time to ensure they make the best use of their time before they even leave their home.
So if you’re not able to do that, the chance of you getting the shot you want in a single frame is a lot less.
The new Luminar 4 AI Sky Replacement feature makes the job of taking your images from good to great much easier.
Photography Challenge Themes for the Week
Over the course of these 7 days, we’ll be working with these photography themes and practice these editing techniques:
- Street photography – learn about basic edits like contrast and color adjustments and how to apply a Look or preset.
- Portrait and people photography – learn how to do skin retouching and facial enhancements the easy way, and keep it looking natural.
- Black and white conversion – see how to do it the right and wrong way, and how to take your b/w images to another creative level with split toning.
- Details and masking – you’ll learn how to do local edits that apply to just part of the image, and how to enhance sharpness and detail in those targeted areas.
- Landscape photography – take your nature photos up a notch, bring out details in highlight and shadows areas, and see how to replace the sky (not everyone’s cup of tea but you’ll see how easy it is with Luminar 4).
- Texture overlay – learn how to give your images a fine art style with a texture overlay (you’ll even get a few of mine to play with and try out)
- Night photography – learn how to apply many of the techniques you already learned and bring it all together to enhance and bring out details in a stunning night photo I took in Japan.
Step 1 – Download the RAW image
Raw Image File to Process
If you subscribed to join this 7-day challenge, you’ll have been sent the RAW file to edit in the email for this challenge. If you’d like the file to process for today’s exercise, simply join the challenge here. You’ll be sent the files one day at a time by email, giving you time to practice with your editing software each day.
Step 2 – Photo Editing Software
You’ll need to download a free Luminar 4 trial or have a copy of Luminar 4 photo editing software already installed.
A link to a fully functioning 7-day trial of Luminar 4 is provided by email when you join the challenge, so you can follow along with the video tutorials.
Step 3 – watch the video tutorial
Next, watch the video below and follow along if you want. Feel free to pause if you need to, or rewind and watch any parts again. If you have any questions just leave a comment at the bottom of this page or on the YouTube video.
We’re going to get a little more advanced today, so pause and rewatch the video as often as you need. The video is a bit longer as well because I cover more techniques and filters than in some of the others.
So we’re taking it up a level today! Stay with me, you can do this I promise!
Also, as I mention in the video if sky replacement isn’t your cup of tea – just stop there.
7-Day Photography Challenge
You’re reading one of a seven-part photography challenge on photo editing. To follow along with this 7-day photography challenge, enter your email address here.
You’ll be sent a daily email with a new editing challenge, and have access to my RAW files to work with so you can follow along.
Join: 7-Day Editing Challenge
Step 4 – Process the image
Now it’s your turn!
Open the landscape photo in Luminar 4 or your software of choice and give it a go. Have some fun with it, but remember to not go overboard.
Bring up the detail in the shadow areas, and lower the brightness in the sky to bring out the color and detail there as well.
I did this image in stages, let’s have a look at each one.
Sky Image Packs
In the video, I mentioned that I was using a sky image from a pack made by my friend Matt Suess. He’s put together a bundle of 400 great sky images (#aff) that you can grab here for only $97.
Take a look, these are just a few of the sky images in his set.
NOTE: Grab Matt’s set of 400 sky images here now! (#aff) It’s a super smoking deal. You can also get some sky packs over on the Skylum website (#aff) but they are $25 USD for a set of 25. So Matt’s gives you a lot more skies for just a few bucks more.
Step 5 – Share your finished image
Lastly, we want to see what you’ve created – your final finished version (or a few of them). This is how to share your saved image.
Use the commenting system on the bottom of this page to share your image, how you did it, and any experiences you had while doing the challenge. You can also share on social media using the hashtag #DPM-7DayChallenge
More Photography Challenges: check out our entire collection of photography challenges. You’ll find our daily and monthly challenges with lots of ideas and inspiration for creative photos. Perfect for beginners or experienced alike.
You have almost made it to the end of the 7-day photo editing challenge. Tomorrow we’ll cover how to apply a texture overlay, and we’ll bring everything you have learned together on day 7 with a night photography image.
By spending some time every day practicing editing your photos, have you noticed an improvement so far?
Do you feel more confident than when you started on day one?
I hope so, and that you’re getting a lot of value out of doing this exercise.