Handy Refresher Tips to Improve your Outdoor Pictures


Anyone who shoots outdoor photography can use a refresher every once in a while to help them avoid the most common pitfalls of this genre. (If you're wondering what those pitfalls are, you're likely not doing lots of outdoor pics). Here are five tips on how to improve your outdoor pictures.


Keep in mind that Lightroom users will find that these are relatively easy to fix once back at your computer.


use contrast and clarity in lightroom

You need to have the right balance of contrast, and that's not always the easiest thing to achieve with outdoor photography, especially if lighting conditions aren't optimal.

In Lightroom:

  • Use your contrast slider to increase contrast. Don't go too far or you risk losing detail or distorting the image.

  • Increase your clarity by using the slider to give some edge to the contrast in the picture. You're striving to add some sharpness and clarity.

Highlights and Shadows

shadow option in lightroom

It's pretty standard to occasionally struggle with the right balance of highlights and shadows because let's face it; it's not easy to control natural light when shooting outdoors. Learn to compensate or adjust for under- or overexposure. If you can't do it while shooting, you can certainly do it during post-processing.

  • Check/use your histogram to adjust for this in your Develop module. Play around with it to create more balance between the two.

TIP: Typically when you decrease highlights, you add more detail to the sky.

How's the Noise

noise reduction in lightroom

Shooting in low light, without compensating for that low lighting, you might find you have issues with noise and will need to adjust. There are several ways to do this but, once again, if you're not able to adjust out in the field, then you can do it during post-processing.

  • Using the luminance slider of the noise header in Lightroom's detail tab, you can slide whichever direction you want to adjust. There's typically not a right or wrong level of noise as it's pretty much a personal preference.

TIP: Noise adds detail or grain to an image, and that can be very desirable for landscape pictures.

White Balance, Colour, White Balance, And Hue

temp and tint in lightroom

Most photographers make some adjustment of color once back on the computer as it's not always easy or feasible to get it right when out shooting.

  • Play around with color hues on Lightroom to achieve the feel you want for your image.

  • Use the vibrance slider to do minor color enhancements.


luminance in lr

Every photographer knows the challenge of shooting outdoors on a bright sunny day; too much brightness is rarely a great thing in photography.

  • Use the blue slider under the color header and select the luminance tab to bring things down a few notches. By decreasing the luminance of the blue, can deepen the color of the sky.

Using these tips, you should be able to get yourself on track for better outdoor pictures. Remember, we also offer many Lightroom presets to quickly transform your outdoor photography from ordinary photos to extraordinary and professional-looking images.