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Help with landscape photo

Russell MacSorley

New Member
Hello everyone,

First of all great forum. I am having some trouble with a photo I took on holiday last year. I wish i took the photo in RAW format or spent some more time on it. It was taken in the valley of fire nevada USA. I took the photo as it was getting dark after a long day. I totally forgot about it till I got home.

I have been trying to add some more light to the photo using lightroom or photoshop. Even been trying Adobe bridge raw editor but its only a jpeg. I haven't got the highest level of skill with these products.

I really think it would make a nice framed landscape so any ideas or changes or tips would be appreciated.



Tom Mann

Hi and welcome to PSG. I wish we could help you out more, but, unfortunately, Eggy's comment about the quality is correct. There are certain types of photographic conditions that are easy to fix after the fact, and others that one just can't do much about. For example, it's trivial to fix tilted horizons, cropping and aspect ratio problems, some color problems, etc., but when a shot is underexposed and has too much digital noise (or film grain), a tiny portion of the original magnified, or if it isn't focused well, there just isn't much one can do. Sure, one can brighten it and apply noise reduction to the noise, but the brightening process will almost always bring out more noise, and NR, if applied to the extent needed, will almost always remove lots of the important detail in the image (eg, the texture and fine structure of the rocks in this image).

The one technique that I've seen work in a case like this is to have someone base either a physical (i.e., acrylic or oil) or digital painting on a low quality photo. Another possibility is to print it on heavy textured canvas so that viewer's expectations are for a soft textured image, not an ultra sharp print. Some people will love the results of these alternatives, whereas others want the photo, no more or less, not someone else's idea of what it should have looked like, LOL. Anyway, think about that possibility.


Tom M


Then again, taking a different approach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ2hJezvd2I


I do agree that you are quite limited based on the information that is in the file vs the noise in the image. So, we have to go to a better original image or some distraction techniques. The foreground will be more noise akin to grunge and then make a gradient sky to highlight the mountains and simulating a low light situation (late night/early morning).

Not too much that can be done yet thought I would through this quick editing out as an example. Enjoy