Make Your Landscapes Really Pop!

A photograph isn't necessarily reality - but simply your version of reality.

Have you ever taken a photo of a stunning landscape only to find the image doesn't do what you're seeing - and feeling - any justice whatsoever?

There are a lot of techniques I could talk about, from use of gradient filters, to ensuring you shoot in morning light, to various composition techniques, that will make your landscapes pop - but there's one in particular that I love:

Over-saturation! When shooting with my Nikon D60, I love to pump up the colours to "vivid" or even "more vivid." Skies are electric blue, grass is eye-popping green, flowers seem surreal...

And it's usually a better representation of how the landscape made you FEEL, rather than photo-realism.

So whether you use your in-camera settings or pump up the colours in Photoshop afterwards, when shooting landscapes, don't be shy on the colour saturation!

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Photo credits: David Webb.

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June 25, 2010


Yes, Melonstone & Adeliepenguin, you have to be careful. Often "more vivid" can oversaturate, especially if there are a lot of blues in your shot... also, pro software like CS4 (what I use) will do a much better job boosting colour than programs like iPhoto, which tend to add a lot of noise and bad hues, etc. Thanks for reading and commenting, everyone!

June 25, 2010


I agree with Melonstone that we have to be careful, and not take it too far. As a side note, in my CS4 version of Camera Raw there is a calibration for Vivid, Landscape, Portrait, etc. Rather than make the adjustment through my camera, I do it in photoshop processing so that I can switch around and see the differences. I have found that when I calibrate for "Vivid" that my images have been rejected for overfiltering (as Melonstone noted).

June 25, 2010


I agree. I sell more images in which I've increased the color saturation than those that I did not do so. The brilliant color makes the thumbnails pop enough to get a potential buyer's attention so they take a closer look.

June 25, 2010


Good tip, but I'm always worried about compromising quality if I over-saturate. I love the effect, but sadly it is rare for those "popping" images to be accepted.

June 25, 2010


great advices and nice article

June 25, 2010


great article!

June 24, 2010


Thanks for this article!

June 24, 2010


thanks for the advice, actually (I don´t make much landscape) I used to be more like afraid to oversaturate the colors but after your advice I´ll try to be "bolder"!

June 24, 2010


Thanks for sharing!!!!

June 24, 2010


Yes... I do the same sometimes, although sometimes the images look better combining different tools as contrast, fade correction, clarify, etc......

June 24, 2010


Thanks for your good article.

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