Skip to content
Home » Photography Tips and Guides » Editing Your Outdoor Photos: 5 Tips from a Professional Photographer

Editing Your Outdoor Photos: 5 Tips from a Professional Photographer

As a professional photographer, there are many outdoor photos that I take. Sometimes I am not happy with how they turned out and need to edit them. This article will provide tips on how you can edit your own pictures so they turn out perfect!

Using Adobe Lightroom To Edit Photos

You can use Adobe Lightroom to edit your photos and make them how you want. It is a great tool that will allow you to do extensive edits in an easy way. There are many tools included in this software, such as the ability to add filters, adjust tones and colors, crop images, etc.

One of my favorite things about this software is how it allows you to edit the photos quickly and easily. There are also many great presets available in Lightroom that can help speed up your process.

Here are the following tips that you can follow to improve your outdoor photos using Adobe Lightroom, or any other photo software:

  1. Checking highlights and shadows
  2. Adjusting white and color balance
  3. Using the vibrance slider
  4. Adjusting contrast and clarity
  5. Reducing luminance for certain colors

Check Your Highlights and Shadows

The first thing that I always do when editing is check the highlights and shadows. After importing your photos into Adobe Lightroom, you can adjust how bright or dark they are using these settings in order to get them how you want.

If there are any areas that look too bright or too dark, make sure to use this feature so it brings down the brightness on certain parts of your image (highlights) while also increasing how light other parts of the photo appear (shadows). This way, all of the colors will be visible without having one section burned out with color where nothing else can be seen clearly.

Increase Shadows

Another feature that is great for outdoor photos are the shadows. Sometimes, if it’s too dark outside or there isn’t enough light where you’re taking your photo, the resulting picture will be underexposed and have areas of darkness throughout it.

You can easily increase how much shadow detail appears by using the “Shadows” slider under Tone Curve in Lightroom to brighten up these parts of your image without washing them out with color. This way, all features on an image (grass, rocks, trees) aren’t lost into a black abyss of nothingness!

Decrease Highlights

If, however, your photo is too bright and there are also areas of the picture that are blown out with color (meaning you can’t see any detail in those parts because they’re completely washed out), then you should decrease how much highlights appear.

This means decreasing how light other parts of your image seem to keep them from being burnt into oblivion by overexposure! You won’t be able to recover all details after taking a photo so this step will help reduce how extreme some colors look against others.

Noise Reduction

Another important step when it comes to editing outdoor photos is how much noise appears in the picture. Noise will make your image look gritty and unprofessional so you don’t want this appearing in any of your images!

You can use noise reduction settings under Detail in Lightroom to adjust how much or how little detail there is on different areas of a photo. This feature helps reduce the “grainy” look that normally occurs without decreasing how sharp parts appear, which means no blurs!

Make sure to also increase clarity and contrast while using these adjustments as well because they’ll help bring out more details and keep images looking crisp even after reducing noise (which makes things blurry). You can then fine tune how much or how little noise you want after making these initial changes.

Proper White and Color Balance

When photographing people or landscapes, you should always ask yourself, ‘what emotion do I want this photo to convey?’ Despite the fact that you’re shooting outside with natural light, you may still modify the colors to represent exactly what you imagined.

For example, you may want the sky to be blue but it’s actually gray outside. You can change how vivid or dull certain colors are by adjusting how much of a hue appears in each section of your image.

Make sure that whites and grays aren’t too yellow (which makes things look old) while also making sure any greens don’t come out looking like they’re radioactive! I usually recommend using this feature during ‘selective editing’ because it requires more time than simply clicking on an area with the color picker tool, which is why I have my own presets available for sale if you need some help getting started with these adjustments.

Adjusting Your White Balance

If you want to adjust how much warmth or coolness appears in a photo, whether it’s indoors or out, then you’ll need to change how warm/cool your colors look.

This can be achieved by clicking on the eyedropper tool and then selecting an area that looks like what you’re trying to achieve (e.g., sky blue). This will set how vivid certain parts of your image appear based off of these selections so make sure they match! You can also use this feature for white balancing if there isn’t enough color present in the shot already.

Adjusting Color and Hues

Another great feature to use for editing outdoor photos is how much color or how little there appears in different areas of your image.

This can be achieved by using the “Hue” slider under HSL and adjusting how saturated each section of a photo looks based off this selection. I tend to bring down most hues because it helps eliminate any unnecessary colors that may distract from what you’re trying to photograph! You’ll also want to decrease saturation on these parts, which means less color present overall, so keep that in mind when making adjustments with Hue.

Vibrance Slider

When editing outdoor photos, how vivid the colors are often comes down to how much or how little Vibrance is included.

This feature helps bring out vibrant parts that may have otherwise been hidden due to how dark other areas appear in your picture. It’s best used for brightening up dull hues without making them look unnatural! This adjustment can be found under ‘Tone Curve’ and it works by increasing how different levels of color will come across, which means you should use this alongside HSL adjustments. You’ll also want to decrease saturation on these parts as well because they’re too bright already!

Contrast and Clarity

When shooting outdoor photos, there may be times in which the contrast is too dull in your RAW image and requires bumping up the contrast or clarity to help your image pop.

Increasing Contrast In Photos

This feature can be found under ‘Basic’ and it works by increasing how much difference there is between how bright or dark parts of your image appear. You should increase the contrast until colors no longer start looking dull while also taking into account how vivid certain sections will become because they may end up being too saturated!

Increasing Clarity In Photos

Clarity isn’t a color adjustment but rather based on how well you’re able to sharpen edges in different areas of an image, which helps bring out more details when editing outdoor photos .

Increasing Clarity In Photos

You should use this feature sparingly because increasing clarity too much makes images look unnatural so only add small amounts at a time! This tool has been designed for depth within pictures so I recommend using it alongside the ‘Tone Curve’ adjustments.

Reducing Luminance In Blue Colors

If there is an excess of blue in your image while editing outdoor photos, how vivid it appears can be reduced by using the ‘Luminance’ slider under HSL. I typically recommend reducing the luminance so the blues in the sky line aren’t overly bright and overpower the rest of the imagery in your photo.

This feature works best when increasing how saturated other colors are because this adjustment reduces how much color comes across which means you should use it alongside all of the adjustments mentioned above! It’s also great if parts of your picture look dull but not enough to decrease clarity on them due to how vibrant they may become after making these changes.


Hopefully you found these tips to be helpful. Using these features when editing outdoor photos can make a world of difference and having them at your disposal should allow you to create the best imagery possible!