The real world, especially the natural real world, is filled with wonderful sights for us to capture with our cameras. The problem is, our cameras rarely capture the world exactly as we see it and particularly not how we feel it to be. That’s where editing comes in. It’s why we have tools like Lightroom and Photoshop to help us get our images where we want them to be. In the case of woodlands, that often means a dreamy painterly style.
Woodlands, particularly, are well suited to this style. It brings out those magical and mystical vibes many of us feel when we think of woodlands and the idyllic images we see in our heads. In this video, Nigel Danson walks us through his editing process in Lightroom Classic to give his woodland photos that soft and dreamy painterly feel. But this isn’t just a basic 5-minute tutorial. It’s almost half an hour long going into a lot of detail on the whole process.
Getting the painterly look isn’t just about the editing, as Nigel describes. It begins with finding a day that offers the right conditions. It needs to have the right light and the right atmosphere, to begin with. No matter how good you are, you’re not going to be able to make a clear day look like a mystical foggy woodland.
You also need to have the right editing environment. A lot of the colours and tones can become quite subtle and if you’re not working on calibrated displays and you’re editing in a badly lit environment, you’re not going to get the result you’re after.
Nigel goes into a lot of detail on his complete process in the 27-minute video and it’s well worth a watch. Even if you’re not interested in creating the same final look, there are a lot of great tips in here!