Make Your Landscapes Really Pop!

posted on 24th of june, 2010

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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Comments (12)

Posted by Davewebbphoto on 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!
Posted by Adeliepenguin on 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).
Posted by Annieannie on 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.
Posted by Melonstone on 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.
Posted by Yuritz on June 25, 2010
great advices and nice article
Posted by Yuritz on June 25, 2010
great advices and nice article
Posted by smartview27 on June 25, 2010
great article!
Posted by Mariaam on June 24, 2010
Thanks for this article!
Posted by Physi28 on 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"!
Posted by Nikmd on June 24, 2010
Thanks for sharing!!!!
Posted by Egomezta on June 24, 2010
Yes... I do the same sometimes, although sometimes the images look better combining different tools as contrast, fade correction, clarify, etc......
Posted by Tracy0703 on June 24, 2010
Thanks for your good article.

Comments (12)

This article has been read 2024 times. 4 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: David Webb.

About me

David Webb is a travel writer and adventure photographer based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. His work appears in Explore, British Columbia Magazine,, Destination Canada and more.

Vancouver, CA

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