Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One, and any photo editing software out there (including Instagram) can help make our images look great. As good as these programs are though, they can easily be abused. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing trend where photographers are taking things too far during post, especially when it comes to landscape images. The world is a beautiful place, but there are many hell-bent on making their landscape images look like something from an alien planet. When you over-process your pictures, you’re doing the scene zero justice. You’re just destroying what would otherwise have been a gorgeous image. Let’s talk about this after the break.
Look we get it: you went on vacation, you captured some fantastic images, but now you’re itching for likes on Instagram. Instead of just posting a nicely processed image, you try to do something that makes your work stand out a little more from the crowd. We’ve all been there, but really, a line needs to be drawn in regards to how far you should push things in post. When no line is in place, you’ll end up with something like this.
Shocking isn’t it? Just what would have possessed someone to do something like this? Once your retinas have stopped burning and you can finally see again, it’s easy to see that this image could have been gorgeous. With the right skills, the sky would have looked like fire, the colors in the buildings would have popped, and the boats would have made fantastic colorful foreground elements.
The bright colors that are present in the scene playing off the earth tones of the mountains, trees, and cliff faces in the background could have looked spectacular. If this image had been kept looking natural, it would have stood out by itself. The scene is excellent, and the composition is great. This image tells the story of a quaint French or Italian town, but instead of harnessing the natural beauty of the place, it looks like a box of crayons melted on it. That’s a real shame. When we do this to images we’re not capturing the world for how it is, and we’re not presenting a photo anymore. We’re just photoshopping the life out of it, and it becomes some sort of weird, twisted digital art.
We understand the nature of artistic license, and that every creator can do as they please. To each their own, but there are much better ways at making images stand out and still be pleasing. Post-processing software is both a blessing and a curse. Do yourselves a favor, and learn how to edit landscape images properly. Stop relying on HDR, filters, and whatever ‘that’ is above. We guarantee you will get many more likes for representing the beauty of the world as it really is. Ease up a little in Photoshop, Lightroom, and others, keep things looking natural, and let your images speak for themselves.