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3 Lightroom Tools to Enhance Your Nature and Wildlife Photography

The post 3 Lightroom Tools to Enhance Your Nature and Wildlife Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Shreyas Yadav.

Do you want to bring out texture in your images of flowers, butterflies, plants, or macro subjects?

Are you looking to remove haze from your beautiful landscape images?

Do you want to reveal fine detail in your wildlife images?

Then you’re in the right place.

lightroom tools nature photography mountain

Because today I am going to share with you three Lightroom tools for nature photography. I use these three tools to enhance my own nature and wildlife images. And I am sure these tools will be helpful to you, as well.

And the best part is?

All of these Lightroom tools are easy to apply. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an intermediate-level photographer; you can pick up these tools and start enhancing your nature images right away.

Note that these three Lightroom tools can be applied to an overall image (as a global adjustment) or to a targeted area of the image (as a local adjustment).

Let’s do this!

The 3 Lightroom tools for nature photography

Here are the three Lightroom tools that will instantly enhance your nature photos:

  • Texture
  • Clarity
  • Dehaze

To access these tools, head to the Develop Module, find the Basic Panel, and scroll down to Presence:

develop module lightroom tools nature photography
The Texture, Clarity, and Dehaze sliders in Adobe Lightroom.

Texture

Texture has a subtle sharpening effect. It brings out the finer details.

You can use the Texture tool in Lightroom to subtly add sharpening to flowers, patterns, plants, and more.

By default, the Texture slider is set to “0.” Drag the texture slider to the right to increase the texture effect.

Or drag the Texture slider to the left to reduce its effect.

Here is an example of the Texture slider in action. First, take a look at this chameleon photo without any added texture:

Chameleon before the texture slider is applied in Lightroom
Before applying the Texture slider.

Then, as you increase the texture, the chameleon details appear sharper:

Chameleon after texture slider is applied in Lightroom lightroom tools nature photography
After applying the Texture slider.

Here’s a final before and after:

texture slider before and after lightroom tools nature photography
The effect of the Texture slider (before and after).

Clarity

The effect of the Clarity slider is more prominent than the effect of the Texture slider.

What does Clarity do?

It primarily increases the midtone contrast.

Now, the Clarity slider is set to “0” as a default.

To add Clarity, drag the slider to the right:

the clarity slider in Lightroom
The Clarity slider is a useful Lightroom tool for nature photography.

To reduce the effect, drag the Clarity slider to the left.

Since the effect of the Clarity slider is strong, make sure you use Clarity in moderation.

If you capture a well-exposed image with a relatively centered histogram, then the Clarity slider will improve the midtone contrast and can bring out additional details in your picture.

Here’s an image without the Clarity slider applied:

bird before the Lightroom Clarity slider is used
Before applying the Clarity slider.

As well as its corresponding histogram:

the histogram in Lightroom
The histogram before applying the Clarity slider.

And here’s the image with the Clarity slider applied:

The bird with the Clarity tool applied
After applying the Clarity slider.

And its corresponding histogram:

the histogram in Lightroom after the Clarity slider has been used
The histogram after applying the Clarity slider.

As Clarity increases, the midtone contrast increases, too; notice how the center of the histogram has expanded.

Additionally, after increasing the Clarity, details on the bird have begun to pop.

Dehaze

The Dehaze slider is quite helpful for landscape images.

When out photographing, you may end up with haze in the atmosphere. Additionally, fog or rain will make an image look hazy.

You can use the Dehaze slider to reduce the haze.

To apply the Dehaze effect (and reduce the haze), drag the Dehaze slider to the right:

the Dehaze slider in Lightroom
The Dehaze slider in Lightroom.

To reduce the Dehaze effect (and increase the haze), drag the Dehaze slider to the left.

As you increase the Dehaze effect, haze in the picture will be reduced, and the overall saturation of the image will increase. If the saturation increases too much, then bring down the Saturation slider slightly.

Note that the Dehaze slider will shift the histogram to the left (toward the side of the histogram representing the darker tones in the image).

When I was photographing the scene below, there was mist and drizzle over the forest valley. Here’s the image prior to applying the Dehaze effect:

mountain landscape before the Dehaze tool is applied
Before applying Dehaze.

And here’s the same image, but with the Dehaze effect applied:

the mountain landscape after the Dehaze tool is used
After applying Dehaze.

As I increased the value of the Dehaze slider, the haze was reduced. The difference between the original and edited images is quite significant.

You can also use the Dehaze slider for early-morning images, wildlife during the winter season, photos captured in the rain, and wildlife captured from a distance.

The elephants pictured below were moving along the riverbank. I was photographing them from a boat at a far distance, it was evening, and there was a slight fog in the atmosphere, hence the image appears a bit hazy:

two elephants before the Dehaze tool is used
Before applying Dehaze.

But, thanks to the Dehaze slider, the haze in the picture is reduced:

two elephants after the Dehaze slider is used
After applying Dehaze.

The Lightroom tools for local adjustments

There you go!

Those are the three Lightroom tools for nature photography that will instantly enhance your photos.

But here’s one more thing you should know:

Texture, Clarity, and Dehaze aren’t only available as global adjustments. They’re available as local adjustments, too.

You can apply local adjustments using a Graduated Filter, a Radial Filter, or an Adjustment Brush.

As you apply your local adjustments, you can shift the Texture, Clarity, and Dehaze sliders.

Let me give you an example. Here’s an unedited image:

An unedited road

After making global adjustments in Adobe Lightroom, I used a local (targeted) adjustment on the sky:

the road with a targeted adjustment applied

On the stormy clouds:

the road with another targeted adjustment applied

And on the road passing through the grassland:

the road with a third targeted adjustment applied

Note that these local adjustments include the Texture, Clarity, and Dehaze sliders.

Here is the final image:

final edited road with storm clouds using lightroom tools nature photography
The final, post-processed image.

So you can use these three tools when adding local adjustments, too!

Lightroom tools for nature photography: Conclusion

I hope these three Lightroom tools will help you enhance your nature and wildlife images.

Now I would like to hear from you:

Which of these Lightroom tools for nature photography are you going to try first?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

The post 3 Lightroom Tools to Enhance Your Nature and Wildlife Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Shreyas Yadav.