How to manipulate the highlights and shadows for a more dramatic edit
Last updated on 2018/10/3

In this tutorial, we're manipulating the highlights and shadows of our photos to create a more dramatic edit. Let's get to it.

Original photo

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Tutorial

To start, we'll open our image in Polarr Photo Editor.

Then we'll go to the global adjustment panel and to the light tool. Here we'll increase the dehaze value and contrast. These two adjustments can quickly reduce the amount of moisture in the air for landscape photographs.

After those adjustments, notice how the ground is a little too dark now? There's not a lot of detail, so in the light tool, we'll increase the shadow value to increase the brightness of the dark parts of the photo. We can now see more detail on the ground.

Next, we'll create a new local adjustment. We'll use a color mask for this one.

Place the center of the color adjustment on the rice fields of the photo. We're trying to make a selection that targets all the rice in the photo that's being hit with direct sunlight. The red in the photo is everything that's being selected by our color mask.

With our mask in place, let's increase the exposure to make these areas of the photo brighter.

We'll add a new color mask. This time place the center color adjustment on the rice fields that are not exposed by the sun.

With our mask selected, we'll lower the exposure to make the brightness of these areas lower. The result is a more layered light and shadow effect in the image.

That's it! A few adjustments have produced a photo that looks better than our original. There's overall more contrast and the image has more of a pop to it. Try it out with your landscape photos that have tricky lighting going on. Enjoy!