Max Rive's 5 Luminar Editing Tricks to Epic Landscape Photos

October 08

6 min. to read

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Following the launch of his Dramatic Landscape Signature Presets for Luminar, Skylum ambassador Max Rive shares his post-processing tricks and secrets for landscape photos.

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Skylum ambassador Max Rive recently launched his Dramatic Landscape Signature Presets, a series of 10 presets for Luminar that will help you edit like Max and take your landscape photos to a whole new level. Check them out!

Taking landscape photos that are absolute stunners is only half the battle. These days, many of the most jaw-dropping landscape images you've admired whether on Instagram, Flickr, or the National Geographic magazine have been edited to varying degrees.

After all, your camera and lenses, no matter how powerful, can only do so much. It takes some editing, from the simplest brightness, contrast and highlight/shadow adjustments to the more complex layering, to really capture that majestic scene you've stumbled upon during that exacting, early morning hike or daunting night trek.

The trick is to find the balance between unbelievably beautiful and actually realistic, which Max Rive has quite mastered. The intrepid adventurer, landscape photographer and Skylum ambassador has gained quite a loyal following thanks to his epic panoramas that fringes the boundary of what's real and what's fantastical, his landscape photos always manifesting a subtle sense of surrealism in them.

This week, following the launch of his Dramatic Landscape Signature Presets for Luminar, we picked his brain to learn more about his post-processing tricks. And we thought we'd pass the Jedi-like knowledge on to you.

Improve color contrast using the HSL filter

Max Rives 5 Luminar Editing Tricks to Epic Landscape Photos Image1By doing so, you'll improve separation between layers and objects in your images. Of course, the HSL filter is also a necessary tool to improve the colors and add a desired mood. For example, you can make the autumn colors a bit warmer and brighter as well as make the blue sky darker. 

Add a dreamy look with the Orton Effect

Max Rives 5 Luminar Editing Tricks to Epic Landscape Photos Image2The Orton Effect filter will add a dreamy look to your photos as well as improve the contrast. I typically decrease the saturation and contrast in the menu by a little—at default, the contrast is set to plus 15. I do this because while I still want to add the Orton Effect, I also want to control the contrast and saturation myself.

READ MORE: Creating Dreamy Landscape Photos with Luminar's Orton Effect

Use the Details Enhancer

Max Rives 5 Luminar Editing Tricks to Epic Landscape Photos Image3I only add small details by around 10 to 20 percent. The amount depends on the image, but the Details Enhancer filter will make your image sharper in a unique way. This is especially a powerful tool when used alongside the previously mentioned Orton Effect. 

Give your images a Soft Glow

Max Rives 5 Luminar Editing Tricks to Epic Landscape Photos Image4The Soft Glow filter will also give your images a dreamier look by adding extra light to the brightest spots. It will not increase contrast, however. Instead, it will give your photos a softer look and will often improve the light. Like with every filter, it depends on each image how much you want to add. From experience, you can be generous when adding this filter without having to worry about over-sharpening your images. 

READ MORE: Editing is Easy as Pie with Luminar Presets

Slap on the Sunrays

Max Rives 5 Luminar Editing Tricks to Epic Landscape Photos Image5The Sunrays filter can be applied over the sun to add sun rays. This might scare people off, but you have full control over how much you want to add. My favorite way of using this filter is to actually put it outside the frame so it creates light from the side and add some rays as well. The key here is adding a small amount that looks natural. You can adjust many settings like warmth, the number of rays, the size of the added area, and the intensity.

Skylum ambassador Max Rive recently launched his Dramatic Landscape Signature Presets, a series of 10 presets for Luminar that will help you edit like Max and take your landscape photos to a whole new level. Check them out!

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