Convert a Dull Landscape Photo into a Soft Dreamy Masterpiece in Lightroom (VIDEO)

There are numerous reasons why landscape photos of a pretty scene just don't make the grade. Perhaps you used the wrong camera settings, or poor weather blew in before you got the shot and the light became flat, dark and gloomy.

Whatever the cause, you captured the photo, so why not transform it into something beautiful rather than dumping it in the trash? This tutorial from the PHLOG Photography YouTube channel demonstrates a very effective Lightroom technique for transforming uninspiring photos into masterpieces with a very appealing, glowing effect.

Instructor Christian Mohrle is a highly acclaimed German landscape photographer whose post-processing skills are just as impressive as the gorgeous images in his portfolio. His goal for this episode is to add a beautiful, dreamy look to a dark gloomy image. As always you can download the sample Raw file with the link beneath the video and follow along as the steps are explained.

This particular shot is of a winter scene, but what you'll learn also applies to dull photos taken throughout the year, like when shooting on the beach in summer when the light just isn't right for capturing a conventional bright photo. Mohrle's approach to this challenge is to shoot five images of the same scene, merge the into an HDR file, and then use Lightroom's masking and color grading tools to create one spectacular shot.

The first step is to merge the sequence of images, each of which was shot at different exposure settings. Don't worry if you haven't done this in the past because it's really easy to do. All you have to do is select all of the images, right-click to select Photo Merge, and then chose the HDR option from a dropdown menu that appears.

The next task involves a few basic adjustments to prepare the resulting image for the selective enhancements that follow. These include changing the profile from Adobe Color to Adobe Standard, boosting exposure, global adjustments to color, increasing contrast, and a few other simple tweaks.

The remainder of the lesson is devoted to the masking and color grading techniques Mohrle employs to create his stunning transformation, and he walks you through the process from beginning to end. He completes the job with a bit of cleanup up and very careful sharpening.

If you compare Mohrle's before/after images you see that they are about as different as two photographs of the same scene can be. So take a look and add this method to your Lightroom bag of tricks. Then head over to Mohrle's instructional YouTube channel where you'll find many more impressive Lightroom and Photoshop techniques.

We also suggest watching the tutorial we featured from another post-processing expert who demonstrates how to color grade outdoor photographs like a pro when editing them in Lightroom.