Photoshop Basics: 4 Amazing Landscape Photography Effects (VIDEO)

We're all looking for a creative edge to imbue our landscape photos with a unique look grabs a lot of attention. In the quick Photoshop tutorial below you'll learn four simple Photoshop effects that are easy enough for anyone to accomplish.

Instructor Austin James Jackson is an accomplished outdoor photographer based in Southern Utah. He's also a very popular instructor who specializes in shooting and editing lessons for photographers of all skill levels. He kicks off today's episode with this: "Knowing how to use Photoshop and what effects to apply can be one of the most difficult parts of editing your images."

In barely eight minutes Jackson explains what he says are his most commonly used Photoshop effects that are sure to add impact to the images you make. He discusses the popular Orton Effect, a Curves adjustment trick, a foolproof way to give images more "pop," and how to use Midtone Contrast to significantly improve the look of a photo.

Jackson is using Photoshop 2024 for this demonstration, but you should be able to easily replicate his tips with just about any version of the software you use. He begins with the eye-catching Orton Effect which can be created in a number of ways. The method you'll learn here is designed specifically for landscape imagery.

This technique is designed to give highlights a glowing dreamy appearance, and Jackson walks you through the simple step-by-step adjustments. And like with the effects that follow, he provides helpful keyboard shortcuts for speeding up the process. He also explains why and how to the method he suggests in a way that's optimized for the resolution of your camera.

Jackson's Curves adjustment trick is equally straightforward, and it' a very effective method for editing outdoor photos with a wide dynamic range. He says he regularly employs this edit "when I want to add contrast to a scene without the highlights getting too bright and the shadows becoming too dark." His approach begins with a conventional adjustment, and then he adds an extra twist.

Third on the list is Jackson's so-called "Pop Effect," that's particularly helpful with images that include a lot of details like his photo of a cascading waterfall against a dark background. While watching how this one works you'll think of other types of landscape shots for which this can make a big difference.

This edit begins with Photoshop's Unsharp Mask tool and Jackson explains the specific settings to use for best results in various situations. His initial enhancement looks a bit too strong, but you'll see how to easily lessen the effect if need be.

Jackson concludes the video with a powerful way to use Photoshop's Midtone Contrast tools to make images much more compelling, and you'll have to watch the lesson to see how this works. When you're done head over to his instructional YouTube channel for more tips on shooting and editing the images you shoot outdoors.

You'll also want to check out the tutorial we posted recently from another professional landscape photographer who demonstrates a unique editing technique for creating dramatic landscape photos that stand out from the crowd.