Photo Editing: Nigatsu-do Hall Panoramic Image (Lightroom Classic)

Editing a panorama image in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Today I went through my previously taken photos on Google photos from Japan. I searched for panoramic images. I came across on that I liked and I wanted to edit it further in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic to see how I can my it pop.

One of the reasons I shoot Panoramic images is that my phone doesn’t have a wider angle lens. Sometimes I want to capture a wide area but I am limited by the lens focal length.

Before we move on talking about how I edited this image in Lightroom, first let’s take a look at the final photo after post-processing in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Nigatsu-do hilltop gall HDR image
Nigatsu-do hilltop hall HDR image

Keep in mind that I didn’t shot RAW. I shot JPEG using my OnePlus 6 mobile phone camera.

Now let’s take a look at the image as it was straight out of the camera (no editing).

Nigatsu-do hilltop gall image before image editing
Nigatsu-do hilltop hall, Nara, Japan. image before image editing

When I captured this image, I knew I would eventually edit it and try to make it pop more. I’ve seen many HDR images and I wanted to create something quite similar but make the image still look quite natural, not overprocessed and maintain the unique sunset atmosphere of the place as it is seen in the original photo.

Editing the image in Photoshop Lightroom

I started editing the photos by using a default ‘Vivid’ preset in Lightroom. It boosted the colors and make the green pop more.

I increased the contrast of the image (+20) in order to enhance the details in the trees and houses and also because I planned to bring up the shadow details and I didn’t want the image to look flat.

I increase the shadows (+25) and reduces the Highlights (-10) to bring up the texture of the clouds in the sky and with the higher contrast it also helped give the sun an interesting shape, rather than looking like a big white sphere. Now it looked liked it is smeared in the sky a bit.

I increases the Whites (+10) tone and reduced the Blacks (-10). This helped open up the image, reveal more details and make the image look evener. The Vibrance was already at +40 so I didn’t touch it.

I went to the ‘Tone Curve’ and reduced the ‘Lights’ by -44. This was crucial for the sky area and it immediately opens up the clouds details in the sky and makes the colors pop more.

Still, the sky area looked flat and because it was partially suffered from blown highlights, I even it by making the blue in the sky pop. To do that, I went to HSL/Color and increase the Orange saturation (+60), the Yellow saturation (+41), and the Blue saturation (+11). The blue was important to make the rooftops pop and make the grass blend better with the entire color scheme.

I also increased the Green Luminance (+56) and reduced the Blue Luminance (-38) so the rooftops won’t look too bluish and won’t pop that much.

Finish Editing

I played with the lights more to see if I can improve anything. I was happy with the results and I wrapped it up. It took like 2-3 minutes of Lightroom editing. Sometimes I use presets to get a start and then continue editing from there. It helps me understand what’s the starting point that I want. I decide on the art style direction and from there I continue to tweak the photo to my liking.

BTW, I started using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom just a few weeks ago. I mostly used it for quick batch processing. Now I focus on improving my image editing skills.

I love editing photos, but to make the best of it, I need to shoot RAW. This gives me much more room for tweaking my photos because there is more color data to play with. I can produce high dynamic range images without dealing with lack of color information in photos. I can bring up details in blow highlight and shadow areas easily. JPEG is more restrictive in that aspect.

That’s it, a simple photo editing. The image does have distortion near the strais area on the right side of the image. I could fix it, but this is just for demonstration.

Check these stunning sunset photos from Nara, Japan. They were all captured around the same area, at Nigatsu-do hilltop hall balcony.

I hope you enjoy this post, see ya at the next one.

Leave a Reply