My 8 Favorite Plugins for Lightroom Classic as a Landscape Photographer
Lightroom comes with a lot of handy plugins for all kinds of photographers. As a landscape photographer, I want to make my editing process as smooth and creative as possible. These plugins help me achieve that within a short period of time.
How to Install Plugins in Lightroom Classic
The installation process is very simple and should take you only a minute or so. Before you start, make sure you unzip your plugin and read any attached instructions that might have come with the file. Most Lightroom plugins have a standard installation process. However, there are a few exceptions. The plugin developer will mention this in the installation guide, so make sure to go through it carefully before you follow these steps.
If you don't see any special instructions, follow these steps:
- Open Lightroom Classic
- Go to File > Plugin Manager
- Click on "Add" and locate your unzipped plugin(s)
- Restart Lightroom Classic
- Start using your plugin!
My Favorite Plugins for Lightroom Classic:
1. Opal – Opacity Slider for Lightroom Presets
Typically, preset opacity can't be adjusted. This can make it difficult to create a subtle colour effect in your landscape photos. Opal was made specifically to give you control over that. It comes with a very simple user interface, so you don't need to worry about complicated buttons. You'll get a window with a slider. Once you apply your preset, open the plugin and drag the slider to the left or to the right. This will gradually increase or decrease the opacity of the preset.
2. LR Backup Plugin – Matt Dawson
You can think of this plugin as your very own photo secretary. With LR Backup Plugin, you don't need to worry about losing your landscape photos in thousands of folders. You also don't need to worry about disruptive Lightroom crashes or corrupted files.
LR Backup Plugin also compresses files very efficiently. All in all, it's a fantastic tool for landscape photographers who take thousands upon thousands of pictures. The best thing about it? It's completely free. (There are some limitations in the free version that you can remove by making a donation.)
3. LR/Enfuse – Timothy Armes
A very important part of landscape photography is merging. HDR, long exposure, macro, and night photography all rely on merging different exposures. This process can be time-consuming. Fortunately, LR/Enfuse can do most of the work for you and save you a lot of precious time.
Using this plugin, you can blend different exposures directly in Lightroom. It's the tool you need to make all of your landscape shots look professional. This plugin is also free, but it comes with restrictions that you can remove with a donation.
4. LR/Mogrify 2 – Timothy Armes
Have you ever wanted to add borders, text, watermarks, and other designs to your photos? Whether you want to keep your photos safe or make them look more appealing, these designs are important. LR/Mogrify 2 promises to "embellish your images as they are exported from Lightroom."
This means you don't need to rely on any websites or programs to beautify or secure your landscape photos. This is a major time-saver. LR/Mogrify 2 is yet another plugin that is free but requires a donation to function efficiently.
5. Topaz Adjust
Topaz Adjust relies on artificial intelligence to transform photos in one click. It's a program of its own that you can comfortably use directly in Lightroom. If the one-click transformations aren't enough, you can use Topaz's adjustments. (They look pretty similar to the adjustments in Lightroom.)
Topaz Adjust also has a whole section dedicated to creative photographers. You can choose from a wide variety of stylised looks for your pictures. You can choose from vintage, vibrant, minimalistic, etc., effects. This is a great way to develop your landscape photography style and experiment with the more artistic side of photography.
6. Aurora HDR
Aurora is a highly advanced HDR editor. It comes with lots of features made for beginners and professionals, so you're likely to find many suitable tools to enhance your photos of nature.
HDR photography usually requires the use of brackets. In Aurora HDR, that’s not always a necessity. While you can use brackets, you can also make individual photos look like HDR masterpieces. In addition to that, you can enhance your photos with colour effects, noise reduction tools, and layers. Many professional photographers swear by this plugin, so you can consider it a worthy investment.
7. Excire Search Pro
Excire Search Pro is the plugin for you if organisation is your thing. It can automatically analyse and tag thousands of pictures. Just imagine the amount of time you'd save because of this!
To put it simply, Excire Search Pro comes up with suitable keywords and tags for all kinds of pictures. It can easily organise your landscape shots. You can use it to add custom keywords, too. If you need to find a specific photo, simply type in a keyword and Excire will do the work for you. This is an incredibly handy plugin for landscape photographers with thousands upon thousands of photographs.
On its own, time-lapse photography takes up a lot of time. Add the editing process to that and you get a tedious workflow. LRTimelapse can cut your editing time in half thanks to its advanced tools.
You can use this plugin to keyframe and grade time-lapse sequences. You can also use it to create very smooth transitions and get rid of flickering. If you're looking to make your nature time-lapses stand out, this plugin is perfect for you.
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About the Author – Jan Erik Waider
I am a visual artist and fine art photographer based in Hamburg. My work focuses on atmospheric and abstract landscape photography of the North: Norway, Iceland, Greenland and beyond. – Read more about me, discover my fine art and landscape series, purchase fine art prints or download my Lightroom presets for landscape photography.
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