"The Darkroom for Landscapes"
Is my proven mentorship program that shows you how to masterfully process your photographs in Lightroom and Photoshop with purpose, enjoyment, and in a way that just makes sense.
"The Darkroom for Landscapes" is my proven mentorship program that shows you how to masterfully process your photographs in Lightroom and Photoshop with purpose, enjoyment, and in a way that just makes sense.
Learn to have fun in the digital darkroom and create photographs you can be immensely proud of because they are the result of your creativity and expertise...and stop wasting valuable time with convoluted techniques, unfulfilling presets, and random slider adjustments.
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Are you searching for a deeper, more enjoyable experience in the digital darkroom?
When I ask photographers what is missing most from their processing workflow, I usually hear the same thing...whether they are just starting with Lightroom and Photoshop, or are long-time darkroom veterans.
They all say, in some form: "I just need someone to help me".
There are hundreds of books, courses, workshops, and educators out there trying to teach the digital darkroom.
Some teach a tiny, specialized part like, "How to Process Night Sky Images" or "10 Ways to Organize Your Lightroom Library"...
...and some aim to teach "hacks" and shortcuts to total beginners who don't know any better.
But usually, those students come out of the experience no better than when they started.
Then there are the self-taught photographers who've gone through years of trial-and-error by reading books, attending workshops, and watching YouTube tutorials...
...but it's a shallow experience, and they still don't have a firm grasp on how to make images that are creatively fulfilling, emotionally impactful, and just plain fun.
I see questions like, "Which 10 (or 3, or 6, or 100) videos should I watch to learn Photoshop?"
Or, "Who's the best person to learn Lightroom from?"
Well...I believe you've found the answer with The Darkroom. This is my signature private mentorship program that I've run successfully for more than five years now because it's based on one simple principle:
The quality and clarity of your image processing will explode in direct proportion to your ability to simplify your workflow and express your creative vision.
And The Darkroom will show you exactly how to do just that.
Here's How The Darkroom Mentorship Program Works...
First, you'll learn the Tools.
Your mentorship includes simple-to-follow (yet incredibly comprehensive) walkthrough video lessons of every tool you should be using in the digital darkroom...segmented into small, manageable steps so you can put these new techniques into practice immediately.
These 24 modules are spread out over hundreds of bite-sized lessons that target very specific tools and techniques. And with instant lifetime access to the videos, you can come back and view them again and again, entirely at your own pace.
Not only do these lessons teach you the "how", but also the "why" for a complete understanding. You'll dig deep into best practices and discover how to use Lightroom and Photoshop properly from the beginning. Rather than only showing you how to overcome roadblocks, you'll learn the best strategies for avoiding those roadblocks altogether.
This level of comprehension helps you predict how each tool will fit into your processing workflow and clears the path to creative expression...and this clarity will pay off exponentially.
Next, you'll craft Workflows.
It's not enough to know how and why a tool is used...it's even more important to know how they can be leveraged to improve your workflow. A hammer is simple to use, but knowing how to use it to build a house is an entirely different story.
Through thoughtful lessons and creative exercises, you'll learn how to trust your instincts and use that as your guide to developing your own processing techniques...which makes the darkroom clearer and more exciting.
It's the perfect "marriage" of creative vision and technical skills...which will give you photographs that are not only more visually appealing, but represent who you are as a photographer.
The last (and most powerful) piece of "The Darkroom" is the direct mentorship.
The lessons and assignments are the foundation of the program as they cover topics that are taught the same way to every photographer - much like a lecture.
However, you still need one-on-one guidance to provide that necessary context...and to have a mentor that will be proactive, dig deep, and ask the right questions that will push your limits and enhance your craft.
I'll show you how to use the Tools and Workflows in a way that both compliments your unique creative process and provides the most simple and efficient path to your darkroom goals.
With direct (and unlimited) support from myself and a community of like-minded photographers, you'll discover your own personal aesthetic by simplifying your workflow - not adding to it. Because beautiful photographs do not need to take all day to process.
When you learn how to leverage the tools to compliment your unique style and thought process, you're able to more clearly articulate your creative vision with unshakable confidence...and make images that represent who YOU are - not someone else.
This level of personal feedback requires a LOT of time on my part, which is why it's missing from many other programs out there...
...but I know how instrumental this is to your success in the darkroom and as a photographer, which is something I care deeply about.
These three steps work together much like an apprenticeship.....where the technical knowledge, creative strategies, and personalized guidance give you the necessary clarity and momentum that will make your photography fulfilling, exciting, and unstoppable.
Here's what you'll learn about Lightroom...
Understand EXACTLY how Lightroom "thinks" and how to set up YOUR best workspace.
One common thread I've noticed with photographers who struggle with Lightroom is that they don't comprehend how it works fundamentally...and that is your biggest roadblock.
I'll show you exactly how Lightroom connects to your images through the catalog (and what happens to your original photographs), how to import, export, and print your images the right way, and how to properly manage your catalog file(s)...making Lightroom simple and fun to use.
Flawless organization on auto-pilot.
Discover how to leverage the strongest features of the Library module for automated image organization and management. By using smart collections, keywords, virtual copies, and stacks...I'll help you create a simple and dynamic system for culling and organizing your images quickly...and will give you my personal tips for keeping your library tidy, simple, and VERY easy to manage.
Clean and enhance hidden details in your raw photographs.
Much like any creative medium, you need to properly "prime the canvas" for the creative stage. Sometimes, images are great straight-out-of the camera...but more often than not, they need some initial improvements. And if you're using raw format, you're leaving a LOT of detail on the table if you don't know how to properly enhance your images.
Learn how to clear away distractions and pull hidden detail out of your shadows and highlights...unlocking the full benefits of raw and paving the way to an exceptional photograph.
Build and strengthen the tone, color, and contrast.
While there are many tools and techniques at your disposal, your time in the darkroom all comes down to:
- identifying your creative intent,
- enhancing the qualities that help to express that vision, and
- minimizing qualities that distract from it.
And that is achieved by strengthening the relationship between luminosity, color, and contrast...and finding a pleasing balance between all three.
Discover how to create and enrich your colors, enhance the atmosphere by directing light and shadow, and enhance detail and texture to bring attention to your focal points...all with a degree of control and quality that is simply not possible with just your camera.
Most importantly, you'll learn how to genuinely love the creative process when you realize just how simple it can be to build an extraordinary portfolio.
...and this is what you'll learn about Photoshop.
When you capture a truly extraordinary photograph, you want to give it the attention it deserves....and that is where Photoshop comes in.
Many tend to avoid Photoshop altogether as it initially looks very confusing or labor-intensive...
...or perhaps they know a lot about the program, but can't piece together how to use the techniques on their own images.
If you're serious about advancing your craft and creating your best landscape images of a fine-art quality...there is no question that Photoshop is where you need to be.
Here's the good news: It's actually quite simple to use Photoshop once you learn layers, masks, and smart objects.
And once you understand these tools, even the most advanced techniques (like exposure blending or light painting) will make total sense...and you don't have to spend all day behind the computer to create an exceptional photograph.
Let me translate Photoshop for you into easy-to-follow lessons that you can start watching right now.
Deepen your dynamic range with exposure blending.
Our cameras typically can not capture the full range of detail in a single frame...which often leaves your images looking lackluster compared to the scene you witnessed in the field (this is especially true for landscape photography).
Learn how to properly bracket and blend to create images that explode with vibrant colors and exceptional detail without any enhancement....for an impactful, yet completely natural-looking landscape photograph.
"Paint with light" through dodging and burning.
Dodging and burning is absolutely the number one method for enhancing the mood and atmosphere of your photographs, which makes it one of my favorite processing techniques.
This incredible workflow allows you to literally paint light with a brush, carving out a path that leads the viewer through your frame...and I'll show you a simple (yet versatile) technique that will give you the highest quality detail and color every time.
Master advanced luminosity selections for complete creative control.
Most photographers know that luminosity masks provide the best way to make high-quality color and tonal adjustments. They can enhance almost every technique in Photoshop: crisper detail with dodging and burning…stronger, more accurate selections with exposure blending…richer, more vibrant hues with color grading...and that’s just scratching the surface.
Unfortunately, many think that luminosity masks are difficult to use or take up too much time...but the reality is that luminosity masks are ridiculously easy (and free) to use thanks to recent technology.
Learn how to create, alter, and refine your selections and use them to perform expert-level masking techniques…such as exposure blending, sky replacements, composites, controlled sharpening, and adding contrast without any damage or blotchy detail.
I'll show you exactly how to create and use luminosity masks efficiently, clearly, and with absolute control...and with my engaging creative exercises, you will deepen your comprehension and learn how to use this revolutionary tool to create your very best photographs.
Construct a captivating atmosphere by enhancing the mood, light, and texture.
I'll show you how to deepen the meaning behind your frame and create an engaging atmosphere through specialized workflows.
Learn the Orton effect and Briscoe lighting, amplify the atmospheric perspective, and enhance sun rays and glows to radically expand the range of moods you'll be able to create...and nurture the development of your own ideas.
Create vivid, brilliant colors that explode with detail and light with advanced color grading.
Learn every step of my signature 5-part color grading workflow that has taken me years to develop and refine.
This easy-to-follow system can be used on any photograph to enhance depth and harmony, enrich colors, and create a painterly ambiance for wall-worthy landscapes...derived solely from your unique vision.
By exploring color theory and balance, you'll learn how instantly enhance the contrast and texture of your hues with a few small adjustments...recreating the atmosphere you captured in the field (or completely transforming it).
...and all this covers just about 50% of what you'll find once you enroll in the mentorship (not to mention new modules planned for the future).
If you're only looking for "hacks", shortcuts, and one-click presets that give your photographs an instant "pop"....this isn't the program for you.
By investing in this mentorship, you're doing much more than simply making a one-off purchase like a book or attending a workshop, where the value abruptly ends...
...nor is this your typical hodge-podge of random "shortcut" tutorials with no thread of continuity.
With "The Darkroom for Landscapes" mentorship program, you are investing in a cohesive, supportive learning system designed for the long-game.
I'm going to help you build a custom framework for your darkroom workflow so you know exactly what you want to create, and the correct sequence of decisions required to get there...
...because you don't need to use every tool in Lightroom and Photoshop to achieve YOUR creative goals. Not only is that massively overwhelming, but it will overcomplicate your workflow and distract you from creating meaningful images.
Instead, I'll show you how to "lean in" to your creative strengths and cultivate a craft based on your unique vision...because who wants to simply become a library of tools and techniques?
This is why free tutorials can be fun and interesting for a while...but rarely do they move the needle in your creative development. They lack the necessary context and nurturing environment to develop a workflow that will make you grow as a photographer...
...and if you've tried other courses in the past that left you disappointed, this is probably the reason. The Darkroom is VERY different, and wholly unique.
This is a true investment that will grow with you. I am always adding more to the program, so your craft will never plateau.
There are photographers who have been in this mentorship for more than five years now and they still get immense value to this day....and as you'll read below, they call it the best investment they've made in their photography.
And all without having to sacrifice quality for simplicity.
Bonus #1: Full Workflow Videos
When it comes to the darkroom, you need more than just theory to guide your processing. You need to absorb the practical application of those tools and techniques by crafting an image in a step-by-step process.
These complete workflow videos (with practice files) show you the development of an image from start to finish...and provide a framework that you can build on to construct your own processing workflows.
Look over my shoulder and watch me process from the original raw file to the finalized photograph, explaining every step along the way.
It’s a lot like fitting pieces of a puzzle together: the program lessons provide you with the tools and techniques, but the workflow videos are the blueprints that tell you which piece goes where.
The best part about these workflows is that they use no presets – meaning you will actually learn step-by-step how to process extraordinary landscapes instead of relying on automation...which makes exploring the darkroom easier, more enjoyable, and creatively fulfilling.
Bonus #2: Creative Assignments and Weekly Focus Emails
The old saying does ring true, “In one ear and out the other” when it comes to retaining new skills. When learning how to master Lightroom and Photoshop, that information tends to disperse at an alarming rate as our brain is limited to what it can absorb in one sitting.
You've probably seen this yourself after watching a tutorial video: half of the information is forgotten by the end of the day...and a week or two later, you find yourself watching the entire lesson over again.
This is why I've specially designed each lesson to reinforce learning pathways and help you retain these new skills easily, such as:
- segmenting each lesson into highly-focused "bite-sized" topics (most are under 5 minutes) that are easy to digest.
- written summaries for each lesson that review the most important highlights (these make great study guides).
- video timestamps so you can easily jump to the exact topic you want to learn.
- quizzes to immediately test new concepts...because you'll remember more when you're asked to recall something you just learned.
While these features are immensely helpful, the real value is the creative assignments and weekly focus emails because they encourage action. You can watch video tutorials all day...but until you actually get "hands-on" with these new concepts and techniques and incorporate them into your workflow, you're not getting the full value.
What I like most about the creative assignments and weekly emails is that they are NOT busy-work to waste your time on. When you put these new skills into practice...not only do you more easily retain the knowledge, but you are encouraged to constructively think of ways to amend them to complement your unique creative vision.
When you're self-sufficient in your processing...not only is this a great confidence booster, but it is extremely rewarding to your creative development as everything finally makes sense.
Bonus #3: Lifetime Mentorship and Program Access
A proactive instructor that checks in with you, asks how you are doing, encourages questions and self-assessments to keep you on track, and is easy to get in touch with...has been proven to be far more successful than self-guided programs that sit you in front of a library and wishes you "good luck".
I'm not talking about someone who simply answers a question when asked...because that's only marginally helpful. The quality of support you will receive with this mentorship program goes much deeper than that.
When you're learning any new skill, you typically lack the important context which influences the questions you ask...which leads to unhelpful answers that don't "move the needle" in your creative development.
Let's say you're learning how to garden, and you ask how to properly water a plant. This question itself will give you a generic and simple answer...but since you're not a pro-level gardener yet, you're not sure of the right questions to ask here.
However, a true instructor will be proactive and dig deep...and will ask what soil you are using, the type of plant, what the climate is, and other important questions that provide the necessary context to give you the best answer, customized to your unique goals.
This is the level of proactive mentorship needed to give YOU the proper guidance to a thriving plant...and is the exact quality you will find when you join The Darkroom.
When you ask me a question, you're having an open two-way conversation with a friend who truly wants you to create your very best images...and can show you the best path to get there (even if that path is completely different than the one you had in mind).
This is a huge time commitment on my part...but is something I feel very strongly about because I want this mentorship to the best investment you will ever make in your photography.
No pre-recorded webinars, no monthly group calls or "office hours", and no limits whatsoever. It’s 100% undivided attention to YOUR personal questions, whenever you need it, and will never expire...keeping you on the narrow road towards mastering the digital darkroom.
Here's how much this program is worth...
These workflow videos are (on average) over 2 hours each, and walk you through every step I take in the darkroom from start to finish. Original raw files are included so you can follow along.
I charge $90/hour for this personalized level of one-on-one mentorship, so you could easily exceed this over the lifetime of your membership.
The updates and future courses planned for 2020 and beyond will, at minimum, double the size of current program. No monthly fees, and no future "upgrades" for additional access. Pay once and learn forever, period.
So you’re getting easily over $3,000 in real-world value today...
and potentially much more as the program grows and evolves since you are enrolled for life.
Here's the catch: this is NOT a bargain-basement program.
The amount of work it takes to not only create lessons and maintain the program, but to provide quality unlimited mentorship....is massive.
And I'd much rather have a small amount of highly-engaged photographers who are excited to be here than thousands who only signed up because of a low price.
I thought to charge $39/month for this, but I'm not a fan of monthly payments. They're a mess to manage on my end, and let's be honest: no one is thrilled about being charged a fee every single month. I like to keep things as simple and straightforward as I can.
This is going to cost ONE payment of $397, which is an incredible offer.
However, I'm going to make this extra special for a limited time.
The mentorship program is still in a "semi-private" beta, which means that I'm only opening enrollment for select groups of photographers while the program is still evolving. Also, I want to add a few more modules before I consider this fully complete.
If you enroll today, I'll take $200 off for a one-time fee of $197.
Once I add these new modules and the program is officially open to the public, the price will go back up to $397.
So this is your limited-time, "lowest price you will ever see" offer.
Ready to get started?
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Are you a member of a photography club or group? I have a special group discount if three or more members from the same club enroll. Email me at email@example.com for further details.
You’re Fully Covered With a 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee
The Darkroom for Landscapes Mentorship Program walks you through the exact workflow that I use for my own photographs. I have gone through years of trial-and-error to refine and enhance a process that creates intense, dramatic landscape photographs using innovative, yet simple Lightroom and Photoshop techniques.
I am absolutely confident that you will find the same results I did and will see a dramatic improvement in your landscape images.
If you feel like you haven’t got 10X the value of this program, I will promptly refund your money within 60 days of purchase. Absolutely no questions asked, and no hard feelings.
I’m happy to offer this guarantee because I am certain you will love this program. If you think there’s even a slight chance that this will enhance your landscape photography, you should enroll today as there is absolutely NO RISK in doing so.
More testimonials from current Darkroom members...
"Chris is an amazing teacher! His lessons are clear, well organized, and presented in a way that is helpful to beginners as well as more advanced Photoshop and Lightroom users. As an older (75 years!) learner, I appreciate the pace as well as the precision with which Chris presents his lessons. Creative Raw is a major resource for helping me to grow as a photographer and as a photo editor." - Lynn B.
"I have found both your Lightroom course and Photoshop course to be an excellent learning tool. You are very patient in explaining the reasoning behind why you choose smart objects as a way to keep track of any changes now or in the future! You have provided free updates to your courses with the life membership, I am not sure if there is any other instructor out there who does this. I would recommend creativeRAW to anyone interested in learning how to process images, they will not be disappointed." - Satish Dasari
"I value my lifetime Creative Raw membership more than anything. It presents an impressive and comprehensive package of tutorials. All modules are extremely well structured and lessons are developed with great pedagogy. I have subscribed to other membership of the kind before, but this is the only one that truly honours its commitment to one-on-one assistance when required. Questions are answered quickly and comprehensively. This membership has been a real help in my development. Thank you Chris!" - Claude Hamel
"Absolutely superb. Your entire package for both Lightroom and Photoshop is really humbling. I thought I knew something about Photoshop before starting the course… I now know better. I have paid more for a lot less when it comes to educational courses so I really appreciate the value in your work. I love the ‘lifetime’ continuum built into your program. I believe it is unique." - Richard Aducci
"I’m a professional photographer, have owned a gallery in Gatlinburg, TN (the Bar Harbor of the Smoky Mountains) for ten years. I’ve been tempted by your courses for a while now, but have hesitated because I’ve been using LR/PS forever, and didn’t want to spend time going over the basics. I’ve just about finished the LR videos, and have enjoyed them so much! As I suspected, there’s a lot to be learned from another professional’s perspective. Especially your approach to color has been really enlightening. The individual units are very well done, and the course as a whole has a cohesive quality that all fits. I can tell you’ve put a lot of work into the course, and just wanted to share my satisfaction with you." - William Britten
"I was skeptical about a program offering not only courses but a lifetime of future program updates for no additional fees...plus email support with questions and troubleshooting technical issues. But I will admit, I have been pleasantly surprised. Chris is a great trainer and his lessons are in a practical working sequence and are easy to understand. I have found that Chris is always quick to respond and continues to make improvements to keep his site and modules up to date.” - Julie Stone
"I am so pleased to use your video series to delve into Photoshop. I was reluctant to buy into becoming a Lifetime Member with the Lightroom course, but in retrospect the investment was well worth that cost – perhaps one of the best steps that I have made to improve my photography skills." - David Hull
"Chris, A quick note to tell you how pleased I am with your new output. I started with a fair understanding of luminosity masks/exposure blending...however, you clearly added to my understanding much more than I thought would happen. I think you really hit a home run (at least with me) by exposure blending a pretty complicated image and by slowly going through the blend step by step. Thank you. - Jim Vaughn
Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions...
This program is meticulously designed for both the beginner and the veteran photographer. Lessons are not exclusive to a certain skill level, but rather cover specific topics. If the material is too advanced, you can easily revert to an earlier lesson to provide the necessary context.
If you consider yourself a darkroom expert, I still think you will find immense value in the program. I often hear from current members who thought they knew Lightroom and Photoshop "inside and out", but still picked up valuable techniques that greatly improved their current workflow.
That’s the best part: immediately! No need to wait for multiple gigabytes to download as you sift through folders of lessons. The entire program is loaded and ready to go as soon as you enroll, and lessons are laid out sensibly so you can easily navigate to the exact topic you want to start with.
Of course, you can also download every video for offline viewing – it’s entirely up to you. There is no expiration on enrollment, so you can log in at any time to watch and/or download the lessons.
Absolutely. The entire program is available via streaming and each video lesson can be downloaded to your computer with no limits whatsoever.
By offering both streaming and downloads, you can access the program from any device regardless of location or internet speed.
The Lightroom modules are designed to work best with Lightroom CC Classic (standalone desktop version). You can use this program for earlier versions of Lightroom, but keep in mind that some lessons will not apply.
Lightroom CC (mobile) modules are currently in production and will be added to the program in the near future - completely free as part of your enrollment.
The Photoshop modules use the latest CC release of Photoshop, but can be used as far back as CS5, with the exception of a few non-essential tools.
The Darkroom Mentorship Program details the exact workflow that I use for my own photographs. I have spent years of trial-and-error refining and enhancing this system, and I am absolutely confident that you will find the same results I did and will see a dramatic improvement in your Lightroom and Photoshop experience.
If for any reason you decide that this program is not right for you, just let me know within 60 days of purchase and I will gladly refund your money. Absolutely no questions asked, and NO FINE PRINT.
I’m happy to absorb all of the risks and offer this guarantee because I am certain you will love this program, but I understand it may not be for everyone – so there is no risk whatsoever.
About Your Instructor
My name is Christopher O’Donnell, landscape photographer and online educator, and I’ve been using Lightroom and Photoshop to process my photos for quite a few years now (Photoshop since 2006, and Lightroom came along a few years later).
I don’t tell you what you “should” or “should not” do. Instead, I pull the curtain back on my creative techniques and workflows, revealing my own perspective and experiences after 11+ years immersed in landscape photography...and equip you with the knowledge so you can decide how (and where) these new skills fit into YOUR darkroom workflow.
The goal of my program is to get your creative gears grinding with protective “bumpers” to work within, so you can develop your own techniques with total confidence – both in the digital darkroom and the field.
Not only is this creatively satisfying, but it sets you up for future success by perfecting your craft and relying on your own skills.
Here's the short and simple...
It doesn't matter how skillful you are with your camera or how exceptional your photographs are. If you don't have a proper mentor showing you how to use Lightroom and Photoshop, you'll end up making a lot of regrettable mistakes, waste an immense amount of time (and probably money), and have an all-around miserable experience.
No one wants to waste hours "googling" tutorials for mediocre answers (at best). Instead of showing you how to dig yourself out of a hole, I'll show you how to avoid the hole altogether by teaching you the right way, the first time.
Now I still firmly believe that anyone can master Lightroom and Photoshop themselves....if they have a lot of time on their hands. However, attempting to go at this alone will result in overwhelm, confusion, and can potentially lead you far down the wrong path. Don't go down that rabbit hole trying to learn everything, but ultimately mastering nothing.
You already know that having an experienced, dedicated mentor can make all the difference in how soon you master your craft.
This program will make you more comfortable, more competent, and more confident with the digital darkroom than you've ever been. You'll learn to process with intent, direction, and confidence...which will give you a more fulfilling portfolio that is a true representation of your creative vision.
If you know that the next stage in your darkroom journey is the help of a qualified mentor…then I'd like to invite you to join me in The Darkroom.
Choose Your Payment Option and Get Started Today
Are you a member of a photography club or group? I have a special group discount if three or more members from the same club enroll. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.