Simple But Powerful Lightroom Tips
One of the more common questions I am asked when people discover I teach Lightroom Workshops is “What are your suggestions for getting the most out of Lightroom?” This is actually a pretty difficult question because Lightroom is packed with so many features and capabilities that are essential to a good photography post processing workflow. In fact, if you asked the same question to 10 different Lightroom users you would most likely get a wide range of answers and a passionate debate. So, here are my 5 quick and easy Lightroom Tips to get the most out of Lightroom.
- Always shoot your photos in the RAW format when possible.
The RAW format captures far more data than using the jpeg format and this almost always comes in handy when editing your photos. For example, if you make an error in selecting the correct White Balance for the type of light you’re shooting in, Lightroom will allow you to simply choose the various WB options your camera offers. Additionally, shooting in RAW will give you additional exposure information to work with while editing. Having the additional pixel information in a RAW photo also allows you to crop in on an image while maintain an image resolution that will still produce quality prints.
- Backing up your photos and backing up Lightroom are two different things
A photographer’s worst nightmare is the possibility of losing all of their photos as a result of a faulty PC or hard disk, but just as frightening is the possibility of losing your Lightroom Catalog which contains all of the editing instructions for all of the images you edit within Lightroom. It is essential that you maintain the same diligence in backing up your Lightroom catalog as you do with all of your photos. Personally I recommend backing up Lightroom each time you exit the program.
- Keywords are at the heart of the Lightroom Library
While Lightroom is certainly known for its ease of editing, the Library Module is outstanding for keeping your ten’s of thousand images organised and Keywording is the secret to your success. Ahh, I hear all the photographer’s moaning, keywording is one of the most boring tasks related to managing your photos, but a little effort up front makes the management of your photo library so much simpler in the future. The Lightroom Library Module is one of the key modules of Lightroom and is focused on the management and organisation of your image library which is a key element in any digital photography workflow.
- Three Develop Module sliders to fall in love with
There is a wide range of adjustments available in the Develop module, but there are three in particular which I use in most of my edits. In fact many of my edits may only include an adjustment of these three sliders.
The Highlights Slider – great for fixing dull skies in Landscape photos. Simply slide the Highlights slider to the left to bring skies back to life.
The Shadows Slider – for bringing out a bit of detail that has been lost in the shadows.
The Clarity Slider – This is used for accentuating contrast in mid tone areas of your image, often used to give your image a bit of ‘punch’.
- Remember to save your work as Presets
As time goes on, you fill find yourself making many of the same adjustments and exporting to the same location or simply even printing the same size document. Lightroom allows you to save most of your processes as Presets, which helps speed up your post processing workflow by automating many of your common tasks. Taking the time to create presets as you work in Lightroom is a discipline that is worth the effort and can save a significant amount of time in editing and printing your images in the future.
There you have it, 5 simple Lightroom tips to help you get the most out of your post-processing workflow when using Adobe Lightroom.
The Complete Pixel runs regular Lightroom Workshops to assist you in developing your post processing skills. For more information and upcoming dates and locations view our Lightroom Workshops page.
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