Lightroom Basics

Adobe Lightroom is an indispensable tool for any and all photographers. If you are curious about the program or are a bit overwhelmed by the interface then have no fear. This basics tutorial is for you! Adobe Lightroom looks to be very complicated but the more you use it the more you will get used to it? Where do you start? Well after booting up the program bring in down the drop menu and select “New Catalog.”

lightroom-basics-fig2This will let you name your catalog and in this instance I’ve chosen the name “Lightroom Basics” The program will then restart with your new catalog being your workflow. This also creates a folder where you installed Lightroom (where you can save your edits for whatever project you’re working on.) The next step is importing your photos. I usually select “Import Photo and Video” from the same drop down menu…

And then drag and drop the folder I want to import onto the screen as shown below:
lightroom-basics-fig3Once you select all the photos you want to use simply hit the “Import Button” at the bottom right corner of the program screen.
This will place the photos into a workflow in the “Library” tab at the top right. This tab lets you add metadata to your photos, any copyright info you would like to add, and has the specs on the gear plus settings you used. Once you click on “Display” on the top right you can start editing your photos.
lightroom-basics-fig4lightroom-basics-fig5As you can see your workflow is at the bottom of the window and you can easily make your photo selection by scrolling through your available items.

On the left side you have your Lightroom presents, which can be very useful and fun depending on how you want to edit.

When you click on a preset the corresponding measurements will appear on the right side photo settings. For example if you clicked “Creamtone” on the left, the right side would relay the manual commands, allowing you to customize your photo further.
lightroom-basics-fig6As you can see the levels now match the preset.

This lets you further manipulate your photo as well as learn what the settings are for the presents, which will invariably help you in future editing.

lightroom-basics-fig7The right side settings menu is full of many choices for editing.

Depending on how much you want or need to edit a photo these settings will help you. If you are only looking for regular correction the “Basic” menu is more than enough for most photos. The more you play with these the more you will see that you can accomplish a lot. Don’t feel intimidated by Lightroom. The program is perfect for photographers of all levels.

lightroom-basics-fig8Once you are satisfied with your edit you can export your photo to the folder you created when starting your catalog. Simply go back to the dropdown menu…

Select Export and choose the folder (the name of your catalog) and enter. This saves your work for future reference and if you decide to make further edits you can Export the file and choose a new name for your new edit as not to overwrite your original.
Lightroom is an invaluable tool for all photographers no matter the skill level. Enjoy!

Extra Tip:

If you have taken photos with the same in-camera settings throughout; you can batch edit all photos simply by selecting the first photo in your workflow, then while holding Shift selecting the last photo in your work flow. This highlights all photos. Once you edit the initial photo you can hit the “Sync” button at the bottom right where the settings are and this will batch edit all the photos in your workflow the same way. Once the batch editing is complete you can also batch export in the same way except choosing the export option with all highlighted photos.

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This entry was posted by Richard Storm.

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