Many people believe they can only use Adobe Photoshop to achieve digital post-production effects on images. Not only they are wasting time, as Photoshop doesn’t have an interface designed to adjust to the needs of the photographer, they are also missing many features available in Adobe Lightroom.
Created as an independent project from the creators of Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom gives photographers exactly what they want – a neat, comfortable space, where – in just a few clicks – they can completely change the conditions of a picture. All without needing loads of RAM in order for it to work properly and without needing several third-party plugins in order to achieve a task.
Although Photoshop can handle RAW files through Camera RAW, Lightroom provides a friendlier interface when you need to handle several RAW files, which is common after a shooting session for a party or an event.
Your pictures will be displayed at Lightroom’s Library Module, organized first by file criteria, then by name. Accessing Metadata information is quick, and it even provides categorization by metadata information, for example, when selecting pictures taken from the same exact camera model.
File sorting through Keywords
Say goodbye to the old days of wasting precious hours looking for files you can’t find. Lightroom offers a system for adding Keywords to your pictures while you import them to the software, making file management absolutely efficient. You can then search through your Catalog using assigned keywords, and Lightroom will find the pictures for you that match the keyword criteria.
Despite the lack of Layers known from Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom works with what we might call a non-destructive workflow, which gives users enough room to try several adjustments prior to saving the file, all without affecting the original picture. This little feature can be quite amazing, especially if you learn how to use features like Virtual Copy, letting you create several adjustments on pictures to achieve a wide variety of effects.
Work with the confidence of knowing that your original files are kept somewhere else, and that they are not affected by whatever adjustment you plan to use.
Ever heard of Selective Coloring? Well, Lightroom provides a feature called On-Image editing that can be found at the HSL/Color/B&W panel. That small circle on top of the panel enables a hidden method in Lightroom for targeting selected areas of your picture and applying changes only to those areas. Adjustments thus become more intuitive and effective, especially if you learn to combine them with tools such as Gradient Filter, Radial Filter and Adjustment Brush tools.
Presets – The very core of Lightroom
Presets are sets of instructions made on Lightroom’s native tools, created either by you (if you have enough experience) or design companies, such as Sleeklens, making the Lightroom experience much more enjoyable, especially for new users.
Learn how to install them and enjoy millions of possibilities, when you play with your pictures, each of which take just a few seconds. Creativity will never again be an issue.
This feature is quite handy for new users. Being able to see the adjustments made on pictures prior to saving them is really practical – even more so, because all you need to do is press one button at Lightroom’s user interface, rather than turning off tons of layers (if possible). Now you can easily see which effects have been added to the image, and which features are part of the original image.
Even if it’s not its main feature, Lightroom has a spot saved for video editing. Don’t expect as much control or as many features as you would see with Adobe Premiere, but rather use it for short videos that need only tiny adjustments. For correcting White Balance, trimming areas or even adjusting the Exposure, this Video Editing area works like magic in most cases.
Build your own personal portfolio
Lightroom’s Book Module is the ideal place if you plan to create a digital portfolio or a printed book. A friendly drag-and-drop system for placing your pictures in the book, all of them controlled by parameters commonly required for bookbinding. You can even publish it using the Blurb features present in Lightroom or export it as a PDF file.
About the Contributor
Sleeklens is a company focused on creating content for Adobe Lightroom; author of several bundles of presets as well as tutorials for all-level users, they also host communities of Adobe Lightroom users in English, Spanish and Portuguese.