Example Of Basic Edits Using Adobe Lightroom (a follow up to my last post.)

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As a follow up to my last post about Adobe Lightroom, here is a brief example of work flow or I should say a path that the average user would take using Lightroom.

So you just came home from a big day at the beach, grandma’s house, big party… you have a lot of photos, let’s say for example you have 50 photos from your fun filled time.

So we open Lightroom and place our memory card in the card reader, slot, port, or just connect our camera to the computer. Lightroom sees our card/camera with the fresh photos and we have already prior made a folder where LR will place them. So we put in a few simple key words that will help us find these photos several months down the road. Let’s say it was Cousin Jay’s birthday party in New York City. So we will enter a few keywords like, NYC, birthday & Jay. We have also previously set up our own camera profile to highlight each of our photos with a blue color, different from the colors of the profiles for the other two cameras in our family. Now we hit import and step away for a minute or two (maybe less). And there they are, all our fresh photos placed in a folder safe for the keeping. A family member has already put photos in from the same day but with a different camera and their photos have been highlighted in yellow. I just want to see my photos so I set the filter to blue and LR shows just my photos. But some of the photos I took were blurry or just unusable. So I will quickly run through and hit the “x” key and flag those for deletion. As I’m going through I will also choose those special photos I want to edit right away and I will hit the letter “p” for “pick.” I have gone through all 50 photos and deleted the black flags so not to take up wasted space on my hard drive. I set the filter to see only my white flag (picks). I go through the white flag picks real fast because they are all keepers, but there are those two photos that were amazing and I want to remember them. So I find those two photos and push the number 5 giving them a five star rating. Now I have run out of time and I will come back to LR later. (This took me just 5 minutes.)

So now I have come back and my photos are easily found, especially the two favorites. Now at this point the editing takes on the personal taste of the person doing the editing. Let’s say I like punchy, bright colors in my photos. Looking in LR’s control panel I have all these really neat slider controls and they kind of go in an order that makes sense. From the top down is my white balance, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites & blacks. That is pretty much everything I need to make a basic edit. And just below that are the saturation and vibrance sliders to give me my “punchy” colors. Now down to the “sharpness” slider to give a crisp clean look. Oh but wait… I just noticed Jay has a fleck of icing from the cake fight and it is not so lovely there on his cheek. Using the spot remover to take away something that should have never been there to start with is an amazing thing. Now I really do have a nice photo.

But what about those 20 other photos? They’re all good and I would like to post them or share them but I don’t want to sit an edit each one.

Ok so for example the other twenty photos were all shot in basically the same light in the same room at the restaurant by the same camera. They just need a little tweaking to make them look good and I don’t need to do any spot removal. LR allows the user to edit the first photo and push those same settings to the rest of the batch with just a simple “sync” setting. I’ll run through one last time and make sure they all look great, maybe just a tweak here & there.

So now I just go over to the social media section and add them to my Facebook. LR will send copies of the images right to your social media without making copies to fill up your hard drive. But there were those two favorite images that I would like to make hard prints from. I can save copies of those two images separately and upload to my print service and maybe I want to email them to someone. LR will do that as well, you can email right out of LR. Maybe later I will come back and add some photos to the slideshow that I am making for the holidays. Ok so I’m done for now. I edited two nice photos and I did a basic edit to twenty other photos and uploaded everything to social media. Plus I saved those two special photos for sending out to the print service. This whole process would take the average user 15-20 minutes and it only gets faster the more you use LR. Like anything “practice makes perfect.” Best of all we never once actually opened our original photos, they’re still safe.

Now if you think that entire example is cool, imagine this… you are just seeing the tip of the iceberg so to speak. Lightroom will allow you to make photobooks, do your own printing, slideshows, posters, cards, invitations. Also editing allows the use of presets. You can make presets or buy presets. Maybe you took some nice wedding photos and you want to do special edits. I have found amazing “edit presets” online… for free. Lots of free Youtube tutorials and there are a lot of paid courses you can take if you feel the need. But for the average user most of LR is self-explanatory.

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