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How to Use Lightroom (The Ultimate Guide to Lightroom Tips!)

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Adobe Lightroom is the industry standard for editing images. It’s clean and simple-to-use interface means you can start editing today. Why spend hours editing when you can do it all in a blink of an eye.

This article is here to show you how to use Lightroom. From organization to exporting your work, we have step by step Lightroom tutorials to get you started!

Lightroom tutorials on the screen of a tablet, laptop and smartphone

What is a Post-Processing Software?

Manual focus lenses became Automatic. Now, we even have motion-tracking focusing. More and more photos are digitally captured, manipulated and shared.

Millions of people around the globe have access to our images. All this at the click of a button.

Photographically, the analogue world only had access to film. This needed developing and processing in a dark room. Then enlarging the negatives onto photosensitive paper.

There were very simple and basic ways to edit and manipulate areas. Either due to over or underexposure or correcting a perspective.

These methods called dodging and burning allowed the printer, limited, control over photos.

All this gave way in the digital age, where digital cameras required a new workflow.

Image manipulation software such as Adobe Lightroom took over from the laborious techniques of the former times.

These programs allowed photographers and printers to work fast. they became more efficient. The photos were instant.

In short, film cameras turned into DSLRs. Gelatin covered silver upon a plastic base turned into microchip sensors. And darkrooms turned into Adobe Lightroom.

Our complete guide will take you through all the tutorial and tips that you need. You’ll soon master the editing of your photos in Adobe Lightroom.

What is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom?

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is photo editing and file management software. It is a great tool for organizing photos into folders and collections. It makes for easy accessibility.

It follows a no-nonsense layout. Substance over style. You’ll find it allows you to do 90% of your photographic manipulation quickly and efficiently.

By using a handy copy/paste method, you can change the look of hundreds of images at the click of a button.

Also, free Lightroom presets are available for specific ways to stylize your photographs. All these benefits make Adobe Lightroom the popular choice for photo editing.

A screenshot of editing in Adobe Lightroom

How to Buy Lightroom? 2021 Guide and Options

The great thing about Adobe is that it offers 30-day trials. free of charge. Everything is available on their website.

There are a few plans to choose from for photographers. Either opt for Adobe Lightroom CC (classic) and 1TB of cloud storage for $9,99.

Or for the same cost, you can trade in the 1TB for 20GB. This gives you both current versions of Lightroom and Photoshop too.

A screenshot of the Adobe purchase page

6 Important Things You Need to Know About Lightroom 6

There are still a few users out there clinging on to the last standalone Lightroom software. After Lightroom 6, Adobe decided to make the program open only through subscription.

If you managed to keep hold of Lightroom 6, you don’t have to pay a monthly fee. But, it restricts what you can do with it.

There might be large, unanswered questions lingering around in your head. For example, will it recognize my new camera? 

For the six most important things you need to know about Lightroom 6, look no further.

A home office featuring laptop, lamp, stationary

Why We Recommend Lightroom Vs Alternatives

Capture One vs. Adobe Lightroom

The biggest competitor to Lightroom would be Capture One. Photoshop wouldn’t qualify as competition. They are different programs made by the same company.

Capture One comes from a company who specializes in medium format photography. Their first release came around the same time as Lightroom (2006).

Both programs house and organize RAW files. They also let you manipulate the photos in non-destructive manners.

The differences start appearing in the fine-tuning of the images. One area being colour management.

Lightroom uses HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) sliders but Capture One goes further. It allows colour adjustments in the shadows, highlights, and mid-tones.

But Capture One has been often described as finicky. Some find it too powerful to be used as fast as a Lightroom alternative.

This article runs through all the benefits and drawbacks of both software packages. it will show you why Lightroom is the more popular and cheapest option.

A screenshot of editing photos on both capture one and adobe lightroom

Best Alternatives to Lightroom – RawTherapee | Capture One | DxO | Darktable

There are many alternatives to Lightroom as a RAW converter. There are other programs you can use as image management or manipulation software.

Here, we will only compare programs that encompass all of these things. Just like Lightroom.

You might have your reasons for not using Lightroom. Either the monthly subscription process or just being used to different software. Either way, there are alternatives.

For many years, Apple’s Aperture was Lightroom’s biggest competitor. Apple since then has decided to gut the program and create Photos.

So what are other companies doing? There are three, strong alternatives recommended by many different photographers. These are On1 Photo RAW, Luminar and Darktable.

As this article suggests in great depth, One1 Photo RAW is a complete photo workflow solution.

Luminar is great at processing but only lets you work with one image at a time.

Darktable is a free and open-source program. This is a great tool for people with a lot of photographs but no budget.

A screenshot of editing low light photography in darktable

Lightroom Vs. Photoshop: What’s the Difference?

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop are, as you can tell, from the same company.

Lightroom even has Adobe Photoshop in its name, which should tell you a few things.

Photoshop has been the powerhouse of all digital editing since the 1990s. It can do anything. Because of this versatility, it has a steep learning curve.

It is an understatement to say it can be confusing. Not only does it cover all photography needs. But anything graphics related.

All types of visually creative work go very well with the Photoshop interface.

Lightroom, in this case, is the younger sibling. It maintains professional processing tools but adds speed to the mix.

With LR, you can work fast, applying changes to hundreds, if not thousands of images.

Lightroom meets most photographers’ needs, and 9 out of 10 use it for all editing needs. The 10% who need more would use both, by editing in LR and then exporting to PS.

Photoshop is best seen as an image editing device. Lightroom as an image management tool.

A screenshot of editing photos on both lightroom and photoshop

Organisation in Lightroom

The file management system in Lightroom is very simple to use. After some time playing around in the Library module, you will feel right at home.

Importing, moving and organizing your photographs using a no-nonsense platform is a blessing.

Folders and photos are imported at a click of a button and then moved using the drag-and-drop method.

Collections and keywords are very handy. Each image can have many words connecting them all.

These can be found later alongside other photos in the same vein. Similarly, with collections, you can create folders with specific tasks.

These can isolate all your best images from those trips to Iceland, found across many folders.

Everything is saved in what is called a Catalog. This is where all the information on your editing is saved.

Lightroom creates a default Catalog that it loads from each time. This allows you to create others to divide different workflows or subject matters.

a screenshot of how to add a folder in Lightroom

How to Organise Photos in Lightroom: Top 10 Tips

Organising your images in Lightroom should be the first thing you do. A clear and concise Lightroom Catalog will help cut down time editing.

By taking the time in the beginning, you can set up some great practices. These will be the templates of how you deal with your photos and sessions.

The last thing you want to do is spend long periods of times searching for that one image of your family.

Start by adding keywords to every image that comes through Lightroom. That way, a quick keyword search will let you know where the image is.

a screenshot showing how to organise photos in Photoshop Lightroom

How To Import Photos into Lightroom

Importing photographs into Lightroom can be done a few different ways.

First, there is File>Import Photos and Video (or Ctrl / Cmd + Shift + I). Both of these take you to the import page where you add the photographs to your Catalog.

If you have Show import dialogue when a memory card is inserted selected in preferences, then the import screen will open automatically.

Another lesser-known way would be to create a folder on your Hard Drive that you will use only with Lightroom.

This can be set up to automatically import photos that are placed here.

This option can be found at File>Auto Import. This can be handy for your workflow. But this folder will not automatically import folders – only photos.

For a few other ways to import images, have a look at this extensive article on what you should think about when importing.

a screenshot showing how to import photos to Lightroom

Understand The Lightroom Catalog System

If you are familiar with computer software, the Lightroom catalogue is an SQLite database. If not, it’s not a prerequisite.

The database part is important as it states that your library of images is just like a physical library. Each book relates to a card with information on it.

This is how the Lightroom organizational system works. Everything is accessible through tags, keywords, and even searchable file or folder names.

The catalogue is a collection of all these card or photographs. Other catalogues can be created, but these should be limited to a few situations.

The speed of the program shouldn’t be affected by hundreds of catalogues that you have in one place.

Having all your photos in one place is a bigger benefit than having many catalogues with a few files on each.

You might want to separate work photographs from your family snaps. So having two different workflows would make sense.

Other tips and information can be seen in this Lightroom tutorial and will help you understand the catalogue in minutes.

A screenshot showing how to use Photoshop lightroom catalog system

Create Collections in Lightroom: A Step by Step Guide

Collections in Lightroom are a great way to keep your photographs neat and tidy. I use them when finalizing a project I have been working on.

After editing the photographs down to an idea number (15 for live concerts), I tag them using a green label. When I create a collection, I go for the smart version.

This allows me to tell the collection to look into this folder, and only show those with a green label. This makes it easy to delete the ones I no longer want and find these images again if need be.

This article is a step by step Lightroom tutorial to creating collections and how your workflow can benefit from them.

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom editing

Lightroom Workflow

How to Master Your Lightroom Workflow

Lightroom’s recent versions have 7 different modules:

  • Library – You can organise all your images, add keywords and metadata. You can also organise folders and create collections, quickly add presets or share to your favourite sites.
  • Develop – Here you’ll do most of your processing. You have two viewing modes, loupe or before/after.
  • Map – If your photographs already have GPS information, they will add themselves to the applicable areas on the map. Otherwise, you can drag and drop them wherever you’d like.
  • Book – This allows you to design and create a book layout. Drag and drop images from your collections and folders, working from cover to cover.
  • Slideshow – You can turn your images into presentations. There are layout ideas, overlays and backgrounds that can be applied. Also, music can be added alongside the fading and timing of your project.
  • Print – This gives you presets and layouts to quickly manage your photographs for printing. Resolution, media types and colour management can all be defined here and sent to a printing business, without leaving your chair.
  • Web – Here, you can work on images exclusively for the web. There are templates and presets that you can use to create an attractive gallery for your website. The information can then be exported and dropped into your server to create the same style on your site.

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom editing

Lightroom is great at so many things. Yet, you won’t need all the tools all of the time. It is possible to hide panels so that you can see the image better and focus more on it.

This is especially handy on a laptop. It stops the image being overshadowed by tools and panels you won’t soon.

Another great tip is changing the overlays when cropping images. The standard cropping tool shows you a grid, which is handy for straight lines like horizons.

But by pressing ‘O’ on the keyboard while in the cropping area, you can cycle through presets. You can use the golden ratio or diagonal lines instead.

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom editing

15 Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts to Speed Up Your Workflow

Everyone has their own workflow method. The best way to do it quickly and efficiently is by using keyboard shortcuts.

This article gives you all of the possible keyboard shortcuts you might use in your day-to-day editing.

What if you want to change a small part or select a single subject from an entire image? This is where brushes and masks come into play.  There are many possibilities, from graduated to radial filters. You can use any of the tools (and more) found in the develop panel on the right.

These can also be copied and pasted to other photos that have the same problem. This cuts down on editing time, leaving you free to capture more images.

Overhead view of hands typing on a laptop keyboard

Lightroom Tips & Techniques in the Develop Module

The develop module is the area where most of the post-processing magic happens.

Here you can do small, local adjustments such as increasing exposure or correcting the light balance.

Or you can do something a little heavier. Such as applying masks to increase the hue of a specific area.

Here, we will go through many adjustments we can do in this module.

How to Batch Edit in Lightroom

Lightroom is great for many different reasons. It has a great organization structure, allows keywording and gives you the change to edit your photos.

Personally, I use Lightroom to batch process images. This means editing multiple photos at the same time.

This is handy for editing as it saves a lot of time. Best used for sessions where the setting, white balance or light conditions are similar.

This tutorial will give you all the help you’ll ever need on batch processing.

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom editing

How to Resize an Image in Lightroom

When we capture photos, we tend to shoot in the highest resolution possible. This comes from using sensors that capture a large number of megapixels.

And for good reason. The more megapixels your camera sensor has, the higher quality your images are.

But, with large megapixel sizes brings a huge amount of memory being used. These large image sizes aren’t great for social media sharing.

Somehow, you’ll need to turn that 22 Megapixel image into something closer to 720 pixels. Here, you’ll need to use Lightroom.

Check out the full tutorial for all the information you need on resizing your photos.

A printed image beside a smartphone

How to Crop and Straighten Photos in Lightroom

Cropping images can help with your composition. Making your image smaller removes and cuts out distracting areas of your photographs.

This also allows you to ‘zoom’ into a photograph and make a subject more prominent.

The crop tool in Lightroom can be accessed in the ‘basic’ area of the develop module, or by pressing ‘R’.

This tool is also great for straightening photos that might have been photographed off-kilter.

This is a very useful tool and one you will find yourself going to again and again.

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom editing

How to Rotate or Flip an Image in Lightroom

Before applying adjustments that change the atmosphere and colours of the image, you should try rotating, flipping or straightening the photo. This way, you might get a new perspective and decide what fits the photo the best.

You can even rotate multiple images if you are batch editing your photos.

Lightroom has several methods for rotating and flipping your images, read our article to see which one would fit your workflow the most!

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom editing

How to Change Aspect Ratio in Lightroom

An aspect ratio is the proportion of the width and the height of the photograph. Digital cameras use a default aspect ratio of 3:2. However, there might be times when you are aiming to print and frame your photos, and you need to change the ratio.

Luckily, Lightroom offers an easy way to change the aspect ratio while cropping an image. You can choose from different ratios, as well as create your own custom one.

To learn more, take a look at our article.

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom editing

How to Correct Exposure in Lightroom

You might not need to be a lighting specialist or photographic professional to achieve a perfect exposure.

Your camera can get very close, but sometimes, your image will benefit from a little tweaking in Lightroom.

Either the whole image might need adjusting or a specific area.

Lightroom has an ‘Auto’ button in the Basic panel in the Develop module. This might adjust a few other things, such as ‘Contrast’ and ‘Whites’.

You can also just move the ‘Exposure’ slider by clicking and dragging it left or right until you feel happy with the result.

This can also be done by moving the ‘Whites, Blacks, Highlights and Shadows’ sliders to focus on specific areas of your image.

The exposure might seem darker because the shadows are a little underexposed, for example.

This article helps you understand what to look for and how to make the changes.

A winter landscape scene

Guide to Adobe Lightroom’s Develop Module – Contrast and Tone Controls

Under the develop module, on the right-hand side, you will find the Tone sliders.

This is the local adjustment panel. You will use this the most, as they will cover 75% of what you need in your images.

The standard tone sliders are Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks.

The exposure slider is used to add or subtract light. The contrast changes the tonal range and helps things to stand out a little more.

Highlights bring down the exposure of the lightest areas. It does this without affecting the whole image.

Shadows help to make the darker areas darker or lighter. This can push away unwanted detail or make it more visible.

The white and black sliders help to create pure white and black areas in your image. It will help naturalize your image better.

Here is an in-depth account of what these local adjustments do. You can use it to get the best out of your photos.

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom editing

Guide to Adobe Lightroom’s Develop Module – Colour Temperature and Presence

When it comes to photographing a subject, your camera sensor processes everything in RGB; Red, Green, and Blue.

This concerns the light reflected from your subject. These colours have dramatic effects on the final colour of your image.

You might find that you will have to tweak the white balance. After all, you want the white areas a little bit more natural and real.

Also, you might find that the colour of the photographed objects is either a little too colourful or not colourful enough.

These things can be changed by using the HSL sliders or the Vibrance part of the editing panel.

As this article suggests, there are many ways that colour can be changed. Either by help normalizing the scene or adding a kick to your images.

Triptych of a man holding balloons edited in different styles

How to Use the Tone Curve to Correct Colours

The tone curve represents the tonal range in your photograph.

The bottom left corner deals with shadows and the top right corner with highlights. This leaves the mid-tones are in the middle.

These mid-tones are split further into light and dark areas. These are easy to adjust, you just need to know what you want to change.

For example, if you want to make the mid-tones darker,  just click on the middle portion of the Tone Curve. Gently drag it downwards. You will see the image change as you do so.

For more tips and guidelines for using this tool, have a look at this in-depth article.

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom editing

How to Work With Shadows and Blacks in Lightroom

If highlights are the brightest points in an image, the shadows are the darkest.

These shadowy areas don’t have to be dark, black holes for your eyes to fall into. They can house some detail.

The ‘blacks’ filter deals with the darkest areas of the photograph too, but more strongly than the shadow slider.

Using this tool you can add or subtract exposure and therefore detail in these areas.

This helps to make them more defined while giving a more professional look. Plus, the shadow might have a beautiful texture or design to it that adds value.

How To Use Lightroom Adjustment Brush Tool

The Lightroom adjustment brush is a tool that allows you to make localised adjustments to any part of the image. By clicking on the brush and painting on the picture, you select the area that you want to apply the adjustments to.

You can do several adjustments with the same brush. It is also possible to add as many of these brushes as you want, if you need them for different parts of a picture.

You can find the brush tool in the Develop Module, under the histogram. If you activate the mask overlay, you will see the area where the mask is applied. You can erase parts of the already painted area any time, and even move the brush if necessary.

Shadowing street scene in black and white

Colour Correction in Lightroom

Sometimes taking photos where the colours are off is inevitable. There are light conditions where it is almost impossible to get the white balance right.

To be able to correct colours in Lightroom, you need to have taken your picture in raw format. RAW files allow you to edit your images in a non-destructive way while maintaining quality.

There are several tools in Lightroom that allow you to apply colour correction to your image. The Temperature and Tint sliders give you an opportunity to correct white balance. You can also use the Color Tune Curves to edit the range of tones in your photo.

With the use of HSL panel, you can even edit the saturation, hue and luminosity of individual colours. To discover the topic more in details, don’t forget to take a look at our article.

A screenshot of the Lightroom histogram

How to Work with Colour Using HSL Sliders

Within digital photography, there are two areas where colour is very important.

First when you take the photograph, and second when you come to process the photo.

Both have different ways of dealing with these colours. Either in-camera or during post-processing.

In Lightroom, the colour can be changed in a few different ways. Firstly, before changing anything else, make sure you are happy with the white balance.

This can be changed manually or by setting it to auto and tweaking the result.

The Hue allows you to replace entire colours in the image. These sliders leave other colours untouched.

Saturation focuses on the strength of the colour. Either by making the main colours stronger or surrounding colours weaker.

Luminance deals with the brightness of a colour. This is done by either muting it or making it stand out more.

Have a play around with an image or two to get used to how they work. You’ll soon notice which areas affect and change.

A screenshot of Lightroom HSL panel

A screenshot of editing in Lightroom

How To Create Smooth Skin in Lightroom

The most important part of retouching portraits is smoothing the skin. This especially applies to fashion and editorial photos, where you want to deliver the idea of perfection.

It is easy to get carried away with smoothing the skin, but you have to be careful. It is crucial to find the balance between a nice retouch and a plastic model look.

In Lightroom, you can choose from various tools that help you with retouching your portraits. The most useful ones are adjustment Brush and Spot removal tool. These allow you to heal targeted areas while softening the skin’s texture. Sharpening and noise also play a role in how smooth your model’s skin looks.

A screenshot of editing a portrait in Lightroom

How To Remove Red Eyes in Lightroom

Nothing is easier to remove in Lightroom than red eyes. It even has its specific area in the Basic part of the develop panel.

Red eyes come from the direct flash reflecting the blood vessels in your subject’s eyes. Lightroom is here to help.

Select the red-eye correction tool, drag the area over the eye and then release.

This is solved automatically. But a little tweaking might be needed. In this case, read our step by step tutorial for the best way to approach this solution.

A dog with red eye effect.

 

How To Enhance Eyes Using Lightroom 

When editing portraits, more often than not you want to enhance the eyes to give a soul to the image. Lightroom offers various alternatives for enhancing the eyes, adjustment brush being the easiest to use.

You have the chance to adjust exposure, contrast, clarity, and much more, all of the adjustments resulting in brighter eyes. You can also whiten eyes and fix red-eye with Lightroom’s built-in adjustments.

A screenshot of editing a persons eye in Lightroom

How To Sharpen Images in Lightroom – Step by Step 

Lightroom is a great tool for resizing an image, cropping or adding local adjustments. Sometimes, you’ll need to edit the subject matter too.

Seeing your image on a big screen can be a huge help. You’ll see straight away if an image is slightly out of focus.

If you are witnessing this problem; Don’t Panic! There are ways we can help it. Luckily we have a powerful sharpness tool at our fingertips.

For sharpening your image, we have all the information you need.

A screenshot of before and after editing a pet portraitin Lightroom

How to Use Spot Removal in Lightroom (Easy Step By Step!)

While we often want our photos to be picture-perfect the moment we capture them, that is usually not possible. There are always some slight things that need correction, or some small distractions that you need to remove during editing.

Lightroom has a spot removal tool exactly for this reason. By selecting the spot removal and clicking on one spot of the image, the software will automatically choose a spot where it clones the image from.

You can move this spot around to find the best cloning source, that makes your photo look as seamless as possible. You can also change the size of the tool and even select bigger areas to fix.

A before and after editing photo of a beach

How to Use the Lightroom Radial Filter

The radial filter is one of Lightroom’s local adjustments. It allows you to apply changes to only a circular part of the image. You can adjust the size, rotation and position of this area.

By changing the feather of the filter, you can blend in the changes, creating a seamless effect. You can also choose to adjust the area outside the circle.

It can be used to draw attention to a particular area of the image, as well as adding colour or exposure changes to one part of the photo.

If you want to learn how to use radial filter, check out our article!

A screenshot of editing in Lightroom

How To Use the Lightroom Dehaze Feature

Dehaze in Lightroom is a slider that can add or remove atmospheric haze from a photo.

While fog and mist often benefit a picture, sometimes it is not desirable to have on your image. For example, when you are photographing outdoors in backlight, you may encounter haze. With the Dehaze slider, you can remove this hazy look.

On the other hand, you might be trying to create an atmosphere that the Dehaze tool could help you with. The filter works both globally, on the whole picture, and locally, with the use of an adjustment brush or radial filter.

All you need to do is read our post, and you can try it yourself.

A rocky coastal scene

How to Use Split Toning in Lightroom

Split toning is a tool that lets you add a colour tone to the shadows and highlights of the picture, without adjusting the whole image.

It is an excellent tool for creating unique effects, such as sepia or vintage atmosphere. By learning split toning, you can bring the most out of your photos with the use of creative colours.

For example, adjusting the oranges can add a warm glow to your photos and correct white balance. To learn about how the other colours work, check out our article!

How to Use the Texture Control Slider in Lightroom

Lightroom’s latest update included a new feature, the texture slider. It is also available for local adjustments, such as the radial filter and the adjustment brush.

Adjusting the texture means adjusting the frequency of the photo. Better said, texture changes the pixel intensity. By pulling the slider to the right, you bring out more texture in the image, and vice versa.

To learn more about how the texture tool works, read our article!

A screenshot of adjusting presence slider in lightroom

How to Edit Black and White Images in Lightroom

Converting your colour to black and white photography in Lightroom is very easy. It is literally a click of the mouse.

You’ll find the ‘black and white’ tab in the adjustments panel in the develop module. Voila! But you will find the picture isn’t as powerful as it was in colour.

This is because colour photographs work on different aspects than the black and white alternative.

Here you need to focus on contrast, texture and light to separate the foreground from the background.

The image needs tweaking to get the best benefits. But our article will help you convert and adjust as necessary.

A screenshot of editing a dog portrait in Lightroom

How to Edit Instagram Photos in Lightroom

Instagram photos are often filtered, and sometimes, to death. It’s easy to do, as the smartphone application has it’d own editing area.

If you aren’t looking for that Instagram feel, there are other ways to edit your images. Lightroom is a great tool for these photos.

The benefit is you can resize your images to the famous square format. Presets also help to batch process photos to retain your ‘style’.

A screenshot of an outdoor portrait before and after editing in Lightroom

How to Create a Contact Sheet in Lightroom Classic CC 

One of the problems with digital photography is you lose all the aspects that film photography gave you.

Stepping into a darkroom, the smell of chemicals and waiting eagerly for a print to develop. You also miss those interesting contact sheets that Magnum was famous for showing.

Luckily for you, there is a way to replicate this in Lightroom. When printed, they offer you a great preview before you print the images in a larger ratio.

A food photography contact sheet

Correcting Problems

How to Correct Lens Distortion in Lightroom

Distortion is a common problem in photography. Wide-angle lenses are especially prominent with distortion.

Even your perspective, either shooting upwards or downwards, can create some deformation of your subject. Luckily, Lightroom has a specific tool that can fix these problems.

The lens correction area of the right-hand panel in the develop module is the place you need to navigate to.

This correction can be done automatically if the lens you are using has a profile. If not, you can choose to correct the imperfection manually.

Our article gives you all of the tips, and examples, you need to understand how to correct lens distortion.

If you want to know more about lens distortion, we have an article for that too.

Aerial shot of a tall skyscraper

How to Remove Chromatic Aberration in Lightroom

Chromatic aberrations are purple or green halos around subjects in the image. They are generally a lens problem and something else that can be fixed in the lens correction panel.

You might even just need to click a check-box to fix this issue.

If this doesn’t fix it, then the de-fringe slider is now your new, best friend. Move this along until it disappears. Simple.

A screenshot of the Lightroom lens correction panel

How to Reduce Noise With Adobe Lightroom

As you’ve no doubt found out by now, using a high ISO will inevitably add noise to your image.

This might be just the gritty style that you are after, but if it’s not, you’ll want to remove it.

The problem with noise is that any process to remove it will affect the quality of the image.

This is because smoothing pixels removes fine details. Removing noise also affects the whole image, and can’t be masked or applied only to specific areas.

This process takes place in the detail section of the develop module, with the noise reduction section. It is helpful to know whether the noise is from luminance or colour.

If you don’t know, you can use both sliders to determine which affects the photograph.

This article offers you more help in de-noising your image.

A diptych showing a before and after comparison of using noise reduction in Adobe Lightroom on a portrait photo

How To Use the Lightroom Lens Correction Panel

All lenses create a sort of distortion. Even though you might not notice these immediately, during the editing process you might find that you need lens correction.

Luckily, Lightroom is the perfect tool for that. At the bottom of the Develop module, it offers a Lens Correction module. Here you can fix the perspective distortion, the lens’s vignetting, and the chromatic aberration.

You can even add the type of lens that you use most often. Lightroom will recognise when you are editing a photo with that lens, and will apply the corrections automatically.

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom tutorials

Lightroom Tutorials for Special Techniques and Processes

Lightroom on Your Smartphone

In recent years, Adobe introduced the mobile version of Lightroom. This is a condensed version of Lightroom CC for your smartphone.

Apart from having the same editing tools as the desktop version, Lightroom mobile is also a great tool for syncing your images with other devices.

You can download this application for both Android and iOS devices. Part of the programme is free, but they are functions that you will have to pay for- unless you have Creative Cloud subscription.

Our guide helps you create an effective smartphone photography workflow with the use of Lightroom Mobile.

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom tutorials

How to Blur Photo Backgrounds in Lightroom

Blurring backgrounds can be a very important tool. If the background is distracting attention from the subject, this is the article you need to look at.

The adjustment brush in the develop module is where you will start. The idea is that you paint the area you want to be affected.

Then the ‘sharpness’ and ‘clarity’ sliders are what you bring down to achieve the desired effect.

One way of making this very easy is to turn on the ‘Show selected mask overlay’ feature. This is before you start painting with the brush.

This will show you what areas will change when you play around with the sliders.

A before and after portrait of a monkey edited with Lightroom blur tool

How to Use Smart Previews in Lightroom

Smart previews in Lightroom are virtual copies of your raw files that Lightroom stores. The software uses these to avoid having to deal with huge raw files during the editing process.

When you are working on your photo in the Develop module, you make alterations to these smart previews, not the original raw files. This means that you will keep your raw images while making changes to the compressed version of each photo.

To see common questions and answers about smart previews, read our article!

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom tutorials

How To Create a Vignette Effect in Lightroom

In photography, a vignette is a reduction or increase of the brightness around the edges of the frame. This technique helps to highlight the centre of the image by removing distractions and making the middle pop.

However, you need to make sure to use this technique sparingly. You do not want to go over the top and add too much vignette because it will create an over-edited look.

You can create a vignette effect in Lightroom in three different ways. If you are interested in more, check out our article!

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom tutorials

How to Create an HDR Image in Lightroom

HDR (High-dynamic-range) is the result of three or more exposures fused together.

These types of photography are multiple exposure-bracketed photos, meaning the three (or more) photos all have different exposures.

This technique is used for scenes where there are dark and light areas with a lot of detail that you do not want to lose.

While in Lightroom, select the images you want to layer and click on Photo>Photo Merge. A preview window will open, giving a few options.

Auto-Align needs to be checked if you were photographing handheld (not advisable). Auto Tone provides a good starting point for an evenly-toned image.

This article helps you know what to look for when merging photographs, and also what to do in case of any troubleshooting.

A ghostly HDR Image of people in Alexanderplatz Berlin

How to Create a Time-Lapse Using Lightroom and LRTimelapse

To create a time-lapse using Lightroom, you first need to take a sequence of images. Typically, using a tripod and an intervalometer.

When you have all the photos, import them into Lightroom, preferably into a separate folder. Go to the first image, edit it for exposure, sharpness and colour management.

Ctrl/CMD+Shift+C copies all the settings. Select all the photos, and use Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+V, to paste the settings across all of the photos.

Select the collection of photos and head to the slideshow module. You will need a template, which you can get here.

Select the template from the template browser. Then click on export video, and choose the resolution you want.

It will take a few minutes to render the video, depending on the number of images.

how to create timelapse in adobe photoshop lightroom

Lightroom Presets

Presets in Lightroom can add tremendous value to your work, and save a lot of time on your workflow.

They are pre-made settings to be added into and used exclusively in Lightroom.

Aspiring photographers, photographic editors and software manufacturers all make their own. They range from free to expensive.

24 Best Free Lightroom Presets

Here is a link to 1064 free presets – ready to use on your photographs. Follow the instructions below on how to install them.

Collection of adobe Photoshop lightroom presets

How to Install Lightroom Presets

Presets are a great addition to your workflow. This article will show you how to add ones you have found on the internet.

It will also show you how you can save your own. This lets you re-use them for all of your photos, saving you time in the process.

how to install presets in Photoshop lightroom cc adobe

How To Use Lightroom Develop Presets

Lightroom presets are a saved set of settings that you can apply to any photo inside the programme. They work similarly to smartphone filters, except for the fact that they are highly customisable and you can save your own settings any time.

You can also download other photographers’ presets and install them on your computer. By experimenting with various presets, you can create a unique and overall look for your photography. It will also help you accelerate your workflow.

Make sure to read our post about tips on using Lightroom presets!

How to Create a Preset in Lightroom

Every now and then, you create an adjustment that is just perfect. It suits your landscape or street photography down to a T.

Knowing how to make a preset and save it means you have it ready to go. A click of a button and your image is ready for sharing or printing.

This is also a perfect method to batch process images of the same subject, time or location. Have it ready soon as to save you time.

A screenshot showing how to make and save a preset within Lightroom

How To Create a Film Photography Look in Lightroom

The film ‘look’ to digital photos is all the rage of late. It might have something to do with the time, energy and money it takes to photograph on actual film.

It is understandable. Why go through the whole process when you can create the look digitally. Personally, nothing is better than the real thing.

Using Lightroom saves you a lot of time. Let it do its job and add those grainy colour shifts to your photos today. All you need is our article.

A stunning mountainous landscape

What is Nik Collection and How to Use It

The Nik Collection is a set of seven premium photo-enhancing filters. They can be used as Lightroom plugins, or as standalone editing software.

Each one of these tools is a whole digital darkroom dedicated to a specific technique.

Downloading the file was a little finicky. The download is available here. You get a free 7-day trial when you enter your email address.

The company DxO, who owns the software, then send you a subscription confirmation email. Clicking on this takes you to the website, which is where you would expect the download to be.

There is no link, no information and no tab for the Nik software. You will receive the download link in an additional email.

This article about Nik Collection gives you an in-depth look at how to use these tools. They operate small programs within Lightroom itself, so a little help is needed.

It also tells you exactly how the tools affect your images. Use them in adjusting your photos.

A screenshot showing how to use Nik Collection for Photoshop Lightroom

Export and Back-Up

How to Export Photos From Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is different in the way that you don’t save images, but rather export them.

When you do, you can choose to keep the original file format or go for the standard jpeg. Others can also be used, but are less common.

PSD (Photoshop default) is an export file that is used with Adobe Photoshop for further editing.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) or DNG (Digital Negative) which was created by Adobe to act as a lossless raw file format.

When you export from Lightroom, the program creates a file that saves all of the modifications you made. This data comes from adjustments and adding metadata.

You can rename the photos, place them in specific folders and even repeat the same process with a click of a button. This is instead of constantly re-opening the export dialogue box.

There are many ways to export. By using the big button at the bottom of the Folders panel in the develop module.

By clicking file>export, with a keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+E or even to set-up social media accounts such as Facebook and Flickr.

A screenshot of installing Photoshop Lightroom presets

How to Back-Up Your Lightroom Catalog

This is the area you want to learn about now, not when it is too late.

Backing-up your data is very important in every case. Hard drives can fail, computers shut down, mistakes happen.

Having a back-up means you can worry less and focus more on your photographic editing skills. There are many systems to back-up your photos. You will need to find one that works for you and your budget. Thankfully the photos are digital. This means you can copy them many times and store them in different places.

Organizing your photographs in Lightroom efficiently is a must. It is also one way you can keep control over your photographs.

If you use one catalogue, it is easier to keep a link between it and the master files.

This article has great tips on what to do, what to look out for and possible situations that you can troubleshoot from.

A USB cable plugged into a laptop

How To Create Photo Book with Lightroom Book Module

Adobe and Blurb partnered up to create a bookmaking module into Lightroom. Blurb offers outstanding print quality. Using the Lightroom book module, you can design photo books and magazines.

You can choose from a variety of book settings, such as the size, the cover and the paper type. Lightroom also offers you different layout options, and you can try which one fits your portfolio the most.

With more advanced tools, like image sizing, adding text and adjusting the cover, you can create a completely unique photo book according to your own needs.

To learn more about the Lightroom Book Module, check out our post!

A screenshot of how to use Lightroom editing

How to Move Lightroom to a New Computer

Moving Lightroom from one computer to another is not a difficult task. However, there are some things you need to pay attention to before transferring this software.

First, you need to prep and backup your folders to make sure your photos are safe. You should also save the presets that you use and the preferences that you set your programme to.

After installing Lightroom to the new computer, you need to relink all the missing files from the Catalog.

If you want to know more, read our article!

A screenshot showing how to move lightroom to a new computer

Conclusion

Lightroom is the ultimate photo editing software when looking for an easy and straightforward tool to post-process your images. It allows you to categorise, organise, develop, export and prepare your photos for printing.

I hope that this Lightroom tutorials article has helped you with photo editing in Lightroom.

If you want to learn more about how to use Lightroom, check out our Effortless Editing with Lightroom course!

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