back to top

Fstoppers ‘Introduction to Lightroom’ Course Review

A- A+

Subscribe Below to Download the Article Immediately

You can also select your interests for free access to our premium training:

Your privacy is safe. I will never share your information.

Today, I’m reviewing Fstoppers’ Introduction to Lightroom (dubbed the Ultimate Crash Course).

Let’s see if you should consider getting a copy.Fstoppers Introduction to Lightroom course product image[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]

Overview

Introduction to Lightroom is a roughly 7-hour long beginner-level Lightroom course. It was released in 2014.

Who Is Introduction to Lightroom For?

The title gives us a slight hint here. It’s primarily made for beginners who are completely new to Lightroom and image processing.

Now, some beginner courses offer similar sections, why do you need a complete, separate course for that? You might ask.

To understand and appreciate what Lightroom can do, you need to dig in slightly deeper.

Introduction to Lightroom by Fstoppers offers you not only the basic set of tools but also the right approach and philosophy for editing.Black and white street image from Fstoppers Introduction to Lightroom course

Contents

Introduction to Lightroom is made up of 36 chapters.

The course focuses on showing Lightroom’s image editing capabilities. Two-thirds of the chapters are about that.

This stands in contrast with SLR Lounge’s Mastering Lightroom course. There, the focus is on workflow optimization and speeding up processing. And this is one of the two key differences between the two, the other being currentness.

So, these are the chapters you’ll find in Introduction to Lightroom:

  1. Creating a Catalog and Importing
  2. Interface Module and Basics
  3. Scratching the Develop Module Itch
  4. Important Pre-Work Optimization
  5. Scratching the Develop Module Itch
  6. Culling and Organizing Images
  7. Diving into RAW
  8. Using the Library Filter System
  9. Batch Processing and Synchronizing
  10. Fix Those Underexposed Images!
  11. Overexposed, Not to Worry!
  12. Adding Brushes for an Extra KICK
  13. Maximizing Dynamic Range
  14. Awesome Panoramas
  15. Timeless Black and Whites
  16. Going Vintage with Curves
  17. Soft and Silky Skin Tones
  18. Poppy Portraiture
  19. Bright and Airy Colors
  20. Extreme Crops
  21. Ordinary to Extraordinary
  22. That Magazine Matte Finish
  23. Retouching in Lightroom, YEP!
  24. When to Retouch in Photoshop
  25. Ruggedly Strong Black and Whites
  26. Getting Wild on the Dance Floor
  27. Soft and Creamy Newborns
  28. Tilt-Shift Baby!
  29. Producing for the Mood
  30. Detail Shots to Impress
  31. How Presets Can Change Your World!
  32. Lightroom + Video
  33. Exporting for Print
  34. Exporting for Web
  35. Importing via Tethered Capture
  36. Advanced Exporting Methods

All image files that you see throughout the course are also included and available to download.A black and white portrait of a man in a tuxedo

About the Creators

Fstoppers is an online community aimed at educating and inspiring photographers.

It was started in 2010 by founders Patrick Hall and Lee Morris in Charleston, SC. Fstoppers has since grown into one of the most popular resources for photography education.

Introduction to Lightroom, however, is not presented by either of those guys. Instead, it’s authored and taught by Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge.

He is one of the founders of SLR Lounge and Lin & Jirsa Photography. He’s also one of my favourites when it comes to teaching photography.A portrait of Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge

Price

Introduction to Lightroom is currently available for purchase at $129 from the Fstoppers store.

To be honest, I find this price slightly too much for a great but ageing intro course. It’s also higher than its competition on the market.

If you’re for any reason not satisfied with the product, you’re eligible for a full refund. This a welcome addition, although quite a standard one today.

You also get a discount on any other Fstoppers course you buy after this one.Wedding portrait of the newlywed couple lying on the grass

What I Loved About Introduction to Lightroom

Don’t get me wrong. This is a great course. Judged only by its age, it could’ve been much much worse, but the positives generally make up for that. So, let’s see these first.

Clarity

Being an intro course, this is key. Pye shows us every step you need to take and everything you need to clear up in your mind to get ready for editing.

While editing, he is very clear and easy to follow. Having watched Mastering Lightroom from SLR Lounge, I can say that the language here is easier to understand.

The line of thought, as in why and how we do things in Lightroom, is also clear.

You’ll have no problem understanding everything in this course, even if you’ve never opened Lightroom before.

Close up portrait of a toddler outdoors

Focus on the Goals of Editing

Many course presenters make the mistake of teaching Lightroom by going through all its functions in a horizontal way.

Introduction to Lightroom is different. There’s a short tour of the software included, but the function of specific buttons and sliders is not at all the focus. The focus is on getting the looks you want out of your images and using the proper tools for that.

Here, you’ll learn Lightroom by editing images from start to finish, while getting to know new functions with each new example. However, the emphasis is always on the end result.

And if you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. People watching your images won’t wonder which slider you pulled back to achieve a certain effect. Instead, they will be curious about the general process and your underlying ideas.Atmospheric portrait of a little girl in a red cape beside a wolf

Style

Pye Jirsa has long been one of my favourite presenters in this industry. The way he mixes entertaining and fun teaching with accurate and full coverage of various matters in photography is quite unique.

The course, while disclosing a lot of new information for beginners, doesn’t feel overwhelming at all. Instead, the style of presentation is quick, but friendly and fun, which makes learning comfortable.

Accuracy

I’d love to not have to make this point over and over again, but some courses are disappointing in this respect. Thanks to the hard work of Pye and others, this is not at all the case with Introduction to Lightroom.

Everything Pye says is accurate, on-point and really hard to argue with, even 6 years after release. The core of Lightroom hasn’t changed much in this time.

Areas to Improve

Relevance and Place on the Market

Introduction to Lightroom is in a strange situation in 2020.

Having been released in 2014 and covering Lightroom 5, it shows its age in some areas. In those 6 years, new tools and functions have been added to Lightroom, some drastic and some quite subtle. We’ve seen new sliders, better local adjustment options, better transforming options. A huge addition to Lightroom has been cloud integration and the arrival of support applications for smartphones and tablets.

These haven’t changed the fundamentals of how we edit our images in Lightroom. But they have opened up new possibilities for professionals and beginners alike.

SLR Lounge has released a fantastic new Lightroom course recently, called Mastering Lightroom. With a slight difference in focus and emphasis, this course covers very similar things, including the basics. It also features Pye Jirsa as host and has similar great style, clarity, and production. Furthermore, it’s available for the same price of $129.

I would consider Mastering Lightroom the successor of the Introduction to Lightroom product.

Lack of Online Streaming

This issue is the most severe but also the easiest to fix. Unlike every other photography course provider, Fstoppers doesn’t offer online streaming.

This means you have to download the episodes, whether you want offline access or not.

It’s quite a bothersome process, to be honest. You get multiple compressed .ZIP files containing the videos and the image files, and they’re large. You have to unzip them or wait minutes to watch the episodes without unzipping. The video files themselves are also large.

For viewers with less powerful computers than what I happen to have, this will be even more lengthy and annoying. So, Fstoppers, please include an online streaming option as soon as you can.

Other Alternatives

There’s another comparable product on the market.

Contrastly’s Decoding Lightroom is a great choice for the hobbyist photographer who wants to learn Lightroom’s ins and outs. You don’t need to have any former knowledge to take this course.

Yet, it has the potential to take you to a level where you will intuitively use even the more hidden features of the application.

It’s available for a comparably low price of $48.

Our Verdict

Judged based on its qualities, Introduction to Lightroom is an excellent course.

However, for everyone except complete beginners, I’m more confident recommending Mastering Lightroom instead.

To purchase Introduction to Lightroom, head over to the Fstoppers store.

Scores

To standardize and compare our product reviews, we’ve decided to use a scored-based ranking system. To learn more about interpreting these numbers and how other courses measure, please visit our review roundup page here.

Value for Money (20)
16
Coverage (20){{column-name-2}}: 17
Accuracy (20){{column-name-2}}: 18
Ease of Learning (15){{column-name-2}}: 15
Production Value (15){{column-name-2}}: 14
Uniqueness (5){{column-name-2}}: 0
Community and Learning Support (5){{column-name-2}}: 5
Total (100){{column-name-2}}: 85

Don’t forget to check out our own course – Effortless Editing With Lightroom

Want More? Try Our Lightroom Processing Course

Do you know how to use Lightroom to bring out the details hidden inside your images?

Lightroom is a great program, but with countless sliders and tools… it’s hard to know how (and when) to use each of them.

That’s why we’ve created the most complete and up-to-date training on Lightroom.

Show Comments (0)