1. Don’t rely solely on presets
I’m not going to lie, I love presets, and I encourage you to use presets, but I want to make sure that you know how to use them properly.
Well-made presets allow you to apply different looks to a photo and can even show you how to achieve a certain style. While poorly made presets can override any adjustments you have already made to your image and cause you more trouble to try and fix the image back to your liking while hopefully maintaining the preset style.
Keep in mind that you will probably need to make some minor adjustments after applying any preset.
2. Don’t go crazy with ratings
In Lightroom you have many options for rating an image. You can assign a color rating, a star number rating (1-5) and a flag rating. If you start numbering some images blue and some images 3 and some images 2 and some images with a flag… after a while you’re going to forget what the difference is between the 2 and 3 ratings or the color rating.
I like to keep it simple. Images that I like get a 5 star rating and my super-duper-portfolio-totally-awesome images get a flag. Simple as that.
3. Don’t go editing-crazy
Changing your images with the simple movement of a slider is so easy that sometimes you might take it a little too far. Unless you’re going for a very artistic look, be sure to keep your images looking natural. One slider to especially be careful of is the Clarity slider (in the Basic menu). If you pull this slider too far to the left, it will soften the image too much and create a surreal look.
4. Don’t keep the rejects
If you’re like me, you might take hundreds – even thousands of photos. Some of these photos are great, some not so great. As you know, RAW images take up a lot of room on your hard drive. That’s why you need to delete the bad images. I mean those images that you’re never going to use. Like that photo of the person with their eyes closed or that completely out of focus image.
Lightroom has functionality that makes it easy to do this. When you find an image that you want to delete, use the keyboard shortcut “X” to reject it. Once you have gone through all of the new photos that you just imported, go to Photo > Delete Rejected Photos to delete them.
5. Don’t underestimate the power of Lightroom
Once you start getting to know how to use Lightroom better, you will learn that this powerful tool can do almost everything that you want to edit your image. You can use the spot healing tool and adjustment brushes for re-touching photos (similar to Photoshop). Get to know the tools that Lightroom offers and you’ll find yourself doing less bouncing between Lightroom and Photoshop, and you’ll work faster.
6. Don’t forget to use Shortcuts!!!
Like most things, it just takes some getting used to using shortcuts in Lightroom, but once you do you will notice that your workflow speeds up. See this previous blog post for my Favorite Shortcuts. Start with these and then slowly add more into your workflow.
Based out of Canada’s national capital – Ottawa, Ontario, Kristy is a natural light photographer.
This lover of photo editing is primarily a Lightroom user dedicated to sharing her knowledge with others. She will tell anyone who will listen about the amazing power of Lightroom and how it can be your ultimate editing tool. Her super-friendly attitude and obvious love-affair with Lightroom makes her easy to approach with those editing questions you have. She’s your girl. She’s got your back. She’s also happy to chat about shoe sales and Etsy finds so don’t hesitate to contact her.
This lover of photo editing is primarily a Lightroom user dedicated to sharing her knowledge with others. She will tell anyone who will listen about the amazing power of Lightroom and how it can be your ultimate editing tool.
Her super-friendly attitude and obvious love-affair with Lightroom makes her easy to approach with those editing questions you have. She’s your girl. She’s got your back. She’s also happy to chat about shoe sales and Etsy finds, so don’t hesitate to contact her. When she’s not chasing around her toddler son or watching Netflix marathons with her husband (Have you seen Orange is the New Black?), she can be found behind a camera capturing life’s moments.
Latest posts by Kristy Chapman (see all)
- POP QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Lightroom? - August 23, 2016
- Create fun, sun-drenched images in Lightroom - July 15, 2016
- Five Minute Friday: Lightroom Instagram Export Preset - June 10, 2016