An Introduction To Lightroom

Lightroom is a wonderful program. I’ve been using it for the past few years. In this article I am going to give you some Lightroom help, tips and let you know where you can watch a Lightroom video  tutorial I have created for you.

So what’s so great about this program? The fact is that this is a really easy program to use. It’s geared for photography rather than graphics and effects, as Photoshop is.  Photoshop is an awesome program but if you want to do quick edits on lighting, exposure, white balance and other colour manipulations only then Lightroom just might inspire you.

One of the first thing to know about Lightroom is that is has four major tools. These tools are located at the top of the panels; crop, spot removal, red eye removal, graduated filter and the adjustment brush. Each one of these tools plays a fundamental part in editing and manipulating the light within your photo.

Let’s look at Lightroom’s main tools:

Crop tool: The crop tool places a grid over the top of the photo. You then move the edges in to crop your photo. You can move the edges in close to your subject. You can tilt your subject, rotate it and even make your horizontal a vertical one instead.

The spot removal tool is like the clone tool in Photoshop. Once you click this tool, your curser turns into a small circle. Whatever is inside this circle is an area that’s copied. You can place this circle over anything area of the photo. Whatever is inside this circle means it now gets copied over the top of any area want to select. Imagine cutting out a piece of paper and placing it over something else. That’s kind of how it works.

The graduated filter tool is ideal for making skies really blue. You can select this tool and click on the top of your photo. Simply “pull down” the mouse towards the middle. This is like pulling down a semi transparent blind over the top of the photo. You can darken the selection of the grad filter to give skies that “picture postcard blue”. This tool is ideal for beach and landscape photography. It works any direction you place the grad filter. It works from the top down, the bottom up and from the sides inwards.

The red eye removal tool is a handy tool for red eye. In portraiture we can find that the flash creates red spots off the back of the retina. It is caused by a directional light from the flash. To combat this, it’s a good idea to bounce the flash off the ceiling, or use a diffuser. If you can’t do this, and it does create red eye, then this tool can help.

Next the adjustment brush is a handy little thing indeed. The adjustment brush is ideal for selection parts of the photo and making adjustments to them. Let’s say you have a landscape photo. You are quite proud of this photo but feel the trees are too dark in the background. Simply select the adjustment brush, go over the area of the trees (just as you would painting) and then pull down the exposure.

When you select the adjustment brush, another panel will display. This panel is asking what you would like to do within the selection of the brush. In other words, you can darken, lighting, change hue, sharpen, increase colour, etc. This is such a handy little tool because it does not affect the rest of the photo, it simply affects the area you run over with the brush.

It’s exactly like painting with oils or water colour. When you want to do something to an area of the photo, just select the adjustment brush. You will have several options to change an area of the photo in any way you like.

Next we have the history panel. This panel is to the left hand side of the workspace. (A workspace is simply the screen and layout.)  Every time you do something, whether it is using the adjustment brush or alter the white balance, this panel records it. This is ideal for when you want to go back to a certain point. For example if you change the photo to blue, then green, then red you may think “I don’t like the way the photo is now, how do I get back to the point when the photo was blue?” You will find that the “undo” function only works up to a certain point. Whereas the history panel can take you back as far as the beginning of the photo editing process. It is a very handy panel indeed.

Lightroom is a wonderful tool for photographers. It can help you do a variety of improvements. Photo editing is a huge part of photography. Lightroom is easy and simple, and will enable you to do that editing with less fuss. Everything is laid out before you. If you have ever used Camera Raw you will find that these are similar programs in their functions and tools.

About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time.

Comments (4)

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  1. Alan says:

    I like what you guys are doing. Such great photos.

    Keep up the excellent works guys.

  2. Lizzie says:

    Excellent tutorial, thanks Amy!

  3. Evan says:

    Excellent photos.

  4. Sam says:

    Thanks Amy, great tutorial.

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