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If you’re a photographer and you haven’t purchased Adobe Lightroom, you’re missing out. It’s one of the top image editing programs out there and will enhance your images to creative perfection.
Lightroom is a photographer’s best friend. The possibilities with this software are unlimited.
The best part is that Lightroom doesn’t have to be a chore to use. To help you get started, we will show you how to edit in Lightroom like a pro using the basic settings. Here are our steps for editing your photo.
1. Shoot Your Images in RAW Files
RAW files are uncompressed files. It’s a unique type of image format than your average JPEG and takes up more memory on your SD card. It also has to be processed in your camera’s software or it won’t show up when you insert your SD card into your computer.
When you process RAW images, you’ll notice that the photo is darker. Yet, there’s more detail than you would get with a JPEG image. Not all software programs accept RAW images, but Lightroom does.
So, why do you want to use the RAW file format when you edit in Lightroom?
Since the RAW image is uncompressed, editing the image is much easier. You can mess around with contrast or hues without the image looking fake. (If you’ve ever edited a JPEG image, you know that sometimes it can look strange when you change the hue.)
After your images are processed, it’s time to import them into Lightroom for editing. It helps you create folders or collections which allow you to keep everything perfectly organized.
2. Open Up the Develop Module
The “develop” module in Lightroom is the best module for editing. It has the most options for experimenting with your images.
Once you’re in the module, select the image you want to edit.
You’ll see that there are preset edits on the right side of the screen. On the left side of the screen are more detailed settings you can experiment with as well as the histogram.
3. Editing with Presence
Under “Presence”, you’ll see there are several editing options.
First, we’re going to go over the clarity edit in Lightroom. Clarity increases the contrast in your image but it doesn’t affect the black tones or white tones. It only affects the gray tones in the image.
As you increase the clarity slider, your image gets more detailed and sharp. As you decrease the clarity, the more out of focus your image gets.
In most cases, you’ll want to increase the clarity slider to get a crisp look.
Next is the dehaze editing slider which is a unique and super helpful option. When you’re taking photos outside, you might experience fog or even a pollution haze. The dehaze slider removes the fog covering up your beautiful images.
The vibrance slider affects the sharpness and intensity of the color, saturating those colors that don’t pop.
So, if you increase the vibrance slider, those colors are going to come out. If you decrease the slider, the colors become duller.
Last is the saturation slider. This slider increases the color intensity of the image. Instead of just increasing the dull colors, it increases the intensity of all the colors.
4. Editing with Tone
Tone is an important editing tool that you should experiment with. It makes a huge difference to the quality of your image.
Tone editing in photography refers to the range of the lightest to the darkest in an image, called the “tonal range”.
First, there’s the exposure slider. Exposure is simply the captured light. It’s something you should think about when you’re shooting the photo but if you don’t get the right light, you can correct it on Lightroom with the exposure slider.
Contrast is the next editing slider under Tone. The contrast is the difference between the light intensity and dark. If you increase the contrast, your image radiates both the light and dark. If you decrease the contrast, the light and dark in the image take on a flat look.
Highlight is the brightest spot in the image. The higher you move the highlight slider, the more that bright spot is illuminated.
Next is the shadows slider. Just as it sounds, the shadows slider involves the shadows in your image. If you want to increase the shadows, increase the slider.
Next is the whites editing slider. You can increase and decrease the white balance in the image.
The last setting is the black slider. With this tool, you can either increase or decrease the blacks in the image.
These are only a few of the editing tools in Lightroom. There are also advanced settings where you can mess more with the tonal range or hues.
5. Try Presets
Lightroom presets are a way to achieve a certain style photo using preconfigured settings. They help speed up the editing process by allowing you start with settings that work well, then make small adjustments from there if necessary.
Free and paid presets are available for all styles of photography. Here’s an example of free Lightroom presets for portraits to get started. You can even create your own using the adjustments common to your unique style.
6. Export the Image
Once you’re finished editing like a pro, it’s time to export the image. The process is a bit different than what you do in most other photography software.
Exporting images isn’t difficult whatsoever. Start by switching your screen to the Library tab. Click on each photo that’s ready to export. Next, choose the “File” option on the Lightroom screen then click on the “Export” option.
A window will pop-up with options that allow you to choose where you want to export the image to and what file format you want. So, if you want to change it to JPEG, it’s super easy.
The Bottom Line
Lightroom is used by the best of the best and can really make your images pop. Using Lightroom to edit gives you the chance to create the mood you want your image to portray.
We hope this guide helps you create perfect professional photos.