5 Ways to Use Lightroom Effectively
by Margaret Penney | June 22, 2016
Lightroom is a great application for enhancing and color-correcting images. Knowing how to use it well will save you much time and effort on your photography and design projects. We’ve compiled some sure-fire ways to help you use this application effectively.
1. Try Luminance not Saturation
If you have natural outdoor images of beautiful blue skies, rivers, trees and flowers consider using Luminance to amp up the color versus Saturation. You will likely get more realistic to life results and Luminance will also play nice with skin tones unlike Saturation which may turn any figures in your photos orange if overused.
2. Correct Skin Fast
A quick way to fix skin in your images is to bring up the Brightness, this works effectively for images where the skin looks a bit sallow, dark or red or where there is not enough direct light on the figure. Brightness also helps to make some of the details drop off, like large pores and wrinkles. Once you’ve added brightness you can also use Luminance on both Red and Orange to reduce red patches. Finally, Lightroom also has a built-in tools that works quite well, the Soften Skin adjustment brush and the Spot Removal tool.
3. Use Smart Collections
One of the best things about Lightroom is how easy it is to organize your photos into groups and sets. You can use Smart Collections to create folders for rejected images and/or your best images to help clarify the editing process. If you have a website design with the same image at a variety of sizes you can use Smart Collections to organize each size into folders. You can also use Smart Collections to organize your photos by different processing methods or file types or organize them by year so it’s easy to find an old project quickly.
4. Use Compare Mode
Compare Mode is incredibly useful if you have multiple shots with only minute differences. To find Compare Mode select two similar images and hit C on your keyboard. To make an informed choice you can dim the lights in the app by clicking L and this helps to see more detail in the images.
5. And When in Doubt, Right-Click
Right-clicking is a very fast and effective way to find context-sensitive options within Lightroom. You can practically process an entire image with the menu items found on Right-Click.
Margaret Penney is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Margaret is a teacher, designer, writer and new media artist and founder of Hello Creative Co.