For most photographers, Lightroom is the photo editing software of choice. With so many features, it can be hard to navigate and make your pictures the best they can be. As a result, we have compiled ten tips that will make your Lightroom experience more organized and stress free.
1. Keyboard Shortcuts
Lightroom has a ton of keyboard shortcuts that make the editing process faster and smoother. Some of the most useful and popular ones are:
- P to flag an image
- using 1-5 to add star ratings to your images
- 6-9 labels the image by colours
- R in develop mode brings up the cropping tool
- V changes your image from colour to black and white in Develop mode
- X sets your image as rejected
- To zoom into an image, press Ctrl (or Command) +
- To zoom out, press Ctrl (or Command) –
- Ctrl Alt Shift T allows for you to adjust the Tone Curve
- Ctrl Alt Shift S allows for you to ajudst Saturation
Photo by mpourismaiel
2. Applying the Same Edits
There are two ways to copy the settings of an image over to another image. The first way to use the copy button on the left side of the screen which will allow you to pick what settings you want to copy from the image. Once you have done that, you may select what image you want to replicate those settings on and you can use the paste button on the left side.
The second way is to create your own preset. Creating a preset allows for you to pick the settings you want applied to each image and how much of each. This is also a great feature if you use a watermark on your images as you can apply it to every picture you export without having to add it to each one manually.
3. Fine Tune Colours
Sometimes, a specific image has a certain colour that sticks out too much or that you would like to change slightly. The best way to do this is to use the HSL and Color panels in Develop mode. The HSL panel allows for you to adjust the hue, saturation, and luminance of a specific colour whereas the Color panel just adjusts the colouring in the specific shade that you want to change.
4. Customize Develop Mode
The Lightroom workspace can get really cluttered quickly so Lightroom allows for you to customize what you want visible and what you want to hide. With so many panels, it is easy to get overwhelmed. The best way to resolve this is to use solo mode when in develop. This can be achieved by holding control (command) and right clicking the title of a panel and selecting solo mode. Solo mode means that only one panel will be open at a time. When you open one panel, all of the other open ones will close. You can have more than one panel open at once by holding shift and clicking on another panel title.
Photo by rawpixel
5. Use Collections Within Your Catalog For a More Organized Workspace
Lightroom can get disorganized really fast as you continue to upload new images. The best way to combat this is to create collections to organize photos that belong together. This makes tagging and sorting way easier.
6. Store Your Lightroom Catalog on Your Main Computer
Lightroom requires a lot of space on your computer but running your Lightroom catalog from an external hard drive can slow down the program significantly. Keep at least the catalog on your computer for a faster Lightroom experience.
7. Crop Overlays
When in the crop tool, press O to change overlays. This can change the shape of the crop overlay from the basic rectangular grid to a plethora of options such as a spiral or spliced triangles.
8. Sky Editing
Depending on the sky, adjusting exposure can throw off the overall look of the image. A good way to do this is to adjust the luminance slider. Luminance adjusts the colour specifically so it can turn your weak skies into colourful masterpieces.
9. Resetting Your Sliders
Double click the specific slider that you want to reset to send it back to zero or double click on the title in the panel to reset all sliders in that panel to zero. This can be easier than trying to move the slider.
10. Background Colour in Lightroom
Though the image display background in Lightroom defaults to grey, this can be changed. This is useful if you generally display your images on black, white, or an additional colour palette. Just click on the grey area and select black or white to change the colour of the panel.