episode 22

10 Useful Lightroom Tips and Tricks

Like it or not, but editing still remains a crucial part of photography. There are multiple editing tools that are widely used by photographers – Lightroom, & Photoshop are the most popular ones. Plus, this is a great topic, one that many people would like to learn especially due to the vastness of activities you can do using Lightroom. There are a lot of shortcuts in there that will really help your workflow and make it a lot faster. There are also many cool and easy tricks that will come in handy especially when dealing with videos. We’re going to cover 10 tips necessary for photography in this post. They are: –

  1. Solo mode

I have created a video on this tip and you can check it out on our YouTube channel. You can also subscribe to this channel so you can get the new videos that are coming out weekly.  This basically means a mode for Lightroom automatically collapsing all the modules, the sections in the development module that you are not using at that time. A lot of individuals when they go to edit their photos, let’s say in the basic module and you drop down to the tone curve or something like that, the basic develop module will stay open and you will see all the sliders there and you’ll have the tone curve section open as well. Every time you open a new module it opens the area on the right side where the development module is and it will get very long and you have to scroll down. However, this basically means that it collapses all the sections that you are not using so that you can only concentrate on one particular section.

This is really one of the great photography Lightroom tips and a time saver if you don’t want to scroll up and down and there are only specific items that you need to do to your photos without having all those sections open. To get to the solo mode and turn it on, just get to develop module and right-click where the basic section is and then click on the grey area and you’ll get a new menu in there and a little pop-up. At the bottom, it will show this one. Just make sure that’s checked and then you’ll be able to only see the sections that you are working on at any given time. Speaking of only having certain useful items active in your Lightroom, I would like to talk about the removal of some of the modules that you might not actually use. At the top right, you see the normal module reading Library, develop, map, book, slideshow and web. However, many individuals don’t know that you can actually remove the ones that you do not use. For example, if you don’t care about the map or you don’t Geotag your photos or anything like that, you can actually right-click closer to the library module and this Lightroom trick will give you another menu that pops down and you will be able to uncheck the modules you do not need. Same way if you don’t want to create a book or a slideshow among other things, all you need to do is just right click and uncheck those modules and that’s one of the many ways of removing items and streamlining them in your Lightroom.

  1. Editing videos in Lightroom

Here is a quick Lightroom trick for the same. Many individuals know that if you have a DSRL, a mirrorless camera or any other kind of camera that you import into your Lightroom if you have a movie files on your memory card when you import them into Lightroom, you will notice that you always get a message that says, “video editing is not supported.” That means you cannot do much to your images or photographs. However, there is a pro adobe Lightroom tips if you want to work on smaller clips. So, if you want to edit your videos, you should import them into Lightroom and then go to the thumbnail, right-click and create a captured frame. This will pull one individual frame from your file and once you have that captured frame you can make the local adjustments you want to do to your film on that still frame with the help of an adjustment brush. You can up the contrast, adjust the exposure and all other normal things that you would probably do. Once this is done, just add the two files and sink the settings back to the video. This will inherently change it and apply those settings that you did to the video frame to the file. You can then export it and you’ll have your edited video that has the normal adjustments that you’d typically do to your video when you are not really supposed to be able to make changes to your it in Lightroom. That’s a quick Lightroom trick and a lot of individuals don’t know one can make changes to it in photoshop as well or just drag it into Photoshop and do the normal tasks you can do to your images or photographs in Photoshop. However, this is a great way to do it in Lightroom as well. This is a neat way to be able to make a simple adjustment or change in Lightroom.

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  1. Holding ALT option key on different items in Lightroom

One of the most versatile photography Lightroom tips and tricks you can learn. This will display various different situations in Lightroom. One thing that I use ALT key option for is to sharpen my image. So, if I go to detail slider and you will see the normal sliders such as the amount, the radius, the detail and masking. If you are sharpening the image and you only want to sharpen a selected section of the photo, you can hold the Alt option key on your keyboard and click on the masking slider for example and start sliding that to the right and this will turn your photo or image to some sort of black and white balance threshold view. What that means is that basically everything that is white balance will be sharpened when you move the slider but anything that’s black will not be sharpened. This is a great way to see exactly what’s being sharpened in your image. You can also do it with various other tasks in Lightroom but hold the Alt key when sharpening is probably one of the most useful things you can do.

  1. Dual monitor set up

People don’t know that you can have your Lightroom on two monitors if you have a dual monitor set-up on your computers. What this is really helpful for is that if you have let’s say you want to have your Lightroom catalog pulled up on your second monitor but be editing on your main monitor. You can have all your images show up on your second monitor and still see them all not just in small thumbnail view but as large thumbnails. You can make improvements to particular photos on your main monitor while still keeping the other photos up. The way to set this up is to go to your menu bar > Window > Secondary display and there you have a couple of different options. You can choose let’s say, full-screen view, second monitor preview among various other options you’ll find there and have available to you such as loop view, grey view among others. If you want to take advantage of this, that’s the best way to go about it.

  1. Import preset

This is pretty easy and I do talk about it quite often. Import Lightroom presets are not necessarily a different kind of presets. For example, Sleeklens.com does sell presets but you can use a preset that are made by anyone and use them as import presets. Let’s say like when you import your photos and need to make improvements to them, you typically do the same to every photo or image you retouch. You may apply camera profile, the general amount of sharpening, increase the shadows, saturation or any other changes applied by you to almost every one of your photos and then you fine-tune them from there. What you can do is make a preset for that and when you import your photos to your Lightroom catalogue, you can have that specific preset from the import window and as an import, it will apply those adjustments to each and every photo or image that you import. It’s a very really great timesaver and it doesn’t have to be just a simple effect that you do to every photo or image but it could be a full-fledged effect that is applied by you. Let’s take the Sleeklens preset for example; we have all these all-in-one presets that are like a one-click fix that you can use to apply all these general effects to your photos, you can have it applied all these effects to each and every one of your photos and due to this you don’t have to go to your photos and do that individually. This is something I use all the time just because it’s a timesaver especially if you’re trying to make an adjustment or change a bunch of photos and get them all out and deliver to a client as fast as possible.

To avoid highlights or shadows from getting clipped, the best solution would be to get them correct while taking the photo. However, many times, there is always an option to do it in the Lightroom. In dark areas where shadows are clipped, if you brighten the areas too much, you will be left with excessive noise.

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  1. Lights out mode

This is a cool Lightroom tip for a feature that’s also called Lightbox mode but what it basically means is let’s say you want to have a look your photos with none of the distracting elements around or on your desktops such as other images, icons, folders and stuff like that. You can press the ‘L’ key on your keyboard and when you press it once, it will dim everything in your desktop except your photo or image so that the photo or image can be the main standout on your screen. Due to this, you get a clear idea of how your photo or image looks. If you press it one more time, it’s going to completely blackout everything so that your image is the only thing showing on the screen and again this is a great way to have a look at the photo or image without any kind of color contamination or any distracting elements. If you press it one more time, it will exit the Lightbox and go back to normal. This is a great way to single out your photo or image and help you show your colors all together and ensure that your photo or image looks as good as possible.

  1. Customizing the background during edit

This Lightroom tip works almost the same as the previous one. You know typically how there’s a grey background to the area where your photo or image is when you are in the library module or develop module. You can alter that grey background to a different color. If you are in the develop module or the library module, you can right-click on that grey area that’s in the main central window and a little menu will pop up where it says “background color”. You can change this instead of being a darker grey you can change to white balance, light grey, dark grey, darker grey or even black. To fit your preference, you can customize if you use Lightroom to your liking.

  1. Identity plate

Identity plate is the little Lightroom branding that you might find at the top left of the window where it says Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom CC or something like that. You can change that to any kind of text that you need or even your logo. To change or make an adjustment to this if you are in Window, just go to file menu and if you are on Mac you use Lightroom menu and click on identity plate setup. In the little box that pops up you have the option to change the identity plate to a personalized identity plate and when you choose personalized you can actually have a PNG file of your logo and it will and it will place that at the top of your corner instead of using the Adobe identity plate. You can also do a text version as well, let’s say you select the standardized text identity plate and that will give you the option to type in any name including your name. You can also customize the font style that’s on the module in Lightroom and you can change the color, the weight and various other things. That’s how you can further customize your Lightroom.

  1. Survey mode

This is a little feature that I don’t use often but when I use it, I get a better idea of how my photos look altogether. This is a great method and one of the best ways for looking at your photos in kind of one big group as you see how well they fit together. If you are going for a particular color scheme or color grading effect to your images, this is a great way to do that. What you basically do is select all the photos you want to have a look at and group together and if you have them in a collection you can click Command +Ctrl+ A to select all of them and then hit the “N-key” on your keyboard and this will bring them up in thumbnail view but you can see almost all of them and see how they look together. You will find how the colors go together and whether white balance might be off in a certain number of the images and you can click on each one of them and improve them from there and it will take you back to the survey. If you need to go back to the original mode, which is the grid mode, you can just press the “G” key on your keyboard.

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Smart Previews Edit

Smart Previews are no less than a magic. You can get smaller versions of photos built out of Lightroom classic in your Lightroom catalog so that even when you disconnect you can keep editing.

For laptop users, this is very helpful as they have big image libraries on the hard drive of their system. All thanks to the smart preview, you can continue editing when it’s time for you to leave the hard drive and go somewhere else.

QUICK TIP – In the post-processing stage, ensure that your photo or image is straight. Use the crop tool if you need to. Once the image is straightened out, always see if you can crop it differently.

These are just a couple of photography Lightroom tips which you might have heard about some of them or not heard but they’re things I use almost daily when I’m editing photos and I find that they really help with my workflow especially some of the ones of the import presets are a major time saver. Just play with that and if there’s an effect that you really like to ensure to apply it in your import so you don’t have to do it later.

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