Let me start by saying, I am no professional when it comes to navigating Adobe Lightroom. I do what works for me and I keep it pretty simple. Photography isn’t my business, so I don’t have hours upon hours to spend editing photos, but I DO like pretty pictures, so I figured I would share what I’ve learned since I started using the program. Today I’m breaking down 3 simple Lightroom hacks every amateur photographer who uses the program should know. Let’s get started!
3 Lightroom Hacks Every Amateur Photographer Should Know
1. Presets. If you like all your photos to look a certain way, then I cannot recommend Presets enough for batch editing. A day at the beach in the same lighting is instantly edited to my liking using presets that I can put together and save ahead of time. For example, I know I like light, bright and colorful photos, so I adjust my presets accordingly. To create a preset go to Develop > New Preset > Pick A Name & customize. I typically name my presets things like “Beach Preset” or “Indoor Food Photography”. Alternatively, you can create a preset from a previously edited photo by going to a photo that has been edited to your liking, clicking the + sign beside presets and creating a new preset that way. I will warn anyone who is using these that the preset doesn’t always do your photos justice, especially if you decide to batch edit and run through 200 photos at once. If the lighting is even slightly different, your photos will not look uniform.
2. Luminance. I don’t know about you, but I sweat — a lot. Spoiler alert: It’s hot here in Hawaii. Sweat + photos = bad combo. Not to mention acne, sunburn, splotchy color — whatever! Skin can create a whole mess of problems when it comes to photos and in that case, I turn to Luminance. If the skin looks uneven or slightly greasy, I will first try adjusting the brightness. Specifically, red and orange. Another tool you can use is the “Soften Skin” tool, but I’ll be honest, I’m not too good at this one and sometimes it looks like I’m staring at a KY ad — too sensual for my liking! I think given more practice, it would be a practical tool for me, but the Luminance has always done what I’ve needed.
3. Split Toning. Sometimes the look of retro photos is cool to me, so for this, I use split toning. You can also create a split toning preset if this is really your jam. This can easily be done by going to Split Toning and adjusting the slider balance bars for saturation, highlights, etc. This is a fun tool to play around with, because not only can you recreate fun retro photos, (think 1960s appeal) you can really change up the look of a normal photo’s coloring. I like it a lot and often use this tool to edit flowers. The key thing to remember with split toning is that it should be used when you want dramatic results!
Do you use Lightroom to edit your photos? What is your best tip/trick?
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