Updated: Sep 11, 2019
Michelle and I do most things together, that includes learning to become photographers together. She is not as computer savvy as I, so the lightroom journey was sadly pass to me. I guess you could say I’m the Tech department and she is the English major of this operation. Yes, I will turn this and all other blogs, over to her for proofing and the opportunity to add her twist to the post. We work well together. Learning our strengths and weaknesses early on gave us an advantage.
I have to say, lightroom is a pricey program. I found if you give it time, hang in and dig deep to the inner workings of lightroom, you will find it worth the money. I have to give credit to a fellow photographer, Tim Grey, from whom I have learned much. If you don’t have lightroom, get it here. There are two options. The first option, a monthly subscription, is in the forefront. I opted out of the monthly subscription. The other option, which I chose, is a flat fee for lightroom. Last thing we need is another monthly payment.
As in everything, Michelle and I set out to learn Lightroom with hard work, yahoo, and other photographers like Tim Grey that once again advanced us
deep into the inner workings of lightroom. Sure, I’m not a professional lightroom touchup artist, but I can get the job done. My breakthrough came when I learned that lightroom is no different than many other programs out there. They all have a similar main features, settings, and sliders. The rest is hardly ever touched by the average user. Will there come a time when I need to dig deeper, sure. For now, with great equipment, like most DSLR cameras on the market today, and with care for what you’re shooting, the end result is you won’t need to make many corrections, only a few enhancements.
In my research of Lightroom, I found the program’s main focus is file handling including metadata, keywords, watermarking, file location cataloging, importing, exporting, and social media access. Create and maintain a good catalog. My advice is don’t keep your catalog on the same hard drive as your photos. Put keywords on all your photos on import. Create a minimum metadata preset with company name, address, and the rights or lack of to your photos. Never mess with your photos outside of lightroom as it breaks the links to your catalog. My most difficult accomplishment in lightroom was connecting to Facebook. After many failed attempts, I found if you are attempting to connect Facebook company page, you must manage your page from your personal profile. Lightroom will not connect directly to your page. One other word of advice, any albums you wish to upload should be created on your Facebook page before exporting. I have to admit something funny. I thought there was nothing important about the graph on the far right. I thought it was for nothing other than looks. I figured out how to use the graph, the histogram, after many stupid slider slides to left or right, without knowing anything about them other than how good it looked to me. Just take it from me, learning your histogram and how the sliders interact with it, will improve your touchups 10 fold. I will give you a short intro to your histogram and maybe later a more in depth blog on histograms. To the far left of your histogram, are shadows. To the histograms right, are highlights. The middle is for mid tones. Try to achieve no clipping from far left or right. I usually start with exposure, then, contrast, vibrancy, highlights, shadows, and whites and darks, if needed. I prefer a RGB histogram because it shows you each color.
Features I found most useful and learned the most about are file storage (in my opinion, Lightroom’s main function), the cropping tool, the spot brush, and the histogram with adjacent sliders. I believe, if you learn these main functions and have a decent DSLR camera, in no time at all, you will be touching up pictures in a matter of seconds. All of your major photo edits can be left for Photoshop CS6 or whichever version you own.
I would like to thank Tim Grey, YouTube, Yahoo, and my own determination to learning lightroom 5 . Thank you, Michelle, for putting up with all my nights of ignoring you while deep in thought of yahoo or whatever YouTube video I was into at the time.