Tips for Lightroom for Beginners

Okay, here you are. You took the perfect picture, but something is missing. You decide to open up Lightroom, you dragged the picture to the software, and now you're sitting here. Welcome! Here's 5 quick tips to getting around this program (if you're a newbie!) Let's get started.

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The first tip to transforming your photographer towards a masterpiece is through flattening it. This is done by enabling profile corrections. According to one of our photographers, Ian, photos have a natural curve to them. This curve is due to the nature of the camera lens. Having these alterations on photographs, if not intentional, can make you tilt your head and wonder what's "off." Flattening the photo converts the image to a more natural view on it; the photograph suddenly looks like what your eye sees, not what the camera sees!

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Always remember that it's getting better.

Another photographer, Robert, says that Lightroom may be hard to get used to at first, but it's 10x faster than what he started with. When he first began to shoot for weddings, he would edit his photos simultaneously with Photoshop and Bridge. The difference in time between Lightroom versus Photoshop/Bridge was nightmarish!

One important feature Lightroom brings to the table is it's ability to batch process photos. That basically means that instead of editing each photo extensively and separately, you're able to do them all at once. In Lightroom, you gain the ability to plug in presets and apply them to all of your photos. The next step is to go through and color correct, which may take a while if you're new to this program and have an untrained eye. Yet, this method significantly beats the Photoshop/Bridge combo when it comes to speed. 

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Never feel embarrassed to ask for help! It's okay to ask for help, and it's okay if you don't know what you're doing. If everyone knew everything, we wouldn't have jobs or purpose! Everybody you meet knows at least one thing you don't know, or is better than you at something. So, if Lightroom isn't your thing or you just can't wrap your head around it, ask someone you know who could help! 

Robert suggests looking up lynda.com. The website features a lot of helpful links and videos to help you navigate the world of Lightroom, Photoshop, and more! 

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Use the correcting brush to smooth out any oddities. Everybody has their days, and sometimes you wish you could make a pimple disappear. Luckily with Lightroom, that's possible! Not only pimples, but the brush allows you to make any other unwanted appearances--on your skin or otherwise--vanish! Beyond minor vanity corrections, Lightroom allows you to blur any unwanted distractions in the background that might take away from the Photo's subject, as well. 

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Another simple tip is to compare the photograph that you're editing with, with others you've already edited. 

Go through your photographs when editing so you have a fairly consistent look in all your photos. Beyond this helpful hack, comparing your photos gives your brain a break. Sometimes when you stare at a photo long enough, everything begins to look the same, and your final result could be too blue or too yellow. By clicking through, you allow your brain to take a breather and re-center itself. 

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Yet, the most important tip for beginners--as cliché as it sounds--is to not give up. Humans aren't perfect, but practice makes better. Even if you get disheartened, just know that every time you go back to Lightroom to try again, you'll know more than you did before! Your brain is an amazing part of you, storing helpful information, and allowing you to learn from mistakes and produce better work the more time you put into it. 

Have fun and good luck with your endeavors! 

Sarah Marie Adamson