What is Adobe Lightroom and why do I use it?

Adobe Lightroom (officially known as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom) is a photo management and editing software, also known as a workflow software.

Lightroom catalogs all your pictures and puts them into one place so you can view them easily. Below is a screen shot of what I am currently working on in Adobe Lightroom.

 

Library Module

Lightroom is developed into 5 sections, which are called modules.

Modules

The module that I am in is the library module. Simply put, this is how your photos are organized. You get to see all of the pictures that you took in one easy place.

The way my workflow works is that I create a folder for every event that I shoot and then I name all the files accordingly. When importing photos with Lightroom, it gives you the option of batch-renaming while importing, as well as other useful tools such as applying batch metadata, batch keywords, batch develop settings, creating backup copies to another destination and even the option to prevent Lightroom from importing suspected duplicates.

Metadata is basically the information stored behind the pictures. They store a bunch of useful information. Straight from the camera, pictures have metadata that contain the date and time that the picture was taken, as long as the make and model of the camera as well as the technical information (aperture, ISO, shutter speed, white balance), whether flash was used and focal length.

For me in metadata, I include things such as my name, my phone number and my copyright info.

Import

 

 

As you can see above, I choose to rename my files during the import process.Neon Trees Concert-083 is easier to make sense of than IMG_3289 right? It just makes sense easier. It literally takes 5 seconds, so why not?

Develop settings are basically groupings of edits that you can apply to all your photos if you so choose. I have a standard develop settings that I apply to every single photo that I import. Examples of things that can be applied are changes in color adjustments, cropping and white balance. As you can see, I named mine Magic Mix (by George Wu). I know I’m silly sometimes! :) I’ll share my Magic Mix with everyone in a different post.

Ok, so keywords are words that you use to help you identify your pictures so that you can find them easier in the future. I always use keywords. Its best to make your keywords as specific as possible.

Back to my workflow. After importing my pictures, I go through the pictures deleting any that are out of focus or too blurred to ever be used, while also selecting all photos that I like and putting them into a ‘collection’. A collection is as it sounds. Its just a collection of pictures.

People may ask why even use a collection? Let me take you back to this screenshot.

Library Module

A quick glance at this, I notice that file 95 and 96 are fairly similar (the bottom right picture and the picture next to it). I may choose to only include one on the set of images that I give to the client. However, neither is too bad of a picture, and I wouldn’t choose to delete the one I didn’t choose.

After I go through putting all the pictures that I like into the collection, I save it and name it accordingly. Then I go to the Develop Module.

Develop Module

 

This is getting to be a long post. I guess I’ll just have to make it into parts!

Develop Module will be released in part two!

 

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