In our latest Adobe Lightroom tutorial we explain the basics of this great photo editing software and reveal 6 of the most important details every beginner should know.
Adobe Lightroom 4 is a powerful program for managing and enhancing your images. Easy to use, simple to navigate and reasonably priced, it’s rapidly becoming the best choice for photographers who don’t necessarily need the depth and processing power of Photoshop.
Here we’ll give you a quick guide to Lightroom, from importing your images to experimenting with handy tonal presets and making a few essential edits.
The Lightroom 4 interface is separated into seven different modules designed to take you through the entire editing process, from categorising your images and choosing which to work on, to printing them out or sharing them.
The Library module lets you categorise your images by adding keywords, star ratings and collections. Keywording may not be the most exciting job in the world, but a few minutes spent here when you first download images can save time in the long run.
The Adobe Lightroom Develop module enables you to make simple edits like cropping and sharpening, as well as more creative effects like tonal shifts and selective adjustments.
Adobe Lightroom Basics – 01 Import your image
Open up Photoshop Lightroom 4, then choose Library from the list of modules at the top right of the interface. Click on the Import button at the bottom left, then use the collapsible folders in the Source panel to navigate to your file. Select the image, then hit Import.
Adobe Lightroom Basics – 02 Add a keyword
Highlight the image thumbnail, then go to the Keyword panel on the right. Click in the text box then type ‘monk’.Now, if you need to find the file at any time, go to Text along the top of the main window and type ‘monk’.You can also search your image by other characteristics using Attribute and Metadata.
Adobe Lightroom Basics – 03 Experiment with Presets
Click on the Develop Module, then go to the Presets Panel on the left of the interface. You can experiment with the colour presets here. If you need to undo an effect, scroll down to the History palette and click back through history states. Go to Lightroom Effects Presets and choose Light Grain.
Adobe Lightroom Basics – 04 Crop to horizontal
Grab the Crop Overlay tool (below the histogram on the left) then drag the crop overlay to crop the top and bottom of the frame, transforming it from a vertical to a horizontal image. Double-click to see the results of the crop (you can adjust the crop at any time by clicking back on the tool).
Adobe Lightroom Basics – 05 Enhance the tones
In the Basic sliders set Temp to +5, Tint to +11, Highlights to +38, Clarity to +11, Vibrance to -20 and Saturation to +9. Grab the Graduated Filter tool and drag a gradient from the right to the centre. Set Exposure to -1.61 and Highlights to -68. Drag in from the left to make a gradient and set Exposure to -2.07.
Adobe Lightroom Basics – 06 Make selective adjustments
Grab the Adjustment Brush tool. Zoom in to the face, then click on the skin to set a pin. Set Brush Size to 7 and Clarity to -55. Paint over the hotspots on the face to soften the skin. Next, click New, then click on the monk to set a second pin. Paint over the entire figure, then set Exposure +0.49 to lighten him.
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