Your photo editing doesn’t have to take all day. In this Adobe Lightroom tutorial you’ll discover how to speedily sync your raw files and save hours of screen time.
Hands up who wants to save time with their photo editing? That’ll be everyone, then. The good news for Lightroom users is that the program has a number of useful time-saving features that allow you to fix and improve multiple images at once.
Most notably, the brilliant Sync Settings command can potentially shave hours off your editing time.
It’s simple: make a series of edits on one image, then choose to copy the settings to other images. What’s great about it is you can either synchronise all of the settings, or pick and choose exactly which ones to use.
Say, for example, that you have a set of raw images where the lighting is fairly consistent throughout. You might begin by fixing white balance in the first image, then boost the contrast and remove a couple of sensor marks.
It makes sense to synchronise the white balance fix across the image set, and you could also choose to synchronise the boost in contrast if you want to maintain a consistent look and feel.
You can even synchronise the spot removal to eradicate the recurring sensor mark in the rest of the images. This means you have the flexibility to apply all the edits, or pick and choose which ones are right for the set.
Alongside Sync, there’s Auto Sync, which works in much the same way, but with Auto Sync you begin by selecting the images, then any changes are applied to everything at once.
In this Adobe Lightroom tutorial we’ll take a look at both features. It only takes a few minutes to master, and could save you hours of screen time.
How to sync raw files in Adobe Lightroom
01 Import and correct
Go to the Library Module and click Import. Navigate to your images and click Import. Go to the Develop Module. Click on the first image in the filmstrip then grab the White Balance Selector. We clicked on the grey backdrop to fix white balance, then set Contrast to +20, Shadows to +10 and Vibrance to +25.
02 Sync similar images
Go to the Tone Curve Panel. We chose Blue from the RGB drop-down and drag the curve line up slightly. Now go back to the filmstrip. Hold Ctrl/Cmd and click images two and three, then click the Sync button. Click Check None then tick White Balance, Basic Tone and Tone Curve. Click Synchronise.
03 Use Auto-Sync
Click your fourth image in the filmstrip, then Shift-click your next image. Click the switch next to Sync to enable Auto-Sync. Now changes affect all three images at once. In the Basic Panel, set Temp to -11, Tint to -21, Exposure to +0.12, Contrast to +13, Highlights to +19, Whites to +76, Blacks to -37, and Vibrance to +22.
04 Remove sensor marks
Click the switch again to turn off Auto-Sync then press Ctrl/Cmd+D to deselect. Click on any image and zoom in to the top left corner. There are two recurring sensor marks. Grab the Spot Removal tool, set Spot Edit to Heal and Opacity to 100 in the tool options, then paint to remove the marks.
05 Sync spot removal
Press Ctrl/Cmd+A to select all six images, then click Sync. Click Check None, tick Spot Removal and click Synchronise. Press Ctrl/Cmd+D to deselect, then click through to check the spot removal. In our fourth image it’s gone slightly wrong over the hair, so we clicked the spot and dragged the source circle to a better area.
06 Export the set
Select all the images with Ctrl/Cmd+A, then go to File>Export. Here you have lots of options to change the file format, resize to a specific pixel length or batch-rename your set. You can also choose from presets or create your own. Choose Image Format: JPEG then click Export.
When selecting files in either the Library Module or the Develop Module’s filmstrip, there are a few speedy shortcuts. Ctrl/Cmd+A will select all, while Ctrl/Cmd+D will deselect all. Ctrl/Cmd-click an image to select or deselect multiple files from a group, and Shift-click from one file to another to select them and everything in-between.
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