In our latest Adobe Lightroom tutorial we delve deeper into Lightroom’s Tools panel and uncover a host of hidden tricks and shortcuts.
Lightroom 5 is fast becoming the go-to software for many photo-editing tasks. The ability to work with raw files, take your image in numerous non-destructive directions, and process multiple files at once makes it a formidable program.
Two of Lightroom’s greatest strengths are the simple layout and the easy-to-use tools. There are enough tools to cover all of your typical photo-editing needs, but not so many that it becomes confusing.
In fact, Lightroom can look a bit lightweight in settings and controls to the newcomer (especially if you’ve come from Photoshop). But that’s because there are lots of features, hidden tool tricks and shortcuts that aren’t immediately obvious.
In this Adobe Lightroom tutorial, we’ll take a tour of the Lightroom Tools panel and uncover a few choice tidbits of hidden functionality. These aren’t headline-grabbing features, but they will speed up your workflow and improve your handling of the tools.
We’ll give you several great tips for each Lightroom tool – Crop, Adjustment Brush, Spot Removal, Radial Filter and Graduated Filter. (OK, we’ve omitted the Red Eye tool – but let’s face it, it’s a one-trick pony.)
Tips and tricks
If you’d like to know how to flip a gradient, customise crop overlays, quickly retouch stray hairs, copy radial grads, toggle between Adjustment Brushes and much more besides, you’ll find the answers here.
We’ve provided an image for you to use, but these tips and tricks can be used on any image at any time. So read on to take your knowledge of Lightroom’s tools to the next level.
How to get more from the Adobe Lightroom Tools panel: 1-3
01 Enhance the tones
Download our start image and follow along! Open Lightroom 5 then drag tool_tips_before.dng into the Library module. Press Import then head to the Develop Module. We’ll begin with a few quick tweaks to enhance and correct the tones. Set Exposure to +1.38, Contrast to +36, Whites to +37, Blacks to -13, Clarity to +29 and Vibrance to +24.
02 Set Crop tool overlays
Press R for the Crop tool, then X to toggle orientation between horizontal and vertical. Press O to cycle through different crop overlays for compositional guides. You can customise the tool to show your favourite crop overlays with Tools>Crop Guide Overlay>Choose Overlays to Cycle.
03 Switch Spot Removal sources
Press Q for the Spot Removal tool. Paint over the spot on the lip, then when the second source point appears, press / and Lightroom will automatically look for another source. Next, zoom in on the hair. Tidy the messy strands by Shift-clicking between points to quickly draw straight lines.
How to retouch photos: pro techniques in 10 easy steps
Dodge and Burn: how to master one of the most vital photo editing skills
How to use Lightroom to reclaim highlight and shadow detail
77 photography techniques, tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything
Pages — 1 2