Skip to main content

32 Lightroom tutorials to try today: learn Lightroom with our step-through guides

Lightroom tutorials
(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

These Lightroom tutorials and tips will help you learn Lightroom basics and show you how Lightroom tools and adjustments can be applied to real-world subjects. Lightroom expert Sean McCormack walks you through each process with step by step instructions and a video showing how these adjustments are made.

This series originally ran in Digital Camera magazine and we're republishing it here for everyone stuck in lockdown and looking for a new and useful photography project. 

Just scroll or swipe through the list of projects below and tap on any one of them to view the full tutorial. And if you don't yet have Lightroom, or you want to know how to get it, you can click on the links below to get the Adobe Photography Plan trial or choose the subscription plan you want.

Lightroom tutorials

Lightroom tutorial #1: How to recreate print toning effects in Lightroom

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Find out why Lightroom is called a Digital Darkroom: how to make sepia prints, duotones and more.

Lightroom tutorial #2: How to make shots look sharper with Lightroom

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Use Lightroom to discover three straightforward ways to make your favourite photos look sharper and much more detailed.

Lightroom tutorial #3: Noise reduction sliders in Lightroom and what they do

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Discover how Lightroom can help you reduce the artifacts that camera image sensors sometimes add to your shots.

Lightroom tutorial #4: How to correct lens distortion with Lightroom

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Even the very best lens can produce a misshapen image, but Lightroom can easily help you remove the effects.

Lightroom tutorial #5: How to correct perspective distortion with Lightroom

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Discover the smart way to fix those tricky perspective issues that can ruin your beautiful architectural shots.

Lightroom tutorial #6: Draw viewers' attention with a vignette effect

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Focus attention where it’s most needed by taking charge of tonal values using a simple Post-Crop Vignetting control.

Lightroom tutorial #7: Fix skies with ease in Lightroom with a Graduated Filter

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

When there’s too much difference in brightness between the sky and the ground in your shot, Lightroom has the solution.

Lightroom tutorials

Lightroom tutorial #8: Enhance a landscape photo in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

How to make the most of your landscape photos by using a series of different tools available in Lightroom.

Lightroom tutorials

Lightroom tutorial #9: Add color and fill light to a photo

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Find out how the Radial Filter enables you to make precise local changes, rather than affecting the whole image at once.

Lightroom tutorial #10: The smart way to retouch a portrait shot

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

You can enhance portraits to perfection with these straightforward Lightroom techniques.

Lightroom tutorial #11: Enhance your Milky Way photos the easy way

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Combine a few simple techniques in Lightroom and you’ll soon bring out the stellar detail in your Milky Way photos.

Lightroom tutorial #12: Remove unsightly spots from your photographs

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Marks from sensor dust can easily appear in your images, but with Lightroom, it’s simple to make it look like they were never there.

Lightroom tutorial #13: How to edit and retouch a low-key portrait

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Become a dedicated follower of fashion, and learn how to retouch low-key images using the handy tools in Lightroom.

Lightroom tutorial #14: How to simulate a tilt-shift lens effect in Lightroom

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Simulating tilt-shift effects for toy town landscapes is all the rage – but did you know you can use the effect in portraits too?

Lightroom tutorial #15: How to create a vintage-looking portrait in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Discover how to successfully emulate an old-time portrait using a modern-day toolset in Lightroom.

Lightroom tutorial #16: Enhance a night-time photograph with Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

These handy Lightroom tips and tricks will really make your night-time landscape shots pop.

Lightroom tutorial #17: Create a dramatic male portrait in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Lightroom’s editing tools can help you character and drama to your male portraits – apply these techniques to your own shots.

Lightroom tutorial #18: Get the hand-colored look in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Give an ordinary landscape an otherworldly feel when you remove the colour and choose your own hues.

Lightroom tutorial #19: Create a dramatic landscape with Merge to HDR

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

How to use Lightroom’s HDR Merge options to effectively combine a set of landscape photos at different exposures.

Lightroom tutorial #20: Create your own light leaks in Lightroom!

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Add old-school imperfections to your pristine photos with the help of the Graduated and Radial Filters in Lightroom.

Lightroom tutorial #21: Correcting lens and perspective distortions in Lightroom

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

If your building shots are looking squiffy, Lightroom can fix your images so that everything is looking nice and straight.

Lightroom tutorial #22: How to boost a model's freckles in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Add character to your subjects by bringing out their freckles, using techniques that work in both black and white and color.

Lightroom tutorial #23: How to bring back the film look in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Apply a series of Lomography-inspired effects to make your images look like you shot them with an old-school film camera.

Lightroom tutorials

Lightroom tutorial #24: How to create a cool border and signature in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Create a matte border to show off your photos in the Print Module in Lightroom, and discover some automation tricks.

Lightroom tutorial #25: How to merge a raw panorama in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Bring your separate panoramic photos into Lightroom and merge them into a raw file you can edit any way you like.

Lightroom tutorial #26: How to merge a series of exposures into a raw HDR shot

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Merge bracketed exposures into to a single HDR file without losing access to Lightroom’s full raw editing toolset.

Lightroom tutorial #27: How to create a black and white landscape in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Convert a regular color image into a moody monochromatic landscape with tonal contrast and dynamic range.

Lightroom tutorial #28: How to process a moonlit landscape in Lightroom

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Discover the techniques that help you make a night-time sky sparkle after a nocturnal shooting session.

Lightroom tutorial #29: How to 'insta-fy' a photograph in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Avoid manufactured social media filters and create your own Instagram-inspired look – one you can adapt over again.

Lightroom tutorial #30: How shoot and edit classic concert photos in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Get out and about to capture a performance, then deal with the effects of low light and bring out the colour of the scene

Lightroom tutorial #31: How to create a mono masterpiece in Lightroom

Lightroom tutorials

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Take advantage of the latest tools in Lightroom Classic to choose and customise your preferred black- and-white look.

Lightroom tutorial #32: How to develop your own style in Lightroom

(Image credit: Sean McCormack)

Go beyond cleaning up and photo correction as you discover how to add a distinctive look to every shot you take.

About Digital Camera

This tutorial originally appeared in Digital Camera Magazine, the monthly newsstand magazine for all photographers. Why not subscribe to a print edition, and have the magazine delivered direct to your door every month?

Alternatively, we have a number of different digital options available, including:

• Apple app (for iPad or iPhone)
• Zinio app (multi-platform app for desktop or smartphone)
• PocketMags (multi-platform app ideal for Android devices)
• Readly (all-you-can-eat digital magazine subscription service)

If you wanted a printed version of any of our most recent issues we have a selection of back issues to choose from in our online store.

How to get Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is available in two versions: the regular Adobe Lightroom Classic CC designed for desktop users, which is what we cover in this series, and a new cloud-based Adobe Lightroom CC, which stores your files online and offers a similar but reduced set of features. For regular desktop users we recommend Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.

Adobe offers three subscription based Photography Plans which you can click on below. We recommend either the regular Photography Plan, or the Photography Plan (1TB) which costs more but comes with 1TB online storage in case you decide to go with Lightroom CC.

For this set of tutorials and for anyone who likes to work on a single main computer, we recommend the regular Creative Cloud Photography Plan. This is the cheapest way to get started AND it comes with Photoshop CC too.

Read more
How to download Lightroom and try it for free

Best Adobe Photography Plan deals for Photoshop CC & Lightroom

15 Photoshop fixes