Photo-Editing Tips: Lightroom

Lightroom: The Photographer’s Tool
Mark Comon & Michael Pliskin

Editing your photos in the digital age is a necessity.  Photographers have many choices in editing software, from Lightroom to Photoshop to Photoshop Elements, and even more! It's hard to keep all of these programs straight and figure out which one is the best for your particular style of photography.

Lightroom is an extremely popular choice among many established photographers. The interface is quite intuitive, yet it offers the power to accomplish so many things with your photos in just one program: you can store, sort, edit, add captions and watermarks, and share your photos online or prepare to share them in print.

Lightroom is broken down into a few basic modules, or sections. Library Module is ideal for importing, filing and sorting your photos.  You can create a database of your photos.  The Develop Module is all about “darkroom” work.  Cropping, exposure and color corrections, plus selectively lightening & darkening your photos to make them perfect.  The Map, Book, Slideshow, Print and Web modules are all about sharing your photos… whether in print or on the web.

lightroom tips


Lightroom Tips for Beginners & Advanced Photographers from Michael Pliskin

For Beginners: Since I started using Adobe Lightroom for my Digital RAW photo workflow, I rarely need to use Photoshop for most of my work.  Lightroom creates a searchable, visual library-database of my photos and allows me to easily process and enhance the raw images with the Develop module.

I can then make prints, proof sheets, package prints (like the old school photos with a large image and a bunch of wallet size ones), greeting cards, photo books, web galleries and slideshows directly from within Lightroom. I can export jpgs to Facebook, Flickr or other online social media with ease and relative simplicity.

For more advanced photographers: Did you know that you can easily and automatically create a sharpening mask in the Lightroom Develop Module's Detail panel to limit sharpening to only the edges of the objects in your photo?  By doing this, you will also not  be sharpening unwanted noise and grain.

1. In the Navigator window in the upper left of the screen, select the 1:1 view mode to enlarge your image to fill size.

2. Hold down the Option or Alt key while moving the Masking slider in the Detail panel. You will see the smooth or solid color areas of the image turn black, while the detailed areas and edges of details remain white.

3. Stop moving the slider when all the solid color or non-detailed areas of the image are black. (Usually when the sliders is somewhere between 40 and 60.)  The sharpening will then be applied to only the areas in white on the mask.  (The basic rule of Masks is "Black hides; White reveals")

Get started with Lightroom on September 8, 15, or 29 in one of our in-depth workshops with Michael Pliskin. For more details and to register, click here.

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