Why I use Lightroom 4 for photo editing

Why I use Lightroom 4 for photo editing via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

 Lightroom 4 for photo editing has been my go to for a couple of months now. And because it’s done some amazing things for my own photographs, I felt it time to spread the good news.

Update / upgrade to Lightroom 5… the perspective correction feature alone is worth it!

I’ve used Picasa for many years (tutorial HERE) and still use it for some things. However when a photographer friend got wind of me wanting to improve my photos, he had three suggestions.

1. Take LOTS of photos (and delete most)


2. Shoot in r a w.


3. Use Lightroom for photo editing.

I gulped. I didn’t want to fiddle with new things, I just wanted quick and easy. But when I bit the bullet because of his incessant nagging, (yes, that’s what it takes at times!), I quickly realized these steps truly took my photos to a new level.

Why Lightroom? It’s affordable, avail for PC and Mac, quite user friendly, and does an AMAZING job at toning your photos correctly.

You will need other programs if you like collages and funky stuff, but this is the go to in my world for tones.

This post isn’t a precise step by step how to use the program as I’m also learning. But I do want you to see what it can do in a very short period of time.

Lightroom screen Funky Junk Interiors

Above

This is what it looks like when you have a few photos imported into the program. You can see them lined up along the bottom left. If I click on one, it’ll come into view on my screen.

All the tweak controls are on the right. You simply scroll down to view them all. Nothing is hidden. Love that.

Lightroom screen Funky Junk Interiors

Above

You also have the option to view your photo side by side if you desire to watch the progress. I don’t generally but it’s a nice option.

Above 

And here is part of the super easy to use slider bars that sit on the right side of the working screen. 

JPG

Most of us shoot in jpg. With JPG, most everything is done for you, but you have to concern yourself with white balance (ie: yellow hues indoors) and you need to be aware that the more you work on your photos, the lower their quality slips. Never overwork a jpg. Export a copy, work on the copy with as few tweaks as possible, then call it done.

With jpg, you work with what you are given.

R A W

Shooting in raw offers top notch quality. Raw is a massive file which means you’ll get that many more colours for added dimension. Some photos can truly feel like you’ve just walked into that very room.

The best part of a raw file? They’re built so you can fiddle with them to your heart’s content and quality will never go down.

With r a w, you MAKE them what you want them to be. 

Lightroom before Funky Junk Interiors

Above – r a w out of camera

Here is a r a w file. It looks hazy and overexposed and is begging for help.

Lightroom after Funky Junk Interiors

Above – r a w tweaked in Lightroom 

I removed the blue overcast in the room, sharpened, highlighted, lightened shadows and saturated just the green. Having the power to tweak only certain colours and not all is amazing.

Lightroom before and after Funky Junk Interiors

Above – jpg

Here is a jpg. The highlight and luminance features really brought out the galvanized finish in a big way.

Lightroom before and after Funky Junk Interiors iphone

Above – iPhone photo

Here’s a quirky low quality iPhone photo. I lightened, brightened, and sharpened. The luminance feature is wonderful for skin and may even kick a few years off you. :)

Photo studio tour

Above

Here’s an example of removing an unwanted blue hue from an interior shot in my photo studio.

Lightroom export window

Lightroom export window

Above

Here are two shots of the scrolling exporting screen. Everything is in plain english so it’s super easy to understand what to do where.

Lightroom is avail for PC and Mac and sits at around $150ish, so it’s affordable. It really has the ability to take your photos to magazine quality. And even comes with a 30 day trial.

If you’ve been wanting to take your photos to the next level, the slight learning curve is totally worth your while!

Which photo software do you use and/or like?

Blog photography with a point and shoot

Picasa tips can be found HERE.

Photography tips are HERE.

Photography Workshop series is HERE

Photo studio tour

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  1. I currently use photoshop elements, but I’ve been thinking of adding Lightroom too because so then I could shoot in RAW. I love the idea of all the sliders to tweak everything…it seems so simple. Thanks for your thoughts, Donna :)

  2. I have Photoshop 3 that I use for scrapbooking and photo editing. Photoshop does a decent job of editing, but Lightroom would take it to the next level. I have shot in camera raw, but mostly just shoot in jpeg because I am lazy like that. I use ACDSee to organize my files and use it to edit quickly. Heck, most of the time I am too lazy to get the big camera out and just snap away with my point and shoot.

  3. How do you set your camera to shoot in RAW, rather than jpg? I have a Canon PowerShot A650 IS.

    Thanks for another informative post Donna.

    FlowerLady

    • Most cameras have this option, but being that every camera is different, I’d suggest to read the dreaded manual or google how with your particular camera. Some higher end point and shoots have this option too!

  4. I think I must needs check into this. I’ve just been using Picmonkey.com, but haven’t been completely happy with it. I like the idea of being able to control every element in the picture separately, and that things like saturation aren’t just lumped all together. Thanks for the mini-tutorial!

  5. Although I don’t have Lightroom, I have heard all good things about this. Hope you don’t mind that I pinned this to my Photography How To’s. I like that you got specific with RAW shots…I am going to be a bit braver and give it a try. Thanks so much for this tutorial!!! Very inspiring.

  6. What a great post, Donna! Like Danielle, I pinned this post to my Click board. I need some serious guidance and I look forward to checking out your other links. I’m still swooning from the Raising Up Rubies post! This is such an inspiring blog — THANK YOU!

    Warmly,
    Sara
    http://www.studio-sara.com

  7. I am not computer savvy at all.I have lots to learn.So for now I use what is easy and that is picmonkey.
    Your photos are all wonderful!!
    ((((Hugs))))
    Anne

  8. Your examples are beautiful Donna. I always learn so much from your blog! Just wondering if Lightroom is worth it if you’re just shooting with a point n click or phone. (am currently using picasa.) Maybe a follow-up post to address all the questions this post has generated? LOL!

    Thanks for your time and talents.

    Kay

  9. Donna,

    This is exactly what I’ve been needing!! It will have to wait a bit longer but thankfully I now know what to start saving for…. about shooting in the raw??? Does your camera have the RAW + JPEG mode? Have you tried it? And while I’m at it…. can you give any advice for shooting a small interior room with no exterior light? ZERO, zilch, zip… no windows… nada… nothing but the light above the mirror & over head light but a smidge from the hallway light. Its for a photo shoot of the bathroom makeover in the boys’ bathroom… it went from blah to refreshing! with hints of junk, salvage, and cottage. :)

    • Hey Peggy,

      yes, I’ve tried the raw/jpg mode. You end up with two photos of each, one in each format. I end up deleting one anyway so I now just choose jpg or raw.

      No light is nearly impossible to shoot but you can always bring in another source like the pros do. An auto lamp tree bounced off the ceiling works in a pinch. Also switching out to manual is a MUST so you can allow more light into your camera.

  10. Thank you so much for the information when I read your last blog on lighting and how you was able to take distrative items out of the pictures, I said to myself I would like to know how she did that….LOL Now you need to hurry and publish an ebook….I just love the information you share…..willing to pay for it also….!!! Thanks again!!!

  11. This is great info and much appreciated,I know know my pics still need lots of work,This is something I need to consider…and some time…when you have a second check me out and I can take it,so tell me

  12. I may have to think about adding lightroom to my photo editing. hmm. I have heard about shooting in raw but never really tried it. You always provide the greatest tips and ideas. I just need to start using them more. :o)
    Thanks for showing us the way

  13. I LOVE lightroom! LOVE LVOE LOVE! I was using Photoshop elements before and it was ok. But I am so so so happy I switched! I’ve just started shooting in raw more and trying to learn to edit better. My recent post I did of my daughter in a red coat and muff were shot in raw. I think the red turned out way way better and more natural looking than when shooting jpeg.
    Question – when you shoot raw do you also shoot in jpeg or do you go strictly raw?

    • Hi Jill!

      I should shoot in raw but truth is, I don’t. I did a test with this camera and couldn’t see the diff between raw and jpg it’s so good, so I left it as jpg. But anyone serious about saving their photos should consider raw for sure! They save forever! Thanks for the reminder, I should start doing that again.