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.
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.
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.
And here is part of the super easy to use slider bars that sit on the right side of the working screen.
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.
Above – r a w out of camera
Here is a r a w file. It looks hazy and overexposed and is begging for help.
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.
Above – jpg
Here is a jpg. The highlight and luminance features really brought out the galvanized finish in a big way.
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.
Here’s an example of removing an unwanted blue hue from an interior shot in my photo studio.
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?
Picasa tips can be found HERE.
Photography tips are HERE.