A couple of weeks ago I did a session at BlogCamp in Birmingham about Lightroom. I know it’s customary to rush home and speedily publish a post after the event for the atendees, but I hope you don’t mind that I decided to save mine for this month’s Home Life Project tutorial.
Many of you will of course already be familiar with the wonderful powers of Adobe Lightroom, but for those who haven’t embraced it yet here’s a few things you need to know…
What is Lightroom?
Lightroom is part of the Adobe Creative Suite. You can buy it as a piece of stand alone software for about £100 or you can subscribe to the Adobe Photography Plan on Creative Suite for £8.57 a month and get Lightroom and Photoshop. Many people think that Lightroom is the same as Photoshop, but it’s not. In addition to editing, it is a powerful tool that enables you to catalogue and organise your photos. It offers a lot of editing that Photoshop does, but you can’t use layers or introduce extra elements (like text or graphics).
Importing & Organising Photos…
When you import images to Lightroom the software does not “hold” the images inside it, instead you choose a folder somewhere on your computer to store the originals in and Lightroom creates a thumbnail image of the photo which you can “practice” your edits on without damaging the original. It’s only when you choose to export the photo (and save it) that the edits you have been playing around with are applied to the photo and a new version is created.
On import there are several options you can choose including automatically adding custom IPTC information to your photos. IPTC information is embedded within a Jpeg and can be configured to include details of who the copyright of the image belongs to, your email, website and phone number. If your photo ever gets lost it is relatively easy to read this information and correctly attribute authorship.
When you import you can also choose to keyword a batch of photos, so for a holiday you might keyword them “summer, 2016, france, brittany, holiday” so that when you later want to search for all your summer photos or all your photos of france, you can simply browse by keyword.
Once the images are imported you can also filter photos in the catalogue by the camera they were taken on, the lens you used or even whether the photo was taken with the front or back camera of an iPhone
So why should you edit your photos? There are three good reasons….
- Your camera does not capture the “real” version of events, it’s just a camera manufacturers edit and not yours. Jpegs are not all the same they differ depending on how your particular camera was configured. Depending on what you shoot with some are more saturated, some are brighter, some are sharper etc.
- The camera is not as powerful as the eye. Certain scenes, such as ones with a high exposure range, cannot be captured in camera and have to be reproduced in post processing. This method is known as HDR or High dynamic range and people generally think of pretty drastic and extreme edits, but HDR can also be applied subtly.
- Editing helps to define your photographic style as a blogger, photographer or artist
At Blog Camp I did a live edit of a photo for everyone to see and for anyone who missed it I thought the easiest thing to do would be to repeat the edit in a video…
Questions? Read all about it here.
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