For a longtime if you would edit your photos, every body would tell you “oh you photoshopped your photo”. Photoshop actually became a verb meaning that you “cheated” photography by enhancing the colours, removing or adding some elements or polishing your portrait shot for soft skin effect.
Every photographer I have known swore by photoshop to edit photos. I tried it once and even though you can create incredible edit of your photos. I was overwhelmed by all the adjustments available to edit one single photo. It was not user friendly enough for me to include it in my daily photography workflow.
But then one day after following a few photographers on social media, I heard of a software called Adobe Lightroom. It changed the photography game and made editing accessible to anyone with a bit of knowledge of photography editing. This software is way more user friendly and here are a few reasons why I’d recommend it if you would like to step up your photography game.
Lightroom is the perfect blend of what you need as a photographer. Whether you are a hobbyist photographer or a professional photographer. It was designed by a team of people who love photography as much as you do.
It is an image management and editing program created by Adobe.
Here is what you can do with it.
Process RAW files
If you want to step up your photography game you need to start shooting your photos in RAW. It is a format that allows to capture way more information on your photo than JPEG format. JPEG format is a processed image made by your camera in order to create a look similar as the moment you captured the photo. If you would try to edit your photo, you will decrease the quality of the photo.
In the contrary, with the RAW format, you are the one in control. You can alter any adjustments you like on your photo without affecting the quality of the photo. You can remove colours, increase contrast, adjust the exposure, adjust only certain parts of your photo, the possibilities are endless.
The downside is that who says more information, says more space will be taken on your memory card per photo. So make sure to get a high speed and capacity memory card.
Lightroom covers all steps of the post production photography process. You can import your images, sort them out, tag them with keywords, organise collections, process RAW files, create slideshows, print photos, create web galleries etc…
It is the perfect tool box for every digital photographer.
If you are into photography, I am sure you have heard of the word preset. But what are they?
Basically, Lightroom presets record all the adjustments made on a specific photo so that it can be used again on a similar photo in just one click, rather than applying all the adjustments again.
With Lightroom classic, the desktop version, you can apply one preset to a batch of photos and edit them in one click.
So if like me you take hundreds of photos during your holidays, using presets will help you spend less time editing your photos and you will be able to share them faster on your social media or for your blog post if you are a blogger.
I personally use presets for my Instagram and work assignments as It truly help me deliver my content in a matter of a few clicks in a few minutes.
Here is an example of one of my latest presets I created for this Fall season. I used it throughout a set of photos to give that unique look to my Instagram feed and make everything look cohesive keeping the orange tone on all my photos.
It is an extra step for sure, but as a photographer, you have to stand out online. And the best way to do so is to wow your viewers once they land on your profile. If you would like to know more about creating a unique look for your Instagram, check out this article Edit Your Instagram Photos Like A Pro With Lightroom Presets.
Whether you are working with RAW files or JPEGS, Lightroom does not edit the original files. When you make adjustments to an image, you are actually creating a set of instructions for how Lightroom should save a copy of your original image. These instructions are stored in Lightroom catalog under the file format XMPs.
No need to worry anymore about messing up and not being able to restore the original image. YAY!
As mentioned earlier, Lightroom is way easier to learn than photoshop. Sure you will need to learn a few photography editing terms and get familiar with the interface. But with practice you will get over that learning stage very quickly. This software is more straightforward and easier to learn than Photoshop.
Lightroom used to cost $299! But since they launched their creative cloud plans, you can now use it from 12,29€/month only. This is the photography plan and includes everything you need to start a photography freelance business if that is something you are interested in.
Lightroom CC is now the mobile version of the software and is connected to Adobe Creative cloud service which allows you to store up to 20GB with the Photography plan. Imagine having the same adjustment tools than the desktop version available in your pocket. You can also import your desktop presets to the mobile version to edit your photos faster. Or create and save your presets directly in the application.
This has increased the speed of my edit tremendously. I can now take a photo on my mirrorless camera in RAW format, transfer it to my phone, open Lightroom, apply a preset, apply a few tweaks and post it on social media in less than 5 minutes top! #whaaaat
Overall Lightroom is a very powerful application I recommend to everyone willing to step up their photo editing skills. Once you will know how to master the software, editing your photos won’t be the dreading moment of you sitting in front of your laptop for hours editing. I take on average a thousand photo when I travel to a location and edit my photos in about 1 or 2 hours max thanks to Lightroom features. And thanks to the storage features, I am able to re-collect a specific photo by using keyword or looking through folders created every time I import my photos.
If you are serious about photography, Lightroom is the software you need to use.