Lightroom Tutorial for Beginners

Lightroom has powerful tools that empower you to enhance the overall photo as well as do selective editing to make your photo(s) stand out.

In the previous blog, we explained how to import & organize your photos (using Library Module in Lightroom).

Now, let’s understand how to:  

  1. Edit your photographs (using Develop Module in Lightroom)
  2. Export your photographs (using Library Module in Lightroom)

Here’s a Photo of Garganey Ducks in the Lake

Original photo as shot

I remember – the original scene that I shot was brighter and more colorful.

Let’s work in the Basic Panel and Color Panel of the Develop Module to enhance this photo to match the original scene.

Remember, you will have to experiment with the edits depending on the adjustments/edits that your photo needs to transform it from ‘Good’ to ‘Wow’.

Edit your photographs (using Develop Module in Lightroom)

1) Basic Panel

The photo is a little dark, let’s brighten it by increasing the Exposure to 0.75 in the Basic Panel of the Develop Module. 

lightroom editing
Increase Exposure to 0.75

To enhance the photo – let’s make the dark tones richer and the lighter areas brighter by increasing Contrast to 60.

lightroom editing
Increase Contrast to 60

Now, let’s move the Blacks slider and increase it to 25 to reveal feather details.

You can also change White Balance: from As Shot to Daylight depending on your creative vision.

We’ll increase Vibrance to 41 to make colors richer without making them look fake.

And increase Clarity to 40 to accentuate the water and ducks.

lightroom editing
Increase Clarity to 40

2) Color Panel

Refining the color in a photo is like adding a fresh coat of paint to a room.

In HSL/Color/B&W panel – let’s go to Color to make adjustments and make the water look greener and richer.

We’ll select the Greens, then increase Saturation to 40 to boost the greens in the water.

lightroom editing
Increase Saturation to 40

3) Effects Panel

The Effects Panel is like the icing on a cake; it helps to make your photo look better, but remember – a little goes a long way, so don’t overdo it.

In Effects panel, under post-crop vignetting: let’s enter -20 in the Amount to darken edges of the photo and keep the viewer’s eye inside the frame (Vignette to -20).

lightroom editing
Vignette to -20

You can choose the Compare view to see the Before and After photos side by side. 

lightroom editing
Before and After editing in Lightroom

These were few adjustments/edits that we explained, you can further explore/experiment and use Lightroom to edit your photos to your heart’s content.

Export your photographs (using Library Module in Lightroom)

In Lightroom, you don’t save photos – instead, you export your edited photos.

To export the edited photo, go to the Library Module – choose the Grid View and select the photo. Click File – Export. 

how to export photos in Lightroom
how to export photos in Lightroom

When exporting the edited photo, you can choose a filename, color space, pixel dimensions, resolution etc. for the photo as per your requirement.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic in which the Camera explains Jo how to edit photos in Lightroom with the help of practical examples

how to use lightroom

When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express to develop your own style as a photographer.

Do Share The Learning – Like It, Post It, Pin It, Tweet It!

Have any tips on how to use Develop Module of Lightroom? Do share them in the comment box below.

Did this blog help you with some ideas to improve your photography/editing skills? For more useful photography tips, examples, ideas & inspiration, please subscribe below to receive notifications of new blog posts by email.

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