Lightroom User Guide

This is v3, but it applies to v5 and up.

Adobe Lightroom is a fairly new and very sophisticated graphics software application that is allowing photographers to manage, optimize, catalogue, display, web view, and print their digital files. At this point it is a perfect complement to other Adobe programs, especially Photoshop. Lightroom can do what Adobe Raw and Bridge do, and a whole lot more. It does not do certain localized selective retouching and composite procedures the way that Photoshop can, at least not yet; but it can do most of the important image alterations in a very non-destructive way. Lightroom is rapidly becoming the platform of choice for digital photographers and already has most of the primary features previously only used in editing programs like Photoshop while progressing beyond with features Photoshop never had or may never have. As far as I can see, it  is the most complete platform for working with digital camera files, and keeping up with all the user data associated with these files. Lightroom is composed of five modules, which are: Library, Develop, Slide Show, Print, and Web. These modules may be used together or separately according to what is needed in a person’s digital workflow. This outline contains info only on the Library, Develop, and Print modules as they apply to a working photographers primary needs. 

It is my opinion that the best way to learn Lightroom is by using one of the comprehensive Quick Time video tutorials such as those made and sold by :

George Jardine, the Luminous Landscape, Kelby Training, or Lynda.com.  These dvd courses can be used while you have your program open and even contain sample low res image files to work with. Books can be useful, but for me, video tutorials represent a form of learning that is quicker and more intuitive to absorb; unlike a live demonstrator, you can stop and revisit any chapter you need to and watch it over and over again.

This brief tutorial is not intended as a comprehensive tome on Lightroom technique. I wrote it as a quick guide to have at your computer desk to refer to while you become more familiar with the potentials of the software and the terminology used to access it. Lightroom has its own technical vocabulary of terms and this outline is meant to help you understand what those terms refer to when you see them within the software display.

Library Module –

-click on illustrations to enlarge them, then click outside enlargement to return to the article-

You select which module you want to access in Lighroom from the top right side of the window. Here we are in the Library module where folders and information about a file are best viewed. All the modules share any image corrections or catalogued data that is added in any of the other modules.

The library module is where you access and catalogue all the digital files that you need to process. It is both a very powerful way to display information stored on a computer’s hard drive, or hard drives, as well as a refined program to organize these files for future use. I find it best to make one big folder within a hard drive and call it digital photo files, or something of that nature. Then one can subdivide this folder into any number of sub-folders according to subject matter, job, type of file, etc. That way Lightroom can easily bring in these folders to its display window without the user having to constantly search endlessly for a specific file. One of the absolute worst things a photographer can do is to have hundreds if not thousands of files scattered about a hard drive. That causes you to waste tremendous amounts of time searching and searching and opening and opening folders trying to find that one file or files you need to work on, print, or retrieve information about. Think of the Library module as a virtual library of everything about a digital image you work with. It is also a very smart idea to store these image folders on a separate external hard drive. There are two main reasons for this, first, even with a big computer’s primary drive, you will eventually run out of space if you collect and manage a lot of raw image files. Second, if your primary drive ever crashes or your computer becomes inoperable, and all your files are there, you are in big trouble. With external drives you can easily unplug them and move to another computer in a less than a minute.  It is also a really smart idea to have at least two copies stored in separate places of your most important raw files.  Unlike traditional film negatives and chromes, dvds and hard drives are mechanical objects and can and will eventually fail and, sometimes fatally. So back up at all times and do it while you work. It is a great idea to archive at least one copy of everything on a dvd as well. Don’t kid yourself that you will do that sometime in the future, because you probably won’t, or at least not everything that could be important to you as time goes on. Arrange your files clearly before you even start learning Lightroom.

Importing Files From a Camera Card

Lightroom displays the information automatically when a card is put in the computer. Or use the File menu, Import – Copy to new location /find your folder “photos” or whatever you’ve named it / organize into one folder / check boxes – make a subfolder name / eject card / back up by choosing a hard drive and location folder to store it.

Template

You don’t need to rename the photo here but you can if you want.

Develop Settings

Develop setting include the categories:  metadata/ click new / create copyright / personal information / new / creates a template preset / keywords – can name the job, etc / initial preview – ‘minimal’ to conserve space and time when opening previews / check show preview or don’t check according to what files you want to be viewed in Lightroom / import (from pictures on your computer) –Photos From Disc – shift click on all the folders you want to import into LR / File Handling – Add to LR without moving. If a folder on a hard drive gets renamed it will view with that new name in LR.

Dual Monitor Support

You can hook two monitors together such as one large monitor and a laptop, etc. – The second monitor has a grid and uses a thumbnail slider to compare and survey – Normal View, click on to see / Line – move cursor over which film strip and enlarge on second display.

Finder Keepers in Library

To access this feature go to the folder Photo – using the flag rating is a good place to begin grouping files to be saved and categorized, it can also give star ratings, color coded ratings or “rejected” ratings to files in a folder. These ratings help you see which files are which when viewed as a thumbnail or in a filmstrip in LR. Ratings can be changed at any time depending on how important you think they are at a given point in time. Click X for rejects and P for pick./ You can scroll through a filmstrip by using the arrow keys on your keyboard. /Go to photo menu at top and delete rejected files from a disc or a catalogue if desired. / Now go to Library Filter Attribute – click on the Flags to show only “Keepers”.

You can import from an External Hard drive – Volume Browser on the left shows where the pictures are coming from. If this hard drive is unplugged you will see a ? on the thumbnails and on the file folder – link to hard drive broken.

Preferences For Lightroom

 

Access the Preferences dialogue box by clicking under the LIGHTROOM menu at the far top left of your screen. You can also find other menus here such as Catalogue settings and your Identity Plate set up.

To import data- click Show Import Dialogue, etc. / Catalogue Settings – can discard large previews if you want after a period of time / DNG (digital negative format) universal format for Raw files. Lightroom decodes most camera manufacturer formats for Raw. / File Extension – set to DNG (smaller archiving size) archival info – contains all the archiving metadata (camera, lens, f stop, shutter speed, iso, date, etc ) from the side car files of Adobe Camera Raw – click Compress for lossless files/ Don’t click embed original Raw file which will only give you a copy of what you already have and double the amount of space that the file will occupy on the hard drive. DNG files and RAW files contain the same information so you don’t need the original Raw file copied.

Navigator

The navigator is on the left side of LR. You can choose the degree of zoom such as 1:1, 2:1 etc. and can scroll different areas of the frame.

Library View

The Library View contains – grid view styles / loop info preferences – Command-I gets rid of these tags / clicking Shift–Tab removes all other palettes / Command-L for light view/ hit again for total black view / right arrow-F for full screen mode / G- for grid view.

Collections

You can save “keepers” in a collection. The collection panel follows into all modules, such as Develop, Print, etc. / Go to Collections – click and create a new collection set and name it in the dialogue box – this makes a folder in Collection. / Select All- Command-A in Library you want – click + again, this time Create Collection – name collection / Set Drop Down – name of general folder group of photos they came from – click include selected photos check box – You can add more to the keepers folder by clicking pick and dragging to the keepers folder.

Survey View

View folders here at bottom of window (by grid and Loupe icons) / Attribute Button – use to sort and rename a new folder group – All marked good photos in sub-folder will show up in Collections.

Smart Collections

“Smart Collections” automatically builds a collections folder to your desired specifications. Use the + to create a smart collection and give it a name / Ratings- pick a flag or other rating icon / Keywords-name a keyword in file names / Aspect Ratio – portrait or landscape / at this point only photographs with these particular characteristics will be put in the folder.

Stacking Photos

Stacking photos to the same preview space allows you to place multiple copes of an image in the same location while giving you more space to view other images within the filmstrip. It only works in Folders > Photo > Stack. Open and close stack by clicking the side of the stack. Stacks are great for keeping variations of shots together to be used in HDR composite imagery. Click on all the photos – stack – group to stack, to make a stacked group.

Organization with key words

Go to a folder (or a single pic). Click on multiple pics ( shift key) or a single pic. At left click here to add keywords (check keyword suggestions to add) Organize keywords by relevance. You will see a lot of possible keywords. You can now add more images over time into the various categories.

Keyword Set

Preset keywords are based on types of photographs / Edit set – allows you to make custom presets / keyword list – shows all the keywords you have created over time – allows you to filter images / keyword by clicking- arrow beside that particular keyword and type in the keyword at this spot to search a category.

Metadata

Metadata refers to the date, time, shutter speed, focal length, type of camera, iso, etc –can be copied – Go to meta data menu at top – copy meta data – click copy – click on second photo or photos – click Paste – most data will already bin in you can also add copyright info and any contact info related to the photographer such as address, email, website, etc –/ in the IPTC menu presets of this kind of information your preset / keywords and meta data with painter tool (spray can) is an intuitive tool to “spray” info meta data, keywords, flags, etc, onto photos, it is an easy way to add terms to individual photos – Eraser icon removes keywords, Click Done to finish – this  is a method that works well for non-continuous photos within a folder or film strip.

Finding Photos

You need to have an appropriate folder clicked on in Catalogue to do a search OR have ALL PHOTOGRAPHS selected in catalogue menu / Go to Filter Bar-View-Filter Bar –shows library filter, click Text and search any file name, keyword, caption, camera meta data, photographer’s name , etc, – or any searchable field – type in what you are looking for from all fields that have this word / Search with ATTRIBUTE in Library Filter menu – can click on flags, star ratings, and color coding selections, you can see both tech data or search for images made with specific camera, aspect ratio, or F Stop, or any added meta data.

Renaming Photos

Shift click on pics that you want to select – Go to Library Menu at top – go down to RENAME PHOTOS – give custom name – or EDIT to add even more info to the name of a file at the bottom of the list.

Backing Up Catalogue (not photos) –

Catalogue File- holds all info on photos – on Mac, catalogue settings, PC, Edit menu – Turn on Back Up Catalogue, to back catalogue up every time LR starts.- CHOOSE, back up to external hard drive – This only backs up LR INFO not photos.

Syncing

Syncing information from one computer to another – Select Photos-folders- File-Export as Catalogue- Choose- External Hard drive – name it “same as” –this saves all photos and data about photos – You can create two catalogues, such as one personal and one professional / File Handling Menu- up date, syncs ups data in old files are on the other computer that has been changed in another computer.

DEVEOP MODULE –

The develop module is your digital darkroom. It is here that you will assign the tonal and color corrections that will influence the final outcome.

White Balance Treatment

White balance allows you to clean up any poorly balanced color capture – to access, click on photo – Go to Develop – White Balance – with jpegs, options are auto and custom as shot – With Raw files you have more options of color temperature, such as the color of the light the file was shot in/ Color-click Eye Dropper and click on a ‘neutral’ area of a picture – like a gray card and preview the color on screen/ can use ‘as shot’, daylight, tungsten, etc, and then manually adjust the color temperature slider slightly – if you don’t have a ‘neutral’ area in the shot, judge on screen with all the color temperature presets and choose one that looks the best to you

Crop

Some people crop after white balancing and before tonal corrections so as to not effect this histogram with color info they won’t be using – or you can wait to crop in the end, especially if you may change your mind about the exact crop later /Shift Key constrains proportions to a specific aspect ratio or use LOCK to assign a ratio, or click on a preset aspect ratio/ Crop and Straighten at the same time by using the straighten tool – click and drag the angle crop slider, vertical lines like buildings always stay vertical so try to  find something you can use as a reference.

Tonal Control –

Within the “Basic” menu of LR:

Exposure

The exposure slider is essentially what we have come to think of as Levels in Photoshop. This is the global control for controlling luminance, or lightness and darkness of the entire file. Look at the triangle at the top right and left of the histogram while adjusting exposure. Keep an eye on the clipping warnings for both extreme highlight and shadow areas. Clipping warnings can be viewed by using the J – keyboard stroke, on and off.  In all of these slider menus, if you double click on the setting it will take you back to the original file before you changed it.

Recovery –

Recovery refers to highlight recovery tool. Increasing recovery allows you to increase tonal and textural information in the lighter values primarily. If you hold down the OPTION key and click on Exposure, this will show you any clipping of values.

Fill

The fill slider is the opposite of Recovery, it boosts shadow information and is a very good way of increasing shadow detail and texture of the lower values. It is a good idea to view subtle changes in your shadow information at 100%. This will show you how much noise you are potentially adding to the file. This is especially true of high ISO camera ratings of 400 and up where noise in shadows is more of an issue. Also for files that are being worked on that were created in CCD film scanners that tend to be a lot more noisy in the shadows in the first place. Backlit images can benefit a lot from using the Fill light slider.

Black –

The black slider boosts or reduces the darkest shadow information in a file. It is usually used to give more punch to the shadows. Moving the slider to the right increases the amount of black (black ink when printing) in the whole file. Moving it to the left reduces it. Too much added black with block and muddy the transitions of the darker gray values in a file. Like with all these settings in the Develop module, carefully observe the changes that occur both on the screen and within the histogram. Avoid spiking on the left of the histogram. To view exactly what values are being clipped you can move your cursor over the triangle on the left side and watch for the blue outline on your image. The blue outline denotes lost shadow information, or total black. This same situation occurs with the opposite right triangle when using the recovery slider, or any other slider that adds to increase the tonal values of the extremes of an image. Check shadow clipping warning also by using the J keyboard stroke.

Brightness –

The brightness slider is useful for controlling the mid-tone values of a file, don’t over do it.

Contrast –

The contrast slider can boost overall global contrast, but this a crude and harsh way to ultimately control subtle contrast in a file and can be quite damaging if overdone. Using TONE CURVES is a far better way to adjust contrast, both locally as well as globally.

Clarity –

As with Camera Raw software, Clarity is a very powerful and great way to boost mid-tone contrast without doing a lot of damage to the file. It also gives an illusion of greater sharpness in many subjects and does the work of a whole lot of other combinations of adjustments that formally were done in Photoshop. It is especially effective for landscape, architectural, and still life photography. Be very careful when using clarity for subtle soft contrast subjects, especially Portraits where harsh divisions in tonal regions may be created by over doing it.

Vibrance –

Vibrance is a subtle form of SATURATION control that rarely ever contributes to clipping and damaging the hues. When adding or subtracting saturation to a file start with VIBRANCE as a first choice, and if it is not going quite far enough then gently start adding saturation.

Saturation –

The Saturation slider is most often used for major increases or decreases in color intensity of a file. Be extremely careful to keep an eye on the histogram and if you see any spiking in a color channel back off.

Tone Curve –

This is a screen capture detail showing the location of the TONE CURVE menu. Below it I have shown how you might experiment with “Split-Toning” a black and white file within the Lighroom workflow.

As with CURVES in Photoshop, Tone Curve is the most useful, powerful, and least damaging way to control contrast and tonal relationships in a file. Buttons at the top left of the curve show the effect of the curve turned on and off. Always keep an eye on the extremes of the tonal range in the histogram when working with tone curve.  The TARGET ADJUSTMENT control here is used for working with local areas in a file . Click on that little circle at the top left of the Tone Curve menu and place your cursor on a part of the image on the screen that you wish to adjust. Now move the cursor up and down to see the changes. Of course since there is no “selection” created in the file, this movement effects all areas in picture of that same tonal value. However, it is still a great way to zero in on a part of the frame that needs tonal and contrast work. You can do great things tonally in a picture by combining Tone Curve adjustments with Clarity and and Recovery adjustments, going back and forth between them and viewing the image on the screen. Tone Curve has two methods of doing this kind of work. The LINEAR method that gives you quick low-mid- and high contrast changes quickly and the much more controllable POINT CURVE that allows to finesse specific parts within an image in a very subtle and manageable way. As with all the adjustments in Light Room, Tone Curve is Parametric editing and creates far less destructive effects on a file than when doing the same tonal-contrast tweaks in Photoshop. It can also be easily undone if any banding or harshness is introduced after printing.

HSL – 

HSL stands for HUE-SATURATION-LUMINANCE. It is used for targeted color adjustments.  Although these adjustments are still global, they allow you select and manipulate specific colors in regard to changing the hue of that color, the intensity of the specific color and the lightness or darkness of that color. This works especially well with large areas of color such as in a sky or background where one color dominates a section of the image. The GRAYSCALE capability of HSL menu allows you to go into the various channels of a black and white image and adjust the luminance of that part of an image represented by specific color of the original rgb file. Remember even though we are working with a black and white image on the screen (and eventual print) the underlying file is still rgb. So in that way adjacent areas of the picture can be lightened or darkened according to what the initial hue of the object was. This is something that can’t be done in a straight non rgb grayscale file. You can also use the target adjustment tool in this menu by dragging the cursor up and down on a targeted part of the image on your screen.  SPLIT-TONING, is another interesting feature of this dialogue. It allows you to assign a specific hue to the shadows and another one to the highlights by using the color picker tool. The intensity of that hue is controlled by the saturation slider. The BALANCE slider is used to select and tweak the area of m

Virtual Copies –

Virtual copies are small viewable copies of a file to be created in order to see potential variations of that file without having to make full size files that take much more time and computer memory to display. Groups of these variations may be placed in a stack to easy access. Virtual copies become actual photos when they are exported as a copy of the master photo or edited as a copy in an external editor.

When you create a virtual copy of a photo, “Copy 1” (or “Copy 2,” “Copy 3,” and so on) is added automatically to the Copy Name field in the Metadata panel.

In the Grid view in the Library or in the Filmstrip in any module, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a photo and choose Create Virtual Copy from the context menu.

In the Grid view in the Library or in the Filmstrip in any module, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) to select multiple photos and choose Create Virtual Copies from the context menu.

If the copy does not appear in the Grid view, the photos may be part of a collapsed stack. Try choosing Photo > Stacking > Expand All Stacks. If that doesn’t work, the photos may be filtered. Try using a different display method, such as choosing All Photographs in the Catalog panel.

In the Library module, select a virtual copy of a photo in the Grid view or the Filmstrip and choose Photo > Set Copy As Master.

To delete or remove a virtual copy, expand the virtual copy stack in its folder in the Library module (press S). Then right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the virtual copy in the Grid view or the Filmstrip and choose Delete Photo.

Note: You cannot edit stacks when working with collections. You must view stacks in their folders to expand, collapse, and manage them. When viewing files you can go back to the Library module and click the VIEW- SURVEY mode – click Shift-Tab to remove palettes from the screen. You also can hit keyboard L to access the “lights out” mode, to make screen views more easily displayed, as in using a black background.

Synchronizingchanges from one photo to others –

  • Choose a collection of photos
  • Makes changes to one photo
  • Go to film strip – hold down control key and click on pics that you want to synchronize to the target photo
  • Click Sync button and click check ‘none’ – then set the things you want to synchronize, then hit SYNCHRONIZE

Auto Synchronize is another way of doing this. Select photos in a film strip BEFORE you do the work on the master photo. Click Command-AutoSync, then do the changes and watch the other selected photos change also in the filmstrip display automatically. Just click on auto sync again to turn it off.

Capture Sharpening –

There are essentially two types of image sharpening that you can do. Capture sharpening is a procedure that attempts to simply restore the optical sharpness of the lens that is lost in the process of digital capturing of the camera process. Other kinds of sharpening are what is done to a file in Photoshop or a specialized plug in like Photokit Sharpener, or a rip sharpening filter or within the Print module of LR itself.  With capture sharpening – zoom into 100% on the screen preview – the icon at top left is the navigator. Set the AMOUNT (degree of sharpening) and the RADIUS, which extends the edge of the area that is included in this sharpening. Rarely go beyond 1 here. DETAIL selects more edges to sharpen, which is often useful for landscape photography etc, where you have more leeway with this effect. MASKING masks the sharpening effect on smooth areas to isolate places that you don’t want too much edge contrast to occur, especially with portrait sharpening. Click OPTION KEY on masking to see what is being masked (black) and therefore not sharpened. This is very useful with portrait skin tones. The before and after button, dark square at top left corner of the DETAIL menu toggles back and forth between the effect and no sharpening. More extensive and precise sharpening should be done later in the PRINT module with “output sharpening” or in Photoshop or a rip if that is being used as the print software.

Noise Reduction –

Noise reduction sliders work in LR the same way they do in Adobe Camera Raw interface and are quite effective. The Luminance slider is used to remove overall noise in the latent image of the picture and is not associated with a particular color channel. It is useful for removing the graininess of a file.  Color noise reduces noise in all the color channels. Although Noise Reduction in LR can be useful since it is parametric and non-destructive, it also has far less capability of third party noise reduction programs like Noise Ware or Noise Ninja, that allow far more control of separate color channel reduction as well as various controls of the tonal range noise of an image. It might be best to think of Noise Reduction in LR as a first step toward eliminating digital camera noise, and finish up in other programs. Look for this feature be improved in LR 3 or subsequent versions. It is good to keep in mind that ALL noise reduction will remove some detail within the picture. The more reduction applied the softer the fine detail in a file will become. There is no free lunch here so observe the before and after results carefully at 100% in all areas of the file by scrolling around with the navigator tool.

Chromatic Aberration –

When an image is recorded with a digital camera sensor or film scanned with a similar sensor, certain edge distortion effects of color rendition can occur. This usually occurs when a high iso setting is used or when flair is produced when shooting into a light source, especially when sharpened. When two color complements – such as red-cyan or blue-yellow are both present side by side on the edge of an objects shape, this is called COLOR FRINGING. It is most noticeable when viewed at actual size of 100%. The chromatic aberration sliders in LR do an excellent job of eliminating these effects. Do this work at 100% on the screen always. LR gives you the choice of using the effect on HIGHLIGHT EDGES or ALL EDGES, depending on the fringing that is present.

Vignettes –

The vignettes menu is very nicely created tool for creating either light or dark shaped edges of a picture. It is probably most often used for reducing or eliminating the dark fall off effect association with wide-angle lenses. The wider a lens typically the more vignette fall off is apparent. However the vignette menu is also great for common printing techniques such a “burning the corners” of an image to tighten it up. The shape of this vignette in regard to the circular shape, the amount of softness of the edge (feathering) and the degree of the lightening or darkening of the vignette is easily controlled in this dialogue box with the four sliders of the post crop section, and the two sliders of the lens correction section. Subtle darkening should always be done post crop while correcting the lens effect can be done pre crop if desired, depending on the degree of the crop.

Preset Panel –

 Special Effects Presetssave preset – check none – set only what you did to the shot and save and give a name – presets are stored in Develop Panel at the left – the function is similar to an action in Photoshop.

You can make a Lightroom Auto Preset to apply data to all files – such as subtle optimizations to quickly apply to other files – corrections such as Tone Curve, Clarity, Sharpening, Color Treatments, Post Crop Vignette, etc.

Choose this when importing into the Develop Module – remove by right clicking a group of pics – to share right click on the preset in panel and say Export (or import on the other computer to import Lightroom settings). Free presets are available from: lightroomkillertips.com to see an idea of the possibilities.

Spot Removal –

The spot removal tool is in the Develop Module, located under the histogram window. The default setting is for the healing option. Use bracket keys to resize the brush – click Clone option near other edge shapes – Close, to turn off and save effects.

To synchronize Click Sync button, to see settings, click none for no removal, or click spot removal box . In order to use this function to remove spots from a dirty camera sensor and apply to a batch of similar pics, the spot needs to be located in the same place within all the pictures. If the spots are on a whole group of images this feature can save a lot of time in post Photoshop clean up.

Red Eye Removal-

The “red-eye” button is under the histogram icon – zoom in to 3:1 – place cursor over the eye and click – you can also alter the pupil size and darken it if it looks gray – then Close.

Graduated Filter

The graduated filter can be used to enhance large areas in a photograph such as a sky.

This feature simulates the effect of shooing in camera with a graduated neutral density filter.  Click “Graduated Filter” and choose the effect (expose-saturation-sharpen) hold down SHIFT key to keep the line straight. The Dot on the screen can be clicked on and moved around to apply the effect they way you want it to appear – You can always customize it again later as this is a virtual tool, like everything else in Lightroom and is parametric and non-destructive.

Click on the button in the upper right of the grad filter box for even more subtle controls over the color and look of the gradation. This is great to use for skies in landscapes or studio backgrounds, etc. – you can toggle back and forth between before and after the effect by clicking the button the bottom left of the gradation box.

Adjustment Brush

The adjustment brush is probably the most amazing tool in this menu. It allows you to do all kinds of image enhancements that you might previously have done with Photoshop tools but here in a totally parametric non-destructive manner. In other words once again the effect has on impact on the integrity of the images pixels until it is opened in a bit map program like Photoshop and saved there. So, everything can be easily changed and refined at anytime with no degrading changes to your file. The adjustment brush also points the way toward future image alteration improvements that will certainly available in future versions of Lightroom.

Pick the effect you want to work with – such as Expose – for dodging and burning, or Brightness, Contrast, etc. The adjustment tool becomes a brush, which can be customized – such as feather, size, and flow-which refers to the amount of that effect being applied – Auto Mask, when turned on can be use to mask adjacent areas that you want to leave un altered for an effect – and Density, set to 100% for full effect

The Edit dot appears – red overlay shows you what you have done.

You can erase the effect of a spill over.

Two brush presets are available to customize when dot has black dot in middle – when you click on dot later you can re-edit to change the effect s – Close to save – click New to create another brush effect.

Saturation or Desaturation is a good procedure to accomplish with the Adjustment Brush – experiment with turning on and off the Auto Mask, the keyboard shortcut for doing this is the letter 0 to show what effect changed – Option key for the eraser tool – Open sliders with Show Effect button (upper right of A B menu) – will only effect area that was painted.

Retouching With Adjustment Brush –

This tool is great for brightening and lightening selected areas that are not doable with a global adjustment like Levels or Tone Curve – Another great thing to do with the Adjustment Brush is to selectively add CLARITY to a part of the picture Or use negative clarity to soften part of a portrait without softening the entire frame. This is a very powerful tool for all kinds of selective focus and sharpening procedures. Each time you hit NEW, you can add a new effect to save for future use – it allows selective sharpening, selective clarity, selective saturation, selective colorization, removal of color, removal or addition of grain etc, etc. and all of this alteration is done in a non-destructive way before the file is ever rasterized into a bit map such as when opening into Photoshop.

Photo Edit in Photoshop

Photo edits with Lightroom adjustments , default for Raw Files – set File Format – PSD, Tiff, etc / Color Space- Pro Photo, or 1998 RGB, etc. / Bit Depth- 16 bit or 8 bit capture/ Resolution- 300ppi 360 ppi, or less, depending on output needs.

You can also set this to open as a “Smart Object” layer to allow opening up later in Adobe Camera Raw – you can open up multiple files as separate layers in Photoshop

You can open up in Photoshop and take back to Lightroom and then back to Photoshop a second time – “Edit Original” option before it was imported into Lightroom.

Panoramas

You can go directly from LR to Photoshop camera merge option from CS3 on – Make sure that you synchronize all the frames – Don’t use Auto Exposure on camera because you need the same exposure and F Stop settings on all frames that are to be merged – Sync Button-is located to the right of the Dev Module – when you sync the frames all the photos are updated: Photo>Edit in Photoshop>Merge to Panorama in PS – will take you automatically into PS Merge Dialogue Box  – Save/File>Close – now Panorama in LR is managing it – for cropping and straightening.

Merge to HDR

HDR refers to high dynamic range, imaging – with HDR one can take advantage of the potential of shooting a series of multiple exposures of the same subject, from the same location on a tripod, such as with a landscape, and bring these separate exposures together to form one continuous tone file. Typically photographers will shoot at least three exposures – one for the darkest shadow information – a middle exposure for mid-tones – and at least one highlight layer for the brightest tonal information. In a way this accomplishes a similar effect to what was once accomplished by very difficult and time-consuming print masking from multiple contrast filter projections in the analogue darkroom days. But it is a lot more subtle and a lot easier and controllable than any pre digital methods.

Stack at least 3 shots in the Lightroom Develop Module – Go to Photo>Edit>Merge to HDR.

Start with Raw files usually – it now has become a 32 bit file that can take up a lot of space, and the more layers the bigger the file.  Click OK- Now in Photoshop go to Mode>Converge to 16 bit , choose Local Adaptation – you can now tweak the Tone Curve to  – File>Save – go to Lightroom.

There are other more involved programs such as PhotoMax Pro (hdrsoft.com) that can do excellent things to the HDR image and convert to a Tiff in the end. Find the original folder on desktop and save HDR shot to that folder – click Synchronize to bring it into Lightroom.

Print Module –

When all adjustments are completed to a file you may click Print Module and prepare the final setting for output, most commonly these days, an inkjet printer. The print module acts much like a standard print driver software as well as having many of the features of a specialized print rip software. These features include excellent output sharpening, package and multiple frame print layouts, ICC profile tagging for color management, and identity plate tagging. What we don’t have in versions 1, 2 and 3 of Lightroom is soft proofing for judging print media profile rendering. That still needs to be done in Photoshop. Then you can bring the file back to LR for final output if you desire.

The Collections of files show on the left window – and one can view a variety of template effects to add to the print such as “fine art”, “matte” frames, etc.

Print Layout Engine

The print layout engine is located on the right screen panel – you many choose Single, Contact Sheet, Picture Package options for layout to a sheet or roll of print media – you can also create a border here or stroke the edge of the frame for trimming the print –

Image Settings

Zoom to fill a page size or rotate to fit (portrait and landscape modes) on the thumbnail you see frames that can be manipulated larger or smaller

Auto Layout

Auto layout regroups images you have placed on the page – you many repeat one photo per page for printing multiples of the same image – or click stroke border box

Layout

Layout set margins of sheet – slides right and left and up and down

Page Grid

The page grid formats for multiple images on a page – this is good for making various kinds of contact sheets or proofing multiple test prints on one sheet or even printing multiple copies of the same file on a sheet or roll – you can even print an entire job in sequence and walk away while Lightroom rips the whole job for you

Identity Plate

Your identity plate is in the top left of LR  -turn on or off – may use your signature or save layouts as a template text button –

Page Options

Page options include page numbers, info, and crop marks set here as well.

Print Job Panel

The print job panel is where all the print job settings occur – you can save print layout art to a file in versions 2 and 3 of Lightroom – Print Job, print to a printer or jpeg (good for mass file prints or the web) you can also embed an icc profile here-print to file

Print Settings

Print settings are set on right side of window in the print job panel – send to printer- turn off draft mode – Print Resolution (standard or high) settings – Print Sharpening box checked to activate – choose Glossy Or Matte media – 16 bit driver settings available for printers that accept high bit files –

Color Management

Color management takes you to all profiles located on your computer – select the custom profile you want here – set rendering intent as you would in a standard printer driver (relative colormetric for most images) – Page Setup, page size setting here – the print dialogue takes you into the standard printer driver for the particular printer being used –DON’T LET THE DRIVER MANAGE YOUR COLOR! TURN PRINTER MANAGEMENT OFF BY SELECTING NO COLOR ADJ – set correct print setting for specific media settings, etc, / set output resolution – high speed off for photographs, this tells the printer to print  “uni-directionally”, telling it to lay down ink in only one directional pass which allows for higher resolution in most cases, though it will print slower with this setting – ICC Profile selection

Lightroom Printing Overview –

This Illustration shows one of the many pre-made layout templates available in the Print Module of Lightroom. This is a quick and effective method to print multiple sized prints on one sheet of media. You can also create your own presets for adding your own sizes and shapes of prints. This module is also very useful for creating your own “contatct sheets” of an entire body of work that could be useful for cataloguing bodies of work or showing corrected final files to a client in a one sheet form.

As Lightroom stands now, as a print engine, it accomplishes many if not all the tasks associated with much more expensive printer rip software in a very clean and convenient manner. Lightroom is a wonderful tool for digital photographers to track down, store, compare, organize, manipulate, color and tonal correct and,  print most, if not all of the photographs you create. With each successive version its capability is being expanded.  And, as mentioned many times in this handout, because it is parametric and does not contain pixels that are easily degraded while optimization procedures are applied, it, as with programs like Adobe Camera Raw, is an ideal platform to accomplish the majority of the things you need to do as a photographer, leaving Photoshop for the more complex layering and composite jobs. The one big disappointment with Lightroom version 3 is that it still did not have soft proofing capability . But now with version 4 it does, so that is a big improvement for anyone wanting to use this software to send their files to a printer in a professional way.

The additional two modules of Lightroom are the SLIDE SHOW and the WEB modules – since they are not directly related to the essential photo organization, alteration and printing procedures, they will be covered in a later tutorial.

 Further exploring the Interface of the Modules 

The Left Side where you see the Lightroom Logo is called the Identity Plate, the Right Side is called the Module Picker. Each Module has its own set of Panels. Each Module has its own Toolbar below.

The Library Module Review –

The library module has a GRID VIEW and a LOUPE VIEW method of viewing thumbnails of any photo files on any hard drive connected to LR.

All Modules have a FILM STRIP located at the bottom of the main window. In the Develop Module the panels are collapsed until opened. There are some useful keystroke shortcuts that you can use to work in the various modules.

In order to customize your Grid or Loupe viewing window -press Command-J

To view info about a particular picture on the screen – press Command-I

To set up a comparative side by side view of two pics – press the C key

To remove the side bars & view your images larger on the screen – press TAB

To change the size of these on screen views – set the Zoom Slider at bottom – this is a very nice invaluable feature!

You can click on a flag at the bottom of the pic that you decide to choose.

In the Develop Module you can use the following shortcuts-

T- to hide or reveal the tool bar

TAB- to hide or show panels individually

SHIFT/TAB – to hide or show all panels

F5 – hides or shows top menu bar

F6 – hides or shows film strip

F7- hides or shows panel on left

F8 – hides or shows panel on right

F-full screen toggle

L- lights out (darkens background of screen)

For instance in the Develop module with working on pictures pressing F7 will give you more room on the screen to work.

Customize the Interface –

Under the Lightroom pull down menu – choose IDENTITY PLATE SETUP

Choose ‘styled text identity plate’ if you want to type in a name or ‘graphics identity plate’ if you want to import a premade graphics element such as a logo, etc. In the case of a graphics element it needs to be 60 pixels long in size. You can customize the size, color, and font of the plate. Save as a ‘custom’ identity plate to display your customized Lightroom branding. Don’t make the text too large for the screen though. Click OK.

About DNG Files –

All kinds of files can be imported into Lightroom, including Raw, Tiff, PSD, cymk-rgb-and grayscale files, an with LR 3 even movie files.

Photoshop Preferences – you can set preferences for Raw and DNG files under the file handling pull down. This allows you to ASK when opening these files how you would like to handle them for various purposes. Under Maximize PSD compatibility, choose YES for Lightroom, and NO for not using these files in Lightroom.

Now is a good time to learn about DNG files, what they are, and what their benefits are. Click this link for a primer. http://adobe.com/products/dng.

In short DNG stands for Digital Negative file and it has become the de facto standard for archiving files that you want to have access to in the long term.  DNG files are almost identical to the information contained in RAW files, in that they contain all the data that the camera is capable of rendering and changes to the file only occur later when opened in an application like Lightroom or Camera Raw. The one big difference between DNG files and RAW files is that DNG files contain the XMP (called ‘sidecar’ files) WITHIN the single file, and not as a separate folder of text information like Raw files do. The reason this is important is that if a sidecar file is lost or separated from the primary RAW file then all the alterations to the image that make it a “final” complete work are lost. With DNG files you never have to worry about that because all this info contained in the XMP files is imbedded into the DNG forever. This is important because the more sophisticated that parametric graphics editing programs like these become, the more corrective work will be done there, and the more those changes are incorporated into the “final” art work for archiving.

In short, DNG files were created by Adobe, and agreed upon by most professionals in the digital photography community to serve as an archival standard format that will continue to be accessed by hardware in the future. There are so many kinds of digital cameras and software available now that it became critical for someone to create a file format that will work cross platform for well into the future so that valuable image libraries will be viable for permanent storage. Today Tiff, PSD, JPEG, and Raw camera files used by the leading camera manufacturers can be read by most graphics applications like Photoshop, Camera Raw, Bridge, Lightroom, Aperture, etc, but it may NOT always be that way. This is why the concept of DNG files are so important and all the image data and meta-data about the image is there forever in the one file.

Other Preferences to think about in Lightroom –

Under LIGHTROOM>Preferences , you should probably set the check box on , under General Preferences , where it lists – ‘show import dialogue when a memory card is installed’ . This will automatically bring your digital camera card data up quickly for importing into Lightroom without having to look for the card on your hard drive.  Under File Handling, DNG, set ‘illegal file names’ to underscore for better cross platform compatibility and in the pull-down choose all the character options. When a file has a space replace with an underscore. You also have the option here to click the box ‘imbed DNG with the original Raw file’. If you do that you will also save a Raw file with it’s own XMP sidecar file along with the DNG file for every file imported into Lightroom. This is ok if you have unlimited hard drive space, but for most people the tremendous amount of added file space with this option, which probably will never be needed, is counter productive, especially if you shoot and store a lot of digital camera files.

Importing Photos into Lightroom-

You can import photos from any hard drive connected to you computer or from a portable flash drive, or from your digital camera card by pressing the keyboard commands –  Shift/Commnd/I ( mac)    or   Shift/Control/I ( pc). Or, you can click and drag photos into Lightroom by dragging them directly to the Lightroom Icon in your doc. Single files or entire folders can be imported this way.

The IMPORT DIALOGUE PAGE is opened when you click IMPORT, choose a SOURCE, such as a particular hard drive, and specify the sub-folder the file is located in. In the top of the import dialogue page click IMPORT AS DNG, or copy to copy whatever file format the file is already in if you don’t want to convert it to a DNG type file. You can also choose ‘move to a new spot’ or ‘add’ to Lightroom from your hard drive. It is usually also a good idea to click ‘don’t import duplicates’ to keep from bringing multiple copies of the same file into Light room (unless you want to).

Catalogue Settings Dialogue – 

Go to Lightroom>Catalogue Settings to open customizable settings. You may import lower resolution previews for faster, but less accurate previews. This may be useful for a quick slide show, such as needed while working with a client on a photo shoot. This becomes a speed vs. quality situation. Usually selecting a standard preview of 1440 space. But despite all this it is good to set your preview as high in gamut as you can while still maintaining an acceptable speed of upload. Most people leave the time period for storing previews at ‘discard after 30 days’. Remember over time all these previews can take up valuable hard drive space and many of them may never be used again after the best files are selected.

Create Metadata Preset –

Found under the Metadata dialogue in the Library module, this area allows you to customize exactly what kind of information you want store along with the visual information in your DNG, Raw, or other type of camera file.

Click on the right side of the panel – Metadata>New>Preset. Here you have a huge range of options, such as copyright info, etc. Click CREATE and name the custom preset that you are about to make. Common types of metadata that are useful are camera settings, date, time, subject, etc. You can also add your personal contact information and website address if you want that can be imbedded into every photograph you make and work on in Lightroom.  You can also IMPORT METADATA that has already been formulated elsewhere. At bottom you can SAVE a metadata preset. When copying photos as DNG you have even more options on the right hand side.

You can click on the triangle at bottom left to collapse the window. Click IMPORT to begin rendering the set size of previews. You can do this while working on other files or just walk away and come back after the rendering is completed. You can IMPORT FROM A MEDIA CARD, set preferences for that by clicking the box show import dialogue. When the memory card is connected click COPY AS DNG (lossless file that is open source), click ALL PHOTOS, or select only the ones you need.

File Handling

You should generally render as a standard size preview and don’t import suspected duplicates generally. You can also click on “make second copy’ to a back up drive”.  You could add “backup” to the original file name if you want. This is a good idea to incorporate into your workflow if you have a secondary back up hard drive to store the pics on. This way you don’t have to think about backing up all your important and not so important Lightroom files because it is always being done automatically for you. And remember, this contains not just raw camera information but all the time consuming hard work you have done to these files. In a years time that can really add up! Believe me, hard drives are not always stable. For any number of reasons, internal and external hard drives can die on without a moments notice and often this data can never be recovered, even by expensive methods. So, buying a second external hard drive and setting your Lightroom preferences to make a second DNG copy of every file is a great idea in the long run, even if you also burn archival dvds of all your finished work. You can’t have too many quality copies of your work.

Solo Mode, finding info quickly about your file

 What is Solo Mode? When you have a lot of files with the panel open, finding the contents in one of the panels can be difficult because you have to scroll up or down to get to the panel you want. So when the Preset panel is open AND the History palette is open, you have to scroll up and down constantly. So here’s the tip, Control-click on any of the names of the panels such as Presets, Snapshots, History or any panel name except the Histogram panel (that one is exempt from Solo Mode) and you’ll get a contextual menu that has several items in it. The one we want is about three-quarters of the way down and is called, Solo Mode. Just click on that and you’ll notice that the disclosure triangles next to the panel names (except Histogram) change from a solid gray to what looks like a top down view of a set of gray bowling pins. When you click on one of these bowling pin formations, only that panel is opened and the rest are closed. It really comes in handy on the Develop module for all of the develop settings. And it makes good sense because when you finish doing your Basic adjustments you can move on to Tone Curve and you don’t need Basic anymore.

Auto Import –

To import files automatically choose FILE>AUTO IMPORT>AUTO IMPORT SETTINGS. Then choose folder you want, or a sub-folder if desired. You can choose Develop settings here and metadata – FILE>AUTO IMPORT>ENABLE AUTO IMPORT. If you find a file in the import menu and you don’t know where it is located, right click on the pic and select GO TO FOLDER in library or show in finder.

Learn to Disregard Unwanted Images in the Camera or Bridge Before Loading Into Lightroom! This will greatly speed up your workflow in Lighroom and free up a lot of memory in your computer as well.

Tethered Shooting –

With Lightroom version 3 tethered shooting is now finally easy. You may make settings and view previews as desired, such as black and white, etc. You can also trigger the camera right within Lightroom if you want. To access you digital camera choose FILE>TETHERED CAPTURE> START Session name – click box ‘segment photos by shots’ save to a folder>set subfolder give the file a name. Set – metadata, keywords, and name files shot one, two, three, etc. While in tether mode you can fire the camera in LR by clicking the gray button. You many evaluate depth of field, sharpness, the histogram, etc on the screen with the ability to zoom in for greater precision.

This method of shooting is very useful for studio work in that you can quickly import a test file into the Develop module. Here evaluating the histogram for any clipping or focus problems, not to mention the quality and direction of the lighting. You can view the image as black and white, sepia, or any other custom or filtered preset you have on hand. To Toggle between screen views use Command+ to enlarge zoom or Command – to reduce the zoom. This is just as it is done in Photoshop workflows.

If you have a small printer hooked up you can even make a hard proof ala Polaroid right then and there.

Comparing Photos in Survey Mode –

This illustration shows how one can easily take an image, tone it, and quickly compare it to the original version in the SURVEY MODE of the DEVELOP MODULE. These parametric instructions are not doing any damage to your file. You can make endless variations on a picture and save them as a collection to revisit at another time. Once you decide which version to print, it can be directly imported into the Print Module by simply clicking on the module, and then send the file to the printer.

Select pics by Command Clicking (mac) or Control Clicking (pc) – on each of them and click the icon just to the left of the word SURVEY on the bottom left of the LR window, below your viewing screen (also just beside the spray can icon). This allows you to compare any photos together from your filmstrip below. If you want to remove one of the pics at any time hover over it and Click keyboard stroke X. Enlarge group by pressing TAB key. You can move along the filmstrip in this enlarged view by clicking the arrow keys at the center bottom of the window forward and backward. There are also rotate arrows located to the left of the straight arrows, and the one big arrow will allow you to view all of these pictures, full screen in a temporary slide show. This can be very useful for deciding on which files to continue working on within a group, but at the same time viewing them one by one in sequence.

Create a New Folder of Pics in Lightroom or View the Folders Properties –

Create a folder by shift clicking on a group of pics and on the left in the Library Module click + to add or to, Create a Folder – then drag and drop folders here to add more pics to them – right click (Mac Control-Click) to rename, move or to remove a folder, or just to observe information about that folder. Tab key to enlarge group. The L key to dim background light or press again to create a totally black background, again to original gray background.

Cataloging-

Cataloguing combines previews and files into a retrievable database, which can contain meta data, develop module settings, all picture ratings, keywords, and collections. The catalogues give you flexibility in accessing and organizing your media files. Think of a Catalogue just like a catalogue in a traditional library. A catalogue is a book where many similar things and collections of things can be stored, organized, and accessed for future use.

Adobe Bridge works well for organizing a small number of files that are present in folders on your hard drive. However, the more files you have the more you need Lightroom. Lightroom is far more sophisticated and expansive in its ability to track down not only files from all kinds of sources, but also valuable information about those files or folders of files that build up over time. It essence it is a one stop place for doing just about everything there is to do to a file before it is printed and after it is used and archived for use in the future. In short, Lightroom does more kinds of things and does them better than any other single program available for working with digital photography files. A catalogue creates order out of the chaos of hundreds and thousands of camera files or scans.  Cataloging allows you find things efficiently and quickly and gives you more time to be creative in other areas. Who wants to spend valuable time searching and opening folders and folders and folders to find one picture when Lighroom can do all that for you?

Create A Catalogue

To create a catalogue go to FILE>NEW CATALOGUE to a particular location on a hard drive and SAVE AS – name it. Once again, catalogues are like books of pictures.

To get to a catalogue got to FILE>OPEN RECENT or OPEN CATELOGUE and specify which Catalogue.

With DNG files all metadata and develop settings created in LR are contained in the LR catalogue. This is very similar to the way that Raw files in Adobe Camera Raw stores information about a file in the XMP ‘side car’ file. To get info on a DNG file you can right click on it (Command-click) choose Show In Finder>Info

If you want to ‘go behind Lightroom’s back, and work on this file in another application you can set up your preferences in this way – Catalogue Settings>Metadata Tab>click the check box “automatically write changes into XMP. As discussed before doing this allows for a sidecar file to be saved both inside and outside of the DNG file to be accessed by other application. However, it will greatly add to the size of your files, which is why it should usually not be checked on unless for special projects or if one has unlimited hard drive space to store these files. Over time these files will need a lot of memory storage.

The XMP file as stated before is by default ‘inside’ the DNG format. To apply this to ALL files in LR OR to do this only with individual files – go to the PHOTO pull down menu and select UP DATE DNG PREVIEWS and METADATA. Once again this all comes down to a question of speed of your total workflow within Lightroom. It is best to export this data later if needed to make LR workflow faster.

Rating Your Photographs with Keyboard Commands –

To rate your photographs in the Library Module:

For rating with STARS use the keyboard command 0-5

For rating with COLORS use the keyboard commands 6-10

For FLAGS click the Flag at the bottom of the window

X- rejects a picture (grays out the preview also)

Select Command – to DELETE, the dialogue box appears and asks if you want to delete however many ‘rejected’ files. REMOVE to remove these files from Lightroom and DELETE FROM DISC to erase completely from its original location. Try to develop a system for saving and deleting files and be consistent with your system so you can remember what you have done with files from day to day.

Quick Collections –

Quick Colletions are temporary and are not saved when Lightroom is closed and restarted. They can be made by selecting images in your filmstrip and pressing the ‘b’ key. To view how many there are available, look under catalogue on the right of the LR window. Quick Collections made in the Library Module are also visible in the Develop module, as well as all the other modules.

Here is the Workflow for Making Collections

 

Select photos in Library by clicking on them – shift click for adding a whole group. On left panel of COLLECTIONS click + and select “collection set”. Name it for big inclusive set such as PEOPLE, etc. Now you can put this collection into a SUB-FOLDER set and name that such as JAZZ, PEOPLE as a subset of PEOPLE. You made collections and sub-sets of collection for any and all categories that you would like to create. If you want to change the name of these collections it is easy to do that at any time in the future as more sets and sub-sets are created.

To access collections go to the folder icon in the left window, click a folder-press Command-A (mac) Control-A (pc) to select ALL Files in a folder. Click + icon by Collections and name it and put these into a SET that you have previously made or create a new preset. These pictures may have been rated previously with Stars, Colors, or Flags. Navigate to the right side – see FILTERS OFF – now turn Filters on for whatever rating of these files you would like to observe within that collection – that makes visible only the pics with the rating you are looking for. Now you can make a set of SELECTED photographs from these ‘filtered’ (rated) ones by clicking + again and giving these edited one a folder of their own. Essentially you want to narrow down Selected pics from more to less desirable selections, say files of 3-4 stars saved as “final pics”, etc. You can rename these by right clicking folders and renaming them. Similar pics can be grouped into a new folder by selecting them all and dragging them into the desired folder.

Smart Collections –

If you establish pre-defined criteria to access pictures this is called a Smart Collection. From the pull down menu in LR under LIBRARY>NEW SMART COLLECTON>the set your criteria from the drop down menu and > CREATE  – This will allow you to create and then access any smart collection of photographs that contain that criteria in the future.

You may Sort any of this criteria while the Smart Collection is open by accessing the SORT pull down menu located at the bottom center of the LR window. This will narrow the criteria of any particular Smart Collection you have saved. You can also access sorting from inside of our collection. You can rename a sequence in order to re-sequence the order for purposes like giving certain files containing certain qualities to a client, etc.

Stacking Pics –

To stack pics select a group of pics and press keyboard shortcut Command (Control) –G     Stacking is useful in that it allows you to keep a group of pics together for accessing but does it in the smallest space within the film strip of your LR window. This is especially useful when you intend to export a group of similar files for the purpose of making a composite panorama or an HDR composite file. When stacked the group will have a handle on it to identify it as a stack. Pressing the S-key will reopen the stack.

Keywords –

One of the most useful ways to “tag” photographs for locating them in the future is to assign specific keywords to them for eventual cataloguing. Keywords could really be anything of importance, such as especially criteria that is not normally contained in the typical ‘metadata’ that is automatically captured in a digital raw camera file. Such keywords may contain the subject’s name, where the photo was taken, who it was taken for, where it may have been published, what trip it was a part of, etc, etc. anything that is useful really.

Pressing Command (control) 2 opens the Keyword Menu

Pressing Command – K opens the dialogue box that you type the keywords into for the picture that is currently displayed on the screen.

You can search any hard drive or folder for specific criteria by opening the keyword dialogue and typing in that keyword in the keyword search menu.

One may filter and search by typing a keyword to the search window at the Keyword Window at the top of the Lightroom window, when selecting TEXT then Keyword and typing in that keyword. Then the files that contain that keyword will display in the Lightroom main window. Scroll through them with the arrow keys which are located at the bottom right of the LR window.

Auto Sync

if you click on two or more pics and click Auto Sync – THEN type in a keyword and add to all the pics at once.

Adding Keywords with the Spray Can –

You can also add keyword or remove the keywords with the spray can. That way also when the keyword dialogue is open and a particular keyword is typed in it is added to the file group.

Hopefully this outline will help you get started in understanding the interface of Lighroom as it applies to correcting, storing, and printing your digital files. Like any software, the more you actually use it the more it will become second nature. 

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