Lightroom Overview - Is Lightroom for you? - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

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Lightroom Overview - Is Lightroom for you? - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

teacher avatar Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      A Lightroom Classic Overview - Introduction


    • 2.

      Pt 1 Photos and Lightroom


    • 3.

      Pt 2 Keywording and Filtering Imagees


    • 4.

      Pt 3 Develop Module and History


    • 5.

      Pt 4 Lightroom and Photoshop


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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. This special class explores the features in Lightroom to help you determine if Lightroom Classic has a place in your image workflow.

If you have never used Lightroom and if you are unsure what Lightroom might have in terms of features that will be of use to you, this class will help answer your questions. By the end of the class you should be able to determine if switching to Lightroom will have value to you. 

More in this series:

Create Mood & Light in Evening Photos in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Creatively Relight a Photo in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Batch Process a Shoot in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Create a Calendar in Adobe Lightroom & ACR & Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Create and Use Presets in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Remove Blemishes, Sensor Dust and More in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Craft Great B & W Photos in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Day to Night Processing in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Enhance Color in an Image in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Enhance Red in Your Photos in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Find, Download and Install Presets in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Fix Perspective and Lens Distortion in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Isolated Color Effect in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Keywording Images in Adobe Lightroom & Bridge - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Lightroom Overview - Is Lightroom for you? - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Mastering Printing - Create a Triptych in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Get Creative with Clarity in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Process Underexposed Images in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Roundtrip to Photoshop and Back in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Sharpen and Spot Sharpen Photos in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Silhouette Image Processing in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Hand Tint Image Effect in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

High Key Image Processing in Adobe Lightroom & ACR - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Frame Photos on Export in Adobe Lightroom - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Pick Your Best Photos in Lightroom - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ class


Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Level: Beginner

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1. A Lightroom Classic Overview - Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch class, Lightroom overview. Where we pose and answer the question, is Lightroom for you? Today we're going to look at what Lightroom is and why you might opt to use it as an alternative to using Bridge and Photoshop. This class is tailored in particular to people who are still using Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. What we're going to do is have a look and say some of the key features in Lightroom, that if you're not using Lightroom, you're missing out on. You'll get a chance to say if Lightroom would have a place in your image workflow. If you've ever wondered what Lightroom is and whether it's an application that you could or should use, then we're going to answer that for you today. As you're watching this videos, you're going to see a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please. If you enjoy the class, do two things for me. Firstly, give it a thumbs up, and secondly, write in just a few words why you're enjoying the class. These recommendations will help other students to say that this is a class that they too might enjoy. If you'd like to leave a comment or a question, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. If you're ready, now let's get started with our look at Lightroom, and let's see if Lightroom has a place in your image workflow. 2. Pt 1 Photos and Lightroom: One of the first things that you should know about Lightroom is that it was developed from the ground up for photographers. It's designed to support a photographic workflow. A lot of people think mistakenly that Photoshop was designed the same way. But in fact, Photoshop just recently celebrated its 25th birthday, and 25 years ago we weren't using digital cameras. Most people didn't have scanners. In [inaudible] at that stage, Photoshop was supporting graphic designers. What happened a few years ago was that Adobe looked at photographers, looked at what they did day-to-day in processing their images, and they built this application Lightroom from the ground up to give you as a photographer everything that you need for processing images. The flip side of that is that there's nothing in here that you don't need. There's nothing in here that supports any other workflow other than a photographic workflow. Now the beauty of Lightroom is that all of your photos are in the one place. I have a photo collection here on an external drive and I have over 87,000 photos on that drive. If I click here on this photos list and I go to the grid view in Lightroom, I have instant visual access to 87,000 plus photos. That's phenomenal. To photographer, these are a mix of JPEG and raw images, and I can see all of them. Now, I operate on a Windows machine and Lightroom is particularly important to me as a Windows user because I wouldn't otherwise be able to see DNG or raw files on my computer. Let's just go quickly and have a look at a folder that has some raw files in it on this Windows machine. Here I have opened a folder that contains a series of DNG or raw image files. If I go to large icons, this is all I'm going to be able to see inside Windows. I have no clue whatsoever as to what's in any of these files. It's almost impossible for me to know what's in those images. But once they're in Lightroom, they show up as thumbnails and these are re-sizable thumbnails so I can make them as big or as small as I like, and access to 87,000 plus images is just a mouse click away. Now one of the other advantages of Lightroom is that unlike, for example, working with Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop, which are three separate applications, all of which look different and all of which have to be independently operated, in Lightroom, everything is in the one place. You have your library area which is where you manage your images, you have the develop module where you can go ahead and develop and process your images, you have a map module where you can plot your images on a map, you have a book module where you can create books from your images. But more importantly, here are the slideshow, print, and web modules. Slideshow allows you to produce very quick and easy slide shows of your images. Print, you can obviously print your images, and with Web, you can send your images up to the web as web galleries, all of which are created from inside Lightroom. Essentially in processing a shoot, you don't have to leave Lightroom, you don't have to find other applications to use. Everything is done inside Lightroom. Primarily, if you did nothing else with Lightroom, you could use the library module for managing and viewing your photos. Now one of the important things about the photos that are here in Lightroom is that the only ones that are here in Lightroom are the ones that I said to Lightroom, "I want you to manage." I've gone ahead and I've imported into Lightroom 87,000 images. Now there could be a lot more images on my computer. I won't see them because I haven't told Lightroom that I want Lightroom to manage them. Only the photos that you say to Lightroom that you want to manage inside Lightroom are ever going to appear here, which gives you a fair amount of control over what Lightroom shows you. It also means that the images that you don't want to manage in Lightroom just never appear here. Now the other thing about Lightroom is that it only handles photographic and video formats. It can't read PDF files, it can't show you Excel worksheets or Word files or PowerPoint presentations. It's all about photos and video. There's nothing in here that's not a video or a photo, and when you go to import images, the only files you can see are photo and video files. So you're not being confused about a plethora of other things that might be lurking on your disk, Lightroom forces you into focusing on just exactly what it itself can handle, and that's video formats and photo formats. 3. Pt 2 Keywording and Filtering Imagees: Now once you import your images into Lightroom, whether they'd be images or video, you get a folder structure here. This is my Folders folder, I'm just going to close my Navigator down here. The structure here mimics the organization of these images on my external drive, so there is a subfolder here you can tell because it's a darker triangle. If I went to my drive, I could find a folder called 2010, 11, 12, New York, and it would have a subfolder in it. At least one subfolder because we're only going to see the sub-folders that Lightroom knows about, there could be other folders there, but if we haven't imported images into Lightroom from those folders, you're just not going to see them. This entire structure is representative of what is on my disk. One of the really handy features of Lightroom is when you go to import images into Lightroom, you have an option in the import dialog, I'm just going to show it to you here, for not importing suspected duplicates. This allows you to prevent Lightroom, you can say to Lightroom, I don't want you to import images that I've already imported into Lightroom. You can do that from an external drive, but you can also do that, for example, when you're importing images from a camera card. So if you've already imported images, for example, from a camera card and you put the camera card back into the computer and try to import them again, with this checkbox selected, Lightroom's going to differentiate between the images it's never seen before and the ones that are in its catalog already, and it will flag just the new images so that you can import just the new ones. Now once you're inside Lightroom, you may want to keyword your images, a lot of people do keyword their images. The keywording process in Lightroom is a lot easier to manage than it is for example, in Adobe Bridge. I have an entire class on keywording in Lightroom and Bridge, and if you watch that class, you'll see how much different it is in Lightroom to what it is in Bridge and how much easier it is. Here, for example, I have an image of water, it's shot in Amsterdam. So I have a keyword list here that is from another trip that I made, but I have the word water here so I can just apply the keyword water to this photo by just clicking on this. If I want to add the word canal, because this is the Amsterdam canal, I can type a comma and just go ahead and type canal and press "Enter", and those keywords are now associated with this image. Once you've associated keywords with your images, you can easily filter images by the keyword. I have here three images that have the keyword birds. So I'm just going to click here and we'll go and have a look. Here are the three images that have been keyworded with the keyword birds. Lightroom has just gone to 87,000 images and it's extracted, the only three images that I have actually applied these keywords to. Now I'm not an avid keyworder, which is why I've probably got a hundreds of images with birds in them, but only three that actually have the keyword associated with them. But that's how quick it is to find images when you've keyworded them in Lightroom. Now there are other ways that you can find images as well. So I'm going to my photos here, to all 87,000 photos, and there is a filter tool here that allows you to filter by text that's stored in an image by image attribute or even by metadata. Let's have a quick look at the metadata options. Here in the Metadata, I can sort by Keyword, but there are lots of other things that I can sort by too. For example, I can have a look at camera Lens. Lightroom's going to tell me all the lenses that are represented by images in my collection, and if I want to say images that were shot with a particular lens, I can select them. There's also lists of Cameras, so for example, if I want to say what I've shot with my Pentax K-7, then I can click here and these are all the images shot with my K-7. So there are heaps of ways that you can extract images from your collection based on all sorts of things even the Flash State, did I shoot this image with a flash or did I shoot it without a flash? Well, there's 95 unknown, there's a 1,000 shot with a flash, and there's 86,000 plus shot without a flash. It's very easy to draw down to your images using things such as this Metadata panel. Of course, all of this is based on the metadata that's actually stored inside the image. Let's go to this image, and over here we're going to see our Metadata. So here's the image metadata and there's whole sets of metadata here, EXIF, IPTC and you can just click to view the metadata. You can also add metadata and not only type it manually, but you can also create presets of metadata that you can apply to your images. This can also be implied on imports, so if you have a metadata preset that has all of your details of the photography, your name, your website, the copyright restrictions and stuff on your photos, then you can actually add that to your photos as you import them and the metadata will be written to the files automatically. 4. Pt 3 Develop Module and History: In the last video, I mentioned the concept of presets. Well, there are presets available throughout Lightroom. We've seen the metadata preset tool. There are presets that are available in the Import module. For example, you can set up the Import module with all the settings that you typically want to use, and you can save them as an Import Preset. Now, I've got a series of Import Presets here so I click on ''Daily Walk'', and then everything is preset for this daily walk photos import. It'll include everything down to the location in which the images are to be stored in. I can get there by just clicking on that "Import Preset." Here is a Craft Images import preset. Again, it's got everything including the location in which those images are to be imported into. If I want to make changes I can, but this is a one-click way of setting up this import dialog to work for me. There are also presets in the Develop module, for example. Here I have an image and I can apply a fix to an image based on a set of presets that I've created, and ones that come with Lightroom, and ones that I have downloaded from the web. Some of these adjustment brushes come with presets and you can create your own. In the Print module, there are presets. Here is a preset that I have selected for 4-wide printing. If I just hover over it, in the top-left corner you'll see what it looks like. Well, I've got one image selected, so let me go and select another image and another one, and let's go and select another one here. All those images are now arranged in this 4-wide layout. In other applications, this could take a lot of time to do. In Lightroom, it's instantaneous because it has what are called templates, which are like preset layouts for the printing job. There are other presets. Here you can have presets, for example, for your identity plate, and there are presets for your watermarks. Everything has been designed to make things as easy as possible for you to do your job whatever that happens to be, as a photographer. Other things that are nice and easy from Lightroom are things such as going to Photoshop. I can right-click and choose Edit in, and I can send an image direct to Photoshop. The plus for that is that if I save it correctly out of Photoshop, when I come back into Lightroom, the edited image is going to up here alongside the original. I can have an original and an edited image inside the Lightroom catalog. This round tripping is handled by Lightroom having a conversation with Photoshop. The two applications know each other well because they come from the same developer, and so getting things to Photoshop for those things that you can only do in Photoshop is very easy. It's all done, again, from inside Lightroom. You don't have to go anywhere to do it, you just do it from Lightroom. Now, the Develop module in Lightroom has some advantages over the Develop module in Adobe Camera Raw. Let's switch to another image here. In Adobe Camera Raw, you have tabbed panels while in Lightroom everything's just in a long list and it has words. So you don't have to work out what an icon means, you can just read off the words. Here's the Basic panel and here are the Basic panel adjustments. If you're used to working in Adobe Camera Raw, all of these are going to be familiar to you because the Develop module in Lightroom shares this interface, so all of these settings are the same as you have an Adobe Camera Raw. Here are your Graduated Filter, and your Radial Filter, and your Adjustment Brush. For a lot of paper working with the tools in this panel in Lightroom is a little bit more intuitive than it is working with the tools or the similar tools in Adobe Camera Raw. Now let me just make some quick adjustments to this image because I want to show you something in a minute. I'm just doing some quick adjustments to edit the image in a preliminary way. Let's go now over here to the History panel because unlike Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom has a really good History panel. You can see all the changes that you've made to the image and you can wind back to them. This is the import, and this is when I'd finished my black clipping, and this is when I finished my vibrance. Now, if I go briefly back into the Library module, I have a collection down here. Let me just open my collection, so we can go to an image that has been recently edited. Just going to this collection and let's just go to an image that I edited recently, and let's go to the Develop module. Well, here is the history of edits that I did to this image. I did that a few weeks ago, but all of these edits are still stored in Lightroom and they can all be undone. I can go back to here and this was the image before I cropped it with some settings applied to it, I can go back to a Synchronize Settings step that I did to the image. If I don't like any of those, I can go back to where the image was finished off. All of these changes are stored inside the Lightroom library. Trying to do this in Adobe Camera Raw would be really difficult. Trying to do it in Photoshop, nearly impossible. But this is the way that Lightroom functions. It's there to make things so much easier for you. This rollback on history is really almost a deal breaker in terms of using Lightroom because it just gives you so much flexibility for working with your images, and these edits are stored indefinitely, so you can wind back at anytime. You don't have to do anything special, Lightroom is just doing this automatically as you work. 5. Pt 4 Lightroom and Photoshop: One of the other things that's very different from Lightroom to Adobe Camera Raw is what can be stored in a preset. Now I've got some presets here that come from Tray Radcliffe, I'm just going to show my Navigator. I just want to roll over these presets before we actually apply one of these to the image, I'm going to apply Flatjack to the image. Now inside this preset awesome graduated filter, so if I click on the Graduated Filter, you can see that there's a Graduated Filter here. I'm just going to pull it a little bit because I wanted to adjust it a little bit, but there's another one here and there's another one here. There's one over here too. Now you can't store graduated filter adjustments inside preset in Adobe Camera Raw and you can't store radial filter adjustments either, which limits some what, the power of preset and Adobe Camera Raw. But in Lightroom, you can store all of those inside a preset. So you can get a wider range of adjustments that you can do to your images with just a single click because that was just a single click. Of course, presets like everything else are going to appear in the history panel and you can just wind back. This was the imported image and this is just with a single preset with all of those graduated filters stored in it applied to the image, and then just a small tweak to the preset result. If you're editing a lot of images and you'd like to use effects that you can download from the web, you're going to get much more robust effects, much more robust presets if you're using Lightroom to the ones that are going to be available for Adobe Camera Raw simply because you can't store so much in presets in Adobe Camera Raw. Now presets are not limited to just editing an image or printing an image. If I go to the export dialogue here, you can create custom presets for exporting your images. I can, for example, go to my blog export. Then all of these settings are configured for exporting images to my blog. All I need to do is click on the blog export that populates this dialogue and then I can make changes if I want to. There are ways that you can use presets for even things like exporting images in Lightroom. Overall, when people started using Lightroom and were perhaps using Photoshop in the past, most people seemed to think that they were reducing their editing time or their processing time for their images by about 80 percent. If it took you five hours to do a task previously, you could probably be reducing that to about a one hour task in Lightroom. It's that powerful, it's that smart an application. Now some other things that quickly are very easy to do in Lightroom. I'm just going back to my export dialogue here. One of those is to add watermarks. There's a watermark tool here where you can store a series of watermarks and then you can apply them to your image. I've got a heap of watermarks here. If I just go to one of mine which is fairly old here, but let's just go to it and let's go to edit watermarks. You can see the watermark here on the image and there are all of these settings. I can even update that to now 2017 and save it. It would be then a watermark that I could continue to use. The beauty of these watermarks is that they're not actually applied to the image inside Lightroom, they're only applied to the exported image. There's no chance that you're going to accidentally put a watermark on an image when you didn't intend to do it or it's not going to be permanent on the image. It only goes on the exported version. That watermarking is available on export. You can also watermark images in the print module, for example. One of the nice things about the web module here, I'm just going to kick it over here. There are a whole heap of HTML templates here. This is now just loading. The web gallery that we're going to see here is actually a live gallery. What Lightroom just did was it created all the HTML that it needed to display this web gallery. We're saying here exactly what the images would look like if they were posted to the web. You can add all details in here to your web. You can change the gallery to a different look. Then there are Upload settings. If you get everything looking the way you want it to, you can send it to the web using an FTP upload process that's actually built into light room, but this is what your gallery is going to look like when your images hit the web. Now, I've got a whole heap of images here, but let's just click on this. On the web, this is how this would work. I would click on the image and I would go and say that image, I can go back to the index and I can go and click on another image it's going to show, I can go back to the image or I can progress through the images in the gallery by just clicking "Next." This is what it would look like on the web. The images are very small because I've preset this to be quite small, but you've got all settings here. This is just a few clicks and you've got a web gallery. If you're an event photographer, for example, as soon as you've finished processing your images, you can come in and shoot them up to the web as a gallery. Now, Lightroom is obviously highly suitable for wedding and event photographers. All the tools that you need in here, it's good for commercial photographers, and basically it's great program for anyone who wants to organize and process their images more quickly and effectively. What Lightroom won't do, is it doesn't handle layers. You can't layer images on top of each other. There's no ability to add texture to images in Lightroom. You can't blend images together. There are some limits on the effectiveness of the spot healing tool, the spot removal tool, while it's got better with later versions of Lightroom, if you've got a really big flaw in your images that you want to get rid of, you'll generally want to take it to Photoshop. You would perform all your edits in Lightroom and then you would right-click and send it to Photoshop, do your clean up there, and then bring it back into Lightroom to finish off. The other thing that Lightroom is not particularly good at is text over image effects. You can put a piece of text on an image as a watermark or an identity plate. But basically that's significantly limited. If you want text over image effects, you'd also be sending your image through to Photoshop. Basically the interaction between Lightroom and Photoshop is that you'd import your images into Lightroom, into the library module. You'll do your developing of your images in the develop module. Anything that you can't do in the develop module and you need to do in Photoshop, you would send the image out of Lightroom direct to Photoshop and then bring it back into Lightroom for finishing off. You're only sending images to Photoshop for those things that you can't do in Lightroom. Depending on the kind of photos that you shoot, and the kind of things you want to do with them, that may be very seldom, ever. If you do a lot of collage, if you do a lot of text over image effects, then you will want to go to Photoshop more often, but it really depends on what you do with your images. Lightroom isn't the easiest program to learn to use. It has a pretty steep learning curve. There are a lot of things that are in Lightroom that are not necessarily easy to find. I'm just going to open up this Quick Develop panel here. One of the things that is typical of Lightroom and making it difficult to learn to use is that you can see right now that there's a clarity and a vibrant slider. But I can turn them into sharpening and saturation, but I have to know that there's a K strike the Alt or Option K will kick those over to bang something different. When I hold Alt or option, these are changing too. There are things that are hidden in Lightroom. Let's go to the Print module. What's not highly apparent here is that this little icon opens up a menu of identity plates. You have to know that things are there. It takes a little bit of time to learn what things are here and what power you have in terms of doing things in Lightroom. I wouldn't count it as one of the easier programs I've ever had to learn, but it certainly pays back. If you spend the time learning Lightroom, the ability to organize your images to have anything up to probably a 100,000 images or more instantly accessible and visible in front of you just makes this program an awesome tool for photographers. I hope that I've helped you have a look at Lightroom and experience some of the things that might be of use to you. Now they also might be not have used too. You might look at this and say, ''Well, thank you, but this is not a tool for me and that's fine too.'' It does take a lot of effort to learn and there are some people for whom it just won't be the tool of choice. It won't give you anything more than you've already got elsewhere. But if you're looking for a tool to help you manage your photos, if you've got a little bit of an out-of-control system, then Lightroom is certainly well-worth considering. Your project for this class is just to go into the project area and just tell me what you thought in terms of whether Lightroom is going to be of any use to you or not. Just let me know whether this program speaks to you, whether it's got a place in your workflow and what features of Lightroom did you see in this video that you thought you could use. As you're watching these videos, you will have seen a prompt to recommend this class to others. Please, if you enjoyed the class and if you learned something from it, do two things for me. Firstly, give it a thumbs up and secondly, write in just a few words, why you enjoyed the class. These recommendations help other students to see that this is a class that they too might enjoy and learn from. Now if you'd like to leave a comment or a question for me, please do so. I understand with this particular program, you may have questions. Do that. Leave me a comment or a question. I read and respond to all of them, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. My name's Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch, and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon.