Learning Lightroom

I’ve been reading several books on using Adobe Lightroom and playing around with it a bit over the last few months. During the Thanksgiving break, Craftsy had a 50% off sale on some of their online courses, so I bought a few on Lightroom thinking I would have time to work through one or two before the end of the semester. Ha!

I finally started one yesterday and wrapped it up today: “The Essential Guide to Lightroom” with Skott Chandler.I was familiar with a lot of what was covered in the course since I’d been doing a good bit of reading about the program, but I also learned a number of new things that will come in handy as I work with the program more.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the program it is first and foremost a photo database. In digital photography, one can shoot a few hundred images in just a few hours. So over the course of weeks, months, or years one could have literally tens of thousands of shots. Lightroom is designed to sort and organize photographs (and video as well).

lightroom-library-1Using Lightroom to import photos I can go through and quickly cull the bad photos so I’m just left with the keepers. Also, every photo one takes contains lots of metadata–everything from where and when one took the photo to what camera settings one used. If I were to just store these photos on say an external hard drive or my computer, all this data is hidden. But with Lightroom, it’s right up front. Say for example, I wanted to find every photo I took from March 2016 to June 2016 using a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second, I could do so with a few keystrokes. I can also add metadata if I like.

It’s also has all the tools one needs to manipulate the data in RAW files. In the Develop module I can play with exposure, contrast, color, lens correction and even local adjustments. It’s not as powerful as Photoshop, but unlike Photoshop everything you do in Lightroom is entirely non-destructive which is great since I’m a newbie. Lightroom also has great export features so I can print, email, post my photos.

In addition to learning some new things about Lightroom, taking this course proved to me once again that I do not like having to watch and listen to videos to learn something. Yes, seeing the program and how to do things is great, but I’d rather be given a series of screen shots and written directions in PDF.

I guess I’m old school in that way, but I think I can work through material better that way. If I have questions, then I can skim a video to find what I need. But having to sit through a 10, 15, or 25 minute video is not my thing.

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