Lightroom Tutorial 3 – Develop Module Presets

Lightroom Develop Module

It would be helpful if you opened Lightroom and then clicked on the folder that you used for tutorial 2, Library module. If you didn’t make one then any folder will do, but it would be best if there were only 5 or 6 photos in it.

Once we have opened a folder we are in the Library module. You don’t need to click on develop as there are keyboard short cuts. Press D to go to the develop module and then if you want to go back to the library at any point then press G. To remove the side and bottom menus press tab │←→│.

Your screen should now look like this.

Develop-1

There are small arrows in the circles. If you click on arrows 1 and 3 you will notice that the develop menu has now disappeared and so has your row of photos at the bottom. This is really useful as you can then develop your photos in a larger format, and you can click on any of the arrows to bring them back. However, you don’t need to even do that. Hover over any of the arrows and the menu will show, and you can then use those features. I tend to have the develop menu (top) and the tool menu (right) permanently open, but you will find out what’s best for you by experimentation. For now, press tab and bring all of the menus back up.

The first thing that I always do when in the develop menu is to remove chromatic aberration and enable profile corrections. Chromatic aberrations are sometimes known as “Colour Fringing” and it is to do with how light at different wavelengths are brought to the focal point slightly differently, so you can get a blurred edge, more often of one colour. The lens correction is based upon the known distortions produced by a specific lens.

It’s best to adjust this with all of your photos in this collection at once. If I do this individually I forget some of the time. To choose all of your photos press Ctrl A, then use the right hand side slider until you find this.

Develop-2

Tick the check box for remove chromatic aberration and also for Enable Profile Corrections. You can choose which lens you were using. If you use a camera without interchangeable lenses then I don’t think you can correct the profile. My Fuji bridge camera doesn’t have a profile here so I can’t correct it. Once you have ticked the boxes press sync. (The above photo says auto sync, but it will say Sync on your screen).  If you have used multiple lenses you will need to go through them individually, but I mostly use one lens on one shoot. Your screen will now have this check box.

Develop-3

Although you can sync all settings and it can speed up workflow, I wouldn’t reccoment this until you have got an understanding of the different develop tools. Some photos will require different settings for optimal developing, so it isnt best to sync everything. When you are used to the develop tools and can make a fair assumption of how they will affect other photos you can then sycn settings by selecting multiple photos (Ctrl and left click). The settings will be synchronised with the photo that you are currently editing and applied to the others.

At the moment just tick the same 7 boxes that I have ticked above (deselct the rest by clicking on them if they are already ticked) and then press Synchronize.

Lightroom Presets

Lightroom presets are global develop settings that Lightroom has built in as options for you to use if you wish. They provide a range of options to develop photos and can speed up our workflow. You can use a preset and then add your own adjustments to these, or you may choose not to use them at all, but they are definitely worth exploring.

Develop-4

1- Change background colour, 2- Navigator preview image, 3 – Lightroom presets

Before we use the presets consider changing the background of your screen. Right-click to the side of your photo and click the background colour of your preference. I have recently moved over to a white background. My reason being that most of my photos are displayed online, on a white background. Having the same background in Lightroom means that I am developing a photo as it will be seen online. The colour of the background alters the way that our brain views the light and colour (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checker_shadow_illusion)

The navigator is brilliant. You can change the image ratio to zoom in or out, which you can also do with Ctrl + – (no Ctrl 0 in Lightroom like there is in Photoshop). You can increase the zoom further by using the double arrows next to the 2:1 ratio. The fab part of navigation is when you then start to explore the pre-sets. Most frequently I use the General Presets, occasional use of the Colour Presets, and rarely the Black and White Presets.

Exercise

Open the General Preset menu by clicking on the arrow to the left of it. Hover over each of the options whilst looking at the image above in the navigator. You get a preview of how the pre-set will adjust your photo. Do the same with the Colour Pre-sets. Click on one of them and it will adjust your photo, and then you can press Ctrl Z to undo the change.

There is also a + – symbol next to where it says pre-sets in the same panel. This is useful when you realise that you make a lot of similar global changes in your photo developing. You can make the changes to a photo and then press the + symbol, give your preset a name, and you have your own preset. This saves time, but get used to developing your photos first (Tutorial 4 and 5 will explore global and local developing).

I don’t use the copy and paste, you can add your own develop settings into the currently selected preset, or you can copy a presets settings and then paste them into a photo. I am not familiar with this process and I don’t feel comfortable changing around these settings by using the copy and paste. You do not need to use the copy and paste option as once you have used a preset you can still make your own local and global developments to your photo anyway.

Lightroom History

When you are developing photos in Lightroom you are developing a full size virtual copy in a non-destructive manner. It doesn’t matter how many changes that you make, you can always go back to the original settings. You can do this by using Ctrl Z, which is fine for going back a couple of settings, but what if you have used the tools (tutorial 4 and 5) and have made lots of brush strokes and altered a lot of settings and don’t like what you have done? Use the slider on the left of the screen and go down to history. As you haven’t adjusted anything other than chromatic aberrations and lens profile then your History won’t reveal much. However you can see that in my history settings it shows a few of the developments that I have made:- Dark tones, dark tones, lightones, vibrance, clarity, add brush stroke etc.

Develop-5

I have made some awful edits on mine and I don’t like them. I can now step back to anywhere in the history. By hovering over any of the settings, I can view how my photo looked at that point by looking in the navigator as I hover over the history changes. Then click on a change that I want to go back to. Being able to view our adjustment history in the navigator is an excellent tool from Lightroom (Adobe)

Exercise

Click on one of the Lightroom Colour Presets, we are doing this to ensure that you have made a change to your photo (a basic development), now you can compare your developed photo with the original. Press Y and your screen will look like this.

Develop-6

By clicking where it says YY you can alter how you compare the before and after settings, side by side, above and below, or split view side by side and split view above and below. Give it a go. To go back to having just your developed photo (after) on screen press Y.

When you are developing a photo and you want a quick view of the original photo, you dont have to see it side by side. Press the \ and it will bring up the original and then press it again to return to your current stage of development.

I personally do not use the three boxes to the right of where it says before and after because I don’t fully understand how to use them. If I want to go back to any previous settings I just use the history brush.

Next time, in tutorial 4,  we will look at the global developing tools and see how we can begin to develop the whole photo. In tutorial 5 we will make local adjustments.

Lightroom Tutorial 2 – Library Module

As we are going to begin our process of developing our photos it would help if you were to create a new folder on your desk top and copy six photos into it. We will then be able to use these as a practical means of understanding and making use of Lightroom.

If you open Lightroom it will begin in the library module, and with the last catalogue that you developed. It will look something like this.

Library-1

There are four numbered arrows and four circles. Before we consider their importance press the tab key, its above Caps Lock “│←→│”.  The tab key removes the side menus so that you can see a larger grid view of your images. If you now repress the tab key. There are other ways to remove the side menus, and that is by the tiny white arrows that are in the circles in the image above. This gives you the option of seeing more of your photos, or a larger photo if you are in Loupe view.

The numbered arrows are parts of the library that we will explore in this exercise

1 – This arrow is pointing at metadata

2- Folders that you have previously imported into Lightroom

3 – A menu that gives you the option to view images that contain certain text, metadata and attributes.

4 – Quick Develop, Add/View keywords, Add/View metadata, Add/View comments

Exercise

Import the folder of photos that you just made by going to the top menu, Click File, Click import photos and videos. We are importing in this manner rather than using the import button at the bottom left of the screen so that we don’t add our photos to the current library.

Locate the folder from your desktop. It will then bring the photos into the library. There is a button at the lower right of the screen that says import but don’t press it yet.

Your screen will now look like this.

Library-2

1 – Build Previews. Lightroom generates thumbnails and full pictures as virtual copies in the library and the develop module. I use 1:1 previews because they are the highest quality. It may take a while for Lightroom to build the previews, but you can still work with your images while it is doing so. If you set this to standard or minimal then Lightroom will import more quickly, but each time you edit a photo it will build a 1:1 image each time and this slows down your workflow.

2 – Develop Settings – Until you are sued to the develop settings, which isn’t necessary right now, then either select auto tone or none.

3 – Keywords – Keywords are an important part of recording metadata into photos. Keywords are not the only metadata and I will explain more later. Lets add some keywords. Why? Over time you will process thousands of photos and will want to find one or two really quickly. If you have keywords then you can search all of your photos in Lightroom via keywords and it will take you to the photos with those words. I have added Lightroom library module walk-through, followed by a comma. Adding the comma after each word or sentence means you can add another keyword or phrase, so I have then added Lightroom, and FiP. Adding keywords here will add them to all photos that you are importing, but you can add photos to individual photos later on. Now click Import.

Library-3

Because I had my develop settings as auto-tone, my photos have been imported with the tone corrected. The first photo with the light grey around it is the active photo.

The screen that you are seeing is called grid mode. You can select a different photo with the arrow keys, left click or Ctrl left click for multiple images. You can also click on one photo, then move to any other photo and press the Shift key “↑” and click with the shift pressed down. This will now select all of the photos from your orignal selection to this photo.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Press Ctrl A and all images are selected and then Ctrl D to deselect the images.

Press E – you now have one photo selected in full screen and this is Loupe mode. Press G and you are taken back to grid.

Click on any image to select it.

Press 2, and a message set rating to 2 flashes on the screen, now press { (next to P) this will decrease the start rating “attribute” and the key next to it will increase it. Keys one to five will do this. Keys 6-9 add a colour rating. 6=red, 7=yellow, 8=green, 9=blue. I use the attributes to select photos that are either worth developing or to review again as Maybe’s.

Press 2 on three of your photos, and on one of these press 6.

Above your photos is a short menu, text, attribute, metadata or none. Click attribute and your screen looks like this.

Library-4

Where it says rating click on the first star and your screen will now only show the photos with an attribute of 1 star or above, so you now only have three photos showing. Now tick the red box, and you will only have one photo showing. Click on the red again to deselect it. This is a really good way of reviewing your photos, and sorting through which ones that you want to develop so that you don’t take them all into the develop module and feel like youre wading through photos to find the ones that you wish to develop.

The right hand side of your screen will now look like this

Library-5

Click Metadata, then where it says preset None, click the arrow to the right and then edit presets.

Library-7

Edit Metadata Presets is an important tool. Once you have this set up you can then import your photos with your presets, copyright and contact information embedded into your photos.

IPTC metadata

IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council) state that “Photo metadata is key to protecting images’ copyright and licensing information online. It is also essential for managing digital assets. Detailed and accurate descriptions about images ensure they can be easily and efficiently retrieved via search, by users or machine-readable code. This results in smoother workflow within organizations, more precise tracking of images, and increased licensing opportunities.” https://iptc.org/standards/photo-metadata/

Not all search engines look for photographic metadata, but some do, and Adobe are encouraging Google to do so. Many Stock libraries use metadata and WordPress has a widget that can tag your photos by reading metadata. We can add lots of information.

Here are the settings that can be most useful

Camera Info

IPTC Copyright – in this section there are four boxes.

1 – Copyright – I add my email as my copyright but you can add your name.

2 – Copyright Status – I tick the Copyrighted box

3 – Rights usage terms – I use a creative commons license and add the details of my specific license https://creativecommons.org/

4 – Copyright info – I provide a link to my copyright page on my website

IPTC Creator

I don’t fill all of the boxes within this section but I do add my name, email, Country and website details. You can add your address and phone number if you wish, but I am not comfortable with this at this stage of my development as a photographer.

IPTC Status

Title – If I am producing a series such as Northern Pride then I will add a title here, as its OK for all of the images to have the same title. However you can add individual titles to photos later quite easily without using the user preset that you are now creating. I then add my name in the credit line and my website into the source.

Keywords

I then skip down to the last section and add keywords. These are words that fit the whole series generically, and then can add photo specific keywords to the individual photo later.

Click DONE and then you can name your preset. You only need to do this once, and then in future you can import your photos with your preset. You will need to add title and keywords in future but nothing else.

Warning

I have found that sometimes Lightroom has not saved my keywords to photos, so whenever I close Lightroom, I go to the menu at the top of the screen – Click Metadata and then Save metadata to files. NOT ALL FILE TYPES RETAIN METADATA, but RAW, TIFF, JPEG and PSD do.

PNG files do not retain metadata, but we don’t need to worry about this in Lightroom. Be aware of this if saving photos in other editing software such as Photoshop. If you save photos in formats other than TIFF, JPEG or PSD you will lose the metadata that you have spent time adding.

Metadata for individual photos

Click on a photo to select it. Using the slider on the right hand side of the screen find where it says title, add a title to a photo. Then go up slightly to where it says Keyword List, there is an add button + and you can now add keywords to individual photos. Once you have done this you can again go to the metadata drop down at the top of the screen and save metadata to files.

You can also use the quick develop module by moving the right hand slider to the top of the screen and adjust tone, white balance, exposure, clarity and vibrance, but I prefer to do this within the develop module, which will be the next theme.

 

Lightroom Tutorial 1 – Setting up Preferences and Catalogue Settings

I know that we all want to get on with developing our photos and brining the best out of them, but if we get this bit right at the beginning, then Lightroom will run efficiently for our PC, and we will have a smoother workflow process.

The aim of this walk-through is to help us set Lightroom up in a manner that is calibrated with our PC and monitor, and to ensure smooth transition when switching between Lightroom, Photoshop and back to Lightroom.

 

I am going to write as if you have no understanding of Lightroom. There may be some things here that you are familiar with and you may have other tips to share. Feel free to leave comments with your own tips and guidance.

I am no expert, I have been using Lightroom for 5 months and it is becoming more intuitive as my experience develops. Some menus are different on a MAC, but for this you will only need to find the Edit menu.

Some of this may seem a bit Techy, but once it is done, you shouldn’t need to do it again and it will keep your work flow smooth.

Library and Preferences

There are alternate ways to manage folders:- Our own way, using Bridge, or using Lightroom. However Lightroom will not create folders unless you export to a specific folder that you ask Lightroom to create.

As a beginner I would recommend using your own system. I do this so that I know where the originals are kept. I don’t move them once edited, because Lightroom remembers the file path in order to find photos at a later date. Heres an example of my folders

Folders

When you import photos into Lightroom it creates a virtual copy. So you’re not editing the original photo. You’re editing the copy, and then Lightroom creates a catalogue of those copies. It also creates an XMP side car file and places it next to the original image in your folder and looks like this.

XMP-side-car

This may sound a bit technical. Its nothing to worry about. As long as you don’t move folders around then Lightroom will find them and open them with the develop settings that you have made.

When you open Lightroom, the last folder/catalogue that you opened will appear and will look like this.

Library-Mode

We are going to focus on the left of the screen.

Library-Mode-2

The red arrow which points to file and edit are where we can import images and edit our preferences. The second red arrow is pointing to folders that you have previously opened in Lightroom. At the bottom of the screen you will notice an import and export button. If you use this button to import, then it will add images to the collection that you currently have open. It won’t move the photos around in your hard drive, they will stay in the same folder. However Lightroom will now have a catalogue with two separate series of images in the one catalogue. This is the difference between catalogues and folders. Originals stay in folders unless we manually move them. Catalogues have virtual copies and Lightroom creates a pathway so that it knows which folder to look in to find them. We will look at Import and Library settings in the next walk-through, but now we will set up Lightroom preferences.

Press Edit and then Preferences. You should now have a grey box appear that looks like this.

Preferences-2

I have watched a few YouTube videos by Julieanne Kost and set my preferences up from her guidance. These settings are a good starting point.

Presets

Preferences-3

Leave all check boxes blank for now.

External Editing

Preferences-4

This is an important box. Why – Lightroom is excellent for developing photos, however it is not so good at cloning and healing large distractions. There are times that we need to quickly pop over to Photoshop and then return the edited photo to Lightroom. The settings in section 1 will ensure that you can easily transition between Lightroom, Photoshop and back to Lightroom. We will discuss exporting in a future walk-through. Lightroom also gives us the option to export photos to other photo developing software and you can alter those preferences in section 2.

File Handling

Preferences-5

I leave most of this alone and have only altered the camera Raw Cache settings. The cache settings are Lightroom’s editing memory. The more space we can use the quicker Lightroom will operate. What size you set this too will depend on the speed of your computer and the amount of spare memory. With this in mind, when I set up my folders – I set them up on my D drive – it has more space for storage, so I have no pictures on my C drive which is where Lightroom operates as a programme. This means I have the 20G spare on my C drive. Only you can know how much spare memory you have – but I believe as standard Lightroom has this set to 4G. If you are unsure about your spare memory then leave this alone and allow the Lightroom preset to run as it is.

We don’t need to worry about any more of the preferences. Click Ok, go back to the edit menu and click catalogue settings, and this box will appear.

Catalogue-1

I have changed the Backup drop down, so that it backs up the catalogues every time that I exit Lightroom. The catalogue back up, is part of how Lightroom recognises where your photos are stored and what virtual changes have been made. Lightroom only edits virtual copies so having the catalogue backup means that if your computer crashes then Lightroom knows what it has done to your virtual photos. Photos remain virtual unless we export them – that’s for a future walk-through.

We are advised to back up our original images somewhere other than our PC and it is important to back up the Lightroom catalogue separately.

The red arrow points to the location of my Lightroom catalogue, so I find the catalogue and copy it to my cloud account.

File Handling

Catalogue-2

Ensure Standard Preview size is set to auto – it will detect your screen resolution and ensure the preview fits your screen.

Preview quality – Medium is good if you are not running a fast PC with lots of memory, but if you have a good PC then set this to high. I have the 1:1 previews set to discard after 1 week. It doesn’t delete your image after one week, but it means the virtual image preview will be stored in your catalogue but NOT in your working memory, so your editing memory will not be slowed down with photos you have finished editing.

Metadata

Catalogue-3

This is the standard setting. Keep it at this and we will discuss metadata in more detail in the next walk-through – Library Module. The library module is where we can begin to develop our photos.