Starting out as a photographer can be hard enough with trying to get off automatic mode without needing to learn how to make the most of Adobe Lightroom’s features.
The program has more features than most photographers realise, but what I see more often than not is photographers avoiding some of the most useful ones. So here are three Lightroom features and tips I recommend all new photographers and Lightroom users take advantage of to save time later.
One of the most common issues I see in photos is that the white balance is off. And by off, I mean way off. It’s a mistake even I make regularly. One thing you can do is to simplify your process.
Your camera does a pretty good job of selecting the correct white balance for the shot if you have it set on auto. It might seem like choosing one of the setting-specific options in the White Balance dropdown is a good idea, but you’re just confusing yourself for the next step. The reason I say that is because when you move into the ‘Develop’ module, you’re going to have the full White Balance slider available.
Trust me, using this slider and seeing the results change slowly right in front of you gives you a much greater level of control over your image. Don’t let these dropdown presets complicate things.
When you start out either building a new Lightroom catalogue or getting into photography, keywords might seem like a hassle.
One of the things you will thank yourself for later is keeping on top of your keywords. So many times someone has asked me for a photo in a certain resolution, and I sit there and give myself a good, long, pat on the back for having accurate keywords attached to the photos in my Lightroom catalogue.
Even the simplest of keywords can save you time later. Plus, the keyword suggestions will get more meaningful as time goes on, so there really is no excuse not to get in the habit of saving yourself time!
Protecting your images from copyright is almost impossible in the short-term for photographers. Having to run through the courts with a copyright infringement case is not cheap. Almost everyone watermarks images, but Lightroom has a metadata entry option that some photographers don’t take advantage of. And every little bit of copyright protection helps.
By adding your metadata, you can specify what usage rights people have, where the work originated from, and how someone can get in contact with you if they want to talk about using the image for their campaign or initiative. This metadata will be embedded in your JPEG file on export, so set up a metadata preset and enable it by default so you don’t have to worry about adding the information in each time you go to export images.
So there you have it – three tips for getting your Lightroom catalogue off on the right foot. What tips do you have for keeping a clean Lightroom catalogue?