Adobe Lightroom Tips for beginners: Understanding which portion of the image each slider affects.

Have been trying to understand how each slider in the “basic” module of Adobe Lightroom 5 affects the image but then I noticed that Lightroom actually tells us that.

Just by hovering over each of Exposure / Highlights / Shadows / Whites and Blacks a grey overlay on the histogram will show to indicate which portion each slider will affect the most.

The Exposure slider will affect the midtones

The highlight slider the right hand portion of the histogram so, as the name indicates, the highlight, but not the far end right hand side like I originally thought.

Also the shadows affect the left hand side of the histogram but again, not the far left hand side so it is for the darks midtones or the light shadows if you prefer.

The final 2 sliders are the “whites” and “blacks” and these are the 2 that affect the extreme parts of the histogram

Well this is pretty obvious now that I know it but got me confused at first when I thought that the highlights and shadows were for the extreme parts and didn’t really understand what are whites and blacks used for.

I surely hope this will help you out …

Adobe Lightroom Tips for beginners: Claiming back your screen real-estate

Today in my series Adobe Lightroom Tips for beginners I am going to show you how you can claim back your screen real estate so you can work more efficiently in Lightroom.

If you are planning to buy Adobe Lightroom 5 please consider using our amazon affiliate link for that.

I work with lightroom mainly from my laptop so getting the maximum out of my screen is really important, here are some tips I have learned

  • Switching to Full screen: SHIFT+F will rotate across the different screen modes, press it twice (from default) and you will be in full screen
  • Hide the panels: When not using them I hide the panels using the F5 / F6 / F7 / F8 keys. clicking on the key again will re-show its corresponding panel
  • Hiding side panels: You can use the TAB key to hide/show side panels together, the result will be as if you pressed F7 and F8 simultaneously
  • Hide all the panels together: you can use SHIFT + TAB to hide/show all 4 panels together
  • Switching to Full screen and hiding the panels: CTRL+SHIFT+F on Windows (Command+Shift+F on MAC) will switch lightroom to full screen mode and hide the panel all in one keyboard combination

Do you know any other shortcut or trick to maximize the screen usage ? share it with us in the comments

Adobe Lightroom Tips for beginners: Installing plugins

Yesterday I have shared with you how to disable/enable the effects of a single module in Adobe Lightroom well today we will cover how to install a plug-in.

Think of Lightroom plugins as add-ons to the product that extend its capabilities, Publishing plugins for example will allow you to publish your images to various websites (flickr, 500px, smugmug and others) without any additional effort.

Installing a plugin is not hard and very straight

  1. First download the plugin you want to install, most of them will come in a zip format
  2. Unzip the downloaded plugin to a folder on your drive, I would advise you to have a folder specifically for all plugins. This will make it easier for you to locate them and backup/restore them if you ever need to change your computer instead of having to download them all again
  3. From within Adobe Lightroom open File menu then go to Plugin manager (or click CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+, on windows). Your plugin manager is where you can manage all your plugins.
  4. Click on the “Add” button and navigate the the folder you have extracted you plugin to in step 2
  5. Click on Select – Folder
  6. Don’t forget to configure your plugin after installing it if required.

If you are looking for some plugins to download you can start here

Adobe Lightroom Tips for beginners: Turning off module preview

I finally made the jump and bought Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5, so I will be doing a series of small tutorials/ Tips & tricks of the things I am discovering and finding out useful in this software.

You can expect these to be beginners tips since I am just beginning with the product but I do hope that they will turn-out to be useful for some of you out there.

Today I will begin with this small switch that can be found at the left-hand side of every module. This small switch, that I did not notice first, is used to switch OFF/ON the specific module.

So toggling it will help you easily see the effect of a specific module on your image and is useful to judge if you like the outcome of that module or not, you can think of it like a module “Before/After” knob.

Video Tutorial Review: “Image Editing, Volume 1” by Chip Phillips

If you’ve already stumbled on Chip’s gallery I am sure you would agree with me that it is nothing less than wonderful. Chip’s images are very tasteful crafts, cared for till the very minute details. But is good photography and composition skills enough  to deliver such breathtaking imagery ?

Well no, post-processing technique is an intrinsic part of digital photography and, no matter how good you are on the field, you should master your digital dark room to take your images to the next step and give them that "wow" factor.

So, if like me, you are a landscape photographer and would like to learn the secrets behind Chip’s pictures’ crispness and vibrant colors now is your chance to grab this video tutorial "Image Editing, Volume 1" from Chip himself for only $39 USD.

Chip was kind enough to provide me with a free copy of the video so I can review it but I will tell you honestly I have learned a lot from it. The video tutorial has a running time of about 3.5 hours during which Chip will walk-us through the different techniques he uses on his images and teach us how to use them. The final video of the series is a 1h 34 minutes step-by-step walk through of 2 images from the RAW till publishing state.

I should also mention that, in these videos, Chip uses mainly Adobe Photoshop and occasionally Adobe lightroom for retouching and most techniques covered may not be compatible with Adobe Photoshop elements.

Although Chip repeatedly says that these videos are not for beginners, I have to mention that they are easy to follow and are really done with the beginner in mind. So if you have basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop you should do just fine.

For a total download size of 1.1 GB, this tutorial is made of 8 different videos and is divided as follows:

1.Introduction (5 min)

A quick overview of the tutorial that you can see for free on video purchase page 

2.Working With Layers and Layer Masks in Photoshop (22 min)

In this video Chip explains adjustment layers and how you can apply selective correction to just portions of the images using layer masking.

3.Making and Using Luminosity Masks (30 min)

Building on Layer masks introduced in the previous lesson, we are now introduced to the luminosity masks which give us a granular control on retouching light, dark and midtone portion of the image.

4.Color (20 min)

This video was, for me, a real revelation. Chip explains how he can get these beautiful and vibrant colors in his pictures and introduces us to tools like color balance, saturation and vibrance masks 

5.Local Contrast and Brilliance (9 min)

The shortest video of the series covering local contrast and brilliance

6.How I Use the Orton Effect (15 min)

Another totally new concept I learned from this video. What is the Orton effect and how to create it. 

7.Sharpening Images for the Web and for Print (13 min)

Now that we have learned how to achieve great color and contrast Chip explains the different sharpening techniques he uses for both web publishing and printing.

8.Raw Preparation, Hand Blending Multiple Exposures Using Luminosity Masks, and Depth of Field Blending (1h 34m)

It is now time to put all what we have learned in the 7 previous parts in action. Chip didn’t stop at covering the basics of his retouching techniques but shows us, in this video, the full process from RAW to publishing on two of his images.
This video also covers Depth of Field blending and some field technique that you should keep in mind while shooting to maximize your chances of getting a great picture later on.

I honestly learned a lot from "Image Editing, Volume 1" and feel that $39 USD is a very fair price to pay for this tutorial, if you are still having doubt on whether you will benefit from this tutorial or not, head now to the video purchase page and read other buyers’ feedback and testimonials.

Thank you Chip for this video and I can’t wait till I have the chance to review the Volume 2 of your image editing tutorial.