Getting To Purple? Using Lightroom to Blast Your Photos From Blah to Hurrah!

2014 December 2

5 Steps to Rock Lightroom and Speed up Your Photo Editing Workflow

 

Senior Portraits 2014 GoodNCrazy Carissa Rogers Photographer Charlotte - Fort Mill area 2If you haven’t tried out Lightroom yet but you’re somewhat adept at Photoshop Elements or even pretty darn good at Picmonkey or other free online photo editing options… you might be ready for Lightroom. Initially for me it was a high price that took me 2 years to get up the nerve to pay.

Currently there is a subscription based option where you can pay under $15 per month for access to both Lightroom AND Photoshop, but I know I’d have to bite the bullet and buy the whole thing to convince myself to spend the TIME learning how to use it. Full price is: $139 on Amazon right now.

I can’t say I’m an expert at using Lightroom by any stretch but I can say it has taken my photo editing to a whole new level. I’m willing to take more risks shooting in Manual Mode knowing I can fix darn near any exposure flub-up later when I’m in Lightroom. And besides what’s a few more HUNDRED digital photos?

 

using your camera's manual settings people watching 5K race

 

goodncrazy senior portrait photography fort mill South CarolinaI can always hit delete. Right?

First

Lightroom acts as a ‘cataloging’ genius. But that part is also exactly what makes it confusing at first. Read how I first figured out the Lightroom catalogue conundrum. Let Lightroom do the organizational heavy lifting for you and you’ll be able to better keep track of your photos. See the tutorials at the bottom of that post. I promise. You can do this!

Second

Lightroom speeds up the simple process I like to call: “DELETING the crap”! Be brave. After taking 300 photos at your kid’s 5th birthday party…. Get rid of everything you KNOW you won’t use. I’m talking badly lit (unless you love it… you might be able to save it…). Blurry, weird or just plain several (okay 50+) duplicates.

Lightroom tutorial getting to purple goodncrazy carissa rogers photography 2

Simply label what you love with a green tag for KEEP and go back and delete everything that doesn’t have a label.Lightroom tutorial getting to purple goodncrazy carissa rogers photography 3

My tip is to say yes when it asks if you want to delete from the Disk drive as well.
Come on people… Delete it and really mean it.

Pros refer to these first two steps as ‘workflow’.

I call them refreshing.
Like decluttering your closet.
Start out with only the amazing images and go from there.

Third

goodncrazy photography carissa rogersNow that you have JUST the photos you KNOW you want to keep, the editing begins. Lightroom makes working in batches superfast. I often start with a preset I know I love as a jumping off point.

Then I make a few broad adjustments and then copy those adjustments to all the other photos in that sting of shots with similar lighting. If I have a set of photos that have a really interesting lighting I might create a preset of those adjustments in order to have a starting point for the rest of the images taken that day/shoot.

{WARNING: Creating presets you love is ridiculously easy and kind of addicting.}

Lightroom tutorial getting to purple goodncrazy carissa rogers photography

 

That happened a lot when I was editing photos taken in Spain last spring. The images from Toledo had this gorgeous ‘orange-ish’ cast to them and editing them was fun but slightly challenging. I created a preset just for those images I called GoodNCrazy Toledo of course. The same happened in Barcelona. The light was really that specific to each area we traveled!

Fourth

I go through and do a last carissa rogers goodncrazyfiltering … I use purple, I don’t know why, but you better believe if I change an image from a green label to a purple label, that image is probably only one of 10 or 15 out of a photo shoot that I KNOW I will either print or insert in a blog post or share on Instagram as a favorite photo of the day.

Here’s where the real-real final-final editing begins. Not a huge amount of effort left at this point. Just fine tuning the image to really pop the colors, lighting the faces the way I want. And sometimes I spend a few minutes finessing this or that only to look back at the original and bring the edits back to a more ‘natural’ look. I have to remind myself not to go overboard with the editing.

My main goal for the humans in the shots to have a very natural skin tone.

 

Fifth:
Purple Means WOW this is a Great Photo!
Now Go Do Something With it!

Life is Beautiful postcard western carolina card

 

“Getting to Purple” means this is a photo I will export at the end of the Lightroom session. Until you EXPORT an image out of the Lightroom program (I usually KEEP the exported image as another image in the catalogue btw) you haven’t really altered any pixels. Exporting means you are RE-Saving a new image of the altered image you see in the program. Without this step you can’t use the image as you have edited it. I create a new sub-folder usually labeled the same as the original folder with the words Final Edits added to the end of the title. I highlight just the purple images and export them all at once at the end.

 

See all of my Lightroom Posts in one place!

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