How to Use Lightroom: Complete Guide Including Tutorials & Tips

Adobe Lightroom is the industry standard for editing images. It’s clean and simple-to-use interface means you can start editing today.

Love it or hate the subscription, Lightroom is here to stay. Why spend hours editing when you can do it all in a blink of an eye.

What is Post-Processing Software?

Manual focus lenses became Automatic. Now, we even have motion-tracking focusing. More and more images are digitally captured, manipulated and shared.

Millions of people around the globe have access to our images. All this at the click of a button.

Photographically, the analog world only had access to film. This needed developing and processing in a dark room. Then enlarging the negatives onto photosensitive paper.

There were very simple and basic ways to edit and manipulate areas. Either due to over or underexposure or correcting a perspective.

These methods called dodging and burning allowed the printer, limited, control over images.

All this gave way in the digital age, where digital cameras required a new workflow.

Image manipulation software such as Adobe Lightroom took over from the laborious techniques of the former times.

These programs allowed photographers and printers to work fast. they became more efficient. The images were instant.

In short, film cameras turned into DSLRs. Gelatin covered silver upon a plastic base turned into microchip sensors. And darkrooms turned into Adobe Lightroom.

Our complete guide will take you through all the tutorial and tips that you need. You’ll soon master the editing of your photos in Adobe Lightroom.

What is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom?

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is photo editing and file management software. It is a great tool for organizing images into folders and collections. It makes for easy accessibility.

It follows a no-nonsense layout. Substance over style. You’ll find it allows you to do 90% of your photographic manipulation quickly and efficiently.

By using a handy copy/paste method, you can change the look of hundreds of images at the click of a button.

Also, free Lightroom presets are available for specific ways to stylize your photographs. All these benefits make Adobe Lightroom the popular choice for image editing.

6 Important Things You Need to Know About Lightroom 6

There are still a few users out there clinging on to the last standalone Lightroom software. After Lightroom 6, Adobe decided to make the program open only through subscription. If you managed to keep hold of Lightroom 6, you don’t have to pay a monthly fee. But, it restricts what you can do with it.

For the six most important things you need to know about Lightroom 6, look no further.

Why We Recommend Lightroom Vs Alternatives

Capture One vs. Adobe Lightroom

The biggest competitor to Lightroom would be Capture One. Photoshop wouldn’t qualify as competition. They are different programs made by the same company.

Capture One comes from a company who specializes in medium format photography. Their first release came around the same time as Lightroom (2006).

Both programs house and organize RAW files. They also let you manipulate the images in non-destructive manners.

The differences start appearing in the fine-tuning of the images. One area being color management.

Lightroom uses HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) sliders but Capture One goes further. It allows color adjustments in the shadows, highlights, and mid-tones.

But Capture One has been often described as finicky. some find it too powerful to be used as fast as a Lightroom alternative.

This article runs through all the benefits and drawbacks of both software packages. it will show you why Lightroom is the more popular and cheapest option.

Best Alternatives to Lightroom – Raw Therapee | Capture One | DxO | Darktable

There are many alternatives to Lightroom as a RAW converter. There are other programs you can use as image management or manipulation software.

Here, we will only compare programs that encompass all of these things. Just like Lightroom.

You might have your own reasons for not using Lightroom. Either the monthly subscription process or just being used to different software. Either way, there are alternatives.

For many years, Apple’s Aperture was Lightroom’s biggest competitor. Apple since then has decided to gut the program and create Photos.

So what are other companies doing? There are three, strong alternatives recommended by many different photographers. These are On1 Photo RAW, Luminar and Darktable.

As this article suggests in great depth, One1 Photo RAW is a complete photo workflow solution.

Luminar is great at processing but only lets you work with one image at a time.

Darktable is a free and open-source program. This is a great tool for people with a lot of photographs but no budget.

Lightroom Vs. Photoshop: What’s the Difference?

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop are, as you can tell, from the same company.

Lightroom even has Adobe Photoshop in its name, which should tell you a few things.

Photoshop has been the powerhouse of all digital editing since the 1990s. It can do anything. Because of this versatility, it has a steep learning curve.

It is an understatement to say it can be confusing. Not only does it cover all photography needs. But anything graphics related.

All types of visually creative work go very well with the Photoshop interface.

Lightroom, in this case, is the younger sibling. It maintains professional processing tools but adds speed to the mix.

With LR, you can work fast, applying changes to hundreds, if not thousands of images.

Lightroom meets most photographers’ needs, and 9 out of 10 use it for all editing needs. The 10% who need more would use both, by editing in LR and then exporting to PS.

Photoshop is best seen as an image editing device. Lightroom as an image management tool.

Organization in Lightroom

The file management system in Lightroom is very simple to use. After some time playing around in the Library module, you will feel right at home.

Importing, moving and organizing your photographs using a no-nonsense platform is a blessing.

Folders and images are imported at a click of a button and then moved using the drag-and-drop method.

Collections and keywords are very handy. Each image can have many words connecting them all.

These can be found later alongside other images in the same vein. Similarly, with collections, you can create folders with specific tasks.

These can isolate all your best images from those trips to Iceland, found across many folders.

Everything is saved in what is called a Catalog. This is where all the information on your editing is saved.

Lightroom creates a default Catalog that it loads from each time. This allows you to create others to divide different workflows or subject matters.

How to Organize Photos in Lightroom

How you organize all your photos, in general, could denote how you should organize them in Lightroom.

What works is to separate all images into folders on an external hard drive.

These folders are all dated and named, in that order. An example would be 2018.02.02 -Budapest Parliament.