Adobe Lightroom Beginners Guide 3

In this guide I am only dealing with basics of Lightroom. The aim is to get you to catalogue the images you already have and run you through some basic retouching.

So what have we covered?

Blog 1 dealt with importing your old pictures where they were on your hard drive

Blog 2 dealt with keywording and cataloguing those images.

This blog? Lets get to do some retouching.

Your images are viewed and manipulated in Lr in modules the menu of which is top right. If you see a screen like this you are in the Library (Grid) module. Keyboard shortcut – press G.


Highlight any image and press D this takes you to the Develop module.


You can see this image I have chosen is a bit on the dark side. So we need to change the exposure of the images. In the right panel there are all you develop tools. A very large bunch of controls and sliders to play with. Where do you start?

Reading Histograms. An imperfect art.

How do you know you have the right exposure for your image? Well you don’t because there is not any software out that tell you you have the right exposure (Don’t what ever you do press auto). Only your eyes will tell you and that assumes you have a monitor that set up properly (software or hardware). Your histogram gives you a graphical check on how your images are exposed. Too much bunching either end of the histogram is not usually great. (You can view the histograms in your camera as well in order to check your exposure. Its better to get your exposure right in camera first before you import into Lr)

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The trouble all images are different and there is no one size fits all but as a general rule if the triangles of doom (top left and right of these pictures) are solid white then your blocking highlights (left) and shadows (right). If you click the triangle it will highlight the blocking in the image.

The easiest tool to use is the exposure tool. So if your exposure is out when you take the shot you can correct it in Lr (and if you read the f stop blog you can also gauge how much you should correct it by).


While your in the Basic module play with all the other sliders and see the effects in the histogram and how it effects on your image. Makes some adjustments and press Y. You can seen see a before and after view of your image.  Mess around with all the other adjustments, Tone Curve, HSL/Colour/B&W etc and start to get a feel of the program and what the buttons and sliders do. Don’t worry, you won’t ruin your original image. Lr is set up to never touch your original. All the adjustments you are making are stored in a database as a text file and visual representation of those adjustments are shown on the preview you are looking at. They are only applied to a copy of your original when you export.

Coming up…How I got to the After in the Before and After

bef aft

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