I’ve been using Lightroom for around a year and a half now, and I’ve picked up a lot of things that have been really useful for photo editing.
I also just downloaded the app on my phone and have been obsessed with playing around with editing photos, which is one of the best things you can do when learning something new. That’s how I taught myself how to use WordPress and Lightroom – just playing around and trying different things.
I’ve rounded up some of the things I’ve learned so far. Keep in mind that I am in no way an expert or professional when it comes to these things, and that a lot of editing things can be based on personal preference. I am still learning too.
I don’t really use presets, I usually just stick to editing brightness, colors, etc. I’m a firm believer in that you can’t apply the same preset to every photo you take, but lately I’ve been loving rosy filters on photos. It’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t rely on changing your photos a ton with Lightroom or other editing tools. You should always try to shoot the photo you want, not shoot a photo and then just make it look better later.
One of my favorite things to do in Lightroom is play around with colors and temperature. Figure out if you like your photos warm or cool, but try to make sure the whites in your photo are as close to true white as possible. Correcting white balance can affect how you edit the rest of the photo.
Playing with colors on Lightroom is a lot of fun, and helps when you need to make certain colors stand out more, or if certain colors look too washed out. You can completely change the color of something in a photo – I usually try not to make super drastic changes, since personally I don’t like it when photos are over-edited, but it’s definitely something cool to play around with.
Lightroom is a life saver when you have photos taken in harsh sunlight with lots of shadows. Lightening shadows, and playing around with the tone curve, can help fix photos taken in bright or unflattering light. The tone curve can be difficult – it’s a diagonal line that helps determine the brightness of a photo, and you can move the different nodes at the bottom to add shadows and things like that. I find it confusing, but it’s just something you have to move around until you get the look you want.
Selective edits are also something worth using when editing photos. It can help make a subject lighter/darker, or make a background more blurry or stand out more. Basically, selective edits help you make the focus of your photo stand the way you really want it to. The best way to learn how to do selective edits is to look at a tutorial, or look up videos demonstrating how to use it.
Here are some before and after photos: