Getting started with Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom
(I edited parts of this post in November 2014)
If you’d like to make your photos more colourful and dramatic, I’d recommend
that you have a go at using Lightroom. I became addicted to using Adobe’s LR
during the month’s free trial which is on offer.
There are two main sections to LR – its Library (or organizer) and the Develop
section (the photo editor). The Library is very useful for sorting through a stack
of RAW images fairly quickly – you can use keyboard shortcuts, such as P (for
pick), X (for reject), Ctrl + Backspace (to lob the rejects) and F (for full screen
view), and you can set up an auto facility so that the next image will pop up, after
you’ve pressed the keys P or X … wonderful.
The Develop section is even more wonderful with an amazing number of features
for enhancing your photos.
There are a lot of very useful YouTube videos, which explain how everything
works. Check out the following videos …
Serge Ramelli ……… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z98Me4kAqws
Julieanne Kost …….. http://www.jkost.com/lightroom.html
Matt Kloskowski ….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQLqigkJSj4
Terry White ……….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF2RMd3L83w
Anthony Morganti .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgtJ4HuJIzQ
Mark Warren ……… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVpmrmHWy0w
For the latest version of LR (which is now version 5.6), you will need Windows 7
or 8 on your computer, or Mac OS X v.10.7 or v.10.8. Your camera must be capable
of taking RAW images, and you should be fairly computer-literate.
Now for a bit of rather dull, techie stuff …
I have an idiosyncratic way of filing my images … into folders marked with date
and location e.g. “0814 London”. These folders are inside ones for each month,
e.g. “0814 photos” and these in turn are inside a folder for each year e.g. 2014
Photo Cabin. The latter sits on my Desktop for quick access. You will find that
LR does its own thing in organizing your photos, but seems to get confused if
you’ve move your photos around or if you rename your photo folders.
I download my photos from a camera card using a card reader, into a Desktop
folder called say:“0814 London RAW”. During downloading, I suppress all the
pop-up windows that LR sends me. To download my pics, I now have to go to
“Computer” on my start menu, to find my external card reader. I then search for
my RAW images on this, and then drag & drop them into my London folder.
More fiddly is then finding my London RAW folder in the Library section of LR.
In the left hand column in LR, I start with Local Disc (C:) > Users > Desktop,
where I look for and then open up my London RAW images.
LR gives you a choice of destination for your finished images (jpegs), so I’ve
created a folder called London JPGs on my Desktop for these. If you move your
RAW file to another folder, you will find that you can’t reprocess it without
without changing its name slightly. So if I fancy producing a black & white
version of one of my images at a later date, I put the RAW image back into
its original folder with a letter “a” after the image number.
I’ve been using LR ever since we got back from our holiday in Austria. Those of
you who have been following my Flickr site, will no doubt have noticed a
moderate improvement in the quality of my photos as a result. Overall, I think
my pics do have a more professional look about them, which is what I’m aiming
for … though I’m not aiming to become a professional photographer.
My month’s trial with Creative Cloud LR came to an end while we were on
holiday in Northumberland. Meanwhile I ordered the CD-Rom version of LR v.5.0
from Amazon, which costs about £100. This comes with a serial number which
I used during the installation process. I was tipped off by an Amazon purchaser
to download the latest version of LR, LR 5.6, from the Adobe website, and to use my
LR 5.0 serial number during installation. I’m pleased to say that this all worked very well.
I had some help in all this from an Adobe advisor on the Flickr-Adobe online forum.
To exit from the Creative Cloud trial, you go to Help (on the top toolbar) > Sign Out
& then enter your email address into the Sign Out menu box. You can then go to the
Adobe website, and download LR from it. It was a seamless transition from the
trial version to the purchased one.
The website addresses are …
(the full System Requirements for LR installation are listed on this webpage)
I’ll finish with a few of my latest photos, which I’ve processed in LR …
Hallstatt, nr. Austria
Museum of Liverpool
The Waggon & Horses pub at Bleasby
The Gatehouse entrance to Nottingham Castle
The Tunnel into The Park in Nottingham (a residential estate next to Nottingham
Castle, built in the 1800s).
A nature reserve near Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland
The interior of Bamburgh Castle