Top 10 Lightroom Tutorials and Tips

I have shared many tips on how to save time with your post production on the site and some of our top articles have been on tips to get the most out of Adobe Lightroom. Here are our top 10 tips to be able to use Lightroom effectively:

Lightroom Tip #1 – Viewing the images without adjustments When in the Develop Module click the \ button to quickly view the original image before any adjustments were made. Click the button again to go back to the final version.

Lightroom Tip #2 – Lights Off Sometimes you eyes can get distracted with all of the options surrounding your image. You have photos on the bottom and menus on the sides. Click the L button to dim those items around the image and the L button again to make them black. This is a great way once you are finished with editing an image to evaluate the photo.

Lightroom Tip #3 – Using Solo Mode
When you have all of the menus in the develop module expanded you will find yourself doing a lot of scrolling up and down. This can be a time waste and also annoying. After moving back and forth from the basic panel to the vignettes and on and on your wrist can get tired and I am always looking to minimize scrolling. This is where solo mode comes in. Just control click anywhere on the right pane of the develop module and a menu will appear. When you select solo mode this will only allow for one panel at a time to be open. When you click on a new panel to open the other will close right away so it keeps your right side nice and easy to navigate.

5 lightroom tips solo mode

Lightroom Tip #4 – Reset Your Sliders - Holding down Option (Alt) in the develop module turns control titles into reset buttons but it’s even easier to reset any of the sliders in the develop module to their original position. Just double click on the name of the slider and it will revert to its original position. You can also reset the entire group by clicking on the main group name. For example if you want to reset the sliders for Exposure, Recovery, Fill Light, Blacks, Brightness and contrast all at once just double click the Tone button at the top.

Lightroom Tip #5 Keyboard shortcuts for library views
Shortcuts are so key in becoming quicker at using Lightroom. Here are a few quick keyboard shortcuts to help you move around faster.
G will take you right to Grid View, E to go to Loupe View, C to Compare, N to survey and D to develop or edit the photo.

Also when using Survey mode this can be a great way to view and compare multiple images at once. If you have 4 images selected to view in survey mode and want to add more images to the view just click the Shift key and the arrow key to the right to add the next image to this grid view.
As you tab through these images using the arrow keys and come to the last image you can move to the next photo in the timeline by clicking the Option and arrow key (mac)

Lightroom Tip #6 – Create Export Presets
Many times you will want to export your images for different formats. I will export images sized perfectly for my slideshows or for my blog posting and have specific settings in the file export box to optimize those images. When you get a your settings all dialed in on the export panel remember to click the Add button near the bottom left. This will save these settings as a preset for future use. You never have to remember exactly what size and sharpening settings you need for your blog images, just save your preset once and you are all good.

Lightroom tips on export presets

Lightroom Tip #7 – Turn off Auto Show for panels
Some people love to have the panels automatically hide to save space and others like to always see them. I prefer to always see my panels and don’t like it when they are popping back and forth when I mouse over the panel. If you don’t like this behavior you can turn off the auto show method for the panels. To do this just Control click on the little grey arrow at the edge of the panel. This will bring up a menu where you can select to have the panels auto hide or be manually hidden by clicking the grey arrow.

5 lightroom tips auto hide panel

Lightroom Tip #8 – Straighten your Photo with a crop – One really cool trick is using the crop tool in the Develop module. The keyboard shortcut to get to the crop tool is the R key. Once you are in the crop mode then click Command on Mac ( Control on PC). While clicking Command click on a point and drag a line showing Lightroom where to rotate to make that image straight. This is a really quick and easy way to straighten out a photo.

Lightroom Tip #9 – Changing the Crop Overlay
Did you know you can change the normal ‘Rule of Thirds’ overlay in the crop tool to many other overlays? It’s just one click to easily cycle through the different overlays. From the crop tool (hit R on your keyboard to enter the crop tool) click the O ( as in Oscar ) key and it will cycle through the 6 different crop overlays. You can choose from Rule of Thirds, Golden Ratio, Diagonal lines, Triangles, Golden Mean or Phi and a grid pattern.

5 lightroom tips

Lightroom Tip #10 – Seeing the number count in subfolders. If you have items in folder and subfolders you might not be seeing the total number of images in the subfolders. To turn this on go to Library–>Show Photos in Subfolders.

show subfolders in lightroom

If you have a great Lightroom tip let us know, just leave a Facebook comment below or leave us a note on our Facebook page.

Also check out more Lightroom tutorials here:

Using the Graduated Filter in Lightroom

Sending Photos Through Email With Lightroom 4

Overview of the Book Module in Lightroom 4

Using Lightroom Brushes to Soften Skin

How to create a light leak effect in Lightroom

Adding a border to Lightroom 4

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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