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- Lightroom Tutorial: How to Edit Photos Like a PRO
Lightroom is a fantastic tool for organizing and editing photos - I don't think anyone would disagree with that.
But that doesn't mean that Lightroom is ideal. Instead, there are plenty of things you can do to maximize your Lightroom experience.
Below, I've outlined a few of my favorite Lightroom tips, tricks, hacks, and shortcuts that have helped me squeeze all of the functionality I can out of Lightroom.
Use Automatic Culling
Image Credit: Geber86 via iStock
Sorting through your photos in Lightroom is often a multi-step process - at least it is for me.
As you're doing your sort, wouldn't it be nice to quickly mark those that you want to keep and those that can find their way to the trash bin?
All you have to do is press the Caps Lock key, and press ~ to keep an image and to reject an image press x.
Once you determine if an image is a keeper or a reject, pressing the ~ or x key will automatically advance you to the next image.
Though this isn't a ground-breaking Lightroom tip by any means, any and all time you can save while culling your images is a BIG bonus.
Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
Speaking of saving time, keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom can be a huge time-saver as well.
This doesn't mean that you have to learn every single shortcut that Lightroom offers, either.
Even just learning a few shortcuts for the most commonly-used features in Lightroom will help you simplify your workflow and get the job done faster.
In fact, if you just learn one Lightroom keyboard shortcut, make it this one - CTRL +/
Doing so brings up a pop-up that shows you some of the primary shortcuts that are available for active module.
Get more insights on Lightroom shortcuts in the video above by Lucy Martin.
Let AI Help You Organize and Search Your Photos
The worst part of organizing images in Lightroom is the tedious task of tagging all your photos.
But what if I told you that there is a plugin that will organize your photos and make them easily searchable at the same time?
That plugin is called Excire, and it uses artificial intelligence to determine appropriate tags based on each image's subject matter and appearance.
For example, if you upload a photo of a motorcycle parked in front of a fence, Excire will tag it with "motorcycle" and "fence."
What's more, if the predominant color in the shot is blue, Excire will tag is as "blue" as well.
Talk about a time-saver!
There's actually two different versions of Excire.
First, Excire Search offers 125 terms for tagging. Think of it as the ideal solution for amateur and enthusiast photographers that want a streamlined organizational experience.
Second, Excire Search Pro offers over 500 keywords for tagging, which is ideal for any photographer, really, but particularly professionals. It even allows you to transfer keywords to existing photos in your library.
That means that the hundreds of images you've uploaded to Lightroom over the years become easily searchable, too.
When it comes down to it, tagging photos and actually finding the photos you want in Lightroom is the worst part about using that program. But if you add Excire to the fold, those tasks become a breeze! See what I mean in the video above by Suzette Allen.
Compare Edits Side-By-Side
Image Credit: Joan Vicent Cantó Roig via iStock
If you're like me, you probably make several different edits of the same photo, and then promptly forget what the previous versions looked like.
However, there's a handy Lightroom shortcut that lets you compare two edits side-by-side.
Essentially, what Lightroom does is let you add additional information to the image's .xmp file that permits you to make edits on the "virtual" copy of the image while also keeping the edits you've made to that point.
Just go to Photo > Create Virtual Copy or press CTRL+' to compare your images side-by-side.
Share Images With Others
Image Credit: RossHelen via iStock
No matter if you've taken photos of your friends and family or you're a pro that's taken photos of your clients, whoever is in the photos will want to see them sooner rather than later.
Lightroom allows you to share your edited images directly with people by using Lightroom Mobile.
Simply select "Sync With Lightroom Mobile," pick the images you want to share, and then click the Collections tab.
Once there, press the + sign, which allows you to create a new collection. In the same dialog box, check "Sync With Lightroom CC" and you're good to go!
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to awesome ways to maximize your Lightroom experience.
If these few simple tips can do this much, just imagine what a few more post-processing tutorials can do for you!