Image Credit: jacoblund via iStock
I don't know about you, but when I was learning how to use Lightroom back in the day, I made a ton of mistakes.
There's so many tools in Lightroom that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but like anything else, with some practice, it becomes a much smoother process.
Learning a few Lightroom hacks doesn't hurt, either...
With that in mind, here's a few insider tips to help you avoid mistakes in Lightroom and speed up your workflow all at the same time.
Lightroom Mistake #1: Manually Tagging Your Photos
One of the distinct advantages that Lightroom has over Photoshop is that it is a far superior program for organizing your images.
The problem is that you have to manually tag your images in order for them to be organized - an incredibly tedious process, especially if you have a lot of images to import.
Yet, most Lightroom users keep manually tagging their images, which is a huge mistake!
It works like this...
When you import an image, Excire analyzes the content of the image and automatically tags it based on its subject matter and how the images look.
For example, Excire Search is pre-loaded with 125 common keywords for tagging, so if you import a batch of landscape photos, it'll automatically tag every image with a tree with it with that keyword.
Not only that, Excire Search will also tag images based on how they look, so that shot you took of the sunrise that's predominantly pink will be tagged "pink."
Not bad, eh?
With Excire Search Pro, things get even better.
There's over 500 keywords that can be used for tagging, organizing, and searching your images.
Better still, Excire Search Pro allows you to transfer those keywords to your existing image catalogs in Lightroom.
Whether you have 100 images in your catalog or 80,000 images in your catalog, Excire Search Pro will make it an organized, easily-searchable library of images.
And, let's not forget - Excire Search and Excire Search Pro eliminate the need to manually tag your photos. That fact alone is worth the price of admission if you ask me!
Don't think that this is a plugin just for the pros, either.
Brand new photographers, amateurs, and enthusiast photographers also stand to benefit from the organizational and search-related benefits of Excire. It's simply the best plugin you can get right now for Lightroom. After all, that's why Excire just won the Best Software Plugin Award from the Lucie Technical Awards!
Lightroom Mistake #2: Relying Too Much on Presets
Don't get me wrong - the ability to use presets in Lightroom is a Godsend and allows you to apply selected edits to each image.
Not only does that speed up your workflow by light-years, but it also helps you create a collection of images that have a cohesive look.
The mistake with presets occurs when you rely on them too much.
That is, you can get a little too comfortable with using your presets, and your photos can start to look way too uniform.
What's more, presets should be used as a tool to speed up editing, not be an end-all, be-all editing process.
So, get your presets setup, use them to get your photos close to how you want them, and then use Lightroom's abundance of tools to fine-tune each image.
The result of doing so will be a collection of photos that still has continuity, but with each image having its own personality.
Lightroom Mistake #3: Getting Wild With Clarity, Dehaze, and Vibrance
Image Credit: robertiez via iStock
Three of the most popular tools in Lightroom are Clarity, Dehaze, and Vibrance because they can add an extra level of visual punch to an image.
The mistake occurs not in using these tools but in overusing these tools to the point that the photo no longer looks natural.
In the case of clarity and dehaze, both work on the contrast in the image. As such, you should use one or the other, as using both will result in a very obviously overprocessed image, especially if you use them both at a high level.
Vibrance boosts the saturation of mid-tone colors, which is clearly a great tool for adding a little more life to images.
But, just like clarity and dehaze can be overused, so too can vibrance.
To get the most out of these three adjustments, it's best to use them in small doses as a means of fine-tuning your shots.
Though this is by no means a comprehensive list of all the things that can go wrong in Lightroom, it's certainly a start.
By far, the most common mistake people make with Lightroom is spending all their time and energy tagging photos when something like Excire can do it for them.
Likewise, you can speed up your workflow and produce better-looking images if you make smart use of presets and other tools like clarity, dehaze, and vibrance.
Ultimately, you obviously want your final images to look their best, and taking a measured approach to editing is often how to get the best look.
For more details on other Lightroom mistakes to avoid, have a look at the detailed Lightroom tutorial above by B&H Photo Video.