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Top 7 editing tips for Lightroom

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  • 4 min read

Lightroom is the editing software of choice of a lot of photographers out there. The offering by Adobe comes with all the bells and whistles needed to dial down any picture to an absolute artwork.

There’s a large number of customizability options as well. Whether you want your data on the cloud or offline or the way you want your sliders to look like, everyone has their unique workflow.

In this article, we bring you seven lightroom editing tips that can speed up your workflow.

Also read: Adobe Photoshop vs Lightroom: Which one should you use when?

Reset sliders by double-clicking

We all have been there. You adjust a slider, but don’t like the changes, and now you’re trying to drag it back to zero.

Double click on the slider name, and it’ll reset to zero. Quick, simple, easy.

Before/After view modes

Most people generally use the split screen Before/After view modes to see how far they’ve come on their picture. It’s a great tool to check your images and make sure you don’t over edit them. But there’s a catch.

The mode splits the screen into two. If like me, you’re working on a laptop or small screen that can be a bit of a problem as you already have less viewing space to see what’s going on.

Well, don’t worry. Press the ‘\’ key on your keyboard, and you can toggle between before/after views full screen.

Clip the clipping

The reds are blown out and the blues are too dark

It often is hard to see parts in your image that might be over or underexposed. Most of the times, our play tricks on us and something that looks perfect, might not be.

In this case, press ‘J’ on your keyboard to enable the clipping mode. You’ll see red and blue patches appear on your image. The red is the overexposed area and blues are the ones where there is a loss of detail in shadows.

Adjust the sliders accordingly to avoid peaking.

Also read: Top 7 mobile photography tips

Lights out!

When editing, press ‘L’ on your keyboard; you’ll notice that everything else on display goes dark and your photo gets highlighted. This helps when you only want to focus on your image and not the Lightroom interface.

The lights out mode

Tap it once again to black out the whole interface, tap it thrice to go back to normal.

Crop better

Lightroom offers several templates for cropping your image too, which will help you crop better.

One of the many cropping templates

When in the crop mode, press ‘O’ on your keyboard to switch through different cropping templates. You can even press Shift+O to get different variations of these cropping aids.

These templates can help you crop your images creatively. Try placing your subject on the intersections to draw the viewer’s eyes.

Improve Lightroom’s performance

If for some reason Lightroom is not performing good enough on your machine, here’s what you can do.

  • On the Lightroom Preferences, go to the Performance tab and toggle the ‘Use Graphics Processor’ setting off if you use integrated graphics or older GPUs. Surprisingly, many users report slower performance with this setting on.
  • On the File Handling tab, increase the size of your ‘Camera Raw Cache’. Mine is about 25GB.
  • Goto File, then Optimize Catalog and run it periodically.

Add focus using the Radial brush

Select the Radial brush and set the sharpness to -100. Then go on and paint out the area you want to sharpen.

What this does is that it blurs out the painted region and you get a sharp focus on the subject. Duplicate the effect for higher visibility.

Also read: Why do smartphones have so many cameras? How many do you really need?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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