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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Tutorial - Part VII - Basic Editing Tools

Part I - Index and Introduction
Part VIII - Developing Your Images, The Basics

Basic Editing Tools

Before switching Lightroom into the Develop module and start using its powerful editing tools, you should be aware that basic editing tools are available in the Library module as well.

These tools are very simple and you probably won't be using them so often. However, I think it's good for you to know they exist since they can help you perform some quick adjustment in one or multiple images without leaving the Library module. These tools, especially when used with custom develop presets (more on this on the following parts), can save you a lot of work.

The Quick Develop panel (and probably the Histogram panel as well) is the panel that contains the basic editing tools available in the Library module:

Lightroom Library Module - Histogram and Quick Develop Panels

In the current Lightroom version, the Quick Develop panel will let you:

  • Apply a saved develop preset.
  • Apply a crop preset.
  • Apply a color treatment preset: color or black and white.
  • Apply a white balance preset or modify the temperature and tint incrementing or decreasing their values by fixed steps.
  • Modify the tones of the images incrementing or decreasing their values by fixed steps. The tonal control available are: exposure, recovery, fill lights, blacks, brightness, contrast, clarity and vibrance.
If, for example, you need to quickly adjust the exposure of an image by an f-stop, you can do it in the Quick Develop panel without leaving the library module.

You can also apply modifications to multiple images in the following ways:
  • You can select multiple images and apply a modification.
  • You can copy the modification from one image and paste it into other images using the Sync Settings button.
  • You can copy metadata from one image and paste it into other images using the Sync Metadata button.
When using the Sync Metadata or the Sync Settings features, Lightroom will also ask you about which metadata or settings have to be copied from the source image, as shown in the following pictures.

Lightroom - Sync Metadata Window

Lightroom - Sync Settings Window

In some circumstances, I often use these features to speed up my workflow. If, for example, I voluntarily underexposed a bunch of images by 1 f-stop to keep the desired ISO, aperture and shutter speed values (if you shoot RAW, you often can), I can correct the exposure with just one click in the Library module. If the correction looks right, I can propagate it to all of the images with just a couple of clicks. Then, I'll continue fine tuning every image using the Develop module.

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