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Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Workflow for Photographers

Lesson 15 of 26

Editing Concepts


Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Workflow for Photographers

Lesson 15 of 26

Editing Concepts


Lesson Info

Editing Concepts

so if we can jump over to the computer, we're gonna take a look into the development module we're gonna talk about, actually edit in an image. And I've got up a very simple composition here because one of the things that I think happens in editing and this is a technique that I'm excited that I finally figured out how to do it like room. Really? Well, um, originally, we used to do this in the dark room. You would take a grease pencil onto a print and you make a print. Then you could circle. It would be like, I need to burn this or I need to dodge this. I need to change this beautifully. Just physically drawn The print number of years ago I talked to John Paul Kappa *** about Hey, I love doing that in the dark room. And then we were doing. He showed me on the same thing in photo shop. We just use a brush tool. We draw that piece. I finally figured out how to do that later, when it's embarrassingly easy to do in light room and I'm embarrassed. It's taken me this long to figure it out, bu...

t I'm excited to show you because I think this is one of the thing is gonna actually make you a better photographer editor Quicker. And I think it's one of the things that it's going to slow you down a little bit at first, but it's gonna help. You really understand And think about your editing in a consistent, reliable, repeatable method. So the first thing we do is take this image and I'm gonna make a virtual copy of it. I'm just gonna right click on the image. And I was gonna choose create a virtual copy if I was gonna be really anal retentive. Follow my workflow. I'd go back into the metadata and change what had copy one. And I changed it into editing map. Copy info. I've got an adjustment brush up here, and I have dropped the adjustment brush exposure to minus four. I dropped the shadows tu minus 100 the blacks to minus 100 and I could drop the d saturation. But basically what? And I'm trying to create a black a black Brexit. Remember, the adjustment brush isn't designed like the brush tool in photo shop where I can tell you just paint with black or red or green. It's adjusting based on exposure in value. So basically I'm doing is just crushed trying to crush the exposure to create a black pin. I could try that. I used the black color, but it still respects the luminosity values and just kind of draw some shadings. That's why we have to crush all of that. Then I'm gonna set the size of the brush a small as I can get it. So it's 0.1. It's what I've got here is a really fine tipped Sharpie. Yeah, and what it allows me to do is come onto the image and draw stuff. So the adjustment brush here is drawn. That circle. Now that's not what the adjustment brush was designed for, but again, I'm trying to solve a problem here. I'm trying to figure out how to edit my photograph, so drop those down and crush it. Now let's say like I'm working on a really dark image. I would reverse that and use a white pencil so I'd have like So I just reverse it if I've got a really black black images the night photograph and I'm trying to do this, I would just make the brush white so all those parameters would go up. Exposure would go up, Highlight we go. White Point would go up and create that. So that's the setting it to get the brush. Now when I look at this photograph and I start to look at the photograph and I mean, like, not jumping and get excited about editing or trying to remember like Oh, I was in the pollutes wheat fields in Washington and it was a sunny day and I'm coming out of Seattle and it was raining and I'm whole happy. And so it's perfect. Okay, I want to really look at the photograph. I think what I want to do with the photograph when I'm honest with myself, what am I gonna do to edit it? To make it better So that that is the question I have. This is the editing start of the editing workflow. What most people do is they jump in and they start moving some sliders around or they have their workflow. I make a profile. I click on this. I click on that. I click on this, I do that. I make some adjustments I visually looked, so I think it looks OK. What I'm saying to do with this workflow is let's actually do a little pre planning sketching, drawing to figure out what we want to do. And then let's learn to anticipate what we think the adjustments gonna be. One of the keys to edit in a photograph and why editing a photograph is so important is it's the feedback loop of how well you're doing behind the camera. If you're always having to brighten your exposure and editing, that just means that you're under exposing in camera. If you notice while my colors off, maybe it's white. Balance is you start to see how to fix things in the camera. So in this case, when I look at this image, I kind of like the sky overall brightness. But I kind of want this cloud right here in the middle of to be a little brighter, so I draw as best I can. If I'm on my walk and tablet, I get a really nice draw there and then I'm gonna put in plus one. What that means is I'm gonna add about a one point of brightness to that I don't add one point of brightness. I'm planning. On what? I'm gonna do the horizon line here, I think. Well, okay. This down this way probably needs a Grady int. So that little arrow is my Kiefer ingredient. I think this needs about plus two on the radiant. With that foreground, to be brighter was a bright volume is day. What happened was the foreground was under club dick. I just want to brighten that up. This tree back here, p means pop. I want that tree to pop out that that it was put in that corner toe weight, the negative space. But it's green. It kind of feels like in the image. It's disappearing back there. So even though I'm gonna brighten and it's gonna pick a little contrast it from that, I want that to pop a little bit. Okay? If I want a vignette, draw a circle around I would have been yet this cloud right here. I want a dark in that cloud. Little minus sign on. It tells me I wanted dark in that cloud. So what I've done at this point is I'm starting to try to figure out what I want to do in the editing process. I'm not worried about tools. I'm not worried about process yet. I'm literally looking at the image and deciding what can the image give me? What if I wanted to make more than one editor? This I make a second virtual copy off the original. And maybe I make some different decisions for how to edit. If I was gonna convert this into black and white, I could make the virtual copy, make it black and white, make my dodge and burn decisions. This is slowing me down. Come here. I'm not gonna sit here and think about something for a minute. I don't get just move stuff around and emotionally react to that. Looks better. I love clarity. Don't take a photograph. Look better. Little brighter. A little clarity. Everybody's like who I love it. But we want to get down to Really? How am I responding to the photograph? How my thinking about it in the photograph and more importantly, is if you do this across 10 20 of your images, you're going to see where your issue lights. So if it's in portraiture and you've got lighting issues, you're gonna find it really quick. You're gonna edit through that unconsciously in your normal editing routine. But by forcing yourself to sit here and be like that's a problem 50 times you draw that circle, that that's a problem. You're going to start to fix that behind the camera. But in the editing world, I'll build a preset that'll fix it. I just know in a bright and change click apply and I'm done and I have to think about my problem behind the camera. I don't have to think about how to make myself a better photographer. So in that world of Don't photo shop it, fix it behind the camera. This is the effort to help do that annex and speed that up. It's not that you wouldn't get there anyway, but let's try to throw some gasoline on that fire and make it happen faster. The reason I like it to be a virtual copy is one. I don't want those lines to appear on my final photograph, and I don't want to delete those. I want to have those as a reference. So in the editing process, I can then come back here and I'm gonna edit now my original photograph. Click down on my adjustment brush. Someone edit my original photograph and I've got an option over here to use a reference photo in the active photo. So I'm gonna use that option. In this case, I'm gonna make my reference photo my map and my active photo is gonna be my photo. I want to be editing now. I wanted to brighten that cloud one a dark in the foreground. I want to make those adjustments. So I've got a sense of what I want to do to the photograph. OK, but if I go back to my original workflow, I want to work on my global Let its first. So even though I've got this little map that tells me I'm gonna plus this cloud and I'm gonna subtract this and I needed probably need a grading for this. I don't just jump in and do my adjustment brush on the cloud. I still go back to my original workflow. In some cases, you may end up with an image where you're like, Oh, I just need to brighten the whole thing gets a plus to for the overall exposure in this one. I needed probably a little bit of brightness into the photograph for what I want. But, you know, I'm probably gonna make that at it, But I've got my little map here, so don't just jump in and skip the rest of the workflow because you built the map. So in that sense of working, the first thing I think is probably the most important to apply in the beginning is the profile. That's that foundational level, bit of work we choose, because if I choose, come in and choose a profile. I choose artistic one first, artistic four where I choose a black and white option. You know, that's setting the foundation for rice start. So I'm gonna go on ahead and come in and pick by starting point. Now, I can always change it later if I'm unsure like, oh, I've got three landscape e kind of things that I kind of like, you know, maybe I'll pick one and start to edit and change that, even though I mean, I know that's gonna cause a change. I'm not locking in a solid decision, but I want to get this set earlier than later. One of the things that will also happen to you as you start to edit more and more is you will become a creature of habit, your good habits and your bad. But if you're in this area, one of things you can do is you can click on the little star that's over here on the top of the profile, and that's gonna add it to your favorites. And up here in your favorites is gonna be the one to use most of the time. That way you don't have to scroll through. So you're always picking the same five profiles just Adam into your favorites. And they don't have to scroll down through 10 different ones. 10 different collections, 10 different sub folders. So in this case, I'm gonna go ahead and ah, I'm looking at this vivid landscape. I kind of like that little bit of punch of blue that the landscapes giving me I like the feel of that. If you're making editing decisions, make them from a feeling standpoint. It's the eye doctor test Air B. I like a and feel good about a more than be. If you've had your eyes checked, you know you hit a point in that world where you're like, Hey, may be a be definitely be okay and you can't tell the difference. Editing is a little bit the same way we get to a point where it just feels right and that this sounds woo, but I'm embracing my woo. Okay, there is a point of recognition behind the camera, and there's a point of recognition and editing where you can feel it. You're like, Oh, I know that, that just that hit And it's different for everybody. Some people describe it is a feeling that pillar stomach hairs on the back of their neck shoulders lift up. I used to joke. You watch people in a pool hall play pool and, like they make like two shots and all sudden their spring in their step and they bounce around and like, Um, I used to say about golf, but nobody ever does that in golf. But in the pool hall, you get that sense edit. It is the same way when you noticed this lift and wow that that's closer. That's what I want. That's when you're making the right edited. So in this case between vivid portrait, I just respond to that blue green pop a little bit in the landscape. One. That's the one I choose. Okay, I've set my foundation for the image at that point.

Class Description


  • Build an efficient Lightroom workflow for organizing and editing
  • Organize your Library with Folders, Smart Folders, and Collections
  • Master Lightroom's image editing tools in the Develop Module
  • Learn to print and manage colors from Lightroom
  • See the latest updates, through the February 2019 version of Lightroom


Turn your Adobe Lightroom Classic CC catalog into an organized collection of images even Marie Kondo would be proud of. In this workflow-focused class, you'll build a streamlined, efficient workflow from organization to image editing. Using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, you'll learn best practices for editing and organizing inside Adobe's Creative Cloud software, then build a workflow suited to your style of photography. Take advantage of the latest Lightroom tools and master a start-to-finish Lightroom workflow.

Beginning with organization, master Lightroom's catalog tools from essentials like Collections to premium features like template catalogs and import presets. Learn how to go from a mess of images to a catalog that's easily searchable.

Then, amp up your images with an editing workflow designed for both maximum efficiency and image quality. Learn how to use Lightroom's adjustment tools, from the large-scale global edits to the minute details. Daniel shows photographers how to radically cut workflow time while improving the quality of your images and the organization of your digital world.

Looking to master Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC to edit photos anywhere instead of the desktop-based Lightroom Classic CC? Try Daniel's Intro to Lightroom CC for Beginners class, which tackles the mobile-friendly photography plan with 1tb of storage.


  • Beginners new to Adobe Lightroom Classic CC
  • Enthusiasts and hobbyists ready to build a more efficient workflow
  • Advanced photographers that simply haven't found an efficient way to organize images


Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 2019


Beginning his career working for Adobe's help center, Daniel Gregory is known as an expert in everything Adobe photo. The fine art photographer is certified by Adobe in both Lightroom and Photoshop, along with working as an instructor during Photoshop World. His classes cover all levels of Adobe photo editing, teaching newbies to professional photographers.

After working in the tech industry, Daniel switched gears for a more creative life working as a fine art photographer and educator, based in Washington state where he also teaches in-person classes at the Photographic Center Northwest. Hosting the podcast The Perceptive Photographer, he helps other photographers face the many challenges presented to the creative community. He now works with both film and digital photography and often mixes the two mediums, allowing the techniques and technologies to overlap. 


  1. Class Introduction and Basic Workflow Management

    Meet the instructor, then jump into the course with basic workflow management. Lightroom isn't designed just for photo editing, but for a workflow. Get started by recognizing your own individual style and integrating the essential workflow elements.

  2. Customize Develop Panel

    Even if you're familiar with Lightroom Classic CC, the latest new additions are hidden features that can boost your workflow. Learn what's new inside the photo editing software before jumping into the start-to-finish workflow, starting with the new tool to customize the Develop Panel.

  3. Enhance Detail

    In the February 2019 release, Adobe launched a tool called Enhance Detail that's not yet available in the new Lightroom CC (a re-design of Lightroom Mobile). Learn what this tool does, and how to eek a bit more detail out of your photographs in Lightroom.

  4. Profiles and Presets

    Adobe's boring standard profiles have now been reworked -- look through the new camera profile options to give your RAW files a better foundation. Learn the difference between profiles and presets.

  5. Color Range and Luminosity Masking

    Continuing through the newest Lightroom Classic features, watch the color range and luminosity selections in action and learn how to use the new tool. Working with the gradient tool, the color range and luminosity sliders make it easy to apply the effect to only a portion of the image. The tool is helpful for darkening just the sky or applying local adjustments only to specific colors.

  6. Import and Folder Organization

    Explore the new additions to the folder tools and a new option to automatically import any images added to a watched folder on your hard drive. Start cleaning up your library with tools for searchable keywords for folders and collections.

  7. Tethered Shooting, HDR, and Pano

    Finish up the list of new features with the updates to tethered shooting stability as well as HDR and panorama merges. Clean up a collection by using a "create stack" shortcut for HDR and panoramas, or combine multiple steps with the new HDR Panorama tool.

  8. Catalogue Overview

    Feeling like your Lightroom catalog is a disaster is normal, Daniel says. In this lesson, he talks catalog strategy, like when to use multiple catalogs and how to manage multiple catalogs.

  9. Folders, Collections and Smart Collections

    What's the difference between folders and collections? Dig into Lightroom organization starting with Folders, Collections and Smart Collections. Learn best practices to working with these essential Lightroom features.

  10. Workflow

    Build a workflow using Lightroom Collections to easily maintain an organized catalog. Learn Daniel's collection hierarchy used for each import and a template shortcut to easily repeat the organization scheme for multiple catalogs.

  11. Importing

    Import a template catalog to your catalog to re-create a workflow organization scheme for each project. Then, work with file handling on importing files. Learn shortcuts for importing images, like creating import presets.

  12. Metadata

    Lightroom catalog so disorganized, it's easier to start from scratch? Learn how to re-launch your Lightroom without losing your edits using XMP metadata. With tools like renaming photos, learn metadata and tricks for cleaning up your catalog.

  13. Finding Photos in Lightroom

    Tools like stars, flags, and colors help make photos easier to find. With Daniel's tips, adapt Lightroom's tools to suit your specific style of photography, not the default. Work with tools to quickly find photographs, including Smart Collections.

  14. Workflow Tools in Develop Module Conceptual Framework

    Organization isn't limited to just the Lightroom Library. Build a streamlined editing workflow into your editing process. In this lesson, Daniel shares an ideal editing workflow to finish edits faster. Learn different keyboard shortcuts and Lightroom tips to help polish images.

  15. Editing Concepts

    Build a consistent, reliable, repeatable editing process by first understanding editing concepts. In this lesson, Daniel shares concepts that will help critically think about your edits while helping improve your edit speed in the long run.

  16. Editing a Photograph: Basic Panel

    With an editing plan in place, start working with overall adjustments inside the basic panel. Learn how to set the black and white points for the best exposure and shortcuts for quickly getting the most dynamic range from the image.

  17. Editing A Photograph: Detail Panel

    Inside the detail panel, add some finesse with the sharpness and noise reduction tools inside the detail panel. Daniel answers basic questions like how much sharpness is too much and what the radius slider does.

  18. Editing A Photograph: HSL/Color and Tone Curve Panels

    The HSL or color panel allows photo editors to control each individual color rather than applying adjustments to the entire image. Gain insight into what color adjustments to make first and what to look for when adjusting colors in Lightroom CC.

  19. Editing A Photograph: Regional Edits

    Dive into regional adjustments using the graduated filter tool. Master tricks like stacking gradients. Then, work with local adjustment tools such as the brush.

  20. Black White Options

    A repeatable workflow means the editing process is similar even when working in black and white. Learn tricks for working with monochrome. Add in tools like vignettes.

  21. Regional Editing using Luminance Masks and Local Adjustments

    Work with luminance and color masks when working on regional edits to fine-tune the image. Find insight into shortcuts for getting gradient and brushes exactly where they need to be with minimal effort.

  22. Virtual Copies, History, and Snapshots

    Lightroom CC is a non-destructive RAW file editor, which means you can easily undo different edits without affecting the original image. While non-destructive, tools like virtual copies can help you make multiple edits of the same image. Learn how to work in Lightroom's History, then discover the lesser-known snapshot tool.

  23. Basic Color Management

    Colors on one screen look different from the color on another screen. Managing color helps ensure the colors in the final print are the hues you were aiming for. In this lesson, Daniel helps photographers better understand color management to create images that look great both on screen and on paper.

  24. Soft Proofing

    Soft proofing in Lightroom helps photographers better visualize the print before actually printing. This tool works with information about the paper you are using to create a more accurate preview of the output. Lightroom will even show you what colors in the image are out of your monitor's gamut range.

  25. Making the Print

    Work inside Lightroom's print module to design contact sheets, print multiple images, print the biggest possible image for your printer, and more. Master print templates, paper profiles and more.

  26. Exporting Images

    With the editing complete, get those polished images out of Lightroom to share to social media and more. In the final lesson, Daniel walks through the different export options, including exporting presets, renaming files, resizing, metadata, watermarking and more.


a Creativelive Student

I watched this course live. Really good!. Of course, I like all of Daniel Gregory's classes. It's a real treasure when one finds a really good teacher who thinks like oneself. I thought that I already knew Lr well so I was really surprised about how much I learned from this course. I learned so many ways to improve my workflow efficiency.

Anne Dougherty

I was impressed by the amount of information covered in depth, and by Mr Gregory’s teaching style. I’m somewhat new to Lightroom and found his explanations of its capabilities, and why you would use it rather than Photoshop for specific processes, enormously helpful. I especially appreciated his lessons covering printing. This is invaluable information. Great class.

Warren Gedye

This was a great course. Daniel certainly explains it well and in terms I can understand! Super worth it and learnt loads of new tricks! Great job!!