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Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Lesson 1 of 20

Bootcamp Introduction and Overview

Ben Willmore

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

1. Bootcamp Introduction and Overview
Pick up a few key basics and start getting your files into Lightroom in the first lesson. Learn what the difference is between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic. Learn how Lightroom CC uses an internet connection to sync image collections with the mobile apps on smartphones and tablets like the Apple iPad. Pick up basic terminology like libraries, smart previews, and RAW (or DNG). Get into the Lightroom mindset by learning key differences from Photoshop, like how adjustments are saved in the non-destructive editing process, syncing images, and why Lightroom edits take up less hard drive space, as well as similarities with Adobe Camera RAW.

Lesson Info

Bootcamp Introduction and Overview

Well I'm really excited about this because Lightroom is literally my favorite program to work with when it comes to my photography. It really streamlines my workflow and just makes my life a lot better and I want to get you to that same point in your workflow with Lightroom. So let's jump in and talk about what we're gonna be doing in this class. This class is really 20 days worth of content over four weeks time and what that means is we're going to every weekday get a new lesson and by the end of this class, you're going to be confident in using Lightroom. You're gonna know how to get your images into Lightroom, out of Lightroom and adjust just about any kind of picture you can think of. You're gonna develop a reliable system to streamline your work. That means you're gonna be able to go back to any previous shoot you've had in the past and it'll only take you seconds to get reacquainted with it so you know which images are ready to show the public, which images still need work and so...

on and we're gonna transform really dull and ordinary looking images. They can be really dark, too bright. Any kind of issue you can think of, most of them can be solved within Lightroom. And again, being able to look in the past at your whole list of folders containing, in my case, 220,000 pictures and not have to get reacquainted with folders that are from the past. You can instead just glance at it and know the status of each image. Also, ideally, you should be able to find any memorable image, any image that's important to you. If you can think of it in your head and you know you captured it, you know you've imported it into Lightroom, you should be able to find it in five seconds or less. And it'll take a little work to get there, but I think it's gonna be really worth it 'cause once you do, completely changes the way you think about your images when you can find an image just at a thought and a few seconds of typing. So who is this class really designed for? Well, it is multiple levels it's designed for. First off, if you're a beginner and you just need an overview. You want to know how do you get started with Lightroom and how can you do it where you don't stay so basic, like some basic classes do where they never get into the really in depth stuff. Well here, with 20 different lessons, we can start with the basics, but then we can progress and get much deeper so that by the time you're done with the class, you really have good foundation of knowledge and you can become really good at Lightroom. Also, if you're self taught. There's a lot of hidden features in Lightroom where you have to know what keys to hold down when you're clicking on a special icon or other things that are just not obvious, they're not easily discoverable if you're self taught. So you'll learn about all that stuff and if you're a long time Lightroom user, well, there's a lot of new features that Adobe has added over the years and you might not be aware. You just don't realize that they've added some things that we're gonna cover during this class. Then, finally there's those people that are just stuck using Photoshop and a program that comes with Photoshop called Bridge. Well, that's how I used to be. That used to be my general workflow, but I found my mindset about my photography completely changed when I ended up getting into Lightroom. So if you're currently using only Photoshop and Bridge for all of your images, I think you're going to be excited once you see what Lightroom can add to that. Now, let's talk about how a bootcamp works. With a bootcamp, you're gonna get a new lesson every weekday for four weeks. That means you're going to have 20 lessons total. Now those lessons are gonna usually start at nine a.m. Pacific time. That's when the first opportunity is to see a class but then it repeats all day long. So therefore it doesn't matter what timezone you're in or what part of the world you're in. You can still tune in and see the full lesson for that day. Now if you purchase the class, then every Monday, you're gonna get the whole week's worth of videos and therefore you don't have to wait. You don't have to tune in every single day. Instead you can watch at your leisure, at least every Monday, you get that full week's worth of lessons. Then we have a special Facebook group and if you join the Facebook group, then there's gonna be a post there for each day's lesson and that's where you can go and ask questions. You can comment about what you learned on that particular day and we'll eventually have some Q and A sessions where I'll answer your questions based on what gets posted on that group. So be sure to visit and join the group if you're going to be following along with class. Now if you purchase class, there's a lot of things that you get. The first thing is that you can play it back at any time. So six months from now if you want to watch the class, you don't have to wait and see if CreativeLive is ever gonna broadcast it again, you're gonna have it so you have access, but you also get a workbook. This is a very in-depth PDF file. Usually we create one for each week of the class and the workbook makes it so you don't have to play back the videos every single time you want to remember something. So if it's something where you just need to look up a little detail about what we did or remember the general steps we went through for a technique, paging through the PDF is probably gonna be sufficient for that. It's only if it's been, I don't know, four months since you've done that particular technique where you might actually need to replay the video to just get all the details, but the workbook's great. Also, we're gonna give you some developed presets and that means when you're processing your images, you don't have to rely on just moving sliders around and watching the image react. You can instead hover over some presets and they'll automatically apply things to your images that would usually take multiple steps and it can really speed things up. You'll also get a keyword starter set. Keywords are what allow you to make your images searchable where you just type command F or control F in Windows and start typing whatever search term you'd like to look for and with that keyword set, if you search for, let's say San Francisco, well, that will also be searchable by California and United States and North America. That's because I did some work ahead of time to make that possible and you get that with purchase, the keyword set. You also will get homework assignments. On most days, I'll think about how would it be best for you to actually implement what we talked about on each day and I'll give you assignments and many of the times, they will also include images for you to practice with. There'll be challenge images so that you can really get used to the techniques before you actually need to use them on your own images. Those images will often come in a Lightroom catalog file and with that, because we can have something called a smart preview, it can make it so you don't actually need the individual image files. Instead you need just one Lightroom catalog file and you can look at dozens of images and adjust them. It'll be a really nice setup. Then we're also gonna give you some bonuses you can load, something called end marks. End marks is where you can load something that shows up in the Lightroom interface, that can remind you of certain keyboard shortcuts or general mindsets about working in Lightroom so you don't always need to have a PDF or a post-it note or whatever else. It can be right in the Lightroom interface and you get that with purchase. So you might be thinking, though, I've done a class like this one before. I think it was around two years ago that I did a Lightroom bootcamp and let's think about what would be different about this one compared to the last. Well, first, we've updated this class for all the new features they've added in the last few years in Lightroom and there's quite a few changes they've been making. In fact, they've made changes within the last week to Lightroom and so you're gonna see that I actually use two different copies of Lightroom throughout this class because it's only today that I can start using the version they recently released. So it'll be up to date, up to the minute. Then, with the other class, I have refined my ideas over the last two years. The way I organize my images is not the same as what I did back then. Sure some elements of it are the same, but there are many things that I've refined and really worked and thought through more and so I'll share those new ideas. With the other class, we had a whole bunch of questions that rolled in after the class was done. And so I couldn't cover them in video format, but in this class, I can, so that'll be additional info. We'll also have much more information about integrating Lightroom with Photoshop. In the previous class, we had a little basic information about that, but we're gonna go much more in depth so it'll be actually a lot more useful. You'll be able to see more in-depth features. Then we have updated examples. So instead of using the same images we did last time, here you're gonna see fresh images for the vast majority of what we cover. Now in four weeks, we're gonna get a new lesson every weekday and so let's take a look at what we're gonna cover over those four weeks 'cause each week has a theme for what we're gonna cover. Week one, which we're starting today, is when we're gonna try to develop a firm foundation of knowledge, get the absolute essentials down so you really know how to think about Lightroom. That means we're gonna talk about the concept of the Lightroom catalog file. How many of them you need, what's in there and then we'll progress onto how might you start to organize your images in a most ideal fashion using what we have in Lightroom and we'll start adjusting our images, printing them and exporting them so we can share them with other people. Then in week two, we're gonna get much more in-depth about organizing and adjusting our pictures. That means you'll start learning about retouching, you'll start learning about just more in-depth kinds of adjustments and you'll start making your images searchable so that if you think about a particular thing, like a bicycle, you can just type bicycle and suddenly all the images that you shot that contain bicycles hopefully will start showing up, but once we've gone through that, we'll have a pretty good way of fixing just about any image that you might encounter. In week three, we're gonna explore Lightroom's special features. That's where we're gonna learn to merge multiple images together into what's known as an HDR image or a panorama and we'll learn how to view our images on a map, make books and create slideshows. Finally on the fourth week, we're gonna really try to fine-tune things so we have a really idealized workflow. We're gonna first learn how can we find just about any image in about five seconds or less. In order to do that, you need to be really good with the searching features built into Lightroom. We're gonna talk also about getting our images from Lightroom over to Photoshop because there are certain things that Lightroom can't do and when that's the case, we're gonna need Photoshop and I think of it as hopefully around 70% of my images can be finished using only Lightroom and then for the rest of them, I'm gonna have to send them to Photoshop to do a few things that just would either be inefficient or not possible in Lightroom. Also, when we're refining our workflow, we're gonna talk about sharing our images to get them on Facebook and other services and how to do things like troubleshooting 'cause not every time is Lightroom gonna act the way you expect it to. So today we have day one out of 20. We're just getting started. We're gonna cover a Lightroom overview, so you can get the right mindset about how to think about Lightroom and we're gonna tour the interface and then with the other sessions, you should have a general feeling for how Lightroom works. Now before we actually get in and talk about the details of Lightroom, let's talk about the fact that now, there are actually two versions of Lightroom. There's Lightroom Classic and there's Lightroom CC. Lightroom Classic is a desktop centric version of Lightroom. What do I mean by that? That means it's primarily thinking about a desktop or laptop computer where you store your images on a hard drive and you organize them in folders. That's the way people have been doing this stuff for decades and so Lightroom Classic is the version of Lightroom that you've been using if you've owned Lightroom for years and years and years. That version has existed for a very long time. The only thing is they changed its name to call it Classic. The reason they changed it to Classic is 'cause they wanted to come up with a new version and this new version they named Lightroom CC, and that's because it's a cloud-based version of Lightroom. That's where ultimately, all your pictures will be uploaded on the internet and because it's cloud based, CC made sense because CC stands for creative cloud. So they changed up the naming scheme. Now let's think about Lightroom CC, the version that stores your images on the internet. What's up with it? Well, the first thing is it's going to eventually upload all your images onto Adobe servers online. Now when it does that, it's kinda like using a smartphone or tablet, when it comes to managing your pictures. It simplifies things where, in general, you don't work with folders, you don't generally rename your files. You just see your images and it's simplified. But once you got your images online, you can then access them from just about any device. You can get them on your desktop computer, on your laptop, your phone, if you have a tablet, all those things can access those pictures and if I make a change on one device, it updates on the others. Also, since your images are on Adobe servers on the internet Adobe handles backups of your images. So you don't have to worry about is your hard drive gonna die and you lose your pictures and make sure you have a backup of it. Instead, Adobe handles that stuff for you so you don't have to worry about it. Also, because they're online, Adobe can use machine learning to kinda analyze your pictures using not your computer, but Adobe's computers and therefore, it can look at your images and discover certain content that's in them, so if you want to search for the word car, it might automatically figure out which of your images contain cars and therefore when you search for that term, those images would show up. Now that's something they're gonna be expanding a lot more in the future and so it's an interesting concept where you don't have to do a lot of work to make your images searchable. But if you think about why did they change the name? Because it used to be that the main version of Lightroom, the version where you manage your images on hard drives and you store things in folders was called Lightroom CC but when they came out with this new version, where you store your images online, they stole that name. The name that had been used for years and years and they instead called the version where you store things on hard drives locally, you call that now Lightroom Classic. So I'm gonna be using Lightroom Classic during this class. So let's think about why am I not gonna be using the online version. Just so you know when I say the online version, the program itself does not run in a web browser. You download it and install it on your computer, just like you would any other program. It's just that your images are stored online. So the reason why I'm gonna be using Lightroom Classic for this class is because first, I find the online version is impractical for large image libraries. My image archives contain over 200,000 pictures and if you think about the amount of time it would take to transfer those images over the internet, so they can be stored there, it's considerable. Also, you have to pay for storage and with the number of images that I have, I would have to spend a considerable amount of money to have Adobe store those pictures. I hope that Adobe will eventually have it where you could send them a hard drive and have them transfer it for you so you wouldn't have to wait for it. That would make it a little bit more practical. Also, there's a lot of features that are in the classic version of Lightroom that aren't yet implemented in the online version, which is called Lightroom CC. That means we can't do things like merge multiple images into an HDR file, stitch a panorama. We can't view our images on a map, create books. We don't have full control over keywording. We can't even print yet. So there's a lot of features that I'm sure they're gonna implement over time, but right now, it just doesn't have enough for me to fully commit to it and the organizational system that I use for my images where I can look back at any previous shoot that I've had and within seconds figure out which images have been worked on and are done and which images still need work and there's not an idealized solution for that using the cloud based version yet. So at the moment, the online version, called Lightroom CC feels like an overly simplified version of Lightroom, where there's just not as many features in there and if you have a large number of images, it can be impractical to get them all online. But I do see it having great potential and I see them constantly adding new features so those that are found in the classic version slowly show up in the CC version. So a while from now, who knows? Maybe it can be an idealized solution. But whatever you use, either the online version or the classic version, what we use for adjusting pictures is the same and many of the same concepts apply so this class can still be useful, but know that I'm gonna be in Lightroom Classic. So now let's think about an overview. We're gonna learn the big picture before we dive into Lightroom and actually start doing too much because Lightroom inherently is a different way of thinking about images if you're instead used to something like Photoshop. So the first thing we need to do is in order to work with any images in Lightroom, we need to get the images to show up in Lightroom, and so in order to see any image, you need to import it into Lightroom, but just so you know, nothing's gonna show up in Lightroom until you import it into Lightroom. Lightroom only manages the images you've imported and it ignores everything else on your hard drive. Therefore, if you are shopping for a house and you have folders upon folders of images related to your house search but they have nothing to do with your actual photography, those aren't gonna show up unless you choose to import them and it's actually nice because you don't see a lot of clutter. Lightroom's also gonna ignore files that it doesn't think are photographs. That means if you have a PDF file, you have a spreadsheet, you have a word processor file, those aren't gonna show up in Lightroom. Now Lightroom doesn't truly know what is a photograph and what is not. If you have a JPEG file, it's gonna assume it to be a photo even though it might be a picture of some text or something but just know in general, unless it's a common file format for photographs, those are the only ones that'll show up in Lightroom. If it's any odd file format, Lightroom will simply ignore it. Now Lightroom does not force you to change how you store your pictures. If you've been storing them in a certain set of folders where you have a naming convention you like to use and an organization convention you like for how you nest one folder within another, it's not gonna force you to change that at all and unlike some other programs that just suddenly store your images based on date or something else, with Lightroom, you have the choice of exactly how you'd like to store your images. Once an image is imported into Lightroom, what's really cool is you don't actually need the hard drive that contains the original pictures, you don't need to leave it attached to your computer. That means if you work on a laptop and you have a huge hard drive at home that contains hundreds of thousands of images, and you wanna go on a trip, you can disconnect that hard drive and grab your laptop, get on a plane and when you open your laptop, you can still see all the images that you've imported into Lightroom because at the moment you import it, it saved preview images that allows you to view those pictures, which is a really nice way of working 'cause I travel a lot and when I grab my laptop and somebody asks me hey have you ever been to Africa before? Something like that, I can look in there, I can find images and show them to them without having to think about where the original's stored. Also, there's a feature in Lightroom known as a smart preview. We'll talk about it in detail in other sessions, but just so you know, this feature will also allow you to adjust your pictures even when the original files are not actively available on your computer, meaning they're sitting on a hard drive at home and you're traveling with your laptop. Well, if you learn about this feature called smart previews, you're even gonna be able to adjust your pictures without having to bring that drive that has the originals with you, which is pretty darn cool. Now you still need to keep your original files when you work with Lightroom. I find a lot of people think they have them in Lightroom and therefore they don't have to think about them. That's not the case. We need those original files because the previews that Lightroom holds are much smaller than the original images and therefore they're great for viewing an image onscreen or making a slideshow or doing other basic things, but if you wanna be able to print the image or you wanna be able to export it at a large size to give to somebody else, you're gonna need that hard drive that contains the original pictures. And so you gotta make sure you think of it so that's why I say your originals are not in Lightroom. Lightroom just knows where they are and happens to have a preview of each image and therefore we can view them when that hard drive that contains the originals isn't attached, but we still need those images for a lot of things, like if you wanna open an image in Photoshop, you need the original. A single Lightroom catalog file can contain hundreds of thousands of images without getting too bogged down and becoming slow, so some people think that they need to create a new catalog file every year or that they only should have a certain number of images. That might've been true when Lightroom was first released many, many, many years ago, but these days, Lightroom can handle a huge number of images in a single file, a single Lightroom catalog, so for me, I have one main catalog, but we'll talk later on about what's in a catalog file and how many should you have because for some people, it makes sense to have more than one. So let's think about how you have to change your mindset when you're working with Lightroom because it is different than working with most other programs. Everything you do in Lightroom is saved instantaneously and therefore there is no open and save command in Lightroom. How can it do that? Because if you're used to Photoshop, you're used to saving an image and if it's a big picture, you're used to looking at a progress bar while you wait and before you work on any image, you have to open it and wait for it to appear. Well the way Lightroom works is it actually saves all the changes that you make as just text and that means if you go in and let's say you make an adjustment and in adjustment, there's a slider called shadows, which would brighten up the dark part of your image. Well, if you move it to the right and it changes from zero to plus 10, the only thing Lightroom does is it writes down the name of the file you're working on and it says shadows plus and that's the amount of text it has to save, so if you think about how long it would take to save that text, you could do that pretty much instantaneously. So there is no need to open or save. So in Lightroom you'll see previews of your picture and the moment you click on that picture, it's as if you opened it and the moment you switch to a different image or actually you don't even have to switch to a different image. The moment you let go of the mouse from doing something, it instantly saved what you did. Because it's saving things as only text, that means the amount of space that information takes up is tiny. For most images, it's around 12 kilobytes. If you're not used to that, 12 kilobytes is like the size of a maybe three paragraph long email that you might send to somebody that has no pictures. Now if you do a lot in Lightroom, you get really fancy with it, you can get that, I've seen it go as high as 200 kilobytes for a single image for how much it needs to save, but that's when I'm doing really extensive changes that would not be the norm and even so, 200 kilobytes, 200K is tiny. Try creating a file that small in Photoshop. Not gonna be able to do it unless you're saving a absolutely microscopic picture because in this case, it's not actually changing the original picture. It's just recording what you did by writing down text. So nothing is permanent. It's just a record of what you've done with text and the original image is untouched. So all you have is the original picture and a text record of what you've done to it and so therefore we can experiment without having to worry about did I mess up my picture? If you're used to working in Photoshop, you might be used to making duplicate files if you wanna experiment. You're like I don't wanna mess up this picture so I'm gonna duplicate it, then I'm gonna make changes and if I don't like it, I'll go back to the original and start over again. No need to do that in Lightroom. The original file is untouched. There's a way where you can just wipe away the text record and you'd be back to the original version of it 'cause that original is untouched. Because our adjustments are recorded as just text, that means we can very easily copy that text and paste it on a different picture to have the same changes applied to that other image, unlike in Photoshop. In Photoshop if you were to touch out one thing in a single picture and that exact same thing needs to be retouched out in the next image, it's like one of the dust specks up in the sky of your picture that is on your sensor, well in Photoshop it's not easy to have that happen to more than one picture. In Lightroom, it's simple because it's just text and we'll just say apply these exact same settings to another image. Then the order that you apply things in Lightroom is generally unimportant, unlike in Photoshop. In Photoshop, it's very important which adjustment you apply first and second and how that second adjustment would affect the third adjustment and so on. In Lightroom, that's not the case. As long as the sliders that you're moving end up in the same position, doesn't matter which one you moved first and second and third, so it's a different mindset. It's much more freeing. And as I mentioned, there's no need to work on duplicate files because we're not changing the originals. If you want something that looks like a duplicate file, we can create something called a virtual copy. A virtual copy will show up visually looking like two files but there's still only one original file that it's referring to. Since the changes that you make are saved as text, it's just making two text records for the same original file and it's called a virtual copy. You'll see how to use it. It's really cool because suddenly, let's say you want five versions of the picture. You want one cropped square, you want another one horizontal, a vertical and you want all three of those also in black and white, so six versions of a file. Think about how much space that would take up if you're using Photoshop. Your hard drive would start filling up. In Lightroom, there'll be one original file and there'll be six text records of how you can get to these six different versions of an end result and it's gonna take up very little space. It's a really nice way of working. Now there's the whole world outside of Lightroom and this is where, since the adjustments that we make are only saved as text and the original file is untouched, if we want to give that file to somebody else and we want them to see the changes we've made in Lightroom, like we brightened up the image, want to give that person a brightened version of the file, then we need to do something in order to have those changes incorporated into a file and we do that by exporting and I'll show you how that's done in detail. So we're gonna retain our original untouched image, that will be our original. When we export it, we'll get a copy of it. Usually, it'll be a JPEG file, sometimes a TIFF file. It's up to you what file format you want it in, but it's only those exported copies that have the changes, what I call baked in, where they're permanent. Your original file, we still retain, and we still retain the text record, but that's all in Lightroom. That exported image is what we're gonna give somebody else. So we're gonna deliver those exported images to somebody else. They need 10 of my pictures for some particular purpose. Fine, I'll export 10 images, I'll email them off to them and the moment I'm done emailing, I'll drag those 10 images since they're already emailed off, I'll just drag them to the trash can. Why? Because I could always export them again to create another version of them. There's no need to have them hang around and clutter up your hard drive. Because we're gonna retain the original picture and a text record of what we'd done. We can always go back to that and re-export, but here's something that's really important and if I can drill something into your head that sticks, this would be it and that is don't confuse Lightroom. The way you can confuse Lightroom is if you move your pictures, you rename your pictures or you generally change your pictures without initiating the change in Lightroom. So commit from this day forward that if you import images into Lightroom, that if you need to make any change to the filename, to the location on your hard drive, to make the image brighter or darker or perform retouching that you start that process from within Lightroom. Otherwise, Lightroom will not be aware that you've made changes. It's much like an inventory system. Imagine if you were some big company. You're Amazon, for instance. You get on the Amazon website and you can search for various products and it shows you pictures of what they look like, tells you all about them and it tells you if they're in stock or not, but what if somebody in the warehouse is not updating the computer. Instead, they're moving stuff around on all the shelves in the warehouse and they're taking some stuff home so that certain things are no longer in stock, they're not there and they might switch the labels around on the boxes. Well isn't that gonna totally screw up the website that is Amazon? You search for it and it says yeah, we have six of those in stock. You order them, somebody goes to the warehouse to look for it, then suddenly that shelf is empty. There's nothing there or there's a box there that's unexpected, it's got a weird label on it and it doesn't sync up with things. Well Lightroom is similar to that and so Lightroom, when you import your images, just keeps track of what was the filename, where was it located and what have we done to that file, but if when you tell it to print or export that image, it goes and looks for the original file and it notices that the filename is different or it's not located where it expected it. Then it's not gonna be able to do it and so we're gonna have to do extra work to troubleshoot that. So that's why I say from this day forward, after you import images into Lightroom, if you need to do anything with them, just start the process in Lightroom. It's very easy to send your images to Photoshop from within Lightroom, it's very easy to export as JPEG's. It's very easy to do most things and so you just want to start the process in Lightroom so that Lightroom's aware of everything you do and it never gets out of sync. And if you need to open an image in Photoshop, there's just a menu at the top of your screen, I think it's called photo, there'll be a choice called open in and you can choose Lightroom- You can choose Photoshop, that is and therefore you can start the process. So what about Photoshop and Bridge? 'cause those are two products that a lot of people use every single day, so how does Lightroom fit in with Photoshop and Bridge? Well, Lightroom offers the exact same adjustments that you're gonna find in something that comes with Photoshop that's called Adobe Camera Raw. If you ever heard me refer to something as ACR that's just an abbreviation for Adobe Camera Raw. Or if you ever see me write down something and I write down the letters LR, that stands for Lightroom. It's just sometimes you do that to be brief, but Lightroom offers the exact same adjustment sliders and the same quality of end results as this thing called Camera Raw. So Lightroom could be used to completely replace both Bridge, which you usually use for previewing pictures and Adobe Camera Raw, which you can use for adjusting pictures and then Lightroom adds to that a lot of features that you couldn't get if you were just using Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw. Those features would include things like being able to view your images on a map to see where they were captured, a persistent history, which means that if you open an image that you worked on six years ago, there'll be a panel called history and you can see every single thing you've done to that image since the time it was imported to every adjustment you've done to it, which we can't get something like that in Camera Raw, especially not for old files that you worked on months ago. We can view and even adjust our pictures when we don't have the original images available. So that means when I'm on my laptop and I left my hard drive at home, I can view every picture I've ever imported into Lightroom. For me, that's over 200,000 of them and if I have something called a smart preview, I can even adjust them. I can have multiple versions of an image. Remember, I mentioned that feature called virtual copies, but we don't have that available if I'm using Adobe Camera Raw. We can create books, slideshows with music and printing is dramatically streamlined compared to using Photoshop and Camera Raw. So the time that I use Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw, I do still use it, is whenever I'm working on someone else's images and I just need to work on one of their pictures. I'm gonna be done with it in five minutes and I don't wanna see it again. So if it's not my photograph, I don't usually put it in Lightroom. Also, I use Bridge for non-photographic files. If I want to browse a bunch of PDF files, I want to look at Illustrator in design files, Bridge is a great place to go to do that. Then, you gotta think about when do I use Photoshop? Well, for me, I hope that I can finish about 70% of my images using Lightroom alone, but there are some things that Lightroom simply are not capable of doing or it would be very inefficient to do and that's when I'm gonna send my image over to Photoshop. And most of the time that involves either complex retouching or combining multiple images into some sort of composite because that's not something that Lightroom is generally capable of. So in general, the workflow that we're gonna have when working in Lightroom is we need to import our images to get them to show up in Lightroom at all. Then we're gonna end up organizing our images and hopefully once we're done organizing, we'll be able to find any significant image, any memorable image in about five seconds or less if we're good at doing this. We're gonna optimize our images in there by adjusting them and we can have more than one version, with virtual copies and then finally before we give anything to someone else, we're gonna need to export it because the changes we're making in Lightroom are stored only as text, so if we give the original picture to someone else, they won't see the adjustments we've applied. Only if we export the image are they gonna get a version that has it incorporated. All right, well before we actually get in and start using Lightroom, there's a few other details we should cover, one of which is a few technical differences between the two main file formats that people shoot with and that would be JPEG or RAW. In general, if you shoot in RAW format, you're gonna get better looking results if you need to perform color correction using the white balance sliders in Lightroom. And that's just because JPEG files are manipulated in the camera considerably and once you end up getting it over to Lightroom, there's not that much information in that file. It doesn't have the pure information that the camera captured. It can't go all the way back to the original data, but with a RAW file, that's exactly what you have is the original untouched data and so color correction usually looks better if you're working with a RAW file. If you find your highlights, the brightest portions of your image, are either solid white or close to it, like you have a sky that had deep blue on one side and as you get to the other side, you see it almost turn gray and there's no color. If it's a JPEG file, not much we can do about that. Sure, we can go into Photoshop or go into some feature and artificially add something that didn't come from the original camera capture, but with a RAW file, you can actually get a considerable amount of additional highlight and shadow detail out of your images if you need to. Then a RAW file contains up to 16,000 brightness levels. That means between black and white, we got about 16, shades up to that in between the two. With a JPEG file, we only have just over and that's a lot less information and that's why JPEG files are usually smaller than RAW files but if you need to adjust those images, having a lot more information, you're gonna have thousands upon thousands of brightness levels, means that we have an overabundance. We have generally more than we need, but those are useful when you adjust your picture because the end result will look smoother, whereas a JPEG file has just enough to make the image look good as is and if you attempt to adjust it beyond that, you're gonna be limited in how much you can get out of the image and still make it look smooth. Now JPEG files are considered to be processed in the camera. That means there's a lot of settings in your camera that affect a JPEG file that won't affect a RAW. Now if you choose something called your picture style where you can say do I want it to be really contrasty or saturated, that only applies to a JPEG file 'cause they're processed in camera. A RAW file by definition, means the raw data your camera captured without messing with it. JPEG files also apply compression to make your image even smaller and that compression is what's known as lossy. Lossy means it's throwing away information as it does it and if you do extreme adjustments to a JPEG file, you can see that starting to show up on the edges of objects. To me, it looks like you sprinkled popcorn along the edge of something and it just doesn't look smooth. That doesn't mean that you should feel bad about having JPEGs. It just means that you're gonna be able to do a little less with them. You can think of a JPEG file though as being delivery ready. It's a file format that everybody's used to using so the advantage of it is I can take the card right out of my camera and hand it to somebody and I don't have to know if they have special software or not. They can open that file. They can print it. It's a universal file format, it's great, whereas with a RAW file, it's an unprocessed image that really needs to be worked with by a professional who has good software that's designed for RAW files and so a RAW file, I'm gonna have to do some work on before I'm able to deliver it to somebody else. So anyway, let's stop thinking about the fundamentals of Lightroom, the conceptual parts, and let's actually jump into Lightroom and start working. All right, I want to give you an overview of Lightroom, so you just get a general idea for how it's laid out. Now I'm gonna do this as if you already have some images imported just because otherwise we'll be distracted by the details of how do you get your images into Lightroom. At the end of this session, I'll give you a brief overview of how to start getting your images into Lightroom and then in other sessions, we cover it in-depth. But this is what Lightroom looks like day to day for me. In Lightroom first, at the top, there is this area and on the left side is an area I can customize. It's known as the identity plate. Usually, it just says Lightroom up there. Well, I can put my company name up there if I want. I can put my logo up there, so that if a client ever comes in and looks over my shoulder as I'm working in Lightroom, it might look like a customized program. They won't necessarily know what brand it is. To the right of that, we have a list across the upper right. These are the various modules in Lightroom and anytime you click on a different module, whatever's below that area is going to change so that you're going to look at completely different choices. So in this case, I'm in the library module. The library module is where you organize your pictures. It's where, if you want to rename a picture or move it to a different folder or make it searchable by adding text to it, you can do so in the library module. If I click over here onto develop, develop is where, instead, we're going to end up enhancing our pictures. We're going to brighten it, darken it, make it more colorful. that kind of a change is going to happen in our develop module. The map module would allow us to view our pictures on a map and that probably won't load instantly, just because I'm not online right now and it requires that to view it. We could also lay out books. We could do slideshows. We can print and if we want to, we can even make a website right here in Lightroom, but whatever it is that I choose from this area, which you might call the module picker, determines what I see below. Once I've chosen the module I'd like to work in, then in this area below, you're gonna find a panel on each side of the screen. So what's in these various panels will change based on what module I'm in, but here I'm in the library module. So let's take a look at these panels. There's one on every side of my screen, all four sides and if you look near the edge of my screen, on all sides, you're gonna find a triangle. That triangle controls the panel that is on that side. So over here, there's a little triangle. I'm gonna click on it and when I do, you'll find that panel collapses. I can do the same thing for the panel on the right side. I can do the same thing at the top and I can do the same thing at the bottom. So now I'm mainly looking at my picture. There are more effective ways or more efficient ways of just viewing your image, but I'm just showing you that in any of the modules, if there's one of those panels that you don't need at the moment, you can click on the triangle to control if it's going to be visible or not. You can even come over here and if you right click on that triangle, you can control how it works. And the default setting, I believe is called manual and that means I have to manually click on the triangle to expand it or collapse it. You'll find on some of mine, I have it set to auto hide and show and that causes the little triangle here to look speckled and it makes it so now that panel shows up if I move my mouse to the edge of my screen. I don't have to click at all. I just move near the edge of my screen, it shows up and when I move away, it disappears. Move back, it shows up and I use that for any panels that I only need to use for a few seconds at a time and so I can just mouse over there, use that panel, mouse away when I'm done. Same thing up here at the top. If I want to be able to switch between the various modules, well, I don't need that there all the time, so I could have it set to auto show and hide. Therefore when I move away, it goes away and when I mouse over, it shows up again. Remember I right clicked on that triangle in order to get that option. If you're on a Mac with only one mouse button, you can control click. Control clicking is the equivalent to having a two button mouse and using the right one. So anyway if you ever see one of those panels automatically show or disappear, that's how it's happening. When you're in that mode, I can always click on the triangle though to change its mode to get it to stick open. So I'm gonna come in here and I'm in the library module. I might want the one on the left side to stay there 'cause that's usually my folder list and other things. I use that all the time to switch what it is I'm viewing, but we can change it. Then, down here at the bottom, we have this thing called the filmstrip and that I usually have collapsed down. We'll get to exactly why we need that 'cause that gives us small versions of our image in a few minutes. All right, then when we're in the library module, there's also some bars that can show up at the top and the bottom of your screen. Right now, the one at the top of my screen is hidden and the one at the bottom shows up. We can control the visibility of that by going up here to the view menu. Here it shows hide toolbar. That's the bar that's at the bottom. If I choose that, the bar can disappear, choose it again, it shows up and if you look in the menu, you find it has a keyboard shortcut of the letter T. So if I just type the letter T, I can get the toolbar to show up or disappear. The bar that can show up at the top is known as the filter bar and if I choose that, I can either show or hide this bar up here. It doesn't show up when you're viewing just a single image. You need to be viewing kind of a grid of pictures to get it to show up, but right here is where you can control its visibility and you can see its keyboard shortcut is the backslash key. So if I just press that, I can show or hide it. I mainly mention that because oftentimes, I'll be using those two areas and when you get into Lightroom, you might find that those choices are hidden and so know that you can go to the view menu. The top two choices are gonna control if those are visible or not. Sometimes you don't like clutter and you get them to disappear. Then a few things about viewing your pictures when you're in the library module. If you look below a grid of images, if you ever see it looking like a grid like this, in the lower left of that area, right down here, you're gonna find some icons which control your view. We're gonna concentrate on these two icons here and what I'm gonna do is click on that second icon. That means show just one picture. That is known as loop view. You don't have to remember the name. It just means show one picture. The other one that shows me a grid of images is known as grid mode. Now there are some keyboard shortcuts that I'd like to start getting you used to because there are things that you do like almost every minute you work in Lightroom and one is switching from loop view, where you can view your image large, to switching to grid view. If you want to know the keyboard shortcuts, one way is to hover over an icon. If you hover over an icon, it'll tell you the name of the icon and to the right of that, it will list the keyboard shortcut. So to get back to grid view at any time, you press the letter G. To get to loop view, if you hover over it, you're gonna find that it's the letter E. I don't find that letter E is easy to remember, though. Well, some of these things have more than one keyboard shortcut you could use and in this case, there is another keyboard shortcut and that is if you just press the space bar. Space bar also gets you to view your image large. And so what I'd like you to get used to, maybe grab a post-it note, start writing this down, is G for grid and space bar for viewing your image large. One more is if you want to view your image full screen, type the letter F all by itself for full screen. And when you're in full screen or any of the other views, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to switch between images, so I can start doing a quick slideshow here if I need to, by going to full screen mode and just using the arrows. Now I want to get out of this mode and I want to get back to the grid. That's when I type the letter G. So what was it to view our images? G for grid, space bar for a large image and F for full screen. If you can remember those, put it on a post-it note, stick it to your screen for a week and you'll get used to it where those will be so ingrained in your brain that you won't even need to look down at your keyboard 'cause you use it so frequently. One other thing related to the interface as a whole, since we're talking keyboard shortcuts that you should know about is there are various full screen modes you can use in here and the way you can switch between them, I usually do with my keyboard, but you can also do it with the menu. Most of these other things you can, but remember we did F for full screen view of our picture? Well, if you do shift F, then you're gonna cycle through different choices. This one here has the menu bar disappear. Therefore Lightroom can take up more space. The menu bar's still there. If I just move my mouse to the top, it'll show up and when I move away, it'll disappear. Shift F again, this gets me to the least efficient view. That's where I have the little title bar at the top where I can actually drag this window around and see what's behind it, but that takes up a lot of space. Shift F gets that bar to disappear. One more time, gets the menu bar to disappear. So how many views was that? Well, here's one. Two. Three views and we're just cycling between those three with Shift F. Most of the time, I have Lightroom in this configuration, where, therefore the interface is maximized, it can take up the most space. I mainly use that when I'm on a laptop because with a laptop, I usually have a limited screen size. I wanna have Lightroom take up the most space and so that's useful. When I get to my desktop machine, I have a big screen and I'm used to having my email on one side and my Lightroom somewhere else and more than one program and I like to be able to switch between them. Well the problem is when I'm in this full screen view like this, I can't get to other programs without getting out of this view or using keyboard shortcuts for switching apps, so that's why I do shift F and I get to this view where you can see the bar at the top and that's where I can move this around and I could grab the corner of it as well and resize it and now I can say I want my email program over here and I wanna be able to manage that. So what was I typing? Shift F. Shift F. Shift F. If you wanna do that from the menu, you can come up here to the window menu and one of the controls in here is going to be your screen mode and here you can see those same choices that I was switching between. So full screen and full screen with menu bar. So if you only do that on occasion and you forget the keyboard shortcut, you can go up to the window menu to do the same thing. Let's get in and talk more about the overview of Lightroom. So far, we've been in the library module. I mentioned briefly a few keyboard shortcuts so I'll just review them here. Remember that you press the space bar to view your image big. If you need it even bigger, you press the letter F for full screen and if you wanna get back to the grid of images, you type the letter G. Those are essentials that I would drill into your head and almost insist that you know. There is one other and that is the two modules you're gonna use most frequently is called the library, where you organize your pictures and the develop module where you enhance your images. Well, there's a keyboard shortcut for going to the develop module and it's relatively easy to remember and that is you just type the letter D. D means develop and so here we're in the develop module. Most of the time when I'm in there, I hide the left side of my screen so my picture can take up a good amount of space and with these panels, you can usually resize them. If you move your mouse to the edge of the panel, right where the panel ends and the area where your image is begins, if you watch your mouse, you'll see it change from an arrow to one that looks like a vertical bar and now I can resize this. So if I want it skinnier, when I'm on my laptop screen, I usually have it skinny. When I'm on my desktop, I might expand it out because I have more screen real estate for that. So anyway, D for develop. So if I need to go back to look at a different picture, remember, those keyboard shortcuts. Where did we go to get to the grid? It's G for grid. That's how I usually get back to the library module. So if I remember G for grid and D for develop, those are things that I'm gonna use every hour that I work in Lightroom 'cause it'll speed me up tremendously. D for develop when I want to adjust an image. Then I see all the adjustment sliders over here on the right side, I can fine tune my picture and then G for grid to go back here. Now the only problem with that is that if you're going to adjust a bunch of pictures. You come in here and you work on one image. Let's say this one, you hit the letter D and maybe you start moving some of these adjustment sliders around to fine tune it, then you want to go to the next image and you have to type G to go back to grid. Find the other image you'd like to work with and type D to go back to develop. Doesn't feel all that efficient to have to go back and forth between the library module and the develop module, back and forth. So they created something known as a film strip. The film strip is found at the bottom of your screen. So if I go to the bottom of my screen, there's an arrow down there and if I click on it, I can expand or collapse the filmstrip. The filmstrip is like a mini library so that if all you need to do is switch which image you're working on, then you can do it here. There's no need to always go back to the library module. You only need to go to the library module if you want to change the set of images you're working on. Maybe you want to view the contents of a different folder or you want to perform a search to find a particular image then you need to be in the library module. But if you are already viewing a series of images when you're in the library module, you head over here to develop to start adjusting them. Then if you come down here to the filmstrip, it just shows you the exact same images you were viewing when you were in the library module. So I can very quickly click here to switch images, so if I want to adjust this image, moving the sliders around a little bit. Then switch to another one, I can fine tune it and it's just a convenient way of switching between images. This area called the filmstrip is available in pretty much all of these modules and it's just a convenient way to access what is usually found in the library module. So I'm gonna close that down though, 'cause I don't always need it and screen real estate can be important, especially when working on a laptop. So we have develop for adjusting our images and library for organizing them. So let's take a look at some of the features in the library module. Let's take a look at the left side of our screen because that's where we're gonna navigate to our other images. So first, there is an area here called folders. This will list any hard drives that contain pictures that you've imported into Lightroom. It won't show you every single hard drive you have attached. If you have five hard drives and you've only imported pictures from two of those, then only two drives will show up here. But the moment you import another image from a different hard drive that you have yet to use yet, it will start to appear in this list. If you look at the hard drive list, you'll find a little colored thing on the edge of it, right over here. If it's green, that means that hard drive is plugged in and spun up and is available. If instead that's gray, it means that hard drive's not attached or not powered up. So when I travel with my laptop, those little dots are usually gray and when I get home and plug in my hard drive they turn green to tell me the drive's available. Then I'm gonna click on a little triangle to the right of that to expand this and I can see my folder list. Lightroom doesn't force you to store your images in any particular way. You can store them in any kind of folder structure you want. I happen to store mine by year. Not everybody likes that, but I happen to and I can then click on these triangles to expand and look at the various folders. I create one folder for each shoot and the way I happen to name mine are the year, the month and then whatever I was shooting in that particular time. Now I like working with folders to organize my pictures and it's one thing that I actually dislike about the online version that I mentioned earlier. There's things that I do with my folders to organize my images that I haven't quite found out how to replicate with the online version of Lightroom. One thing that I do is I come in here and I can expand any folder here and I can tell you exactly how many images I have left to work on. If I expand a folder here, I use subfolders to keep track of things, for instance here. When I was in this area of Brazil, this number tells me I have 14 images that are ready to show the public. This one here tells me these are images that still need work and these are images that I shouldn't need to look at again. They're just not great pictures. That kind of stuff. We'll talk about that set up in one of the other sessions, but just know that I use my folder list to organize my images in more than just doing it by subject matter. So that's your folders. This reflects what's on your hard drive. If I were to click on one of these pictures, I could drag it onto a folder and it would move it to that folder, not just in Lightroom, but also on my hard drive. So you gotta be careful dragging things 'cause you're actually moving things around if you do drag them on top of a folder. I could click on a folder here and drag it on top of a different folder and it would move it on my hard drive to that other folder, so that's your folder list. Use that all the time. At the top, it's nice with the newest versions of Lightroom, you have a search field. So if anybody ever asked me have I ever been to Africa before, I could come in here and just type Africa and if I name my folders based on what I was shooting, either where or the subject matter, then I would assume I'd have a folder with the word Africa on it if I were to have been there and right here, single click I can say yes I've been to Africa. Would you like to see some images? And remember the letter F, what did it do? Full screen mode. Now I can show the first image and I can use the arrow keys to switch through and show somebody what is it that I've captured when I was in Africa and once you've gone through the other classes that we're gonna do, the other lessons on other days, you'll see my organization system and if you happen to implement it, then the base folder is always gonna contain finished images that are ready to show the public, so if anybody does ask you, you know, have you ever been to Brazil? I say Brazil, I think so and I search for it. It might take just a moment to find it and then I could tell them, yes I've been to all these areas within Brazil and if they wanted to see what was ready to be shown in a particular area, one click. I know these are all the finished images ready to show the public. I could just hit the letter F for full screen and start showing a slide show of that particular area. So that's the kind of thing we're gonna learn in future classes is how can we really get the most out of these features that I'm right now just giving you an overview of. Folders is ultimately where we're gonna be storing our images. Each image has to be in some folder, so we'll have to figure out a system to use there. I'll share with you mine and what advantages my system gives you and you can decide if that works for you or if you want to deviate from it. Also on the left side of my screen, we have something called collections, which again, we'll talk about in another session, but this is where you organize projects. If you're gonna suddenly create a book about Brazil and all the pictures that I have for that book are in not just one folder. They're scattered amongst many folders 'cause I've been to Brazil many times and many different locations and I wanna collect them together. Well that's what collections are. Collections also, some people might call them albums or if you're used to music, it's like a playlist where you can drag things on top of them and it will remember what you drag there without actually moving those files. There's also a special area up here at the top just called catalog and this is where you have the choice of all photographs. I can see I have 229,752 photos in Lightroom and if I wanted to let's say perform a search or just browse every single photo I've ever imported, one click right there will make it so I'm now viewing all 229,000 photos and so I can search them or do anything else. Then a couple of other things in here. If you imported some pictures, then right here is one called previous import 'cause sometimes you import some pictures and you just don't pay that much attention as to what was the name of the folder it was going into and where was that folder located on your hard drive. You just finish and you're like aw man, where'd I put that? You're not sure. Well, clicking right here on the choice called previous import would show me the last images that I actually imported. In this case, they happen to be some logos. So left side of my screen, that's what controls what I'm viewing in the library. I'm either gonna view the contents of a folder or the contents of a collection or I can view every single picture I have in Lightroom. And so that's a nice way of doing it. Also, on top of your images, you're going to find that there are little icons. If you look here, there's a little icon right there and sometimes you're going to find more than one icon. Those icons tell you various things about your image. In the handbook for today's lesson, we'll define what each one means, but usually, it'll mean this image has possibly been adjusted or it's been cropped or it's in one of those collections, like you've organized it for a project or other things. So those little icon badges are something important to look at as well. All right, so now I'm gonna come in here and just try to dial down and pick some images to view and in this case we were looking at Africa, so we might as well start there. Let's review the most important keyboard shortcuts. Space bar, F, G for grid and D for develop. If you get used to those keyboard shortcuts along with the arrow keys to switch between images, you're gonna start becoming efficient in Lightroom. So Lightroom though has a little bit of an issue and that is there's a little hump you have to go over in order to become good at Lightroom and that's because Lightroom is ideally set up for working with presets. What that means is there'll be an area of Lightroom, like let's say for exporting your pictures in order to save out a JPEG file to deliver to somebody else. Well if you actually go to the area that would produce a JPEG file, which you can do by going to the file menu and choosing export. You're gonna find a huge number of settings in here and these are settings that you don't wanna look at every single day because if you look at them, it looks overwhelming. That's just because Lightroom gives you a lot of control, but it also gives you a lot of simplicity. So let me show you how something like this that looks complicated, looks like it could be overwhelming becomes simple in the end. After you get over a little hump of learning and a little hump of setting things up in an ideal way for you. So this is a screen that I almost never look at to export images, even though this is where you go to export an image. That's because once you get this all dialed in to the exact settings that you need, there is simply on the left side an area for presets and once you dial in all the settings you want, there's a button on the lower left called add and you make a brand new preset. So by the time you've figured out the settings you need to use for exporting, all you need to do to get your files to be delivered to somebody else is you go to the file menu, you go down here to export with preset and I just pick from this list. These are the most common settings I use for delivering images and it's extremely rare that I need to deviate from these. Therefore once you've gone over the little hump of creating maybe a dozen presets, might take you 20 minutes to do that, then you shouldn't need to go and look at that really cluttered screen anymore. Instead you'll go to the file menu. You choose export with preset and I'll just say right here I'm gonna have an image saved to my hard drive. You can see a progress bar right there. It just saved it that now I can go email to somebody else. The same thing is true for almost all other areas of Lightroom and if you don't realize that, then Lightroom can feel a little overwhelming when you're first getting started. Well, it will anyway, but know that there's that little hump that once you get over it, which is what we're gonna be doing in this class, life becomes dramatically simpler once you've made it over the hump. Let me just show you a few examples. Well, in here, I wanna be able to print an image. Well if I click on an image up here in the upper right, there's a choice called print, so I click on it. And over here on the right side of my screen, I have gazillions of settings for how I could print an image. What settings would I like to use for all sorts of layout choices. Do I want a black background? Do I want a border around the image? Do I want more than one image on a page? It looks overwhelming, doesn't it? But how many different sizes of paper do you actually print on? I print on two. And how many different kinds of paper? I print on two. That means there's a total of four choices. Two different choices, small and big for me, and then two different kinds of paper for those sizes. Total of four. Well once you set this up once, you get over the hump of figuring out all the little settings that you need, what you do is you go to the left side of your screen and on the left side here it says template browser. That means presets. There's a little plus sign. You click on it and you create a brand new preset. So it's only one time that you have to deal with all those granular settings. In the end, you make a preset and that preset makes things so easy, it's ridiculous. So here is an image I might want to print. I clicked on the print module and on the right side of my screen, I'm seeing all the settings that I could use for printing and that means I can change things like should it have a border around the picture? Should there be a background surrounding the image? Should my logo be on top of it? What kind of paper am I printing to? All those kinds of things. I don't want to look at that every single time I wanna print so I look at that once and I spend a good amount of time to dial it in just right and I'll probably make a few prints to test the settings that are there, but once I got it dialed in and I know it's what I wanna use then I go to the left side of my screen when I'm in the print module in this area called the template browser that could be just labeled presets 'cause that's what it means. There's a plus sign there and I can then save all those settings as a preset and therefore I have this list. So if I want to print, all I do is I click on an image, I hit the print module and then on this list, I choose do I want my 8 1/2 by 11 print, that's one size I print to, or do I want a 13 by and I hit the print button on the lower right and a sheet of paper comes out of my printer and that's what I have to do when I'm done. So for printing, it's click on the print module, click on the preset you want, hit the print button. Simple. But to get there, you need to look through this list of settings on the right side of my screen and that takes some time. So it might take me about 30 minutes to really look through every single option that's available over there and fine tune it and to choose the various sizes of papers and layouts that I want, but each time I get to what I want, I save a preset and then in the future, I just go over here and click on the preset I want and if I don't want that exact thing, I still click on it 'cause that's the closest to what I want and then the only thing different that I want is the kind of paper that I'm printing to. So I look on the right side. I come down here and find where would I find things related to paper and I just deviate there because when I click on the preset, it loads all the settings related to it on the right side of my screen and you're gonna find that kind of a set up almost everywhere in Lightroom. So little hump at the beginning to get those presets setup, but then in the end, it goes so streamlined. That's true of importing, that's true of organizing, it's true of printing, it's true of most things. So in this case here, let's take a look at a few of my choices. I can have packages if I have typical sizes that I like to print to. You can set up all sorts of things in here. You can do the same thing with books and with prints. All right, now you might be wondering though, I've gone through this as if I already have my images in Lightroom. How do I get my pictures in there? Well if you wanna get your pictures into Lightroom, what you need to do is down here in the lower left, you're gonna find a button called import. So right now I'm in the library module of Lightroom, and I have this panel on the left side of my screen expanded. If that's collapsed, the import button disappears along with it. So I'm in library, I have this area here visible. Right there's the import button. Or an alternative if you don't want that panel open is to go to the file menu and there I'm gonna find a choice called import photos and videos. It sends you to the exact same area, regardless of how you get there. When I choose that, this comes up. Most of the time this'll look larger. This is another one of those instances where it can be granular where you see a lot of settings or it can be simple and there's a little hump to get over to get there, but this is the simplified version where all I would do is right here in the center, you'll see it says import preset and I would click here and I would choose Ben's Defaults. Then right here it would offer me the settings I need to use where I would type in the name of the shoot. Let's just say it came from Africa. I would just type it in there and I'd probably need to update my copyright notice. I do that and all I would do is if I actually had an SD card, like from a camera, inserted in my computer, the import button would be available. I'd click it and I'd be done. But you guys don't have presets to find yet. Therefore, you need to get over the hump. That hump we talk about in a future lesson. So let me just show you the minimum you need to do to get an image into Lightroom. I'll cancel this and I'll show you. So remember you either go to the left side of your screen when you're in the library module, click the import button. Or go to the file menu and choose import photos and videos. Doesn't matter which one. Then it won't look like this. If I click this button on the lower left, it'll expand this so I can see all the settings and now, here on the left side of my screen, it is showing me my hard drive contents. I would need to navigate my hard drive to show it where are the pictures that I'd like to import. So what I would do is I would first move your pictures to wherever you want them to be. I'd rename the folder to whatever you want them to be and then right here, I'm gonna tell Lightroom where is that folder. So in here I have, well, there's no actual pictures in there so we'll go to a different one, some mugshots of me. I click on the folder that I'd like to import and then at the top, there are some choices. I wanna use the choice called add and then on the right side of my screen, I just wanna leave everything alone. If you were to leave everything alone, the default setting would probably have that turned off, but it's not critical at all. The main thing is you don't have to look at all the settings. Then I hit the import button and it will import these pictures. After you're done importing, I'm actually gonna cancel this 'cause these are most likely already in here, but after you're done importing, right up here, under this choice called catalog, it will say previous import and you could click there to view those images you just imported or you could come down here to your folder list and you could navigate if you remember where that folder is located and navigate it just like you were navigating your hard drive to find it. But in future lessons, you're gonna learn how to create your own presets and when you do, life will become really easy and you will only have to look at those granular settings once or twice and then from then on, you'll end up using presets, which will really speed up your workflow. Jim, do we have any questions by chance before I sum up? Ben, let's take a peek. We do have a couple that folks were asking. So let me just throw this one to you. Question, Ben, this is from Jan Eric. Do I have to check show photos in subfolders when I synchronize a folder in order to get it to read the subfolders there or is there a command for viewing mode purposes? Mode purposes, I'm not sure what that part means? For viewing mode purposes. Maybe-- Oh, for viewing mode purposes. Yes, does that make sense? Somewhat. Let's see, if I am in Lightroom... When you are in the import screen, first off, there is a choice near the top left for importing the contents of subfolders if you happen to organize your pictures so that before you've even imported them into Lightroom you have subfolders. For instance you have an entire hard drive that's never been in Lightroom, you could point Lightroom at the name of your hard drive instead of a subfolder contained within it and then you could tell it to not just import the contents of the folder, but also look at subfolders contained within. The other area where you're gonna need to run into subfolders, which you should know about, is when I end up showing you my folder list like this and you see numbers on the right side. If I click on a folder like this one or this one to switch between it, this indicates the number of images in this base folder. If I expand the base folder to see if there are subfolders within. At the moment, mine are ignoring these images when it comes to that count. So the second spot where you'll see something about subfolders is if you go to the library menu. There you're gonna find a choice right here called show photos in subfolders. Mine has that turned off at the moment and therefore when I click on this folder, I'm seeing only what is contained directly in the base level of that folder and it's not paying attention to these subfolders. The moment I change that to here, now both the images that I'm viewing and the numbers that are showing up here change so that now this number is the total number of images including all the subfolders and when I click on the base folder, we're viewing all of those images, so that's the second place where you'll find it. Not sure if that directly answers her question or not, but those are the two areas. So tomorrow we're gonna talk about importing your images. So when you import, there's a bunch of settings you could use. In the end, you'll probably save them as a preset so you only need to look at them once. But I'm gonna show you all those settings and I'm also gonna show you how to customize Lightroom. You remember how in the upper left, there was my name there instead of the word Lightroom? Well you'll see how to do things like that and just how to customize the interface to make it really adapted to you 'cause it might be that you never make a book or you never view your images on a map. So we can hide that stuff. You'll see how tomorrow. Now before though this session's really ended, you should head over to Facebook because on Facebook, we have a special Facebook group that you can join and once I get off teaching here, I'll end up going and approve people for that group, but if you go into the Facebook group, that's where you can discuss this lesson and also that's where we're going to be thinking about eventual Q and A's. You should be aware that if you purchase the class, you get a lot of bonuses. The first bonus is you can pause the class. It's really great to be able to pause, try something in Lightroom and then come right back and start the lesson back up again. The other thing you get is a workbook. Usually they're separated by weeks, so there'll be a separate PDF file for each week and therefore you don't have to watch an entire video to remember what was covered. You can instead refer to the PDF file. It will remind you of the steps that were used for various techniques and then you only need to play the videos if it's been a long time since you've used the technique and you need to see it really live, in video. You're also going to get develop presets if you purchase the class. Therefore when you're adjusting your images, you'll have some additional options on the left side of your screen that will make adjustment easier and faster. You're gonna get a keyword starter set. That's gonna help you so when you make your images searchable, you'll automatically get a lot of work done for you ahead of time that I did that will give you a lot more functionality and also you're gonna get homework assignments. So today's homework assignment might be about analyzing the way you currently work to figure out how much do we need to change that to streamline it in the future throughout the rest of class and the homework PDF will talk about exactly what I suggest you should do and therefore you can get used to the features we talk about before you actually need to work on your images. Also you're going to end up getting practice catalogs if you buy the class. That means if you saw me optimize some pictures onscreen in one of the sessions, you might get the exact same images to practice with and, on occasion, a whole 'nother set, so you have additional images to work with and again therefore you can get used to a technique before you really need the technique for your own pictures. All right well, if you wanna check me out on various social media, here are the various sites you can visit to do so while you're waiting for tomorrow's episode to roll around. I hope you're gonna be sticking with us through this entire bootcamp because I absolutely love working in Lightroom. I'm almost giddy when I'm working in it because I can streamline it so much and I've organized my images to a level that just wasn't possible before this product came out and I wanna get you to that point as well. So through the next 19 days, 'cause here we have... We've already used up one, I'm gonna try to get you to that point where you can truly love to use Lightroom. So this is Lightroom Classic: The Complete Guide. I hope to see you tomorrow.

Class Description


  • Develop the confidence to use your imagination and create images you'll be proud to share with your clients
  • Thoughtfully use the Lightroom suite to streamline your workflow and add flair to your images
  • Organize your entire photo collection


Adobe® Lightroom® Classic CC can streamline your workflow, add drama to your images, and organize your entire photo collection -- but only if you know all the hidden features. Lightroom CC is one of the best non-destructive editing tools out there, designed to handle tasks from importing off an SD card and organizing to editing, printing, and exporting for social media. But the extent of the photo editing tools likely means that, if you are self-taught or just opening Lightroom CC for the first time, you're missing out on some key features.

As part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, the Lightroom Classic photography plans also include Photoshop and cloud storage, creating a complete image editing toolkit for photographers.

When you purchase this course you’ll gain access to an enduring resource to build your skills. You will also receive a workbook that acts as a reference guide, Lightroom presets, and Lightroom keywords, all included with the class.

Join well-known software instructor Ben Willmore to learn how to process and organize your images more efficiently, leaving more time to spend capturing amazing images. In this 20 lesson course, Ben covers everything from importing to troubleshooting and everything in between. As a boot camp, this course is set up so professional photographers can spend about an hour or so each weekday to learn the ins and outs of Lightroom in just four weeks.


This class is designed for Lightroom newbies as well as self-taught Lightroom users ready to uncover the hidden features and Photoshop experts ready to try Adobe's non-destructive RAW editor and organizer. As a recent class, the workshop also explains Lightroom's latest new features.

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 2018


Ben Willmore is a member of the Photoshop Hall of Fame who has taught over 100,000 Adobe® Photoshop® users on all seven continents. His bestselling books, DVDs, and hit seminars have established Ben as one of America’s favorite Adobe Photoshop instructors, and he is often the top-selling speaker at design and photography conferences throughout the world. He writes for numerous digital imaging publications, including Photoshop User magazine, and his award-winning books have helped helped hundreds of thousands of design and photography professionals make the transition from blindly following step-by-step techniques to “Ah-ha! I finally GET Photoshop!”

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Week 1 Workbook

Week 1 Homework

Week 2 Workbook

Week 2 Homework

Week 3 Workbook

Week 3 Homework

Week 4 Workbook

Week 4 Homework

Week 4 Catalog

Develop Presets

Develop Presets Pre 7.3

Lightroom Endmarks

Develop Presets Guide

Lightroom Keywords Guide

Lightroom Keywords Sampler

Lightroom Endmarks Guide

Ben's Smart Collections

Lightroom Classic Q&A (very large 3+ gb zip file)

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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Just wow! Ben is such an amazing instructor - he is able to explain everything very succinctly and in just enough detail that your eyes don't start glazing over. I've used Photoshop for over 20 years and have been afraid (and didn't really want to learn yet another program) of using Lightroom, until I've heard how awesome it is from my fellow photographer friends. This course is extremely comprehensive and if you're a more experienced user, you can skip some of the lessons and just watch the ones you want - but even experienced users might get at least a few nuggets of information that they didn't know in every lesson. Highly recommend! And thank you, Ben. P.S. You're wife and her yoga poses are amazing. I just got into yoga a few months ago and can only hope to be half as good as she is! :o)


I was taking a lightroom course from another provider and decided to give Creative live a shot as I wasn't happy with the other class. This class blows that one out of the water! I love the detailed instructions, he goes at a good pace and I love the transcription (I didn't even know that was there until I scrolled down). I would definitely recommend this class to anyone wanting to learn lightroom. Thank you Ben for giving this great class!


I have been searching for something to help me with my images. I am fairly confident with my ability to take nice photos but sometimes they need help. I might actually enjoy editing now!