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Basic Editing in Lightroom CC: Light

Lesson 9 from: Lightroom CC: Organizing Your Digital Photo Life

Jared Platt

Basic Editing in Lightroom CC: Light

Lesson 9 from: Lightroom CC: Organizing Your Digital Photo Life

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

9. Basic Editing in Lightroom CC: Light


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Creative Cloud Construct


Lightroom Classic vs. Lightroom CC


Importing and Organization


Folder and Album Creation


Image Selection


Connectivity and Data


Finding Images in Lightroom CC


Lesson Info

Basic Editing in Lightroom CC: Light

Once we've found the images that we wanna work with, so this is how we find 'em, and remember, keywording will help you but now it's not absolutely necessary because now you have a computer doing some really intelligent searching. That's why I told you earlier that your keywording should probably be more directed towards, especially if you're gonna use Lightroom CC, and Adobe Sensei's search capability, your keywording should be more directed towards peoples' names, locations, like the such and such church, because Sensei won't know that it's this specific church. It might know it's a church but it wouldn't know what church it is maybe unless it was super famous or something. Also comedy or humor or happiness, those kind of things. If you can think of something that's more of a metaphor for something, that's a really good keyword to use that would help you find photos that are funny. That's what you'd wanna keyword because Sensei's not gonna know that something is funny but it will kno...

w if it's a girl and if the girl's wearing a hat. If you keyword 'funny', and then 'girl', 'hat', 'funny', the three of those things is gonna deliver you a really good search because you are involved in helping it along. Once we have the images that we want to work on, then we're gonna go in and start playing with those images. What I thought I would do is I would edit a photo here. We're gonna go, in our search, let's say we found our search by saying I want someone with a dress. So there we've got the dress. Then I'm going to further hone down this search and say, I only wanna see three star images with a dress or more. Then I've got a choice between this photograph and that. You can see I've already edited that photograph, so I'm gonna edit this photograph. We're just gonna go through the process of working on images. Remember, I'm a wedding photographer but I promise I'll work on some other images besides just wedding stuff. In actuality, this wasn't a wedding I was shooting cause I stole the camera from the groom's father. Anyway, so I'm just gonna work on this photograph. Let me show you where all of the adjustments and options are here. In Lightroom CC, on the right hand side, we have our regular adjustments right here. That's all your basic adjustments. Then you have your cropping tool, which is here. Then you have your, this is your healing brush. If I wanna remove something or fix something, get rid of a pop can or a zit or whatever, that's there. Then I have my local adjustments. These are like burns and dodges, brighten something up. Not the whole picture, but just a piece of the picture. Then this right here is for gradients. If I want a sky to be bluer or darker or if I wanna burn up this. And I'll show you how to use these. Then a radial filter is like a gradient but it's in a circle, and we'll show you that one as well. This last little option here is to copy and paste stuff. If I like the settings from one, I can copy it and paste it on the other. We're gonna go through all of these right now. Let's start with our basic adjustments and let's go through that. Now, you can turn on and off this histogram. I suggest that you keep it on but if you go to, I think it's the view menu. Let's see, somewhere in here is an option to show that histogram. I don't see it just now. Anyway, if you, let's see if I can find it. There you go, it's in the Edit panels right there. See that, I turned on the histogram. If for some reason, that histogram isn't showing, it's very very useful to have so turn it on. So the histogram, let's go through a histogram for those who are coming into Lightroom CC. If this is your first major photo editing program, and you don't know a lot about it, let's just go through that. Those of you who are more serious photographers and you know everything already, then just sit by, maybe you'll learn something. But the histogram is a description of your photograph. You'll see this histogram in your camera. When you're taking pictures and looking at them, you can see the histogram. But that histogram tells you whether or not it's correctly exposed. This photograph is perfectly exposed because the histogram tells me it's perfectly exposed. Everything is perfect. This sky has information in it. It's not overexposed, it's not blown out. It's perfect because that's right there. See that little blue peak. That blue peak is that sky. It's bright so it's barely blue cause it's pretty bright blue. But it's there, all the information is in there. There's blue information right there. This pile of green right here. That's all of this tree and the grass and stuff like that. You can see that there's blue here. That blue is all the shadow. All that shadow has blue in it. Shadow is blue. Anytime you have a shadow, it's gonna have blue. It's gonna have more blue in it than it's gonna have red in it because shadows are blue. That pile is that blue shadow and then you can see that these two piles right here, the red and the green, are very very close together. That's that neutral rest of the darkness. Everything that's neutral is the red and the green right there. You can see that the green is a little bit more to the right than the red because it's a green tree, not a red tree. If it was a red tree, it would be the opposite. The red would be over here and the green would be over there. But the fact that the blue is further to the left means that it's shadow and that's why it's blue. You can see that all of that describes that photo perfectly. If I look at those while I'm in my camera, I can get perfect exposures. Not trusting the screen to see whether it's brighter or darker, but trusting that histogram. We always wanna see the histogram because that tells me, if I'm cycling through photos and I see two photo options and one of them has a histogram that's way off to the side, then I know I should choose the other one because it has better exposure. I can do more with it. Now, I am shooting raw photographs. Most of you that shoot photography with a camera probably shoot raw photographs. But some people shoot jpegs because the jpeg is smaller, and they're like, oh I can fit more photos on this card. I know my mom shoots jpegs. Up to today, she's never had a photo editing program to work on her raw photographs that would be of any value to her. But now, if she shoots raw images, she'll be able to do more with those raw images because a jpeg only has this much information in it and a raw image has. If you were to compare this, if a jpeg had this much information in it, the raw photograph would have a three story building of information in it. It's just, there's so much more information and you can do much more. If it's too bright, you can pull it down. If it's too dark, you can pull it up. More importantly, even if you had a perfect exposure as a jpeg, or a perfect exposure as a raw, let's say that I shot this as a jpeg. Editing this jpeg would be worse than editing this as a raw because as a raw, I have more information in it so I don't get banding in the skies and I don't get weird, rough details in the shadows of a face. All that kind of stuff. The oranges in my skin don't get blocked up and ugly whereas on a jpeg, they will. You're always gonna have a better photograph if you're shooting raw. If you're gonna come into Lightroom CC, you might as well take advantage of the abilities that it has and start shooting raw imagery. You're gonna have to buy a bigger card. Big deal, a 64-gigabyte card is like 30 bucks now. So just buy a 64-gigabyte card, throw away your little cards, put that card in, you'll have 100s and 100s and 100s of photographs as a raw camera. The raw image is gonna be much better. You're gonna put it in here. That raw image is gonna go to the cloud. You'll be able to work on it on your phone, on your iPad, on your computers. Everywhere you go, you can work on it. It's gonna just be a much better photo. Always use raw, always have the histogram available to you in your camera and on your screen so that you can be informed as to what you're looking at. So I'm looking at this photograph. It's got all the exposures exactly the way I want it. By the way, it's a completely natural photo. I stole the camera and I ran out with the bride and groom. I didn't have flashes and lights with me or anything like that. I just took 'em out, took the picture, done. There's a little work that I wanna do to it to make it great. The first thing I'm gonna do is go into the light section. That's how bright and how dark it is. I'm gonna take the brightness up a little bit. See how I'm playing with that histogram. I'm bringing up that little pile of stuff right there on the shadows and I'm just brightening up the shadows but I don't wanna over brighten it to the point that the sky goes away. So I'm gonna take my highlights and I'm gonna bright them back down. See how when I grab this highlights, I'm dealing with those bright areas of the sky. If I go all the way down, I can get that sky blue right back in. First things first is I take the, I wanna deal with the mid tones and that's what exposure deals with. I'm gonna deal with the mid tones and I'm gonna bring 'em up until I like the way they feel in the photograph. I'm just looking here at them and kinda at that tree and some of this grass here. Once I've got that mid tone where I want it to be, which I think that's probably about right, then I'm gonna take my highlights and bring them back down to try and protect that sky a little bit. But I don't need to go all the way down because look what it does to the dress. Her dress is a highlight. I don't wanna bring it all the way down like that. I don't muck up her dress too much. I'm just gonna bring it down so that that highlight that I'm seeing right there, that blue sky, comes back under control just a bit. I can always work on that sky individually later. The next thing that I wanna deal with is my, I almost never use the white slider. The whites tend to stay right where they are but if I want her dress to pop a little bit, so if I want that dress to pop out a little bit, the whites is a good place to do that. See how it just kinda, it doesn't do much, but it just pops that dress out a little bit. I can bring that up, but careful because watch what's happening up there in the sky again. I'm bringing that sky out but I'm popping that dress. All of this can be done. A lot of the times, you can do everything that you need to do just in these general settings and you don't have to go and burn and dodge and stuff. That's my preference. If I can do it all without doing any individualized work, great, that makes me happy, which is easier to do if I'm using some off-camera flashes and stuff like that to augment the light. But if I just grab a camera and snap a shot, then I'm gonna have to work on it. We're gonna get the general overall look first then we'll fix any problems that we've created by working on the photo. Then the last thing that I'll work on is this blacks. I'll bring the black down until I like the richness. I'm really looking over here in the shadow of this barn and I'm looking right here in the shadow between him and her. I'm looking in this shadow here. I'm just kinda looking around in the shadows and bringing 'em down a little bit. I just want it to be rich because remember, I just took the mid tones up, so it kinda thinned the photograph out. Now I just gotta takes those black areas and drop them down just a little bit so that they get rich again. I've got my basic settings done. Notice that I didn't touch the contrast. The reason I didn't touch the contrast is because contrast is like the worst way to create contrast is that knob. It's like the poor man's tone curve. All it does, I'll show ya. All it does is it takes the black half of the photograph, the dark half of the photograph and the light half of the photograph and spreads them out. That's how it creates contrast. See this, see what it's doing. That's all it does. It's not very well-controlled. It just kinda spreads it out. I would much rather have a lot more control over it so I will play with my shadows and my lights and my blacks and stuff like that. That creates contrast too because when I grab shadows, watch what happens. See how it shifts the shadows forward or down. I get a lot more control over it if I use this but contrast is fast. If all you wanna do is just get a little contrast in there, just pop it up, fine. But you don't have control over it. That's the payoff, is that it's fast. The payoff for spending a little time is that you get more control. I like the way that looks in general so I'm just going to close this down. Then I'm gonna go to color. By the way, there's an auto area here. If I click on auto, I wonder what it would do on this. Ready? Here we go. See, auto is not all that great. It did everything I didn't wanna do to the photograph so let's undo that. By the way, command Z will undo anything that you just did or you can, I think there's a reverse arrow somewhere around here, but anyway, command Z will undo anything that you've just done. Okay so I've done my adjustments here and now I'm gonna go to the color tab. In the color tab, that's where we deal with the temperature and the tint and saturation. But remember that if you shoot jpeg, you're gonna have a different experience here than if you shoot raw. Notice that here in the temperature area, there's 6-2-5-0. That's the exact Kelvin rating of that temperature that it was shot. It's as shot, it was shot at 6250 Kelvins. If you bring in a jpeg, it will just say zero because it's starting at zero and then you can warm it up or cool it down, but all you're down is adding yellow or adding blue. You're not changing the actual temperature that it was shot at. As a jpeg, you're gonna have very bad control over this part of your photograph. If you're shooting raw, you can actually change the shooting temperature as though you had shot it in a different temperature. All it did is collect the raw data. Now you're telling it what to do with the photograph. So that's a huge reason to shoot with raw cause you can adjust that color constantly and you're not gonna ruin the photo. You're gonna make it nice. I'm gonna just adjust this until I get the temperature that I want. I'm gonna bring that up, I like the warmth to it. I'm gonna go with that. I can also play around with the tint. I just kinda play around with that tint and make sure, and temperature is kind of a preference but tint is either right or wrong. You go here and you can see that that looks horrible and that looks too green. If it's wrong, it's really gonna feel wrong. Temperature, on the other hand, you can go quite a different, you can go from here to here and still be like, okay, I can see someone wanting it that warm or I can see someone wanting it that cool. Temperature and tint. Temperature is kind of your own choice. Tint, it's gonna be right or wrong.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lightroom® CC Ecosystem PDF
Film Presets

Ratings and Reviews


This class blew my mind! As a full-time professional photographer, with a very complicated workflow (that is next to impossible to explain to my assistant) I cannot express how essential this class is to overhauling and simplifying my workflow. I am so excited to finally be able to split my workflow between multiple laptops and work stations WITHOUT having to build a server at my studio. I love that I now have a framework to start building a new organizational and backup system that I can easily train others on, and mobilize quickly. With all of the changes and improvements that Adobe is bringing to Lightroom CC & Classic, this class is integral to understanding and utilizing the program to its fullest potential! Jared Platt is a wonderful teacher and this class especially is perfect for novices and seasoned professionals alike!

a Creativelive Student

I was lucky enough to participate in-studio for this class. Jared is a great presenter and broke down the complicated Lightroom CC vs. Lightroom Classic changes. His conversational style of presenting kept things interesting and participants involved. This course was much more than just learning what the programs do. Jared walked through sample workflows to show when and why you would use the multitude of sliders and editing tools within the program. The course is worth every penny! Topics will remain pertinent well after newer versions of Lightroom CC and Classic are released.


I won't be able to watch all of this, but I purchased it anyway. Jared's ability to address the technical as well as the artistic aspects of Lightroom is unparalleled. He is one of my preferred presenters, especially for Lightroom. I especially appreciate how he has clarified the differences among the versions of Lightroom that are available. Thank you Jared!

Student Work