Adobe® Lightroom® CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Class Introduction and Lightroom® Tour.

All right, so we have Lightroom CC Photo Editing, 20 full days over four weeks of time. This is my most comprehensive Lightroom class ever been done and so, by the time you're done with this you're going to really have a lot. Let's take a look. By the end of this class you're going to learn to become confident and truly enjoy using Lightroom. I mean that's the thing is a lot of people use Lightroom but they have a lot of questions stuck in the back of their head. They're not absolutely certain how everything works but by the end of this class you'll know how things are working behind the scenes and how to really think about Lightroom so you'll feel confident using it. You're also gonna develop a reliable system that streamlines the way you work and let's you spend more time shooting. Less time on the computer. You're gonna learn how to transform your dull and ordinary images, that's usually what comes out of your camera, into something that's really stunning. Because there's so many ad...

justment controls within Lightroom we're gonna be looking at just about all of them. You're gonna know the status of any image at a glance. That means that you're gonna be able to look back on your images and if you went back three or four years in your catalog you would be able to know exactly how many images are ready to show the public at just a glance. You'll know how many images still work and so on without having to really reacquaint yourself with any past folders. Also if you implement what we talk about during class you should be able to find any important image, any image that is memorable in about five seconds or less. Shouldn't take you long at all to find them. So, let's think about who this class really is for. Well, first off you could be a beginner where you haven't really spent any time in Lightroom and what you really want is a good overview of Lightroom that starts the beginning but it doesn't stay too basic. Meaning we have 20 days, we don't have to stay in most basic level but we can start you there so that you can feel confident when you get going and then slowly dig in deeper. Self-taught users of Lightroom, a lot of people ended up downloading Lightroom, installing it and just learning it on their own. If that's your case there's a lot of stuff you're missing because there's certain features you have to know special keyboard shortcuts to hold down in order to get to, and we're gonna fill in the gaps in your knowledge so you have more in depth knowledge instead of just what you could learn on your own. Then long-time Lightroom users you might have noticed that there's newer and newer versions of Lightroom that are released but you might not have gotten up to speed on all of the new features if they come out. So by going through this class even if you've used Lightroom for quite some time you'll learn about some of the newer features in there that you can start to implement. Then finally, if you're a Photoshop and Bridge user. Bridge is what you can use to browse your images, comes with Photoshop. And then Photoshop for enhancing things. A lot of people that are used to using those two programs really don't have a great sense for why everybody talks about Lightroom and why everybody is interested in it. Well, you can figure out why I think Lightroom is a better solution than a lot of the things that are built it and come with Photoshop. One of the bonuses is a handbook. In that handbook I actually have a copy of its current state taking just a moment to get to it. And the handbook is where you don't have to playback all the videos again and again to remember how to do things because sometimes you just need a really quick answer to a simple question that we covered during class. And you don't need to play an entire hour-long video to find it, instead you can flip through the PDF. But if you look this is what the first week's handbook currently looks like. But then when you get in to a particular section you'll find that the PDF is quite detailed about what we cover. It will remind you of exactly what we were doing on each day so instead of having to playback an entire video to remember how to accomplish things, you can flip through a PDF and it can be a nicer way of reviewing things. Play the video back when it's been a while since you've accomplished something so you can really get a detailed update. But then when you just need to remember a few details, pop on in to that PDF. Well, you also get presets and by presets I mean develop presets. And that means if you go in to Lightroom in the section where you adjust your pictures, you're gonna have some presets where instead of having to know some tips and tricks to get more out of your images, you'll have presets that have those tips and tricks integrated. And it will make it so your adjustment process can be much faster. We also have a keyword starter set and if you're not familiar with keywords it's how you can make your images searchable, how you can add search terms to your images. And with this keyword starter set it will make it so you can install it and by using it you can tag an image with a single keyword. And by doing so, that image then becomes searchable by not only the one word that you tag to it but also other associated words that I've built in to this keyword set. You'll learn a lot more about that when we get into the session about keywording. We also have homework assignments because with homework assignments, what that's for is through 20 days of time you have the afternoons and the evenings to work on your images, and this will guide you through what we covered during the day and how you can integrate that with the way you think and the way you shoot. So instead of just learning about a particular feature in Lightroom, this will get you to brainstorm about how specifically you could align that feature with the way you think in the kind of subject matter you shoot. To make it so, you use the features that are much more in depth level and much more customized to your use. Also some of those homework assignments will be images to adjust. So instead of having to search your image archive for an image that would be appropriate to practice a particular technique. You can get a Lightroom catalog that comes with a class if you purchase, and there you'll find a lot of the same images that I adjust or certain challenge images that get you to be better at those features so that you can get better using my images so that you're comfortable by the time you run into one of your images that needs the same kind of a fix. And just so you know that a homework for day one and day two is a more basic level just because we're just getting started. And now that the homework will get a little bit more in depth as time goes on. So then also you're gonna have what's known as end marks. End marks are little graphics that you can load at the bottom of the right and left side of your Lightroom window. Usually just this empty space down there but we'll put stuff in there where it will remind you of useful keyboard shortcuts. Will remind you about how we think about creating a standardized folder system, that kind of stuff. It's where you can just load an extra graphic into Lightroom to help remind you of things. It's almost like having a post-it note sitting on your screen to remind you of keyboard shortcuts and other things. We have four weeks and a new lesson every weekday. Let's take a look at those four weeks. On week we're just trying to create a firm foundation so you feel comfortable thinking about Lightroom as a whole and you know the big picture. That means we're gonna be talking about overall mindset, your workflow and whenever you're working in Lightroom you're working with a catalog file so you need to learn what's in the catalog file. How many of them should you have for instance. And much more but you can see that here. In week two we're gonna concentrate on organizing and adjusting your images. That means we'll talk about managing projects, how you should think about the various features in Lightroom to do that. We'll talk about keywording your pictures to make them searchable so you can very quickly find them in the future. And when it comes to adjusting we'll talk about dealing with things like noise reduction, retouching and we'll also be able to paint adjustments in to isolated areas. In week three we'll concentrate on the specialized features that are in Lightroom. That means we'll have Lightroom try to recognize the people that are in our photographs. If we educate Lightroom about what one particular person looks like in two or three pictures, suddenly it will be able to recognize that same person in all of our photos and save us a bunch of time. You'll also see how to view your images on a map so you have a completely different way of thinking and navigating through your images. And we'll talk more about adjusting your images, doing things like stitching panoramas and high dynamic range. Which is where you take the same picture over and over again, have it vary in brightness, and you can combine those pictures together into a single image that gives you a lot more detail. You can have both highlight detail in your blue sky in the middle of the day and also shadow detail. Whereas if you try to take the same photo using just one photograph, you'd have to lose the detail in either your highlights or shadows. We'll show you how to retain the whole thing. In the fourth week we're gonna talk about just fine-tuning your workflow. We'll make sure you know how to really quickly find your images. We'll talk about tips and tricks and how to extend Lightroom using plugins. Also very importantly we'll talk about troubleshooting so that when something goes wrong in Lightroom you'll have an idea about how to troubleshoot it and get everything to be running smoothly. So today, we're on day one out of 20. If you think about what we should cover we're gonna do a Lightroom overview and tour because I'm gonna make the assumption that you've installed Lightroom and maybe you've played with it for up to 30 minutes. But I'm not gonna assume anything more than that. And therefore if you watch today you'll get a good overview of the program so that you can jump in to the other days and know how to move around within Lightroom. If you've already been using Lightroom for a while you might still learn quite a bit when it comes to how Lightroom thinks behind the scenes. So, let's take our overview. The first thing you do when you're working in Lightroom is somehow get your pictures into Lightroom. We're gonna be doing that by importing. And when we import and by the way we'll cover that tomorrow in detail, when you import it's only gonna show you those images that you import. That means it will ignore the rest of the images that are on your hard drive. So if you have random pictures that have nothing to do with your true photography, let's say they're clips off of webpages or something else, they're not gonna clutter up what you see in Lightroom. Lightroom is also going to ignore images that are not photographs. I mean, it doesn't completely know if it's a photo or not, if it's a JPEG file it will assume it's a photo but it will ignore things like spreadsheets, word processing documents and other things that are obviously not photographs. And then Lightroom is not gonna force you to change where you store your pictures. That's totally up to you, you can store them wherever you'd like. And if you already have them on a hard drive you don't need to move them. Lightroom just needs to know where they are so it knows which images to import. Once an image is imported, you're gonna be able to preview that image even when the hard drive that contains the original picture is not connected to your computer, and that's a big deal. Because what that means is on this particular laptop I can view over 220,000 pictures that are not on this laptop. Instead they're on a big hard drive sitting at home. And that makes it so now when the next time on a plane I can be working with my images, I can be organizing them, I can be showing slideshows and doing other things even though the originals are not with me, which I think is one of the largest advantages of working in Lightroom. Then there's a feature in Lightroom we'll talk about called Smart Previews. If you add a Smart Preview then you're even gonna be able to adjust your pictures when the original photograph is not even on your hard drive. Meaning the original photo's on a different drive in some other city or state, not connected to your computer. And that means at any time I'm on a taxi cab, I got a 30-minute ride between the airport and the hotel, I can open my laptop, I can be adjusting my pictures and I don't have to fumble around by connecting a big hard drive that contains those images. If I use Smart Previews I'm gonna be able to still work on them. Then just so you know because a lot of people get confused about this if you were new to Lightroom, just because you can see your images in Lightroom and you might even be able to adjust them when the hard drive that contains the originals is not attached, you still need to keep those originals. Some people import things into Lightroom and if you're not familiar with the program they think, well, Lightroom's got the images now and then they think they can delete the originals. But that's not the case. Lightroom is still gonna need those original images anytime you wanna make a high quality print because it will need all the information that's in it. Or if you wanna share those images and you wanna share really big version of them. Because when you can view them in Lightroom it's got a medium size preview image instead of a full sized one. And so, you still do need to retain those originals. A single Lightroom catalog can handle hundreds of thousands of images. I have over 200,000 images in my catalog so you don't usually have to worry that much about is that catalog gonna get too big or slow down or anything like that unless you're getting into ridiculous numbers of images. If you shoot half a million or more images a year or something like that maybe you need to think about is your catalog gonna get too big. But just in general know that Lightroom can handle huge numbers of images without a problem. Then let's think about developing a Lightroom mindset. So we're thinking about Lightroom like it thinks. In Lightroom, everything you do to your images is saved as simple text. And therefore, it can be saved instantly. When you move an adjustment slider in Lightroom, let's say you move a slider called exposure and you just turn it up a little bit. All Lightroom has to do is write down the words exposure plus 20, and that's all it writes on your hard drive. That's such a small amount of space on your hard drive that it can happen instantly. And that means in Lightroom you'll find no open or save commands. Unlike in Photoshop where you have to completely open the file in order for it to show up and then you have to save the result when you're done, in Lightroom it's happening instantaneously the moment you make the change. Now there is a save command within Lightroom, in fact you can type Command + S, the standard keyboard shortcut for saving but it doesn't do what you think. Because the moment you make a change it's already saved and typing Command + S just means save it as a separate file. You'll have a tiny little text file in your hard drive then that contains those changes. It's called an XMP file but we'll get into that. Changes you make in Lightroom take up very little space because all it's saving is text that describes what you've done to your image. And then when you view that photograph again it reads in that text to move the adjustment sliders in Lightroom to where they were the last time you viewed that. So if I were to make a change to a photograph it would take up approximately 12K of space. 12K is about as big as a simple two or three or four paragraph email with no photos in it. It's absolutely tiny. And then it will update the preview image that it has for that and everything will be nice. Nothing in Lightroom is permanent. The original is always untouched. So that means you have the original pictures and Lightroom is never gonna change them. Instead it's just gonna write down with text what you've done within Lightroom so it remembers what the image is supposed to look like based on those changes but the original is unchanged. So, all we're gonna have is two things, the original photo and our description of what we've done. And the only images that are going to have the changes permanently applied are when we export an image and give it to somebody else. Now by the way because all the changes we make are text-based, so it just writes them down, that means we can easily copy them from one picture and paste them on to another picture. So if you adjust one image and you spend quite a bit of time refining it. And later on you find another image that seems to have the same problems or were shot in the same environment. Instead of having to start over again there we can copy and paste the settings between those images to very quickly apply them. In Lightroom, the order you apply your adjustments in is unimportant in general. The end result would look identical if you put them in a different order. As long as you ended up with the adjustment sliders in the same location when you're done doesn't matter what order you do them in. That's unlike Photoshop. In Photoshop the very first thing you do to your picture affects what the second thing can look at and so on. In Lightroom, that's not the case. There's no need to work on duplicate files. A lot of people that are used to working in Photoshop first thing they do is duplicate an image to make sure they don't touch the original. Well, if you remember I said that the changes Lightroom makes are just writing down some texts and it never touches the original so you don't really need to duplicate that original. Now if you need more than one version of the image, you need a black and white version, a color version and another one that's cropped as a square we can do that within Lightroom and you use a feature called a virtual copy. And what a virtual copy does is you still have only one original image and then it just makes more than one text record for that image. It says for one I want it black and white, for the other I want it crop square but it doesn't have to duplicate the actual original picture. Still we're only adding about 12K of information, some text and it will have to create a new preview file. But in general it's much more efficient than working in a lot of other programs where you'd hatch to duplicate the image each time you want a different version. Now let's think about the world outside of Lightroom because working within Lightroom is unique and that everything we're doing is being written down as simple text in our catalog file. To get things outside of Lightroom it's a little different. When you need to share an image, you've adjusted it, you wanna now email it to a friend. We need to somehow get your friend a version that has those changes incorporated. And in order to do that we're gonna end up exporting our image. When we export it, it makes a copy of the file and it will be in a typical file format like JPEG or TIFF. And it's only that exported version that has the changes permanently incorporated into it. Your original file is still untouched and after you give that to your friend, you email it to him or anything else, you could delete it off your hard drive. Those exported versions of your images you don't have to leave them hanging around your hard drive because you could always re-export that image. Just make another copy if they want it again. Then when you're working in Lightroom you got to be careful because if you make any changes outside of Lightroom, like Lightroom is not running and you decide to come in and rename a file or move a file from one folder to another. That's gonna confuse Lightroom. And so if you're gonna make any kind of change after you've imported an image into Lightroom, try to start that process within Lightroom. Because then Lightroom would be aware of the change. You can rename your files easily from within Lightroom, you can move them between folders in Lightroom and it will do that for you on your hard drive. And anything like that. If you wanna open the image in Photoshop start in Lightroom. There's a command in there for opening it in Photoshop. If you do then Lightroom will stay in sync with all the changes you're making. If you don't instead, you have Lightroom quit and you start making changes on your hard drive, moving files around, renaming them, suddenly Lightroom's gonna get confused because it was just trying to remember where was that file, and when it goes looking for it it's not gonna find it. And so, you might need to do some troubleshooting there which we'll talk about just in case you make those changes you'll know how to fix them. Then what about Photoshop and Bridge. When you buy Photoshop it comes with another program called Bridge and there's some similar functionality in those programs so how should I think about Lightroom compared to Photoshop and Bridge? Well, Lightroom in general is a good replacement for two parts of Photoshop and that is the program called Bridge and something that some people refer to as ACR. ACR stands for Adobe Camera Raw. And Lightroom can replace the functionality of those two pieces of Photoshop. But it has some advantages over those two pieces. Here are few of them. In Lightroom unlike in Photoshop and in Bridge I can view my images on a map so that I can scroll around the world, zoom up and see exactly where I've taken pictures. In Lightroom I have a persistent history of everything I've done to an image. That means I can go to an image that I adjusted three or four years ago and there's gonna be a history list that stays there. So that means if I wanna get to what the image look like halfway through my adjustment process that I did years ago, I could easily do so by clicking back in the history list. If I did the same change using Photoshop there would be no persistent history. The history gets cleared out the moment you close the file. We can view our images and we can adjust our images without the original files being attached to our computer. And that's amazing because I have over 200,000 pictures on this laptop, some Lightroom but all those images are sitting at home on a big hard drive. And all I need to do is open my laptop and I can see all of them. If I wanna show a slideshow to anybody at any time I don't need to go and get the original pictures that are all within my Lightroom catalog. And if I view something called a Smart Preview I can even be in there adjusting them. So if I'm on a flight, I just open my laptop and I can start adjusting. Also remember in Lightroom you can create virtual copies and a virtual copy makes it look like we've copied a picture so you see two copies of it sitting there but we haven't increased the amount of space it takes up on our hard drive by much at all. It's not like duplicating a file. We can also make books and slideshows to music and we have what I consider to be better printing options when we're in Lightroom. The time that I would use Bridge and Camera Raw, the pieces that come with Photoshop, is when I don't need to see an image ever again. Meaning, a friend of mine comes with their images, they want me to just glance at their pictures and see what they look like or they want me to adjust two or three of their images, and afterwards, they're gonna take the images with them and I'm never gonna need to see them again. If that the case I would prefer to use Bridge and Camera Raw instead of Lightroom. And the reason for that is in Lightroom you have to import your images which is an extra step, and once you've imported them you don't have to go out of your way to get them out of Lightroom so they no longer show up in there. And so, there'll be kind of two extra steps, importing them and then trashing them, getting them out of Lightroom when you're done. Whereas with Bridge that's not the case. Bridge is just a browser where it simply shows you the folder you're pointing at and the moment you click away from it it completely forgets the folder you were viewing previously. And so, it's a more efficient way of working if you never need to see those images again and you just wanna glance at them or do a quick tweak for someone else. But you should be aware that Lightroom does use the exact same adjustments that are available in Adobe Camera Raw. So, if you're used to Adobe Camera Raw you're gonna find the exact same choices within Lightroom, the quality is the same of the adjustment but in Lightroom it will be more elegantly implemented. Similar to having our full history that stays there, be able to have virtual copies and other things, it's just a more elegant implementation of the same features. Then we're gonna use Photoshop only when Lightroom is incapable of doing something. If I wanna combine together multiple pictures, grab a bird out of one and a tree out of another and a cloud out of another and combine them together, I can't do that in Lightroom. There's only so much you can do when the way you're saving your changes is just by writing down the text of what you've done. It just says where you ended up moving a slider or what you change the name to, and sometimes we're gonna need to go beyond that and that's when we end up going to Photoshop when Lightroom is either incapable of doing something or it would simply be inefficient, then we'll pop on over to Photoshop. Now before we get into Lightroom I wanna briefly describe the two file formats that most people shoot with and that is JPEG and RAW. I just wanna make sure you're aware of a few differences between those two file formats so you know that when you see me using Lightroom on one of those file formats, it might look slightly different than using the other, JPEG or RAW. So first off, when it comes to RAW files. With RAW files you're going to possibly get better looking results when doing color correction. If your image looks way too yellow or orange let's say and it's not supposed to. If you try to color correct it to make it not look overly yellow orange then your end result is usually gonna look cleaner and just have more fidelity to it if you adjust it using a RAW file. If you find in the brightest part of your picture it looks like you have solid white or in the darkest part of the picture, it looks like you have solid black. If you shot a JPEG file then that's the case and there's nothing we can do to get detail to appear in those areas. But with a RAW file it actually captures additional information in the brightest and darkest parts of your image. And that's one of the reasons why a RAW file is larger on your hard drive than a JPEG, it's just there's more info in there. And so, if in Lightroom I adjust the image to darken the highlights, what used to look like a white sky for instance will suddenly start having detail appear in it. And if I adjust the dark part of the image where it used to look solid black and I try to brighten it up, instead of just turning to a lighter shade of gray with no detail, that's what I'd see in a JPEG, I can actually see some additional detail coming in. And that's one reason why those RAW files are larger than JPEGS and they just contain more information, part of it's in the highlights and the shadows. Then a RAW file contains as many brightness levels as your camera was capable of capturing which is usually many thousands of brightness levels. A JPEG file is trying to reduce your file size as one of its main concepts. And part of what it does for that is it saves just over 250 brightness levels. Between black and white you got just over 250 shades in between, which is enough to make your image look good but those extra shades that you get in a RAW file are useful if you need to make radical adjustments to your picture. If the JPEG file look fine in the back of your camera, 250 plus shades is just fine. But if it looked really dark in the back of your camera and you're gonna try to salvage it using Lightroom then I would much rather have a RAW file because there'd be a lot more information contained within it. JPEG files are processed in your camera. If you look in the back of your camera and you go through the menu system, you'll find a bunch of settings that only apply to JPEG files. Although they're not very good at telling you that, they'll just be settings sitting there that you think would apply to any file format, but if you find anything that has to do with saturation, sharpness or you find features called picture styles, those only apply to JPEG files. In order to take the RAW information that your camera captured and only save 250 brightness levels of it, it needs to process the image first and enhance it, so make sure that it looks somewhat okay before it reduces the amount of information in it. RAW files on the other hand are not processed in your camera. When you open them in Lightroom they can in fact look slightly dull compared to their JPEG counterparts. And the reason for that is they're not processed in the camera. Instead you open them in Lightroom and it's expecting you to process them there. And so that's why RAW files can look a little bit dull compared to JPEGs just because nothing's been done to them yet until you move the sliders that are found in Lightroom. Whereas all your JPEGs have already been adjusted based on the settings that were in your camera. JPEG files apply compression to your images to make the file size smaller. And that compression is, degrades the actual visual look of your image. You probably wouldn't notice at the beginning but if you try to do an extreme adjustment in your image then you might start noticing those artifacts that were put into your images, and RAW files do not have that lousy comprehension. So with the RAW file you can make more radical adjustments before you notice any problems showing up. Whereas, a JPEG file it'll be limited how much we can. JPEG files have the advantage of, you can think of as being delivery-ready. You can take them right off your camera and deliver them to a client because they're in a file format that most programs can open. A RAW file on the other hand is different, it needs a little extra work. You need to process it in Lightroom to make it look good. And then you usually save it out, you export it as a JPEG or a TIFF or some other file format. So with RAW your file sizes are a bit bigger and there's a little bit more effort to get them to other people. But I personally find it to be worth it because I can get a slightly higher quality result. Now having said all of these, don't feel bad if you shoot JPEG and I'm not gonna talk you into not shooting JPEG. I just wanted you to be aware of some of the advantages of RAW and some of the disadvantages, the larger file size and having to process and export. But there's always additional steps you can take to get higher quality when you're taking photographs. The first one is in your camera, you could switch from JPEG to RAW. Then there are a whole bunch of other things you can do and it all depends how crazy you wanna get with quality. You could for instance shoot HDR, that's high dynamic range. Where instead of taking one picture of a scene you take three where it varies in brightness. Then you can combine those three together into a single file, you get a wider brightness range. Well, it's an extra step. It's larger files, more work to be done. In addition to that you could focus in the distance and take one shot then focus close and take a second shot. Combine those two together to get a very deep depth of field. There's always more and more levels deep you can go to get more and more quality and it's just a matter of what's worth it for you. For me personally, it's always worth it to shoot RAW because there's not that big of a penalty. I'll be adjusting these images in Lightroom anyway and hard drives are relatively cheap so I don't mind so much that the file sizes are bigger. But pretty much everything we do will work just fine on a JPEG as well, so don't feel bad if you shoot JPEG, don't think I'm gonna try to convince you of it. I simply wanted to educate you a little bit about it just in case you weren't sure what to shoot and if you would like some of those advantages you might choose to shoot RAW. All right, we're gonna pop into Lightroom now that we've talked about a general overview and I'm just gonna give you a tour of Lightroom so you get a general feeling for how it's laid out. And I'll tell you about the general workflow that I use when I'm working within it. And that way when we get into the other sessions on the other days you should be somewhat comfortable inside of Lightroom. When you first launch Lightroom you're not gonna find pictures in it. And at the end of this session I'll give you a quick overview of how to quickly get some images in there. But for now let's just glance at the interface acting as if we already have some pictures in there. So, at the top right of my screen, this text up here where I have the various choices of Library, Develop, Map, Book, Slideshow. Clicking on those controls what I see in the lower portion of the Lightroom window. The moment I click on one of those words it completely changes what is in the area below. Those are known as different modules in Lightroom. The ones that you'll use the most are the Library module for organizing your pictures and the Develop module for adjusting your images. The other ones are somewhat optional. The ones called Book, Slideshow, Print and Web are for presenting your images or sharing them with other people. But the vast majority of work will happen between the Library and the Develop modules. So, let's take a look then at how the screen is laid out in general. You'll find regardless of what module you're in, there's a little panel on each side of your screen. On all four edges of your screen there are little panels that can show up. And if you look at the far edges of your screen you'll find little triangles. Those triangles will allow you to expand or collapse each one of those panels. So on the left side right now what I'm seeing are my folders. That's where I'd navigate my hard drive. And if I go further to the left I can see right here a little triangle. If I click that triangle I can collapse that side. If I go to the right side of my screen I also see a triangle, I could collapse that down, I could do the same at the top and the bottom's already collapsed here. But if I go down there I could expand it. So, if you ever see me working and one of those panels is visible, yours is not, just go to the edge of your screen and click and you can expand or collapse those. Tomorrow I'll show you how to customize Lightroom and part of customizing Lightroom will be where I could make one of these panels show up automatically just by moving my mouse to the bottom of my screen. And when I move away it would disappear. You'll learn how to set things like that tomorrow when you learn to customize. Then within this middle portion where you can see little thumbnails of your images when you're in the library module, you're gonna find a bar at the top that's called the filter bar. And that's where you can limit the number of images you're viewing by performing a search. Like I can say only show me images that I've rated or only show me images that are horizontals or something else. But that's called the filter bar and if you're ever in the Library module and you find it's not there, you can go to the View menu and here's a choice that says Show Filter Bar. Or if you're like me where you use the filter bar all the time, you might use a keyboard shortcut, it's listed on the right side right there. That would show or hide your filter bar and that's the backslash. If I refer to that area at the top of my screen when I'm in the Library module and you find when you get there it's just not visible on your screen, either hit the backslash key or go to the View menu and search for it there. Below the thumbnails of images you're gonna find another little bar and that little bar is called the toolbar. Take me a moment to zoom up on it. This bar right here. And that toolbar can also be shown or hidden. To do that you go to the View menu and the very first choice is Hide Toolbar. And it also has a keyboard shortcut which is just the letter T. So, if I ever refer to that and you don't find it there, you can hit the letter T to hide or show the toolbar. Then at the very bottom of your screen if this is expanded is something called the filmstrip and the filmstrip is special. What happens is whenever you wanna switch between images, let's say I'm adjusting this particular photograph and I wanna switch to adjusting this one, well, when you're adjusting images you're not usually here in the Library where you can see all your photographs. Instead, you've clicked up here in the Develop and that's what you're looking at. And without the filmstrip if you wanted to switch between your photographs you would have to go back to the Library, switch to the next photograph and then go back to Develop to adjust it. And the same would be true when you're working with Map, Book or anything else. So to make it so you didn't have to go back and forth between all these modules, constantly going back to the library to choose a different picture, Adobe decided to create kind of a mini library and they put it at the bottom of your screen, and it's called the filmstrip. With the filmstrip if you wanna control how large these images are because they look awfully small down there, you can grab the top edge of it and pull it up to enlarge it or push it down to make it smaller. And just do that until those thumbnail images are large enough where you can recognize your pictures. So now any time I need to change between images regardless of which one of these modules I happen to be in, I don't need to go back to the library module where I'd usually see my individual pictures. Instead I just move my mouse to the bottom of my screen and if the filmstrip wasn't showing up already, I click the little triangle that's there. And I can easily switch to a different picture and that I can collapse that filmstrip down so it can get out of the way. It's just a really quick way of switching between your images. You'll still need to go to the library module on occasion if you need to make big changes or really navigate around your pictures. But for a quick switch of images, that's what that filmstrip is for. And I'll show you how to make it where it would automatically show up when you move your mouse to the bottom of your screen and disappear when you move away but that's tomorrow. For now we're just trying to get a general overview of Lightroom. Then when it comes to these side panels when you're in the library module the left most side panel is the most important one. That's where you navigate all your pictures. In that left side you're gonna have your folder list and this is gonna show you all the folders of images that you've imported into Lightroom. This is not gonna show you every single folder that is contained on your hard drive, it only shows you those folders that you've imported. Because it assumes that some folders on your hard drive have nothing to do with your photography and so, it only imports those that you tell it to. Also when you import your pictures it stores previews of each one of those images and that makes it so that it takes up some space, and it wouldn't wanna do that with every single picture on your entire hard drive because it would take up more space than really needed. So, this is only gonna show you the folders you have imported. But when it comes to working with the folders these reflect what's on your hard drive so if you were to move a picture between folders here, the same change will happen on your hard drive. It's simply reflection of your drive. You can expand and collapse each section in these sidebars by clicking on the little triangles that are next to each one and that will be the case in every one of these modules. There is one special spot up here at the top where it says Catalog. And this is where you could view all your photographs. Here you can see I've over 200,000 photographs in my Lightroom catalog. And if you wanted to let's say perform a search that searches every single photo you have, you would click here first before starting that search. One other special choice that is in here is on occasion you will import some pictures and right after importing them, you won't know where to go to find them. What you could usually do is go to your folder list and you would have to navigate just like you would on your hard drive to go and find those pictures. But if for some reason you can't remember where they were located, you do have one other special choice here under catalog and that's called previous import. If I click on previous import it will show me the last images that I imported into Lightroom. And therefore, I could get to them very quickly. Then when you look at your images you will find little badges on top of your images. You see these tiny little icons. Those little badges indicate what you've done to your picture and there's a whole bunch of them that can show up. If you see this one, it looks like a rectangle for instance, it means you've cropped the picture. And that's an indication that you could uncrop the image and see more of it. The one with the plus and minus symbol on it tells you that you have adjusted the picture but there's a whole series of those icons that could appear on your images, and they give you an idea if you've done anything to your photo or not. If you don't see any of those icons on your image, then you probably have an image that you've never adjusted or worked with in the past. So, when you're switching between these various modules, there are some that you do so consistently that you should get used to at least two keyboard shortcuts. You're gonna be switching between the Develop module and the Library module so often that you should know how to get between them quickly from day one. To go to the Develop module all you need to do is type the letter D on your keyboard. To go to the Library module you don't type L, nope. You type G. Just think of G as being your grid of images. And therefore, you would be back into Library module and you would be viewing whatever images you were viewing previous to that. Then a few other keyboard shortcuts. To control the size of these images there is a little slider just below the thumbnails right down here called thumbnails. And if you're to move that to the right or left you would get thumbnails to be larger or smaller. But you can just as easily use your keyboard for that because you'll be doing it so often. And to do with your keyboard all you do is press the plus or minus keys on your keyboard. Plus makes the thumbnails larger, minus makes them smaller. One final keyboard shortcut that you should know from day one is oftentimes these side panels get in the way. They just take up space. And if you're trying to view your picture, they're gonna make your picture take up less space. If you're gonna view a bunch of thumbnails, well, if those panels weren't on the sides you'd be able to see a lot more. So another essential keyboard shortcut would be to press the tab key. The tab key will hide those side panels, the left and right ones. And if you press the tab key a second time they'll show up again. And if you forget that, if you've like typed tab and you're like what happened to my panels, you can always manually get them back, remember those old triangles on the edge. All it's doing is the equivalent to clicking on the triangle on both sides for you. But the tab key will toggle the visibility of those little side panels. So if I had a post-it note right now I would have written down those particular keyboard shortcuts. D for develop, G for grid. Plus and minus to make the grid smaller or larger. And tab to show or hide my side panels. And I'd leave that post-it note next to my computer for the next 24 hours. And by the time tomorrow's session comes around you just might start to remember them although I will remind you of them all the time throughout class so that you'll get used to them. Then one other thing that can really change the way Lightroom looks is if you go to the View menu, you've got a bunch of different choices for changing things. You'll also find things under the Window menu but oftentimes I don't go actually up to the menu to access things. I use my keyboard simply because I need to do it very frequently. But anything you see me do with my keyboard that has to do with the general view of Lightroom will usually be found under those two menus. Here's one that you'll probably wanna know. I'm gonna hold down the shift key of my keyboard and I'm gonna type the letter F. Watch what happens when I type Shift + F. Do you notice there was a gray bar at the top of my screen and it just went away. I'm gonna type Shift + F one more time and watch what happens at the top of my screen. Do you see the Lightroom menu, the menu bar cross the top. If I type Shift + F, do you see it just went away? I'm gonna type Shift + F one more time and we're back to where we started. So, Shift + F means how much of my full screen should I be using. Shift + F cycles between three different settings for that. So, if you get to this point where there's no menu bar, you might be thinking what's the point? I need to get to all that stuff up there. Well, if you move that mouse to the top of your screen, the menu bar will show up so you can see it. And when you move away it will disappear. And that's really nice because now if we know that we can do Shift + F to change that, we could work in this view all day and our picture will take up the vast majority of our screen. When we need to work with those little side panels, you'd have tab to get them to show up. You'd use what's in the side panels and when you're done you hit tab again and you're back concentrating on your picture. That might be close to filling your screen or here we're concentrating on our thumbnails. So those are some essential keyboard shortcuts. Tab for hiding side panels, Shift + F for switching between different full screen modes. Don't worry, I'm not gonna give you too many keyboard shortcuts over these 20 days. I know the first day you got quite a few here but there are some essentials that I would try to start getting you used to so that you can just be efficient in Lightroom. Now, since it's the first day you might if you're brand new to Lightroom not have any of your pictures in Lightroom yet. So, I wanna just give you a really quick overview of how can you get some of your images in Lightroom, so if tonight you wanna start playing with Lightroom you can do so. Tomorrow we're gonna cover this in much more detail, so, let's just take a quick look and then tomorrow we'll cover it in a lot more detail. There's two ways to get your images into Lightroom. The first method is if I go to my operating system. I'll hide Lightroom here. Hide whatever else I got here. I have a folder of images right here I'd like to import. Well, one way you can do this is to drag that folder of images on top of the Lightroom icon and just let go. If you do, Lightroom is going to do two things. It's going to bring up this screen that's called the import dialog box. And not only will it bring that up but on the left side it's gonna navigate your hard drive to highlight that folder of images so it thinks that that's what you want to import. Now, if you don't think to drag it on top of your Lightroom icon or if for some reason on your computer it just doesn't work, then I'm gonna cancel here. The alternative method would be when you're in the Library module, if you let the left side of your screen, that panel show up, I'll hit to tab to get it to show up there, in the lower left you'll find an import button. So, if your photos aren't in Lightroom yet you just click the import button that brings you to the exact same screen we were on a second ago. And here's how I use this screen. First on the left side it wants to know where are the photos that you'd like to import. And so here, this will be the name of your hard drive and you could navigate your hard drive just like you would in any other program. And I'm gonna come in here to my desktop and here I have my folder called Files to Import. I'll click on it. Then at the top of my screen, tomorrow we'll cover all these options in detail but for now choose the choice called Add. What add means is don't move my pictures, leave them where they are. And so that means if you wanted them in a different location move them first. Go put them on whatever hard drive you want in whatever folder you want before you import them. Tomorrow I'll show you how to have Lightroom move your files as you import if that's what you wanted. So the left side I'm navigating to the folder that contains my pictures and the top center I'm choosing add. And then on the right side I'm leaving everything alone, leaving it at default. In the lower right you'll find the button of import. And if I click that, in the upper left you're gonna find a little progress bar but since I was only uploading or importing about five or six images, it went by very quickly. If you're importing hundreds upon hundreds of images, you'll find a progress bar appear up here. And once it's done those images are imported into Lightroom, it left them on your hard drive in the same location as the originals. And if you wanna find them you can go to this area in the left side of your screen called folders, and you can again navigate your hard drive until you find them. Or right under the choice called Catalog is a choice called Previous Import. And right there could be another way to find them. So that just gives you enough information to hopefully get a few images into Lightroom so you can start playing around in case you haven't been in the program much in the past. But tomorrow we'll get into importing in depth and after that we'll start getting into adjusting and doing a whole bunch of other stuff in Lightroom. Before I move out of Lightroom, do we have any questions about any of that stuff? Ben, I'm just gonna start with a few from the chatrooms. And Kaye Libby would like to know do I need to build smart previews if I don't have a separate hard drive but have Lightroom and photos on the same system? If the photos you're working with are on the same hard drive as your Lightroom catalog and just Lightroom in general, like you have a laptop and your photos are on that laptop, you don't need smart previews. Great. It's only if you want to be able to adjust those pictures when the hard drive that contains the originals is not attached, yeah. But if those images are always available, no need for smart previews. Great and David Walker would like to know, when you're in the grid, is there a way to have two lines of data for each thumbnail? If you go up to the View menu there's a choice in here called View Options is one of them and also here called Grid View Style. And you can choose exactly what is visible when you're viewing your images in that grid. So you can look at the options that are there. I know you can pack it with a lot more information at the top if you'd like. Great. And also, let's see here, Net Ingenuity would like to know, how do we recognize a RAW file format? How do you recognize that? I'm glad they asked that question. You know how most standard file formats like JPEG and TIFF and Photoshop are easy to identify in that if you have a JPEG file the end of the file name will end with JPG. If you have a TIFF file end with TIF. Photoshop ends in PSD. But a RAW file is different for each camera manufacturer. And that means that a Canon camera for instance gives me a CRW or a CR2 file. Nikon would give me an NEF on the end of the file name and so, it depends on the camera manufacturer that you're using. But the main thing is if the three letters on the end of the file name are not standard. They're not JPG, TIF, PSD, it might be a RAW file. But there's no like universal way of instantly identifying them. But the moment you figure out what your particular camera manufacturer uses on the end then it'll be easy for you to recognize your RAW files because it's consistent from the manufacturer. So, Canon is CRW or CR2, Nikon is NEF and I don't even think about it but let's see Sony is ARW on the end. But the file extension would be different. Great, thank you Ben. And one last question before I throw it back to you. During the month are you gonna be talking about simultaneously syncing a catalog on multiple devices? Lightroom one of its limitations which we'll talk about in a session where we talk about catalogs is it's really a one machine program. In that its Lightroom catalog file is designed to be accessed from a single machine. In that session, the one that talks about Lightroom catalogs, we'll talk about how can we then work if we have more than one person that needs to be able to adjust those images. And in the session on catalogs we'll cover it a little bit and then in the session on tips, we'll cover it in more depth where I'll show you a few tricks on how to get around the limitations on Lightroom. So we'll give some coverage to that. If you wanna find me on social media here are some of your options. You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest and on Instagram. And then of course my main area though would be my own website, So, this has been Lightroom CC Photo Editing, this is just the first day. We're just doing kind of an overview, just getting started. We have 19 days left.

Welcome to CreativeLive’s comprehensive Lightroom® workshop! Join one of our best software instructors, Ben Willmore, to learn how to process and organize your images more efficiently - and have more time to spend doing the stuff that matters. In this series of lessons, you’ll learn how to:

  • Import and organize your images
  • Optimize your photos and workflow
  • Make your images searchable within the program
  • Exporting, printing, and troubleshooting

When you purchase this course you’ll gain access to both an enduring resource to build your skills and a community with which to share the fruits of your work. Ben will provide a workbook that acts as a reference guide.

Don't have Photoshop yet? Get it now so you can follow along with the course!

Software Used: Adobe Lightroom CC 2015.2 - 2015.3



  • Creative Live is a godsend and, in my opinion, Ben Willmore is one of their best instructors - if not the best. He is as natural and thoughtful a teacher as he must be a learner. He knows a lot! He is clear about what his students want and need to know, from basic to advanced concepts, and he is constantly aware that he has students watching who are of different knowledge levels. He never takes off, leaving the less experienced behind - instead he moves forward at a good pace while referring back to create mental links during the progression; good for all levels. I work with Lightroom already and so have both experience and questions about how to work more efficiently and creatively. This bootcamp is definitely helping me. I've watched others of Ben's classes, and they always help. Thank you, Ben and Creative Live.
  • Thanks again Ben, for your fabulous teaching and your ability to actually teach and not just show and tell...As other people have commented you have a gift to teach in the way that you do. I have purchased many of your courses and was not going to purchase this, thinking I have all your prior courses...alas, you are just too good!!! I had to buy it in the end and thanks again for all the goodies, so worth the money: Really looking forward to June for your Photoshop class. Once again, I have taken many of your photoshop courses but you keep adding such great info that I cannot resist...see you in June!! Keep up the fabulous work, byw, I love all the yoga poses, what fun you both have with this idea...
  • I have had the privilege of participating in this excellent class from the front row seat in the Creative Live San Francisco studios. After only a few of the 20 sessions, I quickly appreciated the many features and benefits of using LightRoom to organize and edit all of my images. If you're like me, you've had access to LR for a while, and have opened it and fumbled through the myriad of complex menus a few times, then have gone back to using Photoshop. After these classes with Ben Willmore, (and they're not even done yet), I have tackled the job of re-organizing and keywording tens of thousands of images that reside on various backup drives, many of which I've never even had time to look at. I now have a path forward to enjoying what is in my archives rather than letting them gather dust. I have made HDR images, panoramas, slide shows and Blurb books with ease based on the techniques learned in class. Throughout the class, we lobbed many questions at Ben, and every single time he knew the answer in an instant, or could give us a work-around or several ways to do what we're trying to accomplish in LR. His deep knowledge of LR (and PS) simply cannot be matched, and he's a natural trainer. The days have flown by, and after each day I can't wait to get home and start working on my images. Regardless of your type of photography - professional, avid amateur, or hobbyist - if you shoot and edit a lot of images, LR can be a huge benefit in your workflow. Even if you think you already sort of know how LR works, there is still plenty of useful info in this course that will help you to extract maximum benefit from Lightroom. For me it has been nothing short of transformative!