Adobe® Lightroom® CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Skype Q&A

Hello and welcome to Creative Live. Folks, we are so excited today. We are here with Adobe Lightroom CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide with Ben Wilmore. We've been going strong for three weeks, and we love to do a check in about three weeks in so you guys can ask your final Q and A as we go into this final week of Lightroom. Ben, good morning, how you doing, sir? I'm doing great. I'm here in Florida and. I think you're in that sunny Florida weather, correct? Uh, yup, looking out the window, it's pretty darn sunny out there. Very good, so, hey Ben, you know, right now we're three weeks in. You have taught so much stuff and is it possible that today, with our Q and A, that people are gonna be asking questions on stuff not only that you've already covered, but that you may cover going forward in this week, and we'll just let folks know, correct? Yeah, in general, if I can remember exactly, you know, what's covered and what's not. Sometimes questions will come in though that a...

re good to clarify so I'll kinda make that decision on what I think should remain in the class versus here, so yeah. You've been in the Facebook group a lot. People have been having a good time with that homework, correct? Yeah, I mean, it's just a nice way where instead of just watching an episode and then going to your work and saying, well, how do I actually use this stuff? Instead the homework kinda guides you through what might you wanna think about and how might you wanna integrate what we've taught with your own work, so I think it's really helpful. The Facebook group that you can access through the course page is absolutely for free. This is an open group. You don't have to purchase the class to participate in this group. There's lots of amazing information. Just go ahead and click on it. Request to be a member, and we will in turn approve you, and you can join the rest of the community learning about Lightroom. So without any further ado, Ben, we have one last announcement to get to before we get to our Q and A, and it's. Come on, let's get on to the Q and A. It's big, I know, that's what folks are saying out there, and it's big. Um, this boot camp was from a content standpoint was so amazing, people embraced it so much, they're able to walk into Lightroom, not know anything at all, or just the very basics, and by the end of this boot camp, they're walking away with clear systems and clear skills that they become, you know professional Lightroom users. One of the biggest questions we've had in our Lightroom Facebook group is what are Ben's great Photoshop classes? Uh yes, I have many Photoshop classes. There is a series called Photoshop Mastery which can be quite nice because there are classes on specific topics, like, if all you need to know is masking, you could just get that class and so on. But what I haven't done in the past is something that is extended over a good amount of time and where you have a lot more influence in exactly what is taught, and that's what we'll be able to do here. I just posted on the Facebook group an example image of what type of thing you might learn during this class. And it's just pretty much anything that Lightroom can't do, we need to go to Photoshop for, and that means complex retouching or if we need to combine multiple photographs together and all sorts of things. Also we can do just much more refined adjustments because we have more control in that program. Lightroom I absolutely love and I love it when I can get about 80% of my images done there, but that 20% that needs something more, that's what you're gonna learn in this class. Ben, that sounds great. So without any further ado, we are here for a reason, and that's our final Q and A, and I just wanna do a big shoutout to one of our longstanding members here at Creative Live, Sam Cox, and also to Steven Sokum. These folks have been in the Lightroom group. They've been answering questions, so we thank you guys, continue up that great positive energy of the community. Yeah, I wanna mention that it's great because you know, I might have a delay where I can't be on the Facebook group at every moment but I go on there and I'm amazed. I get on there and suddenly people have already been answering the questions before I even get a chance to get there, and those two individuals are just one of, or two of the few that are really putting their time to answer them, so thanks not only to you two, but everyone else that's answering questions there. I really appreciate it. Yeah, thank you guys very much. So Ben, let's get to business. Chris Hamilton would like some ideas on backup software for the Mac. Now I know there's a million different backup softwares that you can use for the Mac. Can you tell us a little bit about what your particular setup is, please? Uh, sure, for me, for my Mac in general, not specific to Lightroom, I use Time Machine, which is Apple software to just backup all the programs and the documents that are on my internal hard drive. But I specifically go into my preferences for Time Machine and tell it not to backup the folder that contains my Lightroom catalog. The reason for that is I'm making changes to that Lightroom catalog file every single day if not every hour, and if Time Machine is set to back that up, that file is quite large and it can make it so my backup drive gets quite full and it doesn't keep as much of my history of files. So I tell Lightroom not to back that one up. Then I use another program that is called Beyond Compare. And what Beyond Compare allows me to do is compare my main photo archive hard drive, meaning my external hard drive that contains all my photos. And it lets me compare it to my backup drive and it shows me exactly where those two drives differ. And it will show files in red if they don't exist on the backup, and it'll show them in green if there's a newer version of a file that's already on my backup. And if you set up Lightroom so it saves the changes that you make in your develop module as little files called .xmp files, then anytime you make a change, that little file will text file updates, and with Beyond Compare I can see exactly which ones of those have updated, and just tell it to copy it to my backup drive. And that's my little extra assurance that I'm getting all my images backed up. I also have it copy my Lightroom catalog file over. So if I keep my Lightroom catalog file that's already got all my adjustments in it, but just as an extra layer of protection, just in case something ever happens, like I can't launch Lightroom at all, then I get those .xmp files copied over as well, because I could always point Adobe bridge at any folder I have with my images and as long as they have those little .xmp files Bridge will be able to read in the adjustments made in Lightroom. I can open, view, and resave those files even if something's weird with Lightroom and it won't launch for some reason. Not that you'd expect that to happen, but I like that level of assurance. Now I haven't evaluated every software when it comes to backup. That's just my setup. It's what I happen to use, and I rather like it. If there are other setups you guys like to use on a Mac or on Windows please get on the Facebook group and let people know so that if this doesn't cover somebody's answer, somebody else's might. What else you got? Thank you, Ben. Question from Emilio, would like to know is it possible to remove an unwanted custom aspect ratio from the dropdown menu in the cropping tool? So, when you're in the cropping tool, there is a little popup menu you can click on and say you wanna add a custom aspect ratio, and unfortunately, you cannot remove them. Well, you can if you trash your Lightroom preferences file. But then you're not only trashing those settings from that little popup menu, but also the rest of your uh, of your Lightroom preferences, and that means some other areas of Lightroom might go back to factory defaults in areas that you don't want to. But you should be aware that the list I believe can contain a maximum of five entries. So it's not like the entries you have in there that you no longer need are just gonna be adding up more and more and more and the list will keep getting longer. Instead, when you add a sixth or seventh entry it will replace the first and second ones that you had in there. So if you just keep adding presets as you go, you shouldn't worry about the list getting too long. So I wish there was a straightforward way of clearing it. There's not. Thanks, Ben. James would like to know. Can you talk a little bit more about the spray can in the tool bar. James was curious if that's related to light painting? It's not related to light painting, even though light painting is one of my favorite kinds of photography. And uh, you can sometimes use, there's actually somebody that came up with something that looks exactly the can of spray paint, but it sprays out light. It's just a flashlight shaped like it. It'd be great for light painting. But there, first off, we didn't discuss the spray can in the class at all because it's just, there's some details we don't have time to, or just didn't get around to. So let's give you a basic overview. If you're in Lightroom and you're in the library module, at the bottom edge of the middle of your screen should be a little toolbar. If that toolbar is not visible, then you can toggle its visibility going up either under the window or the view menu and you might be able to hit the letter T, I believe, to toggle it on and off. Down there, you're gonna see something that literally looks like a can of spray paint. If you click on it, then you'll have this tool active, and just to the right of it, you can choose exactly what you would like to spray onto your images. And one of the choices that are there is keywords. If you choose keywords, just to the right of that you'll be able to enter the keywords you'd like. You can type in more than one keyword as long as you separate it with a comma. Then you can move your mouse on top of any picture and if you click on the picture you're gonna spray those keywords onto the image, not like graffiti. It's just going into the metadata just as if you used the normal keywording features that are on the right side of your screen. But what's nice about the spray can is let's say you load it up with the word waterfall, and then you're looking at a folder of images you just finished shooting and there's about 200 pictures in there and maybe a third of them are of waterfalls. Well, it's much faster to just click on the images as you see waterfalls to tag them with that keyword then it is to try to select those images and go manually type things in. You could also hold down the shift key when you're in the spray can and you'll see a little popup appear with your most recently used keywords or you can choose from what's known as a keyword set. If you click on the choices that are within there, it will load them into the spray can so you can suddenly click on your images and apply them. With the spray can you can also click and drag across a series of images to spray whatever it is you're attaching to all of those images you drag across, so it can happen very quickly. And if you hold down the option key, that's alt in windows, when you click on an image, it will remove whatever keyword it is that is loaded into the spray can. That's useful if you happen to accidentally click on an image that wasn't, let's say, a waterfall, and it just got that keyword, you were going to fast, you wanna get it off of there. You hold down the option key, alt in windows, and just click on the image a second time, and you'll remove whatever it is you just sprayed on, as long as it's still loaded into the spray can. So it's a kind of fun tool you can use. It's not just for keywords. You'll find other options down there. And when you're done using the tool, you can either just click it right back to where you got it, and it'll put it back, or hit the escape key on your keyboard, and that will get you out of the tool. So that's kind of a little bit of an overview of the spray can. Experiment with it. It's kind of a fun tool to use. So Jim, that's all about the spray can for now. What else you got for questions? So, we have one of our watchers folks that's watching out there wants to know, when will we be able to edit keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom? Oh, when will we be able to edit them? Uh, well, I don't work there, so I don't know the answer to that one. Yeah, and that one comes from Dave Cross. Oh, Dave Cross. He says, just kidding and wants to say hit to Ben. I love it, thanks Dave, I really do wish that we could edit some of the keyboard shortcuts although it's not always the best when you're teaching Lightroom because then when I tell you a keyboard shortcut it might be something else. Yeah, okay, hey Ben. Speaking of keyboard, of keywords, one of our students wants to know can you use a keyword in two hierarchies? In other words, that is, an Italy in the country list and Italy, meaning the national team in the teams list? Yeah, let me explain that a little bit in case the people didn't pick up exactly. Let's say um, for instance, in um, we have the word jaguar. I could have the word jaguar under mammals, cats, jaguar. That's like, where it is located within my keyword list. It's a child of cats and cats is a child of mammals and mammals is a child of animals. You know, you can organize it like that. But then I might also have the same word, jaguar, under vehicles, makes, like makes of vehicles, and then I have Ford, Jaguar, Lamborghini, all that kind of stuff. So it makes sense to have it in more than one area within your keyword list. If that's the case, then, when you go to keyword in image, and you start typing in the word jaguar. I type in J A G, and it's gonna start suggesting keywords you've used in the past that are in your keyword list and it will just show two versions of the word jaguar and to the right of it will be a, what would it be, a greater than or less than sign, whichever one this is, and then will be the parent keyword next to that. So I could see do I want the word jaguar that's attached to the makes of vehicles or would I rather choose the one that is attached to the cats category? And so yes, you can do that, and it's really elegantly done, I think. Also I should mention that in the keyword, my full keyword set, there is a PDF that describes a lot more detail about those kinds of things that we just didn't have time to cover in the class, but I've got infinite time when I'm typing so there is some more detail about that in the guidebook for the full keyword set. Fantastic. Thank you, Ben, fantastic. And that's why that workbook and all those PDFs that we're providing with purchase are so important as an addendum to this class. Well, just so you know, just so you don't confuse that, the PDF I'm talking about right there is the one that comes with my full keyword set, which is a thing you purchase on my website, and it's just 'cause I can devote as much time as I want to, in fact, I was still writing it last night. This is a question from Melinda wanting to know is there a way to get back to the original photo after doing edits without using history? Yeah, so when you go into the develop module in Lightroom, on the left side of your screen, usually there's a list of history steps. But you can go up to one of the menus on the top of your screen. I believe it's the library menu, but it could be the photo menu. I'll actually look here. And there's a choice called, it's called either cleared history. Oh, it's actually under the develop menu. When you're in the develop module, if you go to the top of your screen under the develop menu, you're gonna find a choice of clear history. And if you were to choose that option, what's showing up in the history list of the left side of the develop module will be cleared out, and so you would no longer find the bottommost step, being your original picture. But you can always get back to your original picture because Lightroom never saves the changes you make to those originals. Instead, those changes are only applied when you export an image. And so one way to get back to it is in the develop module, in the lower right will be a button called reset. Or if you're not in the develop module, you could also right-click on an image, when you're in the grid within the library and one of the choices there is develop settings, and you'll also find a setting there called reset. And reset is going to bring you back as if you've never adjusted that image before. You get totally back to your defaults and you're back to your original. Fantastic. So photolover84 would like to know if I want to take a photo into Photoshop for more editing, what do you recommend for defaults in the export? I actually, I don't export my images when I bring them into Photoshop. I only export my images when I need to give them to someone else, upload them to a website, or anything like that. To edit an image in Photoshop, I'll click on it within Lightroom, I'll go to the photo menu at the top of my screen where I'll find a sub-menu called edit in. In there, I'm gonna find the choice of Photoshop. If I use that, it will automatically take that image and send it over to Photoshop. And in your preferences in Lightroom, there's a preference for which file format Photoshop will use when it's done with the file. You can choose between TIFF or Photoshop. I usually use TIFF, but there is no quality difference between TIFF and Photoshop, so it doesn't in general matter which setting you use. I did provide more information about file formats in the class workbook, by the way. I wrote up five pages worth of info about file formats that's in there. But anyway, then, in Photoshop, when you're done working on that file, you can just type command S on a Mac, control S in Windows, which is the keyboard shortcut for saving the file, or if you wanna give it a unique name, you can go to the file menu and choose Save As, and it will navigate to where the original file was and just save it in the same folder. Give it whatever name you want. Use Photoshop or TIFF file format, and then when you return to Lightroom, it will take the file that Photoshop created and it will be sitting right there. It will have imported it into the same folder as the original. So you'll have the original, probably a RAW file, and then the Photoshop version which will be a TIFF or Photoshop file format. So don't export the image. Instead, go to the photo menu, choose edit in, and that's where you send it to Photoshop. Awesome, great Ben. That's a fantastic answer. Do you have any recommendations for folks that have older lenses that don't have profiles in Lightroom? How you would advise them to proceed with making sure their images look great? Well, there's a couple things. When you're in the develop module, there's an area called lens corrections and that's where there's a checkbox called enable profile corrections. I think that's what it's called. And when you turn that on, it will try to correct for distortion that your lens created and also little halos of color that are known as chromatic aberrations. You can load lens profiles that other people created, because what happens is Adobe tests all these lenses. They point a lens at a grid and they see, did the grid end up getting bent outward or inward by that lens. And if so, they measure how much, and they create a profile that describes how much that particular lens distorts the image. Well, you can create your own lens profiles if you want to. There is a program that's free from Adobe. I don't remember the exact naming of it. But it's something like the Adobe Lens Profile Creator or something similar. And you can actually go through the process. Or if you do a Google search for Lightroom lens profile, and then the name of your lens, you might find that someone else has gone through that process and has offered up that lens profile for free on the internet that you can download and then use. Not every lens would have that though. If you have a really odd lens that they don't sell too many copies of, then you might have to create your own. All right, Ben. We have one last question before we head out. And this came from our Facebook group. One of our students wanted to know when would it be advantageous to process an HDR or a pano in Photoshop versus Lightroom? Ah, well, um, first off, in Lightroom, your end result is a RAW file, and there's a lot of advantages of maintaining that quality. And that means in general adjusting the image after the fact will have the same quality as adjusting the individual exposures before they were combined together, which would not be the case if you made the same merge using Photoshop itself. If you used Photoshop's component fault called Camera Raw, it would be similar to Lightroom but I mean if you actually go into the full area of Photoshop and do your merging in there. The advantage of doing it in Photoshop is sometimes Lightroom or Camera Raw doesn't do a good job of lining up your pictures or there's some ghosting artifacts that it wasn't able to deal with, or there's distortion that it wasn't able to fix. And therefore you decide you're gonna go through a more manual process using Photoshop that has a few more features related to it. But if you do, make sure you adjust the images beforehand, at least for a panorama. Because if you end up making large adjustments after the fact, the end result in Photoshop is not a RAW file, and therefore, the quality will not be as high for adjustments you make after the fact. So I would use Photoshop if I find Lightroom just doesn't handle the stitching well, doesn't handle ghost reduction, like for movement in the scene, or ends up with too much distortion afterwards, because Photoshop has features that are specific to fixing those kinds of issues that just are not available in Lightroom. So use it when Lightroom just doesn't do a great job. And Ben, what happens if I don't know Photoshop at all? Well, tune in starting June 6th, Jim, for my Photoshop boot camp where we'll cover things just like that, so you'll learn how to get beyond the limitations of Lightroom. So you stitch a panorama in Lightroom and you notice the horizon line isn't straight. Well, there's not much in Lightroom to fix that. But we can pop over to Lightroom and do it no problem, so yeah. Thanks for the plug there, Jim. Yeah, it's really gonna be a blast, 'cause you know, you know I'm a power user of both pieces of software but you don't know what you don't know and there's so much, both Lightroom and Photoshop are so deep. Having this education is invaluable if you're working in photography and it really doesn't matter you know, what you're doing. It could be outdoor, it could be weddings, it could be product. Both Lightroom and Photoshop are very powerful. For that Photoshop boot camp, we're gonna be doing 19 days of solid education. So literally, the essentials to get you going so you can make those extra fine adjustments that you're unable to make in Lightroom. Ben, thank you so much. It's always great working with you. We thank you for the time and the energy and the passion that you've put into this Lightroom boot camp. We've got another week to go, lots more lessons, and right after this Q and A, our daily lesson that is supposed to run today will loop all day with this Q and A. So thanks, Ben. Thanks, everybody out there. Get those images, enter the contest, and we'll see you next time here at Creative Live. Thanks very much.

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!