Lightroom® for Portrait Photographers

Lesson 2/9 - Settings and History States


Lightroom® for Portrait Photographers


Lesson Info

Settings and History States

Let's just talk quickly about a few things. I would like to just look at some of my useful Lightroom tips, but before we do that there are, there's a housekeeping, there's a couple housekeeping tips that I wanna make sure that you guys, that I talk about before getting started. So that's gonna be, going to your Preferences, going to you Lightroom, and going to Preferences. Then we are going to go into Performance, and there's something in here that I just want to bring to your attention. So usually, your Camera Raw cache setting is set to about 10 gigabytes, and so what I'd like to do is have you increase that to anywhere from 20 to 30 gigabytes, because that's gonna give you a lot more space on your hard drive for Lightroom to actually run faster. When it comes to retouching portraits in Lightroom, it's kinda pushing Lightroom to it's limits a little bit. Depending on how much you're using the Localized Adjustment Brush. The Localized Adjustment Brush is what we're gonna be focusing o...

n most during today's class. So when it comes to that, it uses a lot of processing power, processing thinking in your Lightroom. So increasing this Camera Raw cache setting is going to help with how much steam you devote, how much thinking power you devote to Lightroom to let it run faster for you. The second thing is going to be in your Lightroom Catalog Settings. So you'll go back to Lightroom, you'll come to your Catalog Settings, and then I wanna go to the Metadata tab up here. Then you can see that automatically write changes to XMP, is actually unchecked. So this is something that's a little bit controversial. Let me explain this before we get started because it's important. If you have this checked, every time you make a change to a file in your Lightroom, it's going to immediately write that to the XMP file. So when you're dealing with Raw images, you are never writing to the actual Raw file because that Raw file is protected. So what they do, is they create an XMP file, which is a sidecar file, which is all of the changes or the recipe of everything that's being applied to that Raw file. Because the Raw file is protected, so nothing can be edited on that Raw file. But, what it can do, is it can say, here's my Raw file, let me look at my notes about how that Raw file has been tweaked, and then I'll apply those changes. So if you take a Raw file in Lightroom, how many times can I say Raw File? If you take a Raw file in Lightroom, and you make a change like turning it black and white, that change is actually written to the XMP file it is not written to the Raw file. So when you uncheck automatically write changes to XMP, it means that the changes to your Raw file, (laughs) I'm just gonna keep goin'. I hope one of you out there is taking shots every time I say Raw file. It means that those changes are going to stay in Lightroom, but if you take that file and open it in a different program like Photoshop or Photo Mechanic, you're not gonna see those changes. So this is a big thing that really screws up people who are starting with Lightroom. They're like, well I, but I turned it to black and white, why isn't it showing up as black and white? This is gonna be why. The reason why I keep it unchecked, is because it really slows down Lightroom when every time you make a brush stroke, it's immediately taking processing power away from working on that brush stroke, and saying, okay now I have to write that this was done. Okay now she's doing this, now I have to write that this was done. Now she's changing the color balance, now I have to write that the color balance is being changed. So instead of focusing all of the program's power on the actual changes, it's focusing the program's power to remembering what the changes were. So I have that unchecked. But every time I close my Lightroom catalog, I have gotten into the habit of hitting Command or Control+S, to save all of my Lightroom changes. So what I do is hit Command or Control+A to select all of my files that I've been working on. Then Command or Control+S to save those changes to the file. So that's kind of what I've gotten into the habit of doing. But I just wanted to explain that in a lot of detail for you guys because it's a really important thing if you're gonna choose to uncheck that check mark. Anyway, I will move on. The last bit of information that I want to just hit on briefly is your History States. I have an image right here, I'm going to take it over from my Library module, into my Develop module by hitting the D key. That's gonna bring up my Develop module, you can see that I've hidden one of my panels here on the side just to give me as much working space as possible. I've also hidden the top menu as well, so that's why those are kinda out of the way for me. But just for the moment, let's open this side panel up, because I wanna talk about the History States. Let's say I change a bunch of different things about this image, okay? So let's darken the highlights, darken the shadows a little bit, add some clarity. You can see that all of those changes have been recorded, okay? Now once you start doing lots of, lots of like spot removal and you're getting rid of flyaway hairs and you're getting rid of blemishes, all of a sudden this history is going to remember every single one of those steps within your Lightroom, and that's really hard for Lightroom to do. Because it has all of these different things that it has to remember. So, because Lightroom is a non-destructive editing software, you are allowed to come in here and clear all of these settings, and that's gonna free up a lot of memory within Lightroom to focus back on what you're doing, okay? But because it is a non-destructive program, you're never going to actually lose the information that you're doing, okay? So that's why you can come in here and click clear all. You will hear my processor at one point in this class start to really work hard, and you'll hear the fan kinda kick in and start to cool down my computer, and that's my key, personally, to when I go back and clear out my History States. Because I'm like, okay, my computer's kinda flexing a little bit and having a hard time, so let me clear out those History States, so that I can calm down my computer a little bit and let it focus.

Class Description

If you want to be a financially successful photographer, you need to use every second you have as wisely as possible. That means you don’t have two hours to spend retouching a single image in Photoshop®. Fortunately, there’s Lightroom®, which offers so many amazing tools you can skip Photoshop® altogether. In this class, Kristina Sherk will show you all the incredible portrait retouching you can do in Lightroom® in just seconds, which is great news for your bottom line.


a Creativelive Student

I am so glad I've gotten this class. I've been using Lightroom for several years but had no idea about so much of what I learned in this class. Kristina also has a great teaching style that gets the information explained in an easy to follow manner while also not spending a lot of extra time repeating everything. Her content is easy to follow and she also explains some of the "whys" to the techniques or settings. Looking forward to more classes from Kristina!

Amy Vaughn

I was in awe of how much retouching Kristina was able to do in Lightroom alone. This is a good class for portrait retouchers who are trying to get as much done as possible as quickly as possible before switching over to Photoshop.