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The One Hour Essential Lightroom Course

Lesson 5 of 6

Simple Solutions for Developing Pictures

Rafael "RC" Concepcion

The One Hour Essential Lightroom Course

Rafael "RC" Concepcion

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Lesson Info

5. Simple Solutions for Developing Pictures

Lesson Info

Simple Solutions for Developing Pictures

The most uh so once we have that I'm gonna grab another set of pictures because I wanna put this in so that we can start developing some stuff (silence) All right, and I'm gonna put those I'm just gonna import them inside in here and let's see, take a look at all the pictures that we have set up. So, there's Jen, that's my wife. So now I have all of this pictures that I've set up inside in here and just to make it easy for myself I'm gonna make a collection and I'm gonna call this Develop Practice. Now, inside of here, the first thing that I wanna be able to show, and I tend to show just random pictures of family cause I think it's the easiest thing for me to just get a hold of. If you look, we wanna be able to start working on developing pictures. Fine, developing pictures we hit the letter D we can go into the develop module and inside the develop module, the first thing that you need to do is you need to adjust the white balance of a picture. Inside the white balance of a picture, y...

ou can go into a raw file itself and you'll notice that there is a whole bunch of different balances that you can select if you shot inside of raw but white balance is really just the combination of temperature and tint. If you know how to change your temperature and your tint, you could adjust white balance. You could also set it to auto and have it be done. Now, sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't I usually tell people to use this. This is the, "the sliders are not working I need some help" button or the eye dropper. Right, the eye dropper will allow us to be able to go the picture and say click on something that happens to be neutral in color and use that as the guide for you to do. So, I tend to find gray. If I can't find gray, I try to find gray-ish. Right, so in this instance, I know this wall is a neutral wall. I click on it and I'm done. Right, your results may vary. Like if you have gray walls, great. But from where we were before to where we are now that's pretty easy. Just understand that all it is inside of here is a combination of temperature and tint and which one you use here, depends on the lighting scenario that you're at. This is why you wanna shoot raw though. Right, you wanna be able to have that information after the fact. Now, the next thing that we'll talk about, is we'll talk about, I'm just gonna hit Command + D to deselect then I'm gonna go to this picture and what I wanna be able to do is talk about exposure. See this right here, this is your Histogram. Your Histogram is basically a tonal range of all the stuff you're working on. For the most part, what people turn around when they tell you is you wanna be able to have this white one, evenly spread across this entire range it kind of just simulates that there are a whole bunch of general rules that you can keep in mind for that but for the most part, they tell you wanna keep it evenly distributed in order for you to pull stuff from the picture. It's a lot like what I like to use as the bottle of water. Right, so what happens to the bottle of water is like you wanna have it even right? But if you tip in one direction, all the information slides one way, if you tip in one direction, all the information slides in another way. When you're using exposure, exposure is basically like you're tipping your bottle of water. If you tip in one direction, yes, you do make things brighter but understand that when you do is at a cost. All of the information goes from one spot and moves to another. You're tipping. If you go this way all the information goes in this one direction. Your entire range of water slides in one spot. So exposure, I tend to call tip. Split, by contrast is contrast. I didn't mean to make a pun, well just there it is. It's all I got. So, when you take this so tip or split. I tell people, tip or split. So split is as if, I went into the bottle of water and I wanted to part the water. Right, if you can take your shadows and make them shadowy-er and take your highlights and make them highlighty-er, you'd have more contrast in the picture. So notice that as I grab this, I pull things in. Make them back out, I'm splitting down the middle of that range. So all we have to do here is generally find a spot where we could tip or split, a picture. So watch before, after, before, after. I'm using the backslash key. The reason that I like talking about a lot of the pictures in the stuff that we do from a non-technical standpoint because sometimes the fact of the matter is we have no idea. I will look at the picture and I'm like, this picture, sucks I don't even know why. So, by looking at it just going tip or split. What do I have to do here? What's wrong with the thingy? And uh you know what, if I do this and I do this, now it's a little bit better. Rather than worrying about, well the quarter tones and the blah blah ugh, no, no, no, not necessary. We good? Okay. So you solve the biggest problem first. The next one, you tend to do here is, shadows. Right, you try to expose to the sky, you lose anything that's behind that source. Tends to go dark. Right? I expose to the sky, things go dark. If I expose, I'm gonna grab the exposure and I'm gonna bring it all the way up. If I expose for that one area, then I lose the sky. So there's always a compromise, right? Unless you take a series of pictures that have different exposures and merge them together into like a picture sandwich which creates a picture of high dynamic range. All right, blended multiple exposures of which we're doing a class tomorrow. You should come the guy's great. (laughs) But you don't have to do that though all the time, right? I'm gonna double click. Oh, here's something that's cool. If you have a whole bunch of sliders that are completely messed up, I may as well talk about it cause people don't do it. If you have a whole bunch of sliders that are jacked up, if you double click on one of the sliders, it resets it to zero. If you double click on the word effect, or actually if inside of here, you wanna grab this and you wanna be able to move it. You can just double click on this and you could reset it to zero. If you double click on the word tone, it will reset all of those, in one spot. So that part, I think is pretty cool. You double click on presents, it resets all the different sliders rather than you just going in one by one by one one one. Now, inside of here the problem is I lost all of this information here. Well, that's where shadows can help you. Inside of shadows, if you drag your slider over, you can expose for a lot of information that sits inside of the shadows, just one portion of the range and you don't sacrifice the brighter portions of the picture which I think are kinda cool. Conversing to hit the letter G and I'm gonna move to let's say, this picture in Guanajuato, Mexico. Right, I'm gonna hit the letter D and I can grab those highlights and grab the highlights and drag the highlights down to pull some of those bright spots. If I come over here, watch this. I can grab this, move my shadows up and any bright portions of the picture that are super bright, I can drag down. Notice how the sky changes, but all of the changes that I did to the shadows are still there. So four sliders, I think can help a ton when you're working with these pictures. A lot of the times, when I'm doing development work, look, take a look here, this area right here is all blown out. Right? No information inside that one area. So what I wanna do is I wanna go to the Develop Module and look, if I hover over here in this upper right hand corner, you can see the blinkies, Right? That blink, blink, blink, overexposed. No ink or actually no detail. I'm gonna click that just to leave it on so you guys can see If I grab the highlights slider, drag it down to the left, now we have detail. The benefit of, it none of the stuff was changed here in the foreground. Grab my shadow slider, open that up, now I have all the information that I want. You know what, I can take this even further, drag it down here, move this up, now I'm looking something that's a little moodier. So, I tend not to like to teach a lot on the Develop Module and sliders and things like that because what happens is truthfully, there's really not much to it. It's just a bunch of monkeying around with sliders to taste. But they're super powerful, right? You just grab a couple of these different things. Notice that you now have texture, clarity, dehaze, vibrance and saturation. Right? From here, right, if we look at texture. Texture just came out. Think of it as almost kinda like adding contrast in areas of color. Right, watch what happens if I drag this over to the right, notice how it gets a little crunchier. Right, clarity is mid-tone contrast. I tend to look at that as contrast based on mid-tones. It's more luminance than it is color, right. So, if I grab this, it gets crunchier. Right, so, I would have thrown it away and putting it on Facebook. All right. I'm going to Instagram. (mumbles) Then dehaze is a slider that you largely would use for atmospherics. Right, so there's haze inside of a spot you can grab that slider, drag it and notice how it can cut through a lot of that and make the picture sharper. So, think of it as just atmospherics. Finally vibrance and saturation, when you're working with vibrance and saturation, the best way to be able to explain that is, let's go ahead and grab this, drag this down here, (tongue clicks) Saturation is just basically amplification of color. Once you amplify the color it doesn't care how much color there is, right? So, red becomes candy apple red becomes electric red. Candy apple red if you turn that saturation slider becomes super candy apple red. Vibrance by comparison says let's take our colors that are under represented in the image and let's amplify those. Colors that are over represented in the image, let's not adjust those as much. Skin tones, let's leave alone. So notice, that if I grab saturation and I move it all the way up, all of the colors in the picture get crazy. However, double click, go back to vibrance, the adjustments are not as extreme when you're working with vibrance. (hand dusting sound) That's it. Yes, there's other things that you can do in terms of like sharpness and detail and effects and all that kinda stuff but I'll be honest with you, there's so many times that all I'm doing with a picture, when I grab it, is just go, all right well let's go to the Develop Module, let's tip and split this thing, all right, grab that, we're gonna open up shadows, we'll go ahead and we'll make a little bit of a change right there and let's just add a little bit of vibrance, increase the exposure a little bit as I make the exposure brighter, I kept losing those clouds so I'm gonna do that, I'm now thinking this is a good idea, and now I'm done.

Class Description


  • Begin using Adobe Lightroom
  • Enhance, crop and edit your images
  • Organize your images


Adobe Lightroom® is the gold standard software to getting yourself organized and developing the very best out of your images. In this class, you will learn all of the essential components of using Lightroom and get proven techniques to get you up to speed as quickly as possible.


  • Beginner Adobe Lightroom users


Adobe Lightroom CC 2019


Rafael Concepcion “RC” is an award-winning photographer and author of the best selling books “Get Your Photography On the Web”, “The HDR Book – 2nd Edition” by Peachpit Press and “The Enthusiast’s Guide to Lightroom” and “The Enthusiast’s Guide to Photoshop” by Rocky Nook. RC served as the Director of Content and Education for Kelby Media Group, host of the popular podcasts “Photography Tips and Tricks” “The Lightroom Show” and “The Grid” with Scott Kelby before starting his online training resource First Shot School.

An Adobe Certified Instructor in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom, RC has over 20 years in the I.T. and e-commerce industries and spends his days developing content for all applications in the Adobe Creative Suite. RC also worked with Adobe to write the Adobe Certified Expert exam for Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4, and Lightroom 5.

A sought after public speaker, he has held training seminars around the world and has worked with companies like Intel, Microsoft, Synology, Razer, Dell, Red Cinema, among many others.



Even though I'm already pretty advanced in Lightroom, I'm glad I took this class anyway. You never know what you don't know.. until you learn it! RC is a fun instructor and super knowledgeable. More importantly, he's a talented teacher who has the ability to explain how certain processes work, and why they work so well. Great class!

Emily Compton

Concise, no-nonsense instructor with a sense of humor. Love it. Thank you RC for helping a LR newbie better understand the software. The one hour length is perfect.

a Creativelive Student

Excellent instructor! Clear and concise with a little humor! I learned so much in one hour! Very impressed!