So the other week I mentioned the fact that I used Adobe Lightroom as one of the ways I edit all my blog/Instagram photos. This got such a massive response asking me how I use it because it is V complicated to use if you are a beginner. And TRUST ME I understand your pain because I was the exact same when I started blogging. I was just editing my photos using an online website and I decided to invest into Lightroom and Photoshop about a year ago now.
Honestly it was one of the best things I have ever bought for my blog. Lightroom for me is a life saver!! It took me a while to get my head around the tools, and there are even little things that I still don’t use because I simply ~ don’t know what they do ~. However I am going to have a natter about the basic concept of Lightroom and basically everything that you will need to use in Lightroom to get perf looking pics!!
Importing and Exporting Images
The very basic and MOST IMPORTANT thing to know about Lightroom is how to simply import and export your images into it, so you can actually edit them (see why it’s the most important step?!). This is very easy and all you have to do is click the button in the bottom corner saying import. This brings a pop up screen and you can go through your computer files to find the images. For me this includes going User > user > Photos > (file date). See what I mean??
Once you have edited your photo you then need to export your images so that you can use them. This is another easy step where you click on the button next to import saying export, and it brings up a small window asking you were you want to save the file etc….. Easy so far right?!
Exposure, Contrast, Shadows
I am going to go through the tools which I think are the most important for editing basic blog photos, and the ones you are most likely to use. ^ These three ^ are the basic and most easy tools to get your head around. On the left hand side of the screen there will be a panel of tools (basically this is where you change everything about your photo). The ones at the top include your exposure, contrast, shadows and the temperature of your photo. Depending on your theme, you can easily adjust these accordingly. For me, I usually up the contrast by about +0.84, I only change the contrast when I think it’s lacking a bit of colour so usually by +0.24 and I tend to increase the amount of shadows so I move it to -0.40. With these tools it’s all about having a play around every time you take a new photo, because one day it might be really sunny so you don’t need to increase the exposure, but if you live in England that’s rare so like me you will have to up the exposure.
** TIP: For me, I find that once I have exported my images, they aren’t as bright as I thought they were, so I always add more exposure than I need to **
White and Black Contrast
In the same section is two sliders based on White and Black Contrast. If you increase the white then the whites in your photo will be emphasized. I often use this if it’s sunny when taking my photos as it can make my white look yellow. Where as with the blacks, if you want the black to look… well more black you decrease the slider.
Remember… If your changing the darkness eg shadows or blackness to increase it you move the slider down not up.
I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS sharpen my images. I never post a photo that hasn’t been sharpened. It just creates more clarity in an image and makes everything in the image ‘pop’. This tool is about half way down the panel, and you want to increase the top slider. I always increase mine to the max which is +1.50 (I think!). There is one more tool in the sharpening section which you might use which is Noise Reduction which basically smooths out the image. Say you took a photo of your self, and you wanted to look like you have smoother skin, then you slightly increase this. I tend not to use this as the changes can be quite dramatic. However I have played around with it before.
Now I only discovered this tool a few months ago when I was just having a look at the tools I had never used before. This basically is a bit like adding contrast to an image. If you take an image, that might be a bit fuzzy, or cloudy for example, then you can use the dehaze tool which will rectify this. Even if my photo isn’t hazy I tech for this tool to just boost the colours in my image.
The Paintbrush Tool
I don’t know if this is its actual name (???) but you can draw the effects onto the image. I have done this when there is a section of my image that is darker than the rest. So I take the brush and manipulate the exposure very minimally and ‘paint the effects’ onto the image. This is good when there is just very small mistakes in your image but you are CBA to retake the photo… I FEEL YOU!!
I really hope this has helped some of you get your head around the whole concept of Lightroom, if it did give it a little share with people you think will find it helpful to!
Do you use Lightroom??
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