Learn Lightroom Introduction – part 2
In part 1 of this Introduction to Lightroom
Having imported your images to the Lightroom catalogue and applied a star rating it’s time to add keywords to help you when searching for images in the future. Keywording is an important process because it allows you to quickly find
Here are some of the ways you can add keywords to your images in Lightroom:
- You can add keywords and (some) Metadata at the time of import as we discussed in the previous article.
- Through the Keywording Panel (see illustration below) where there is a
drop downlist called “Keyword tags”. When “Enter Keywords” is selected from this list it is possible to type keywords directly into the Keywording panel. Any keywords entered are then stored for the images you have selected.
- Using the “Keyword List” panel which shows all the keywords that have been used previously and which are available. If you hover the mouse cursor over a keyword in this list you will see a tick box appears to the left of the keyword. Clicking this tick box will apply the keyword to the currently selected image or images. You might also notice that any keywords you entered directly to the Keywording Panel will also appear in the Keyword List for possible future use.
- You can use the Keyword Suggestion panel to suggest keywords to you although this really depends on you creating sets of keywords that might be useful e.g. for Landscape Photography. Click on a keyword in the list and it will be applied to your selected image or images.
- You can work with the Painter Tool or spray can (you might remember this from the previous article) where keywords are entered and then using the spray can you click on the images the keywords are to be applied to.
If you are at all serious about keeping control of your images and submitting these to clients such as Stock Libraries I suggest you invest a little time in establishing a controlled vocabulary. This is a set of keywords that you use to describe your images and only these keywords are used. Lightroom supports the use of a controlled vocabulary and provides a great hierarchical keyword list which you can create. For
Once you have finished keywording your images you will then be able to include these in the searching and filtering. For
Searching and Sorting Images
When you are in the Library module of Lightroom you have access to
When searching on Text you can search for
Once you have specified your filter the thumbnails are updated so that only those meeting your criteria are listed. When you want to remove the filter and return the display to showing all images just click on the “None” heading in the search toolbar.
Processing and Developing Images
If you are familiar with the Adobe RAW converter in Photoshop you shouldn’t have any problems using the Develop module in Lightroom. Simply make the adjustments in the panel on the right and the changes will be displayed on the preview. When you are happy with your image
Lightroom provides some basic adjustment tools but they are remarkably effective in producing almost finished, or in some cases finished work. Two of the additional editing tools I find most useful are the Gradient Filter and the Adjustment Brush. These appear as the two
Below is an example of the panel that appears when you select the Gradient Filter. You can select how the gradient tool will affect things such as exposure, brightness and clarity etc. Once you have adjusted these simply drag out a gradient on the screen. Above the start of the
The gradient tool is great where there is a large area that you want to adjust such as the sky. If the area is irregularly shaped or spread out and requiring more localised control, the Adjustment Brush may be a better option. This is very similar to the Gradient Tool but you can brush the effect onto different areas of the image. With both of these
In addition to these basic editing
Another nice touch in the Lightroom development module is the use of presets that appear on the
Lightroom and Photoshop
When I first started exporting to Lightroom I found the TIFF files I exported would end up in the same folder as the RAW file which can be confusing. I now tend to export my TIFF files to a separate working folder where I can open and process them further. When I have finished editing them in Photoshop I again save them as Photoshop PSD files with all the layers still in place, saving them to a Master File archive. I try to keep the original RAW file and any variant TIFF/PSD files separate.
Output to Slideshow, Print or Web
The final step with your work is to output it to either digital or printed media. To help you learn Lightroom better I will assume you want to print your finished images and leave you to explore the slideshow and web output options.
An essential step in the print process is to Soft Proof your image. The ability to soft proof images was introduced in Lightroom version 4. When you selected the Print module the currently selected image is displayed in the preview and the many options available appear down the
At the top of the
The “Image Settings” panel provides for some common (very useful) tasks such as zooming the image to fill the page and rotating the image. There is also a useful “Stoke
The “Layout” and “Guides” sections allow you to size and place your images on the paper very precisely. Continue down the screen and you will reach a “Watermark” option. Checking this will allow you to print your image with a watermark which can be very useful if you are producing a proof for example. To the right of the checkbox is a
Further down you can select the resolution as well as the sharpening. Sharpening may seem like a bit of a blunt instrument here (please excuse the pun) but it is important. This is output sharpening and is intended to counter the softening effect printing an image has. You should have done any sharpening before you reach this point. The sharpening levels here are just “Low”, “Standard” or “High” and no preview is provided. For most images “Standard” is fine. Ensure you also select the correct Media type i.e. Gloss or Matt as this will affect the printing/sharpening.
Colour management is a large topic so all I will say here is that you have the option to allow the
So that’s the