Home / Blog / Photo Editing: An Introduction to Lightroom

Hey photographers! Perhaps you’ve started (or at least thought about!) editing the photos you’ve taken with your camera. We love using Lightroom here at JP Teaches Photo, which is an Adobe application perfect for organizing, editing, and exporting photos so you can share them with others. At only $9.99 a month, you can explore a whole world of possibilities for photo processing and ways to enhance your work! Let’s touch on some of the basics for an easier, more streamlined use of Lightroom:
Importing photos– First, you’ll want to get your photos into Lightroom so you can begin the editing process. Once you have your images saved onto your computer (I recommend putting a set of photos into a specific folder on your desktop, and then name said folder after what you photographed so you can easily locate it), open Lightroom, then select File, Import Photos and Video. From here, look for the menu on the left side of your screen under “Source.” You’ll be able to select the folder you need, and then the photos will appear in the center of your screen. Select the ones you want to import, then click the Import button on the bottom right. Once your import is complete, you’ll see the photos organized horizontally at the bottom of the Lightroom window.
Organizing photos– Now what? If you’re working with a lot of pictures, chances are you probably won’t want to edit all of them. You can scroll through your images and select favorites in Library mode (you can find this button at the top of your screen next to the Develop tab). Directly underneath each photo, you’ll see icons including flags and stars so you can “rate” your photos by how much you love them. Let’s say you imported 100 photos, and you choose 10 favorites and rate these 10 photos at 5 stars each. You can then filter your photo library by selecting Attribute, then the 5-star rating filter. Now, only your 10 5-star images will appear at the bottom of your screen. This will make the editing process quicker and not as overwhelming. 
Editing– I’ll only touch on a few points when it comes to the actual editing portion of this process (look out for a future blog post that delves into this in greater detail!) When you’re ready to edit your images, make sure you’re in Develop mode. You’ll find a menu on the right side of your screen that includes a wide variety of adjustments you can make, from basic ones such as white balance, exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights, vibrance, and saturation, to more advanced ones such as tone curve, hue, saturation, and luminance, and split toning. You can begin to manipulate the sliders for each adjustment and watch how your photo changes!
Exporting photos– After you’ve made your edits and are satisfied with the results, you can export your photos back into a folder on your computer. To do this, simply select all the photos you want to export, then go to File, Export, then select the folder you want to save the files to (I like to use the original folder I created on my desktop). I usually put my edited images into a subfolder so they are separate from the raw ones and name this subfolder “Edits.” Lastly, scroll down to File Settings, choose JPEG as the image format, then increase the photo quality to 100, and under Image Sizing, set the Resolution to 300 (this number is considered a “high resolution” photo). Once this is complete, hit Export!
Happy shooting (and editing)!
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