Discovering Lightroom – And Why You Should Too!

OK, this isn’t going to be a text-heavy post, because I want to just show you what Adobe Lightroom (available from Amazon US and UK) can do – and can do so easily! I’ve literally only just discovered this fantastic piece of software, and have only been playing with it for an hour, but I’ve been blown away by just how easy it is to use, and how easily it can make your photos look that much better.

I downloaded these free lightroom presets, and then, by choosing a preset (‘B&W Beach’) with a simple click, Lightroom turned this photo:

Before Lightroom did its magic...

…into this:

After Lightroom strutted its stuff!

How much better is that? And it literally took one little click! Presets are a fantastic way of applying lots of different edits instantly – in this case, converting to black and white, sharpening, changing the exposure, brightness, contrast, and even applying a vignette! All done within less than a second. You can also view the before and after image merged into one, like this:

Another thing that impressed me was how easy – and great – its ‘noise reduction’ feature was. By using a simple slider, I was able to reduce the noise on this below table shot quickly and effectively – handy when you take shots at ISO 3200 or above! The shot below is a zoomed-in before and after – see how much smoother the ‘after’ part is:

Lightroom's Noise Reduction is fantastic

Of course, you won’t always want to use other people’s presets (or the built-in ones that Lightroom comes with), and you are free to make any edits – large or small – to you heart’s content, all safe in the knowledge that you won’t be harming the original photo in any way: Lightroom’s edits are non-destructive, meaning you can always go back to the original photo’s settings at any time.


 

I played around with the various sliders for only about 5 mins, and managed to change the below shot of my wife:

From this...

...to this

The things I changed – with a few simple clicks, or sliders – were the White Balance, sharpening, noise reduction (as this was again taken at ISO 3200), contrast, and applied a vignette. You can see the before and after combined image below:

Needless to say, I’ll be writing about Lightroom more in the future as I get to grips with it – but I’m mightily impressed so far, and I know it would help transform anyone’s photos easily.

Lightroom is available from Amazon US and UK.

Have you used Lightroom? Have any tips you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

6 comments

  1. whitney /

    so to get these presets i have to have adobe photoshop?

  2. I don’t know what I would do without lightroom. By far my favorite tool.

  3. Hi Dave. Thanks for commenting – and I totally agree: Even though I’ve only just started using it, I wouldn’t want to be without Lightroom now!

  4. Hi Whitney. To use the presets you need Adobe Lightroom, not Photoshop. The presets are free, but alas Lightroom is not…

  5. Natalie /

    So would you say that you use Lightroom more than Photoshop to edit your pictures? Thanks for all your great tips! :)

  6. Hi Natalie. Yep, I definitely use Lightroom more than Photoshop. I probably use about 95% Lightroom, 5% Photoshop – LR is THAT good! :)

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