9 Lightroom Tips That I have Learned

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Over the years I have spent hours in Lightroom. I would not call my self a pro, but I wanted to lay down some little tips to help those who might not know. I mean I learn new stuff all the time, I mean these programs are so in depth that you can probably never know all that there is to know. So without further ado here are several tips that may help you. P.S. they are not in any particular order.

To read more here is a link to a rad article from Shoot Dot Edit



1. The Sharpening Mask

Holding option while you use the sharpening mask slider will change your life. We all love sharp photos. But Sometimes you just don’t need all the sharpness. Just a smidge will do. So check out this nifty trick. After you apply your preset, you scroll down to sharpen, add your desired level of sharpness. Then while holding Option (Mac) slide the Masking Slider up. It will show you where you are masking the sharpness onto the photo.


2. Caps Lock While Sorting

If you do not use a program like Photo Mechanic or another culling program, you can engage the Caps Lock button and it will automatically go to the next photo. So whether you use the Star Rating or the Flagging to select photos this might help you.

( I could take a photo, but just hit caps lock)


3. Apply Preset on Import

When you import your photos you can apply a preset on import. Many people know this. But, when I was first starting, I had no idea this was possible. If you know what preset you will use on a session you can apply that preset when you import. Just select it in the import window and Boom. Time saved,


4. Editing Video

Did you know that you can edit video and apply presets in Lightroom? Well, you can. But only in the Library Module. When you import the video you can apply the preset on import.

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First import your video and apply the preset. Remember that you can only do this in the Library Module. Then any of the tools that are nor dark you can use so adjust to your liking.


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Next, see these little pause sliders? You can move those and they trim the video. So if you only want to export a short piece, move those and export, it take a shorter amount of time to edit a 10 second piece rather than a 30 second piece.

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How rad is that?

5. Creating print/social banners

So, while I use other programs for creating my albums. The Print Module is a resource that is very under utilized in the Lightroom program. I use these if I want to make a custom blog layout, if I want to make a banner for images for Facebook, or If I want to make a banner of images for Pinterest. After doing research I found that long banners perform on Pinterest better than single images. So I made presets for that that I use for myself and others. They are super easy. You just drag and drop the images into the templates while in the print module.

Here is a link to my Print Templates

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6. Metadata

Just like the preset you can apply your metadata on import. See this blog here. For more info on that. Just like the preset you just choose your metadata preset on import and Boom. There is is.

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7. Smart Previews

OK, This was another one that I learned about recently, which is dumb, because I have been in Lightroom for 8 years and just learned about this 2 years ago. Creating Smart Previews allows you to edit your files even if the Hard Drive is not connected. So if you are like me and import to an external hard drive (Several external Hard Drives), sometimes you don’t want to carry you portable HD with you. Well, if you create smart previews you can edit on the go and you do not need to have your external HD with you!

Want more info on Smart Previews. Check this link out.


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8. Virtual Copy to compare edits.

So this is something that I do. But I do not know if others do. 90% of the time when I arrive at a session, I know how I will edit it before I have shot the first frame. Other times when I am shooting I might move and the mood feels different. Sometimes I just want to try something new. So I will choose a photo. Right click on it and create a Virtual Copy. This way I have one or two other files to edit and then I can see them all side by side and see if what I am am feeling is correct. I do this from time to time, so I thought it might be useful to others.

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9. Auto Straighten

I learned this little trick a month ago. Now it does not work with all photos, but you can have Lightroom Auto Straighten the photos. So if you are like me and every photo is off. Well, here is a little trick that may save you some time.

(Below is an example of one of those accidental photos, we all have them, but it is so crooked it is a perfect example).

Lightroom is a beast. There are so many things to learn in this program. It literally has changed my life. If you are looking for more resources on how to edit. Here is a great link from Shoot Dot Edit on how to use Lightroom to edit your wedding photos.  


Continue to learn, explore, and have fun.

Link to my print Templates

Link to my First Volume of Presets