Getting the Most out of Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is a less expensive photograph editing software. Unlike the more expensive and more memory intensive Photoshop, Lightroom still has a lot offer users.  But, photographers still need to know how to get the most out of Lightroom, especially if someone is using an older computer or even one with less memory.

Step 1: Make Sure that Your Running at Optimum Performance

While Lightroom doesn't require as much memory as Photoshop, it's still going to need a lot more memory than standard software programs. Most of this has to do with the functions that will be performed. The act of processing, improving and organizing photos takes a large amount of memory, and photographs aren't small files either.

So, when using Lightroom, users should shut down all other programs. This will convert all the memory to Lightroom, making it run a bit faster. Turn panels off when not using them. Users will be able to see more of the screen, allowing them to better edit photos and figure out what needs to be done.

Step 2: Editing Techniques

Users should maximize the Lightroom screen so that they can see the entire photo. This will help photographers see if there are any hidden imperfections in the photo that needs to be cut out or sharpened. And, speaking of sharpening, try using the clarity slider to improve the look of photos. It's more accurate than the actual sharpening tools. 

Users should set the options to create previews. This will allow users to see what the photos will look like after the edits, but before the final draft is created. This is especially important when making a number of edits to an image. If a photographer waits until after the edits are done to generate the preview, it will take longer and eat up more memory. It could also cause an older computer to crash.

Step 3: Play Around with Settings

Lightroom comes with custom presets are very generic and are meant for the mass public. They're not going to be right for everyone.  Photographers should try using the settings and seeing how these changes improve or worsen the photo. It, however, could make all the difference in the world to individual photos. 

But, custom presets should only be used sparingly. Custom presets can be used by photographers initially, but the finishing touches will have to do done with other features. For example, the adjustment brush can be used to make things brighter, especially anything with a white or dark tone. For example, if a subject has dark rings under the eyes, these can be diminished via the adjust brush.

Step 4: Don't Be Afraid to Experiment

There's nothing wrong with making a mistake, but always save the photo being manipulated under a different name. This way, the original copy won't be overwritten. But, the goal of editing software programs like Lightroom is to have fun changing and improving images.  Photographers should try a number of different effects. 

Just be sure to save and save often. These programs are known to stall or even crash computers, meaning that photographers could lose all of their hard work.