Lightroom is a great tool. It’s quick and easy to use – once you get the hang of it. But sometimes mastering the workflow, the steps you go through to take a raw file to a ‘final’ image, can be a bit daunting.
Let me say up front that Lightroom is an important part of my workflow but it’s not the only part. Every photograph I work on starts in Lightroom but is completed in Photoshop. Nevertheless, Lightroom gets a photograph to about 80% of the final product. I know many people who use Lightroom exclusively and Photoshop only in rare circumstances if at all.
So back to the workflow. Can it really be made easy? Yes it can. There are four major steps (not counting import – see Lightroom Tutorial – Importing Photographs):
- Mechanical adjustments like dust spot removal and cropping
- Tonality adjustments
- Hue adjustments
- Saturation adjustments
Let’s skip the first step and start with the second. The example will be in Lightroom 4.
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An important part of post processing is importing your photographs into Lightroom. The goal is to copy the files from your camera or laptop and store them on your desktop computer. At the same time you also want to make a backup of all of your files.
You might be interested in the configuration of my desktop computer. It has about 5 terabytes of storage. This is where the image files will be stored. I also have several terabytes of external storage – external hard drives. This is where the backup copies go.
In this example I’ll be copying files directly from the camera. The plan is to copy the files as they are to the backup storage. But the files I store on the desktop storage will be converted to DNG format. More on that in another post.
So with the big picture in mind, let’s get into the details.
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Tags: Adobe, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Aperture, Canon, digital camera, digital darkroom, DNG, import, JPEG, Lightroom, Nikon, photographs, Post processing, RAW, tutorial
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There are about as many definitions of “fine art photography” as there are people who call themselves “fine art photographers.” For many of us, fine art photography is an expression of our view of the world. Much of what we see in the world is captured in the images we capture in the field. But that’s not the whole story. Why? Because the true expressive quality of our photographs comes to life in the post processing – the digital darkroom if you will.
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Tags: brightness, color, contrast, exposure, fine art, hue, Lightroom, luminance, photography, Post processing, saturation, tonality, workflow, Workshops
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