Are you looking for a new way to take photos? If you are new to the world of photography and are looking to take better photos, then one great way to get started is to try your hand at photo-editing.
Photo-editing is the process of making changes to photographs in order to achieve different or better effects. You can make changes like color adjustments, white balance changes, alter the exposure, and brush out imperfections.
Does all of that sound familiar? If not, that’s okay. You can use special software to make all the changes you need to make your digital photographs look great. While you may have heard of the popular software Adobe Photoshop, many new users prefer to start with something more basic. If this is your situation, then maybe you can start with Adobe Lightroom, which is another editing program designed with simplicity in mind.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can make your pictures better with Adobe Lightroom.
What is Adobe Lightroom?
Adobe Lightroom is a photo-editing program designed by the software company Adobe. It is designed to perform many of the same functions as Photoshop, but with more of an eye to simplicity. For example, while you can’t “photoshop” different objects into an image, you can make changes like adjust the white balance or change the exposure and add tints. These edits tend to be less profound, but can have dramatic results.
How to Get Started with Adobe Lightroom
Before you can edit photos, you will need to start shooting in RAW, which means that your photos will be stored in your camera’s memory device as a different type of file. Most people who don’t choose to edit photos save their images as JPEG images, which is the camera’s default setting because it’s more compact and the images don’t take up as much space. But if you try to edit these image files, they will break down. RAW files, on the other hand, allow you to make changes without causing any destruction. You should be able to change this setting through your camera.
Once you have taken all of the images you need, simply plug your camera’s memory card into your computer and import the photos into Lightroom. Once they are in the system, you can save them to your library and organize them at your leisure.
From there, select a photo and click the tab that says “Develop.” On the right side of the screen you can see lots of options for edits. Click the scales to make changes as you choose or take a look at the histogram to see what alterations need to be made.
Additionally, at the top of the editing toolbar you will find a few options for major edits, such as removing spots, adding an exposure gradient to darken the sky, and even a mask that will improve your portraits. For example, if you take a picture of an elderly woman, you can now remove the wrinkles so that her other features stand out more.
Once you’ve made the changes you want, you can export your photos to your computer where you can print them or publish them elsewhere. There is also a setting where you can upload your pictures directly to Facebook, Flickr or other publishing service.
A Final Note
Remember, just because you know how to use editing software does not make you a photographer. You should also take your camera and practice on your own as much as you can in order to figure out your own voice and style.
About the Author
Donna Jane of DearJane has been using Adobe Lightroom for her product photography post production. She often shoots products for the store and finds a fantastic editing tool.