It was in 2019 that I began my relationship with Lightroom. After a family vacation to the islands of the Azores, I had collected quite a stack of photos. As someone who has always used Photoshop to edit their photography, Lightroom was a distant thought. However, since I had access to Lightroom through the Creative Cloud, this presented itself as a great opportunity to see what that fuss was all about.
I’ll be using images from the trip and screenshots of my Lightroom interface to illustrate my points. I also want to be very clear that when discussing Lightroom, I’m writing about Lightroom CC and not Lightroom Classic. Without further ado, here are four reasons why I love Lightroom as a hobbyist:
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I was pleased to discover that Lightroom offers image organization within its user interface. I collected over 600 images from my vacation and narrowed it down to a little over 100 images. Then, I was able to bring in those selected images into Lightroom and create its own specific album.
Along with Lightroom’s convenient organization, their sophisticated search tool is a huge plus. Lightroom uses artificial intelligence, called Adobe Sensei, to search keywords without you having to manually associate keywords with your images. For example, you can search the word “church” and Lightroom will pull-up photos containing a church. It’s far from perfect as when I searched for “church” it didn’t pull up every image with a church in it. However, it is on track to being a seamless tool by the end of the decade. Additionally, you can search by type of image, by type of camera, and by location.
One of the many perks of Lightroom is its precise color correction. Lightroom offers you so much control in manipulating the color of a photograph. My favorite color altering feature is the Color Mixer. The Color Mixer gives you the power to modify the hue, saturation, and luminance of individual colors. Additionally, you can color grade your images by controlling the color tints of the midtones, shadows, and highlights. Furthermore, the temperature and tint of the overall photo can be adjusted with a simple dragging of the sliders. The sky is the limit on what you can manipulate in terms of color correction.
A preset is a modification of settings, like altering the lighting, color, and detail of a shot, that can be saved to be used on other photos. This allows you to quickly edit a group of photos by applying the same effect to each image. Applying the same effect to every photo won’t always yield the same results, but it’s a good start to the editing process. In the long run, presets will save you time.
Aside from creating and using your own presets, you can download or purchase presets from other artists. Sifting through the seemingly limitless options available on the market can be quite fun. What’s even more fun is applying these new presets to your own images. Ultimately, the use and creation of presets add an exciting dynamic to the Lightroom experience.
As I said at the beginning of this article, I would always use Photoshop alone to edit my photos before I turned to Lightroom. However, when I found out about Lightroom’s integration with Photoshop, I got super excited! Lightroom allows you to easily bring your photos into Photoshop for editing. After you finish editing an image in Photoshop, you can save it and the newly edited image will be saved in Lightroom.
One reason I like to use Photoshop is for when I have to clone something out. Lightroom has its own clone stamp tool, but I prefer to use Photoshop’s clone stamp tool since it gives me more control. As you can see in the images above, I used the clone stamp tool to remove the clouds in the sky. The fact that I can incorporate Lightroom with Photoshop gives me so much more power and freedom when editing photos.
There you have it: four reasons why I love Lightroom as a hobbyist. However, there are many more reasons to use Lightroom that I didn’t cover. If you’re someone who owns Creative Cloud and you aren’t using Lightroom to edit your photos, then I urge you to give Lightroom a try. On the other hand, if you’re a photographer who doesn’t own Creative Cloud, then you can purchase the Photoshop and Lightroom bundle here.
As I bid adieu, I leave you with some of my favorite before and after shots from my trip to the Azores: