How To Edit Photos In Lightroom – The Complete Guide

Learning how to edit photos in Lightroom is a big part of many photographer’s journeys. With all the things we see online, it doesn’t seem all that hard either! Just a few buttons here, a couple sliders there, and you’re photo looks more professional than ever.

However, after you’ve tried your hand at editing photos for yourself, you’ve likely come to one conclusion. Editing photos in Lightroom is a lot harder than you anticipated. Not to worry though, we’ve all started in the same position you are. All it takes to learn how to edit photos in Lightroom is an understanding of the tools available to you!

Photo editing shouldn’t feel like a chore. This guide will teach you the ins and outs of how to edit photos in Lightroom with an actionable and easy to follow method. Here you’ll discover the most important tools and the overall layout of the program. After reading this, you’ll be well on your way to editing photos more professionally in no time.

Why Should You Edit Photos In Lightroom

Lightroom is one of the most straight forward and accessible photo editing programs out there. Whether you’ve never edited a photo in your life or you have a general idea of what’s going on, Lightroom is so intuitive. There aren’t any fancy shortcuts or hidden tools that are difficult to remember. For the most part, what you see is what you get, and that’s a very admirable aspect of Adobe Lightroom.

A lot of the tools found in Lightroom can also be found in other programs. This makes editing photos in Lightroom an excellent starting ground for any beginner. As you begin to build your knowledge and confidence with Lightroom, other photo editing programs will feel more natural to you.

Learning how to edit your photos is one of the biggest factors of improving your photography. Taking the picture is only half the battle. If you really want to have your image stand out from the crowd, photo editing is a must. Lightroom is an extremely powerful tool to help you do just that. It gives you the ability to improve your photography without the challenges that come with learning other editing programs. Once you learn how to edit photos in Lightroom, you’ll quickly notice an improvement in your images!

The Importance Of Creating A Workflow When Editing

Although learning the different tools of Lightroom is a huge part, creating a workflow is crucial to speed up the editing process. A workflow is a series of steps that you follow to get from point A to B in your image. This doesn’t mean you always make the same adjustments, but it means you use the same type of adjustments for each step. For example, adjusting your exposure, color, and then creating spot adjustments would be considered a basic workflow.

Creating a workflow will help you to streamline the editing process and reduce the amount of time you stare blankly at the screen. Rather than hmming over what you should do next, you know exactly what series of steps to follow.

The way I outline this article is written with the intention of helping you build a workflow. Although I will be sharing info in individual tools in Lightroom, each section will offer the order of steps to follow in your edit. By putting to use the workflow outline shared here, you’ll have a clear path to success when photo editing in Lightroom.

How To Edit Photos In Lightroom (Like A Pro!)

To help you learn how to edit your photos in Lightroom, I’ll be breaking down all the essential tools. Each section will provide a new step in your Lightroom workflow, where I’ll break down the best tools the purpose they serve.  There is a lot to talk about here, so let’s dive in!

Step 1: Import Your Images

How To Importing Photos Into Lightroom

Before you can do any editing, you need to import your photos into Lightroom. This is easily done by clicking the ‘import’ button on the bottom left of your window.

import-option-two-in-lightroom

You can also go up to FILE > IMPORT PHOTOS AND VIDEO as a secondary option.

import-option-one-in-lightroom

A new window will open, asking you to locate your files. Choose the folder where your images are saved and select it.

finding-files-in-lightroom

All the images that are checked off will be imported into Lightroom. If there are certain images you don’t want to import, you can uncheck them now.

unchecked-photos-for-lightroom-import

When you import your photos into Lightroom, you have a few options of how your files are managed. You can choose between Copy as DNG, Copy, Move or Add. If you’re unsure, Add is typically the best (and easiest) option.

import-options-for-files

Here’s what each of these options entails:

  • Copy As DNG: Copies files and moves them to a different folder. Converts all files into DNG files and imports to Lightroom. DNG files can be useful if your camera’s RAW file is not recognized or supported on a certain platform.
  • Copy: Copies all files from their original location and adds them to a new folder before importing to Lightroom. This is useful if you want to create a backup of your photos without doing in manually.
  • Move: Moves all files from their original location to a new location before importing to Lightroom. You could use this to import your files from your memory card and move them into a folder on your computer. A more streamlined way to add your photos!
  • Add: Add your photos from their existing location and import them into Lightroom. Make sure you have saved your files in a designated folder beforehand. You don’t want to add your files directly from your memory card. Ensure it’s from a specified folder on your computer.

Once you’re happy with the import method and your files are selected, press import to add your files into Lightroom. The import button is located on the bottom right of your Lightroom window.

import-button-in-lightroom

Where To Access Your Files After Importing To Lightroom

After import, you will find your files in the specified folder within your Lightroom Catalog. As long as you use the same catalog, all of your imported files will appear within this window. That’s why it’s useful to label your folders with either dates or names to help you remember what’s in each of them!

Where-to-find-imported-lightroom-files

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 12.17.25 PM

If you notice a question mark beside an imported folder, it just means the files are unlinked. This could happen if you move them to a new location, or you delete them completely. If they have just been moved, simply right click on the folder in question and select Find Missing Folder. The same process can be followed if a single photo becomes unlinked or lost.

After you help Lightroom relink your files, you’ll be able to access them once again without issue!

find-missing-lightroom-folder

Ways To View Your Images In The Lightroom Library

With all of your images imported into Lightroom, you have two different view options in your Library. You can view all your pictures in Grid View or Loupe View.

Grid View: Shows all of your images in a tiled pattern. This is easy to see all your photos at once and quickly cycle through them. If you’re looking to find a certain section of images, this is the best view to do it.

grid-view-in-lightroom-library

Grid View

Loupe View: Shows a single image in your Lightroom window. This is best for selecting images since you can see the photo up close. In Loupe View, you aren’t editing your image, but just getting a closer look at it in your library.

loupe-view-in-lightroom-library

Loupe View

You can toggle between these two views in your Lightroom toolbar located beneath your photo. If you don’t have your toolbar visible, press T to bring it into view. The toolbar is handy to switch views and help you to select the best images from the bunch.

Lightroom-toolbar

What Is A Catalog In Lightroom?

Catalogs-In-lightroom

A Lightroom Catalog is a collection of images within Lightroom. Imagine it like a virtual photo book. The more pictures you add to your Lightroom Catalog, the bigger your photo book becomes. You can add all your images into one catalog or create multiple catalogs for different purposes. For example, you could create a catalog for all your vacation photos, a catalog for a certain client, and another catalog for your personal portfolio images. Lightroom Catalogs make it easier to separate and sort all of your photos into related groups.

It’s totally up to you whether you use multiple catalogs or just one. Ultimately they just make your files easier to sort through, and your Lightroom panel less cluttered. To make a new catalog, go up to FILE > NEW CATALOG.

If you want to switch between previously made Lightroom Catalogs, go to FILE > OPEN CATALOG.

You can also go to FILE > OPEN RECENT to access recently used catalogs.

 

Accessing-Lightroom-Catalog

How To Organize and Cull Photos In Lightroom

Chances are, you aren’t going to edit every photo you import. Some images will be throwaways, and others will be your next greatest photo. To make the editing process more streamlined, it’s crucial to sift through your photos and select the ones you want to edit. This organization process is also known as culling pictures and is an essential step in learning how to edit photos in Lightroom.

There are two primary methods to organize your photos. The first method is flagging, and the second method is starring. Either method works well for organizing your images, so it’s a truly personal choice.

rating-photos-in-lightroom

Flagging And Starring in Lightroom Filmstrip

Regardless of which method you use, the way you sift through the photos remains the same. Go into Loupe View and use your left and right arrow keys to move between images in your filmstrip. As you go between photos, select the ones you want to edit to speed boost your efficiency when you start editing.

film-strip-to-edit-photos-in-lightroom

The Filmstrip

You can see which photo is being looked at based on the highlight in your filmstrip. The Lightroom filmstrip shows a lineup of all of your images within the selected folder.

– The Flagging Method

To flag a photo, all you need to do is press P on your keyboard. This will set your image as a pick that you can access later on. You can also right-click on your image and go to Set Flag > Flagged to add an image as a pick. Continue doing this through your entire filmstrip until all the photos you want to edit have been flagged.

– The Star Method

The second method to cull your photos is using a star rating. By pressing the numbers 1 – 5 on your keyboard, you will add a star rating to the image. This can be useful to segment your selects into different rating values.

For example, I use the 1 star as a basic select, 2 stars if the photo needs retouching, 3 stars as a finished edit, 4 stars to mark revisions, and 5 stars to mark completed revisions.

As you learn how to edit photos in Lightroom, you’ll create your own culling method that best suits your needs. The star method is excellent to add different levels to the selections made in Lightroom.

Viewing Culled & Picked Images In Lightroom

After you’ve gone through all the images and have made your selects, it’s easiest to filter your filmstrip to selects only. This can be easily done by adjusting the filter option on your filmstrip.

filmstrip-filter-in-lightroom

Above your filmstrip on the right is a tab that reads Filters Off as a default. Click on that tab and select whichever method you chose to pick your images.

If you used the flagging method, select flagged.

If you used the star method, select rated.

filtering-images-in-lightroom

Now your images will be filtered to only show you the pictures you want to edit. This significantly helps to streamline your workflow by only showing you the photos you care about.

As tedious and boring as organizing can be, it’s a crucial part of learning how to edit photos in Lightroom. Spend the time to organize your photos now so you can significantly speed up your workflow later. Your future self will thank you after you’ve neatly organized all your images!

Step 2: Primary Image Adjustments

After you have imported and culled through the photos you want to edit, it’s time to make some basic adjustments. These primary adjustments are the first steps you should take in editing your pictures. Although each of these steps is not always necessary, they’re worth following when learning how to edit photos in Lightroom.

The first steps you should take when photo editing should be:

  • Cropping or Straightening 
  • Lens Corrections
  • Removing Chromatic Aberration 

Let’s break down each of these steps and how to use them in Lightroom. To access all of these adjustments, be sure to switch to your Develop Tab.

develop-tab-to-edit-photos-in-lightroom

How To Crop Photos In Lightroom

Cropping is something that not every photo will need, so weigh whether or not this step is necessary. It can be a useful step to fix the composition of your image or get rid of distractions. Keep in mind that you want to avoid cropping your photo too much; otherwise, you’ll end up having a lower resolution.

To crop a photo, simply select the crop tool at the top of your settings window.

crop-tool-lightroomuse-the-crop-tool-in-lightroom

Once selected, a grid will appear over your image. Adjust this grid to fit your new crop. In this case, I’ll crop the bottom of my photo to get rid of the person. Once you’re happy, just click Done to crop your image!

cropped-photo-in-lightroom

How To Straighten Photos In Lightroom

If your camera wasn’t level, horizon lines can look skewed and make your image look less professional. To straighten out your photo or fix slanted horizon lines, you can use the Straightening Tool in Lightroom.

crooked-horizon-in-photo

While still using the crop tool, click on the ruler icon beside the angle slider in your crop tool menu. This will select the Straightening Tool.

select-straighten-tool-in-lightroom

Hover over your photo and click and drag across an area you want to become level. In this example, I’m clicking and dragging across my horizon line. Your photo will automatically straighten according to the line you just drew. Once you’re happy, just click Done to crop the image!

straightened-photo-in-with-straighten-tool

In some cases, you don’t have a clear horizon to align to, so you’ll have to use your best judgment. In these situations, you can use the angle slider to straighten out your image. Simply move the slider left or right to adjust the orientation of your frame.

adjusting-crop-angle-with-crop-tool

Either method is effective for straightening out a photo in Lightroom. However, each has its own advantages in certain situations than others.

How To Add Lens Corrections And Remove Chromatic Abberation In Lightroom

– Lens Corrections

Lens corrections, also known as profile corrections, help to counter any distortion caused by your lens. On wide-angle lenses, you may have a bubbled look near the edges of your frame. By using lens corrections, you can help to mitigate the effects of this to create a more ‘true to your eye’ image.

Within your adjustments bar, scroll down until you see a tab reading ‘Lens Corrections’. From here simply check the box reading ‘Enable Profile Corrections’ to fix any distortion and vignetting.

More often than not, Lightroom will automatically select the required camera info based on the image metadata. If this doesn’t happen, you’ll just need to manually choose your camera and lens within the profile tabs.

– Removing Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is something that can occur around the edges of things in your image. It appears as a colored fringe caused when a certain color wave isn’t focused correctly to the same focal plane. This can happen with any camera so it’s nothing to worry about, but you will want to get rid of it!

To remove chromatic aberration in Lightroom, all you need to do it check the ‘Remove Chromatic Aberration’ box.

This often will get the job done, but you can make manual adjustments if needed. If you find there is still significant color fringing in your photo, adjust the sliders under the manual tab to better target a specific color range of chromatic aberration.

Step 3: Editing Your Photos In Lightroom

Now for the exciting stuff! The hardest part of learning how to edit photos in Lightroom is to know which tools to use first. To help you build a workflow, here are the series of steps you should follow when editing an image:

  1. Exposure Adjustments
  2. Color Adjustments
  3. Spot Adjustments

There are a ton of different tools that you can use in each phase of your edit. It can be hard to choose which tool is best for different situations, so it’s essential to learn how they all work.

In this section, I’ll share the uses of each tool and how they affect your photo editing in Lightroom. This way, you’ll have the know-how to find the right tool for any adjustment!

– The Basics Panel

The Basics Panel is home to all your base exposure and color temperature adjustments. These sliders are simple to use and will make the biggest impact on the exposure of your image. Here’s a list of each tool in this panel and their uses when editing a photo in Lightroom.

the-basics-panel-in-adobe-lightroom

1. White Balance And Tint: White balance and tint are the single best way to correct any colors in your images. You may notice your unedited photo appears too purple or blue, creating an unflattering look to the picture. These sliders will correct any imbalance of color and help make your image look more true to real life.

Learn more about the importance of white balance in photography.

2. Exposure Slider: The exposure controls the overall brightness or darkness of a photo. Use this slider to adjust your image brightness globally.

3. Contrast Slider: Contrast affects the levels of your whites and blacks. As you increase your contrast, you’ll make your whites more white and your blacks more black. This contrast slider adds a global contrast boost to your image

4. Highlights & Shadows Sliders: These two sliders will affect the brightness of your highlights or shadows. The highlights are the brightest parts of your photo, while the shadows are the darkest. Adjusting these sliders is an easy way to level out your exposure and bring back details in your image.

5. Whites & Blacks: Similar to the highlight and shadow sliders, these two sliders will affect the light and dark areas of your photo. However, rather than affecting the brightest and darkest areas, these sliders affect the exposures closer to middle grey. In short, the whites and blacks sliders help to adjust the middle exposure values of your photo. The places that aren’t crazy dark or crazy bright, but somewhere in between.

6. Texture Slider: This slider adds more contrast to any edges in your photo. This is a great tool to make things pop and look a bit sharper. However, be careful not to overdo it, or you could risk creating an unrealistic looking photo!

7. Clarity Slider: This slider will add more luminance to certain colors and give an enhanced contrast feel. This can add more drama to your photos and is a great adjustment to use on clouds! Just like the texture slider, be conservative with this tool.

8. Vibrance: The vibrance slider will adjust the strength of your colors. If you want the colors in your photo to look deeper and richer, the vibrance tool will make it happen.

9: Saturation: Similar to the vibrance slider, the saturation slider also boost the intensity of your colors. Instead of boosting all the colors in your photo, the saturation seems to enhance the richness of the brightest colors.

– The Tone Curve

The Tone Curve adjustment is one of the most versatile tools in Lightroom. It can add both exposure and color adjustments making it useful in a variety of situations.

point-tone-curve

The Tone Curve is broken up into four main columns. Going from left to right they represent the shadows, darks, whites, and highlights of your photo. Depending on which section of the curve you adjust, you’ll target different exposure values in the image.

before-using-tone-curve

Before Curves Adjustment

Curves-in-lightroom-to-ehance-photos

After Curves Adjustment

There are two types of Tone Turves in Lightroom. The first being the Region Curve, while the second is the Point Curve. To toggle between these two curve options, click the small icon on the bottom right of the Tone Curve window.

switch-curve-tools-in-lightroom

The Region Curve breaks down each quadrant of the tone curve into four sliders. This makes it easy to adjust your curve without any anchor points. This is more streamlined and much more beginner-friendly. This curve is excellent if you only want to make exposure adjustments. It’s not possible to edit color with this version of the Tone Curve. The Region Curve also limits the amount you can adjust the exposure values to prevent clipping.

Region-curve-highlighted-sliders

Region Curve

The Point Curve gives you more manual control by allowing you to add anchor points to the curve. By clicking on any point of the curve, you create a point to move the curve from. This point is called an anchor point. You can create as many anchor points as you’d like to adjust any section of your Tone Curve.

point-tone-curve-example

The Point Curve

Editing Colour With The Tone Curve

To edit color with the Tone Curve, you must be using the Point curve. To switch from adjusting exposure to color, click on the channel tab reading RGB under your curve. From here you can select the desired color channel you wish to adjust. The color adjustments made with the Tone Curve are perfect for correcting color or adding creative looks to your photo. An absolutely must-use tool when learning how to edit photos in Lightroom!

Learn More About How To Master The Tone Curve In Lightroom.

– HSL Adjustments

The HSL Adjustment in Lightroom is all about changing the look of your colors. HSL stands for Hue Saturation and Luminance. Together, these three options can completely transform the look of your photos.

Before-HSL-adjustment

Before HSL

After-HSL-Adjustment

After HSL

The HSL Adjustment splits up all the color values in your image into 8 different channels. Depending on your image, certain channels or adjustment tabs will have more effectiveness in your photo than others. It’s useful to go through each tab individually to see the effects they offer!

Hue-In-HSL-Adjustment

Hue: Changing the color hue will change how a particular range of colors appear. For example, you could alter the hue of yellow to make it appear more orange. You could change the hue of blue to make it more purple. The hue sliders are a super useful tool to apply creative looks to your photo!

Saturation-in-HSL-Adjustment

Saturation: Similar to the saturation slider found within the Basics Panel, the saturation sliders of HSL alter the richness of colors. Since each color is broken up into a certain range, you can easily target different values to saturate or desaturate color. Another powerful and simple way to enhance your photo in Lightroom.

Luminance-In-HSL-Adjustment

Luminance: Luminance is the lightness of a color. As you increase the luminance, you will essentially alter the exposure of a color. The Luminance Sliders are an easy way to lighten or darken sections of your photo based on color!

Depending on how you like to work, you can change the view of the HSL adjustment. You can switch between individual tabs or have them displayed as one long toolbar. To toggle this view, just click on the HSL or the Color label on the top of the toolbar.

– Split Toning

As you learn how to edit photos in Lightroom, Split Toning is excellent for easily adding stylized color effects. Rather than adjusting the colors that are already in your photo, you can add color to your image. This adjustment lets you add a specific color to both your highlights and shadows for total color control!

before-split-tone-adjustments

Before Split Toning

split-toning-to-enhance-colors-in-lightroom

After Split Toning (Red Shadows & Blue Highlights)

Split Toning in Lightroom is broken down into highlights and shadows. Each exposure value has its own sliders to adjust the hue or saturation.

using-the-split-toning-adjustment-in-lightroom

The Hue Slider will pick the color tone to be applied to your photo.

The Saturation Slider will dictate how visible that color tone is in the photo.

balance-slider-for-split-toning

In between the highlight and shadow adjustments is the Balance Slider. This slider allows you to choose the dominance one color hue has over the other. For example, you could set the balance to favor the shadows so that hue becomes more dominant. It can take a bit of playing around, but the Balance Slider can really refine the split toning adjustments!

– The Detail Panel

The Detail Panel in Lightroom is home to all your sharpening and noise reduction needs. It might look a bit overwhelming at first, but there are only two main sliders you really should worry about.

The two most important sliders in the Detail Panel are the Sharpening and Luminance sliders.

sharpening-slider-in-lightroom

Sharpening Amount Slider: This slider will set how much sharpness is applied to your photo. Sharpness is an essential part of your photo edit in Lightroom since it makes your image look more clear. It boosts the amount of contrast and grain around edges in your frame to create more perceived clearness. Be sparing with this adjustment so you don’t add too much grain!

Noise-reduction-slider-in-lightroom

Luminance Noise Reduction: This slider will smooth out any noise present in your photo. It works by leveling out any areas of distortion in your image. This can work great to get rid of noise, but it also can make your image look fake and plastic. I tend to never go higher than 10 on this slider.

details-panel-preview-box

Since the adjustments in the Detail Panel are so small, the preview box gives a better view of what’s happening. You can click on this box to zoom out of your image and select a new area to look at. When you’re really needing to check the sharpness of a certain area, shifting the preview is very useful!

– Calibration

The Calibration Tab is a lesser-known and slightly more mysterious tool to many. When people are learning how to edit photos in Lightroom, they tend to skip over this tool altogether. However, I think there is a ton of value the calibration adjustments can add to the colors of your photos.

Calibration-tool-to-edit-colors

Unlike other color adjustments we have talked about so far, the Calibration Tool adjusts the hue and saturation of your actual color channels. To put things simply, your photo is broken down into three main colors. Those colors being Red, Green, and Blue, otherwise known as RGB.

RGB-Color-wheel-example

Together, these colors make up all other colors in your image. So when you adjust the entire channel, you end up with some really neat effects. With very subtle adjustments to the Calibration Sliders, you can totally transform the mood of your pictures.

These sliders are a really great tool to experiment with after you’ve made the bulk of your adjustments. It can really act as the cherry on top of your edit in Lightroom!

before-calibration-adjustments

Before Calibration Adjustments

butterfly photo with color adjustments in lightroom

After Calibration Adjustments

Step 4: Spot Adjustments

All the editing tools we have talked about so far adjust your image globally. This is great for an overall look, but what about when you want to target a certain area. Luckily there are a few easy to use spot adjustments in Lightroom that will do just the trick!

All of these adjustment tools can be access at the top of your settings bar. Once you select an adjustment, a new Basic Panel will appear. The adjustments you make in this panel will only affect the areas you have selected.

spot-adjustments-in-lightroom

– Adjustment Brush

The Adjustment Brush is the most versatile of the spot adjustment tools in Lightroom. Once you select this brush, simply click and paint over the where you want to affect.

Adjustment Brush

When you select an area with the Adjustment Brush, it will be shown as a little circle over your image. When you hover over this circle, a red highlight will appear to show where your adjustments are affecting.

Adjustment-brush-highlight

The Adjustment Brush in Lightroom is automatically set to add to your selection. What about if you want to get rid of your adjustment area?

To erase part of your selection, hold the ALT or OPTION key and paint over your image. This will get refine where your adjustments are targeting.

Adjustment-Brush-button

If you want to get rid of your selection altogether, click on the grey circle and hit your delete key!

feather-on-adjustment-brush-in-lightroom

Inside the brush you’ll find two circles. The gap between the outer and inner circle represents the brush feather. In basic terms, the feather will soften the edge of your brush. A larger feather will give a more natural fade around the edge of your selected area.

brush-adjustments

You can locate the brush panel beneath all your settings. Here you can change the size, feather, flow, and density of your adjustment brush in Lightroom.

– Gradient Filter

The Gradient Filter creates localized adjustments that transition from 100% to 0% visibility. This is great to make subtle adjustments to the sky or edges of your photo.

Gradient-Tool

Gradient-filter-to-edit-sky

You can alter the feather of the gradient by moving the two lines further apart. The further away the lines of your gradient filter are, the softer and less noticeable the transition becomes.

This tool is extremely straightforward and doesn’t have any hidden tricks or secrets to it. What you see is what you get when learning how to use the Gradient Tool in Lightroom.

– Radial Filter

The Radial Filter is similar to the Gradient Filter, except it creates a circular gradient. This is great to make adjustments in a specific spot in your photo. For example, you could put a radial gradient around your subject to add localized brightness. You could also use this filter to darken the edges of your frame for a more moody look.

Radial Toolradial-filter-for-localized-adjustments

You can make adjustments both inside and outside with the radial filter. You can toggle between the two by checking the Invert box at the bottom of your settings panel. This will switch whether your adjustments are applied to the inside or outside of your radial gradient.

invert-radial-filter-button

For even further customizable to the Radial Filter, you can adjust the feather. The feather slider will decide how soft the edges of your gradient will be. You can experiment with this, but I find 50 to work well in most scenarios!

feather-slider-for-radial-filter

– The Spot Removal Brush

There will often be things in your images that you’ll need to remove. Whether that’s a sensor spot, a piece of garbage on the sidewalk, or something on your subject’s clothes. Whenever you’re editing a photo in Lightroom and need to get rid of something, the Spot Removal Brush will be your hero!

spot-adjustments-in-lightroom 2

The Spot Removal Brush works a lot like the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom. The difference being, the Spot Removal Brush removes anything you paint over.

When you paint over something with this tool, it tries to find another similar area of your photo to replace it with. It’s not actually getting rid of something, but just hiding it behind another sampled part of your image.

spot-removal-brush-tool

There are 3 main adjustments you have access to with the Spot Removal Brush:

  1. Size
  2. Feather
  3. Opacity

The size will alter the size of the brush you use to paint over something in your photo.

The feather will dictate how soft the edges of your replaced area look.

While the opacity chooses how visible the sampled area appears over the spot you want to remove.

spot-healing-brush-menu-settings

When you paint over something with the Spot Removal Brush in Lightroom you’ll see a white line. This white line represents the sampled area that will be removed. From here, Lightroom automatically selects a similar part of your image to replace it with.

spot-removal-adjustment-in-lightroom

Sometimes the area it automatically chooses to sample from doesn’t quite work as well as you’d hope. In that case, you can manually move around the sampling area to dictate the final result.

moving-sampled-area

If you’re removing something against a simple background like the sky, Lightroom will have an easy time to find a new area to sample from. However, it will struggle when you try to get rid of something with a complicated background or specific lighting.

So yes, the Spot Healing Brush Tool will remove things from your photo, but it’s not always perfect. Regardless, it’s still an incredibly useful tool to use as you learn how to edit photos in Lightroom.

Step 5: Exporting Photos From Lightroom

After you’ve finished editing your photo in Lightroom, it’s time to share it with the world! That means it’s time to export.

Luckily learning how to export images from Lightroom is a breeze. There are just a few crucial steps to keep aware of. The most important things to consider when exporting images from Lightroom are:

  1. Metadata
  2. File Type
  3. Export Location

Let’s break down each of these steps individually.

– How To Edit Your Image Metadata In Lightroom

Metadata is the information behind your photo. In an image’s metadata you can find copyright information, camera settings, and even location info. Particularly when you’re sharing your photos online, it’s important to add copyright info to your image. That way you can always claim it as rightfully yours!

Below is a super in-depth tutorial about adding metadata to Lightroom images by Aaron Nace. Even if you’re a total beginner, it’s essential to stay on top of your metadata!

– Step By Step Guide To Exporting Images From Lightroom

To export an image, select it and go up to FILE > EXPORT. You can also use the keyboard shortcut SHIFT + COMMAND OR CONTROL + E. Additionally, you can export multiple images at once by selecting a few and using the same command. This is much faster than individually exporting images!

A new dialogue box will appear with all of the export information for your image. Let’s go through each crucial export section and discover what they’re used for.

1. Export Location: This tab lets you choose where your file will be saved. Click Choose to select a designated location to save your image(s). If you want them to export into a new folder, be sure to tick off ‘Put In Subfolder’. You can name this folder in the text box beside it.

choosing-export-location-in-lightroom

2. File Naming: This tab lets you rename your file in a variety of ways. You can create a custom file name, use the original, or select from a ton of other options. To toggle these file naming options, just click on the drop-down menu. If using a custom file name, you can type it in the custom text box.

naming-exports-from-lightroom

3. File Settings: If you need to change the type of file you’re exporting, you can do that in this File Settings tab. Here you can set your file type to a series of different options. If you have no idea what these file types are, just export your image to JPEG for the most versatility. Just make sure you set your quality to 100 if you want to best resolution possible with your export!

choosing-new-export-file-formatfile-formats-in-lightroom-exporting

4. Click Export: Once you’ve gone through the above steps, click the export button to export your photos from Lightroom. After they’re finished, you’ll find all of the exports in your specified folder.export-button-in-lightroom

Conclusion

So that was everything you need to know about how to edit photos in Lightroom like a pro! The tips discussed in this guide will help you to edit photos more efficiently and with added confidence in Lightroom. No matter how you go about it, learning how to edit pictures takes time and practice. Don’t let yourself get discouraged and keep experimenting with new techniques!

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with a friend who’s wanting to learn how to edit photos in Lightroom! By sharing this guide, you help to support my blog and the creation of more articles like this one. I appreciate you!

If you want to stay up to date with more articles like this one, be sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more great tips and tutorials!

[convertkit form=1312441]