Soware skills Take control of Adobe Lightroomwith our monthly tutorials. Part 1: the basics ADOBE LIGHTROOM There is a multitude of dierent software packages available for imaging. There are freewares, sharewares and stu you have to pay for and that includes Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements – both extremely popular and deservedly so. These two are very powerful and highly featured, and let’s face it, there is little that can’t be done with them. Despite that, however, for this beginner’s guide to software we are going to focus on another member of the Adobe Photoshop family: Lightroom. Now in version 5, Lightroom has been designed with photographers in mind. Lightroom actually can’t do some of the things that the two Photoshop packages can. Equally ,Lightroom oers features that the two Photoshops don’t. The key point of dierence is that while the two Photoshops are browsing, processing and editing softwares, Lightroom is all about worklow. It takes you from importing the images o the camera’s storage card to organising and cataloguing shots using keywords. You end up in a powerful developing module where you can improve and edit your images before inally getting to the various output options. More and more photographers, including professionals, do most of their editing in Lightroom and don’t go into Photoshop much at all. That’s not to say Photoshop is redundant. Far from it, because it has features – Layers, Selection tools, better cloning functionality and more – that Lightroom doesn’t, but for many images and for most photographers, Lightroom has more than enough power. One big beneit of Lightroom is that any editing changes you make in the catalogue are non- destructive so your originals are left untouched. Any modiications you do make are stored, unlike in Photoshop, so go back to the image several years from now to output it, and it will feature the same modiications you made several years previously. In this series we’ll take you through many of Lightroom’s key features, from import to inal use. Words by Will Cheung BACKUP YOUR BACKUP Backing up your original images is important. Always have more than one copy of your shots and keep them in dierent places. Every photographer needs a backup plan, whether that is on one (or more) external hard drive or by using a ‘cloud’, a storage facility on the Internet. The cloud option is not for everyone – because of cost, poor broadband speed or sheer number of iles, so consider it carefully. An external hard drive is a good, simple and eective solution. A good-quality 2TB hard drive will cost around £70. For a belts and braces approach you may want to have two identical sets of your pictures at home, plus a third copy o-site in case.
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1. Navigator 2. Catalog 3. Folders 4. Collections 5. Publishing Services 6. In Library 7. Histogram 8. Quick Develop 9. Keywording and Keyword List 10. Metadata
STEP 1 Newcatalogue With Lightroom open, go to File>New Catalog to make a new catalogue. Your images will be shown in the middle of the screen with panels either side; they’re xed in position. The available functions vary depending on the chosenmodule. Navigating through the dierent modules – Library, Develop, Map, Book, Slideshow, Print and Web – is done by clicking on the relevant word. Quick keys can be used too. STEP 2 Import the shots Insert acard intothecomputer/cardreaderand the soware detects this. The Import dialogue, along with a number of options on the right side of the interface, appears. Before you click Import, there are some decisions to bemade. n Build Smart Previews Smart Previews let you edit images when youwork away from the drive the pictures are stored, ie. when you are out and about with the laptop. Changes are updatedwhen the computer and images are reunited. Leave the box unticked for now – you can do it later if youwant.
n Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates Self- explanatory. It saves confusion so tick the box.
n Make a Second Copy To Lets youmake a second copy at the time of import. Useful if you have two hard drives attached.
STEP 3Aer import Once the images are in Lightroom, the interface reverts to the Library Module (we’ll discuss this in detail next month). How you use catalogues is up to you. You can make one for every trip out with the camera but that is probably not ideal. You might make a catalogue each for family pictures, holidays, portrait shoots and specic locations. Or maybe one for each year and put everything you shoot into it. Folders are dated as you import pictures so this can work ne and Lightroom works perfectly quickly evenwithmany thousands of pictures.
n File Renaming Either keep the camera’s le names or personalise them.
n Apply During Import Usually set to None because youwill edit images later. However, if youwant to use a Lightroompreset you can. n Destination You decidewhere youwant the images to go: onto the computer’s hard drive or onto an external drive
You can download a 30-day free trial of the software from the Adobe website. Head to www.adobe.com/go/ trylightroom . DON’THAVE LIGHTROOM?
n Import Click this to load the images into Lightroom. It takes a short while.
Photography News | Issue 1
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