The Top 8 Features You’ll Love In Lightroom

Upload from July 22, 2011

Lightroom is powerful. Not only is it full of tools to make your photos look amazing, but it also helps speed up your workflow, and keep your photos nice and organized. It’s the complete package.

Here are 8 Lightroom features that are really really awesome.

If you have Lightroom, make sure you’re taking full advantage of all of them! If you don’t have it, read on and see if it could help you with your photos!

1. Create Presets To Save Time And Develop Style

Presets allow you to easily save configurations of the adjustment sliders in the Develop module. You can then apply the effect to other photos with just one click! This can save you mega time with your processing. Did you spend a lot of time perfecting a black & white? Save it as a preset to be used on another image! You can create a wide variety of presets to save time and quickly experiment with different looks.

Presets can also help you develop style. By using the presets you create your images will have a more consistent look. That’s a hugely important part of creating a recognizable editing style.

Make sure to grab our pack of free Lightroom Presets!

2. Batch process images using the Quick Develop panel

Using the Quick Develop panel you can batch process and apply presets to multiple images at once. Have a group of images that are all over exposed? Select them all and correct them simultaneously.

Also, by roughly batch processing your images using the Quick Develop panel, you can save time later when you’re fine tuning them in the Develop module. Who doesn’t like saving time?

3. Intuitive User Interface

It’s super easy to move from photo to photo in the Develop module, as well as view contact sheets in the Library grid view.

When you’re working on a photo in the Develop module all the adjustments are laid out logically, so you can efficiently move through a lot of adjustments on one image.

4. Easily transfer adjustment settings from one image to another

If you’ve spent some time adjusting one image and the next image is similar you can transfer the settings from the original image with a single click! Just click the “Previous” button in the Develop module and it’s done. This one feature alone allows you to cruise through groups of images effortlessly. You can also copy settings to multiple images at once for extra power.

5. Non-destructive editing protects your originals

You never have to worry that you’re damaging the original file. When you make adjustments to an image Lightroom basically creates a set of instructions. They’re stored in the catalog file, and show how the image should be saved on export. These instructions can be automatically embedded in DNG files. With RAW, JPEG and TIFF images an XMP sidecar file can be created that stores those instructions right beside the original image.

Long story short, Lightroom protects your original files. You can edit fearlessly, knowing you can always go back to a perfect quality original.

6. Powerful RAW file editor

Lightroom is a fantastic RAW file editor. The RAW format is the highest quality setting on most dSLR cameras, and with Lightroom you can really take advantage of that.

When shooting in the RAW format it’s easy to correct exposure and white balance in Lightroom. When shooting in the JPEG format, exposure and white balance can be difficult to adjust, especially without loss of quality.

Because of the high quality of RAW files, you’re also able to perform adjustments like conversion to black and white, adding custom colour toning effects, and fine tuning brightness and contrast with little resulting loss of quality.

7. Easy to crop images

With Lightroom’s Crop tool it’s super easy to creatively crop photos to any aspect ratio. Straightening your photos is also a snap with the straighten tool. You can click and drag along any vertical or horizontal line and your image will automatically be rotated and cropped.

It seems like such a simple thing, but you’ll find that you use the straighten tool a LOT.

8. Creative Adjustment tools

Graduated filter – Introduce gradient-type effects to your image. Darkening skies is easy and natural looking!

Adjustment brush – Using Lightroom you can paint on adjustments to specific parts of your image. This means it’s easy to dodge and burn, sharpen or soften, or apply brightnness, contrast, and other adjustments to specific parts of your image.

Post-crop vignette – Produce natural looking vignettes to help draw your viewers eye towards the centre of the image. You can also use Lightroom to remove vignettes created by the lens.

Lightroom lets you get creative when you want to, and saves you time when you need it. Learning to use all these awesome features will help you create better photos, and spend more time shooting!

Do you use all these awesome features? What’s your favourite feature in Lightroom? Share with us in the comments now!

Rob Lim

Hi there, I’m Rob! I’m a photography ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I love all things photography: shooting, teaching and always learning more! If I’m not reading up on the latest photography news, or studying a technique, I’m probably reading a book or planning our next adventure!

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9 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Hi! I have had poor results trying out the graduated filter tool… Any hints? I can do gradient overlays in Ps to darken a sky easily, but I find the graduated filter tool unwieldy!

  2. *@Erin* Try controlling the width of the graduated filter in order to blend the effects into the image. It's a pretty powerful tool once you get the hang of it!

  3. Thanks Rob! I will keep trying….

  4. I have, what may be a dumb question, but I want to know if you can merge (not sure if that's the right word) two or even three photos together (like you an in photoshop). You know when you need to have a mama holding up the babies head, then you want to take her out of the photo…thanks for the help.

  5. Hey Kelly! No such thing as dumb questions :)

    That kind of work isn't possible in Lightroom. That's generally known as compositing (as in, you're creating a composite of multiple images) and is best done in Photoshop. We'll be working on a tutorial about that kind of stuff next, so stay tuned! :)

  6. Hi Rob, I enjoyed the information you presented, it was a wonderful reminder of how awesome Lightroom 4 really is. Thanks for all that you do!

  7. I never knew what the “Previous” button was for – it’s just what I need! Thanks!

  8. pritish kr. das says:

    light room is best.

  9. Lorraine Hermiston says:

    I would like to know if both Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom can correct keystoning for fine art photography or if one program is better for this than the other? I am currently trying to learn how to photograph my daughter’s paintings. I’ve purchased lighting and find it is very difficult to avoid the keystone effect and getting the camera and painting at the same angle. We would like to be able to upload the images to websites that print, frame, and ship the art to customers, so we need qualify images. Also, if Lightroom is the best program, is it useable by an amateur or more for a professional?

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