Adobe Lightroom is a powerful, useful and practical tool for photography post-processing, and there is almost no photographer who does not use it. It is used mainly for editing photos in raw format, and it is excellent for editing photos in bulk. The program is intuitive and it is easy to understand the basics, but after you discover how much more there is to it, it may seem a bit overwhelming and frightening. However, there is nothing about it that cannot be learned, and in this article we will focus on the most important things about the Develop module in Lightroom which can easily be overlooked.
First of all, make sure that the Lightroom catalog is backed up on regular basis. Every action you perform and every data change you make to the photos is saved in the catalog, and in case of a hard disk failure, all these data may be lost. In order not to let all your hard work go to waste, make sure to set up Lightroom so that it backs up the catalog as frequently as you want. Go to Edit > Catalog Settings > Back up catalog and set the frequency of backing up the catalog.
Next, make sure not to overlook the Profile menu, which is placed in the bottom-right of the Develop module. Here you can pick the correct profile for your camera before you start the processing, because it will affect colors and contrast and make the post-processing easier in case you choose the correct profile. For example, if you choose “Portrait” profile for landscape photos, you will end up with landscapes full of unnaturally yellowish and soft tones, which may not be what you want to achieve and it will take longer to correct it.
Another feature that is often overlooked is Lens corrections, which can be an extremely useful tool for eliminating chromatic aberration and distortion. This is especially useful in cases when cheaper zoom lenses are used, since they tend to create more distortion and much more visible chromatic aberration. Find Lens corrections panel on the right side of the Develop module, click “Basic” and check the boxes “Enable Profile Corrections” and “Remove Chromatic Aberration”. This will automatically remove all the irregularities produced by lens and make the photos more natural.
Last but not least, there are some local adjustment you can also apply, which affect only certain parts of the photo and not the whole of it. Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filter, Radial Filter and Spot Removal are some of the adjustments you can apply only to specific parts of the photo, and they are used for dodging, burning, removing imperfections and making the photos more balanced in general. Again, there are many options ahead of you, and you should feel free to learn, explore and practice further in order to achieve mastery in using Adobe Lightroom.