I’ve been asked a few times about what is so great about Lightroom and why I use it for editing all my images. Because it’s amazing isn’t the answer people were looking for. It wasn’t hard to come up with all my favourite features of Lightroom – there are a ton! However, I wanted to put my thoughts to paper (or keyboard) and explain to people why Lightroom rocks for editing photos and maybe convince some of you to give it a try, too.
1. You can edit RAW files in Lightroom. I’ve talked before about why you should only be shooting in RAW and its benefits. Once you shoot in RAW, you can’t use something like Picmonkey or Canva to edit your photos. Lightroom allows you to process your RAW files with full creative control. You can take a blah image and turn it into something truly spectacular.
2. You can store all your photos in the Lightroom catalog. It keeps your photos organized and it’s really up to you on how you set it up. I have mine set up by date and it works well for me. I can look back at older photos and see all the edits I made and export them again if I need to.
3. It’s easy to compare and choose the best photos from a shoot. If you’re like me, you take WAY more photos than you’ll ever need – often of the same set up. I like to have more to choose from so I can pick the one that’s the most in focus. In the Library module, you can flag your favourite photos, put photos side by side to compare two or choose several photos and look at them all together in Survey mode.
4. Lightroom has all the editing tools you’ll need. You can adjust pretty much everything in Lightroom. Photo too dark? Adjust the exposure. Colours looking dull? Fix the vibrance. My favourite tool is the adjustment brush to apply local adjustment to parts of the image.
5. Lightroom offers an organized workflow. It makes the process smooth and streamlined. The editing tools are listed in the recommended order to use them so you can work your way down as you process your photo. It saves you jumping around to different parts of the dashboard.
6. Lightroom is non-destructive. If you mess up and make the photo look crazy, you don’t have to worry because you haven’t ruined it. All the changes you made can easily be undone and you can jump around in the history panel to various stages of the editing process. Your original photo is safe and untouched if you need to start over.
7. Batch editing is quick and easy. I normally edit one photo and then copy the editing settings to apply to the other photos in the shoot. Then, I simply paste and all the adjustments are applied. I only need to tweak a few things like cropping, sharpening and local adjustments and it keeps the same look to the entire batch.
8. You can easily see blown out highlights and crushed blacks. On the histogram, you can toggle on to show you where the whites are blown out and the blacks are crushed. The blown out parts will show in red and the crushed blacks will show in blue. Then you can rescue that part of the image with some local adjustments. It also lets you know if you’re going too far in editing like when you are adjusting exposure, blacks and whites.
9. See how much your image has improved with Before and After. The keyboard shortcut is “Y” and it will show you a side by side comparison. Sometimes, I’ll think that an image looks pretty good before I edit and then I do the comparison and I can see how much better it is with a few tweaks.
Do you use Lightroom and if so, what do you love about it? If not, what is holding you back from using it?