Tuesday, 3 September 2019

TUTORIALS | LIGHT ROOM CLASSIC, SEARCH TOOLS & THE DEVELOP MODULE

In last month’s post about the Library Module in Lightroom Classic, we’ve imported our photos, added keywords and ratings if we chose and deleted any photos we didn’t want to keep. We can scrapbook one of these new photos OR we can search to find another one. Here’s where that filter bar at the top shines! You can sort by text (like in a caption), attribute (like # of stars) and/or multiple choices of metadata (keyword, camera used….) You can use one of them OR all three options to make your search. You can clear the choices by using “none”. Let’s take a look at the different options.

But before we get started, the first step in sorting through your images is determining the size of your search pool. You can limit your search only to your most recent import, to all of your photos or to individual folders all based on your folder tree structure. You’ll just click the appropriate folder or section on the left hand side before using the filter bar at the top.

You can sort your photos by Text. The program will include keywords as text but more importantly it will search through your captions if you’ve added them. In this example, I’ve used “wings” as a sort and I’ve picked up chicken wings, earning flight wings and photos taken at #delandwings. You’ll notice I have photos with stars and ones without. If I wanted to see only photos with star ratings, I would choose both a Text AND Attribute search.

Another sort choice is by Attribute. You can sort by pick/white flag, reject/black flag or the center choice of any flag at all if you utilize flags in your organization structure. The next section to the right will allow you to search for edited photos or non-edited ones. This would allow you to easily check a folder of photos to see if you’ve edited any for scrapping.
My most used attribute sort is by number of stars. I can click the greater than or equal to sign and one star and get all the photos that are one star and above, or click two/three stars and only get my highest rated photos.

Another option is to sort by color. Imagine importing your holiday photos, selecting pics that go together that you’d like to scrap on one page and highlighting them a certain color. You could sort/gather several layouts worth of photos very easily and then when you’ve scrapped them, just remove the color tag. Let’s say you don’t want to keyword your photos extensively, you could just use color tags to identify members of your family.

The far right attribute search is photo type. The options are master photos (your originals), virtual copies and videos. Obviously, this could make finding your video files a snap!

A virtual copy is pretty much what it says, a copy but only of the thumbnail and not the original photo so it doesn’t use double the space. Maybe you have an amazing photo that you’d like to edit in color, a retro preset and black-and-white but you want to see all three easily. You can right click on the photo on the center grid OR in the filmstrip and click Create Virtual Copy. This will create a copy that can stack together with the original image if you choose. You can recognize the copy by the name Copy and the small number (i.e. 2) identifies that copies exist.

Sorting by Metadata is where the magic happens! See that pull-down menu? You can sort by ANY OF THOSE CRITERIA as a main sort. Then, you can add a secondary sort, tertiary etc to really fine-tune your selection.

So I could sort by keyword for my dog, then add a secondary keyword sort for ones that include me as well, then narrow it to photos from December of 2016 which were taken with my “big camera”. Imagine the possibilities! So this is where you can see that the time and effort you put into keywording and rating your photos will pay off when it’s time to scrapbook. Once you’ve identified the photos you want to use, it might be time to tweak them a little in the Develop Module.

In the upper left hand quarter you’ll see the Navigator. Fit, fill, 1:1 etc. are ratios to quickly zoom in closer on the photo selected. Below that you’ll see the develop presets that you have installed. I have several of my favorites designated as such so they are at the top and easier to access. You can scroll down to see all your presets.

A quick fix for many photos is white balance. As with most photo editors, you click the black and white wand and then click on your photo in a space where the color values are very close together like white, black or a medium gray. Then the photo’s color cast will change. Click reset in the lower right if it’s not correct. You can also change the photo’s temperature (cool vs warm tones) below that.

Scroll down the screen to access exposure, contrast, saturation and many more sliders. You’ll also find the Detail section where you can adjust the sharpening slider and see the changes in real time up close.

Curve adjustments are preferred by some as compared to adjusting sliders so those are also accessible along the right side.  

Under the histogram, you’ll see the red-eye correction tool and the spot removal tool along with the crop overlay, radial and gradient filters and the adjustment brush. Crop overlay will come in handy when prepping photos for print or perhaps wall canvasses. We’ll focus on more editing specifics in a later post. 

You might have noticed the copy and paste buttons below the presets section on the left. These come in handy when you have several photos taken at the same time in the same conditions. For example, I have a bunch of photos of the pupster taken in the yard all in a row. So I can select one and spend a few moments tweaking the white balance, exposure, contrast etc until it’s just right. Then, I’ll hit the Copy button.

This selection box appears. I can check as many of these as are appropriate for the situation. I won’t select choices that I don’t want to apply to other photos.

Then, I can select other photos in the filmstrip at the bottom from the same photo session and click paste and my edits will transfer. If I don’t like the edits, I can select reset and the photos will revert to their original state.

I should also mention that you don’t have to use the Develop module in Lightroom Classic if you’re more comfortable editing your photos with Adobe Photoshop tools or photo actions or other photo editors like RadLab or Topaz to name a few.

If I’m not using a new photo on a scrapbook page, I’ll search for one from my collection using multiple keywords, star ratings and date taken. Then, I tend to make a few tweaks for white balance, contrast, saturation etc for pet and everyday photos. For people pictures, I’ll use one of the many Lightroom presets I’ve purchased or I’ll pull them into RadLab for editing.

Now that I’ve shared how I use Lightroom Classic in my digital scrapping process, next month we’ll focus on Lightroom CC.

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Stacia

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