You guys have been asking me for updated photo tips for months now, and finally I’m sharing one of my new photo secrets. My interest in photography just keeps growing and growing, and I think it’s so fun that you’ve noticed my progress. In case you missed the last post with photo tips, you can find it here. My photo skills have improved a bit since writing that post, but I still think the tips in that posts is great for beginners.
I thought I’d divide my tips into different posts, and I’m starting with one of the most important changes my pictures have gone through. What really makes them pop; Lightroom. Lightroom is an editing tool from Adobe, which is fan-fucking-tastic!! How have I lived without Lightroom earlier? You can do everything in this program, and I use it for all of my pictures now. My favorite thing in Lightroom is that you can adjust certain colors in a picture without affecting the other colors. Say that I want the blue sky to be even bluer, I can adjust only the blue tones in the picture, and avoid my whole picture getting bluer. Same with white, red, green, black, all the colors there is! I will show you this in a second, but first I thought I’d show you what the program looks like.
You have a library, where all your pictures are saved. When I connect my memory card to the computer, I open Lightroom and click ‘import’. Then all the pictures on my memory card pops up, but all the pictures are automatically checked for import. If you want to import all your pictures, that’s fine, but I always take lots more pictures than I need, just to have a bit to choose from. Therefore I click ‘uncheck all’, and only check the ones I want to import. Then they appear in my library, sorted after the date. Then the real fun starts, where you can see ‘Develop‘.
Here is just a random picture I like from our trip to the US. As you can see, the blue sky is super clear, the sunshine is radiant behind the trees, and the whole picture really ‘pops’. This is seriously all Lightroom. Are you ready to see the un-edited version of the picture? Drumroll please…
HAH! I mean, this picture is so incredibly dull and grey compared to the edited one.. The difference is just ridiculous! So, anyone wants to know how to do this? Yes? I thought so.
So, here you can see Lightroom when I was done editing. I’ll take you through each editing step.
Step one → Lens Corrections
You can’t see this in the screenshot, but in the menu to the right, there is an option called ‘Lens Corrections’. Here I click both ‘Enable Profile Corrections’ and ‘Remove Chromatic Aberration’. It’s not completely necessary, but it will improve your pictures.
Step two → Basic editing
I go to the basic editing options in the menu to the right. I usually start by clicking the ‘auto’ button, and see which automatic changes appear. I always do my own touches, but I like to start with the automatic settings. Here is what the different options will do to your picture:
Exposure → Makes your whole picture lighter when turned up, and darker when turned down. Contrast → This one explains itself. I always add a lot of contrast to my pictures. Highlights → This will adjust the highlighted areas in your picture. For instance, if you take a picture where you have a lot of sunshine in your face, so that it almost appears white, you can bring the highlights down to -100, and your face will have more of a natural tone. Shadows → I almost never use this, because I think it makes the photo quality look poor. But if you have a very dark picture, you can bring the shadows up to make the dark areas look lighter. Whites → Makes the whites in the picture whiter. I use this one a lot! I prefer my pictures very light as I’m sure you’ve noticed, so I always bring the ‘whites’ option up as much as I can without it looking unnatural. Blacks → The same thing goes for this one. It will make the blacks in your picture blacker.
Step three → Adjust colors
This one is one of my favorite parts of editing, especially if my picture includes a blue sky! I go to the option in the menu called ‘HSL / Color / B&W‘ and choose ‘color‘. Say that I want to make the blue sky even bluer and brighter, like in the picture above. I’ll choose the blue color as you can see on my screenshot, and I’ll bring the luminance way down. This will only change the blue tones in my picture, the rest will remain the same. How cool?! If I want to make the blue tones even brighter than that, I can bring the saturation up, but normally I think only changing the luminance is enough.
Here is another example. Look how much more ‘alive’ the edited picture is!
Here you can see how I’ve edited it in the menu to the right. Bringing down the highlights made the waves in the background a bit more visible, I added tons of contrast, made the blacks in the picture even blacker, just to name a few.
And another example..
The main thing I did here was enhancing both the blue tones and orange tones, as well as adding contrast and bringing down the highlights.
Here are a few pictures I like where you can really see that I’ve used these tips..
Here I’ve adjusted the red tones to appear even more red. That’s how it was in real life, but my camera didn’t capture it..
Cool, right? You can download a trial version of Lightroom for free here, and use it for a month! I recommend trying it, and if you love taking pictures or if you are a blogger like me, I definitely recommend buying it. This is also great for those of you who just have been on vacation and filled up your memory card with tons of vacation pics. What better than using the free trial to edit your vacation pictures and really make them pop?
I still use Photoshop a lot too, like I showed you in my previous post with photo tips, but not for editing colors and lighting. Now that’s all Lightroom. But for making collages, resizing pictures etc, I still use Photoshop. Oh, and by the way, everything I know about Lightroom I’ve learned on YouTube. There are so many fantastic tutorials there, which you can learn so much from. Oh, and another by the way; I recommend using the RAW format, not JPG.
I hope you liked this post girls! Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to help you♥