November 11th, 2011 by ariana
A few weeks ago, I was reading an interesting thread on www.ilovephotography.com where one of the most respected members said that most photographers don’t use Lightroom for more than organization and basic fixes like White balance and exposure. In her view, that is because most people approach actual editing in Lightroom the wrong way after being used to editing in Photoshop for so long. She also mentioned (and this hit home for me!) that most of us don’t get paid enough for huge amount of time that we spend doing detailed laborious edits in Photoshop. WORD!
I took this as a bit of a challenge because I consider(ed) myself pretty knowledgeable in Lightroom, so I set about trying to edit an image from a recent session only in Lightroom. I did so by trying to use the adjustment brush to “brush in” contrast, saturation and darkness around my subject. In the end, I found it took even MORE time than my usual photoshop edits and posted back in the thread for advice. What was posted in return was that I was going about it backwards, which was her point to begin with! In LR, it’s easier/more effective to darken/saturate the whole image and then brush back in brightness just on the subject. Total lightbulb moment!
So I tried on this recent session to edit ALL the images only in Lightroom. Once I figured it out and edited one image to my liking, it was very easy to apply the edits across the whole session and it did save a huge amount of time. More importantly, the results were super consistent. I did have to retouch a bit of a rash on the older child’s face and I really cannot live without portraiture, so I did run it on several of the images so you might say that these were edited 99% in LR and 1% in photoshop. Just for full disclosure :)
I recorded a video showing my editing steps, it will take us from this SOOC:
Before I post a link to the video, I have to apologize for the audio.. I should have checked my mic levels but alas I did not, so there is a bit of annoying distortion!
Leave a comment if you have any questions!
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