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11 Tips and Tricks to get you Crushing your Lightroom Game!

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

1- Pull out your side bar to have more control and be more precise. Lightroom has a default to make your sliders really small. This means a tiny movement can make a massive difference. Using the steps shown below pull your bar out and have way more control!

Your Lightroom starts at default with the sliders like this (small)

Screen shot of lightroom

Take your mouse and bring it here

lightroom sliders

Drag and pull out to the left

stretched lightroom sliders

Boom, you got so much more precision now!

2- Press f for fullscreen- this means you can get a much closer look at your photo if needed!

lightroom full screen

Say goodbye to getting the old magnifying glass out!

3- Press y to see the before and after of your edits

lightroom before and after

Review the changes you've made at any point during the editing process by simply pressing y.

4- Synchronise your settings with the touch of a button. If you want to apply the same edit you have on one photo to another (or multiple). Click the photo in the bar running across the bottom, hold shift and select the photos you want the edit applied to. Then simply hold down Cmd or Ctrl for windows, Shift and S.

bottom panel lightroom

You will see a white frame around the photos that you've selected. Then...

For Mac

lightroom sync command

For Windows

windows lightroom sync command

This is so useful and will speed your workflow up massively!

5- Using the angle tool to straighten your photo

Select the crop icon indicated below

lightroom crop tool

Then click on the spirit level (angle tool)

lightroom angle tool

Draw a line on the picture anywhere that is straight this could be a horizon, a building, a wall etc. You can do a horizontal or vertical line and gain the same effect. Click and drag to draw this line.

lightroom angle tool

Bam, perfectly straight photo.

6- While we are on the subject of the crop tool if you select the crop grid (shown below).

lightroom crop tool

Then press o on your keyboard, you can cycle through different crop overlays.

aspect ratio lightroom

This one (above) is great for getting your aspect ratios nailed with ease. Instagram's ratio is 4 by 5 FYI!

lightroom golden spiral

Golden Spiral (above) is great for compositions.

lightroom rule of thirds

Classic rule of thirds (above)

lightroom golden triangles

Golden Triangles- another great one for composition.

7- Set your white balance with ease!

Select the eyedropper next to your white balance

lightroom eyedropper tool

Take the eye dropper and click on anything in your photo that is grey. 50% grey is ideal. Or if you have a grey card even better!

lightroom white balance

Simply click when you find a part of your photo that has some greys!

8- Use the mask when sharpening. If you go to your sharpening panel, sharpen your picture then when using the mask slider hold down alt.

lightroom sharpening mask

You will see some parts of your photo go white, while others go black as pictured above. The white parts are being sharpened and the black are not (works just like a layer mask in photoshop). This is great if you want to apply sharpening to specific areas and not to others!

9- Create unlimited virtual copies and make as many edits on the same picture as you want.

lightroom bottom slider

Just select the image you want to copy. Just like above with a white frame around it.

lightroom virtual copy

Right click on the thumbnail then select create virtual copy.

10- Blur out your background with the radial filter

lightroom radial filter

Click on the radial filter icon shown above.

lightroom radial filter used on a portrait

Click and drag to make a circle around the part you want to remain sharp (everything outside will be blurred.

lightroom sharpness -100

Turn the sharpness down to -100.

lightroom invert

Make sure the invert box (above) is left unticked.

11- Make a preset and apply it; this will save you so much time and help to keep your style consistent.

lightroom basic panel preset

First make all of your adjustments- this can be on any panel not just the basic!

lightroom new preset

Click on develop, then new preset.

lightroom new preset name

Name your preset in the box shown above. Then use the tick boxes to select which settings you want to be saved to the preset.

And thats all of them! 11 tips and tricks that will surely get you on the path to crushing your lightroom game!

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