Top five tips for processing photographs in Lightroom’s Develop module

Lightroom has become an important software for any budding photographers. Any digital photograph which is straight out of the camera requires post processing. Because of the easy usage of digital cameras, we tend to click a lot of photographs. This is where Lightroom comes in. It can help you organise and manage photographs as well as process it. While it may seems tricky to use in the beginning, with a little practice, Lightroom can transform your photographs and make it better.

Here are five important tips to start with in Lightroom’s ‘Develop’ module:

1) Exposure

The below photograph is opened in Lightroom’s ‘Develop’ module. If you notice the exposure slider, it has not been adjusted and there is a lot of space on the right side of the Histogram. Drag the exposure slider towards the right to increase the exposure. Press J on the keyboard and it will enable the warning signs. If there are any highlights and shadows in the photograph which is clipped, Lightroom will notify with Red and Blue colour respectively in that particular area.

Press ‘J’ to enable warning signs.

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Want to know more about Exposure? Click here.

2) Lens Corrections

This photograph is opened in Lightroom’s ‘Develop’ module. Enable Profile correction and Chromatic aberrations check box on the Lens corrections panel. The Lens’ profile is automatically picked up by Lightroom from the metadata of the image file. If you enable Chromatic aberration you may not see any visible difference. However, there are some subtle corrections that have been applied and it is very much helpful.

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3) Sharpening

By default, Sharpening sliders look like this in Lightroom. The first slider is amount and it can be somewhere from 60 to 100. Press and hold the ‘Alt’ key to see the amount of sharpening is applied. The second slider is radius which I generally keep untouched. This slider works in terms of Pixel. You can keep it at 0.8 to 0.9 or 1.2 to 1.3 as the edge pixel radius. When you apply sharpening some details tend to get lost in the process. To bring back the details, drag the Details slider towards right. Masking is the most important slider out of these four. Press ‘Alt’ and hold, and drag the masking slider and you will slowly start seeing the edges appear. This indicates that the entire photograph is sharpened. As you drag towards the right only the edges will appear in white and only that will get sharpened. By moving the slider towards the right you can define the edges. Make all these changes and you will see the difference in the quality of the photograph.

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Click here to know more about Sharpening.

4) Tone Curve

Check out the tone curve for the above photograph. No corrections have been applied as the curve is a straight line here (linear). There are presets for the tone curve – linear, medium and strong contrast. Choose from either medium or strong contrast and the tone curve is automatically applied by the Lightroom. This results in a better photograph in terms of contrast.

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5) White Balance:

Look at the colours on the above picture. If you notice, the green colour is little pale. Fix the colours using the white balance sliders. For the above photo, by pushing the temperature slider towards the right from 4650 to around 4850 will do the trick. 

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Get to know more about White Balance by checking our blog.

These are some important tips one needs to know while working with Lightroom. Make use of these tips and develop your photograph and make it better.

Wondering what’s next after processing your photograph? Click here and let’s find out.

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