Monday, October 29, 2012

Adobe Lightroom made simple - post processing tutorials for beginners

When you're making pictures instead of taking pictures, the one thing that helps your execute great images is confidence in post processing. There's no substitute for getting the shot right in camera, but unfortunately the device isn't always the best at representing reality. Cameras lack the eye's dynamic range and also the ability to translate colours accurately. And every now and then we all make mistakes that we'd like the opportunity to correct after the fact. So, first things first, shoot in RAW - the amount of flexibility this gives you is quite awesome. Enough said about that.

Now you have the choice of using Lightroom/Aperture or Photoshop. The difference is a good $400 - at $123 retail, Lightroom 4 is a real steal given the amazing non-destructive editing it allows you to do. Can it do all that Photoshop does? Of course not. That said, there's a lot Lightroom can do which Photoshop can't. Managing your photos, tagging, organisation, printing workflows, tagging, branding are just some of those advantages of Lightroom. I guess it's a toss up between Lightroom and Aperture for the Mac. Given it's availability on multiple platforms and my current familiarity with it, I prefer the former. In today's blogpost, I'll introduce you to the basics of post processing in Lightroom 4 and save you a boatload of cash. This is not an exhaustive set of tutorials, but just enough to get you started. If there are more tutorials you want me to add, please let me know. One word of caution. I assume that you know how to use your camera and to read your histogram. I also hope you know the basics of picture controls such as saturation vs vibrance. If you have some of that covered, these tutorials will help you take your images to the next level.

The Tutorials

I've gone ahead and added all the videos to a playlist on YouTube - you can either play them on the site or off this post. I don't have much more to say - I hope the videos are useful!

  1. Introduction to Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw
  2. Import Pictures into Lightroom
  3. Basic Editing in Lightroom
  4. Removing Blemishes in Lightroom
  5. Work with brushes in Lightroom (and reduce wrinkles)
  6. Noise Reduction in Lightroom
  7. Hue, Saturation and Luminance Adjustments in Lightroom
  8. Black and White Processing in Lightroom
  9. Process Landscapes in Lightroom
  10. Sharpen Images in Lightroom
  11. Add a vignette to your image through Lightroom
  12. Split Toning in Lightroom
  13. Export your images from Lightroom

I look forward to hearing from you about the utility of these tutorials. My next aim is to create a series of tutorials on Photoshop and focus it on editing photographs. If there are specific topics you'd like me to cover there, just let me know. Thanks for being patient with my erratic posting.
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