How to Create and Organize Lightroom Collections

Now that your images and folders are reconnected to the catalog, it’s time to organize them into collections.  Here’s what we’ll discuss in the following lesson: The easiest method for organizing your existing images into collections. How to plan, create and maintain a collection hierarchy that accommodates YOUR workflow. How to automate the image organization process …

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Creating Depth and Dimension in Lightroom and Photoshop

Depth and Dimension…

The relationship between contrast, luminosity, and color is very delicate, and even a small change can completely alter the flow and balance of your composition.

For example: darkening the shadows will automatically push more attention towards your highlights, making that a heavier focal point. Also, brighter tones appear closer than darker, which can either enhance or flatten the perceived depth of your image.

Complete Guide to White Balance in Lightroom and Photoshop

White balance sets the foundation for your color and tonal work (even if you choose black and white treatment)…so it’s much more than simply setting the “mood” of your image. It’s directly related to image quality and clarity, which is why you want to set your white balance at the very start of your processing workflow (whether in Lightroom or Photoshop).

A common misconception is that if you shoot in raw format, then you don’t need to set your in-camera white balance and can simply “fix it in post”…

Steps for Smoother Brushwork in Lightroom and Photoshop

The Brush Tool …

If you’ve done any kind of processing in Lightroom or Photoshop, you’ve most likely worked with the brush tool. It’s the foundation of dodging and burning, any kind of blending, and many other creative processing techniques.

With the brush tool, you can literally paint over the areas you want to change…without the guesswork and unwanted side effects of the brute-force global adjustments. The ability to tailor your processing to the content of your image will not only give you higher-quality results…but will save you a lot of time in the darkroom.

However, this incredible feature can be a little tricky to master since there are quite a few settings that control how your brush performs…

So for this “mini-lecture”, I’ve got something extra-special lined up…two video lessons that will teach you everything to know about (1) how the brush tool works, (2) how to get smooth and seamless brushstrokes, and (3) advanced-level tips for taking full advantage of all this incredible tool has to offer.

Complete Guide to Curves in Lightroom and Photoshop

Curves …

Probably the most requested topic for me to cover, and it’s easy to see why…

It’s one of the most powerful and dynamic tools for adjusting colors and tones, but many are completely baffled by the controls..so it’s often passed over for more straightforward tools like the tonal sliders or HSL panel.

In a (very) simplified explanation…curves provide a visual and interactive way to adjust your colors and tones. The more precise you are with your adjustments, the higher the quality…and we all want our detail to look top-notch.

I see many photographers leave a LOT on the table by not incorporating curves into their workflow, so I wanted to put together an easy-to-follow (yet comprehensive) exploration of this fantastic creative tool.

I think you’ll be especially impressed with what curves can do for your colors.

Choosing the Right Profile in Lightroom and ACR

When you want to adjust your colors in Lightroom or ACR, most will typically go straight for the HSL panel….which will get you satisfactory results “most” of the time. 

Eventually, you’ll come across an outlier image that just doesn’t seem to play nice with the HSL panel. 

In comes profiles….which let you go “beneath the surface” and determine how the colors in your raw file area interpreted and displayed on your computer.

The Histogram

Easily one of the most useful tools in both the digital darkroom and in the field. This graph provides protective “bumpers” to help guide you to the perfect exposure, as well as prevent any damage from overprocessing.

Most of us know what a histogram is already, but knowing exactly how to interpret it can be a bit misleading.

In another “deep dive” tutorial, we’ll unpack the histogram and all of its wonderful features, so you can better use it to protect your tones and retain as much detail as possible in your images.