learn lightroom

Lightroom Crash Course | Ultimate Beginners Guide To Lightroom

Learn Lightroom in 10 Minutes! | Fundamentals of Adobe Lightroom – Everything You Need To Know & Learn To Get Started With Adobe Lightroom!

Learn Lightroom

Learn Lightroom in 10 Minutes! In our earlier blog post, we understood and learnt about the key differences between photoshop & lightroom in detail. In this blog post we will learn lightroom and all the fundamentals of lightroom in detail.


Whether you are just starting out in the field of Photography or you do photography as a hobby & passion or it is your keen desire to be a Successful Photographer, what you need to have is a complete Photo Management & Editing Solution. Lightroom is one such tool that fits the bill for this very purpose.

Back in the days of film, photography as a form of art was extremely specialised & required a great deal of skill, knowledge & technical expertise on the part of the photographer & because of that, not many could pursue photography professionally.

Photographers were hired as professionals for an assignment because they could get good exposures. Today a professional is not paid for getting just a good exposure. Even an iPhone or any decent smartphone gives you a good exposure. These days, anyone & everyone including their mom is a photographer!!!

[clickToTweet tweet=”These days, anyone & everyone including their mom is a photographer! You need to up your game!” quote=”These days, anyone & everyone including their mom is a photographer! You need to up your game!”]

And therefore, for us to become a professional & pursue photography not just as a hobby but as a profession, we need to take our game to a whole new level. Only when we become able to create great imagery & Art work on a consistent basis, we will attract high paying clients & become successful.

For us to get hired & paid professionally, we need to not just get good exposures but create works of ART! Getting good exposures will take you nowhere, but creating works of ART will take you places! And that’s where Lightroom fits in. Lightroom is just the perfect tool to help us create amazing works of ART!

Here is what we will cover in depth:

[su_note note_color=”#F3CFC5″]1. What is Lightroom?
2. What makes Lightroom Unique? – Catalog System – A Complete Photo Management Solution
3. Automation Using Presets & Recipes – The USP of Adobe Lightroom!
4. Can Lightroom do everything?
5. Conclusion[/su_note]

So let’s get started…

What is Lightroom

What is Lightroom? – Learning Lightroom!

  • Adobe Lightroom (Lightroom or Lightroom) is a photo processor and image organizer developed by Adobe for Windows and MacOS. It allows viewing, importing, organizing, filtering, culling, editing, retouching, batch processing, proofing and exporting of digital images for print and digital media.
  • The Unique Selling Proposition of Lightroom is that all the edits made in Lightroom are completely non-destructive in nature by default. Lightroom is a Workflow based Image Management Software and editing program built specifically for photographers that need to import, organize, select, catalogue, process and export their images quickly.
  • Lightroom is an Elegant Solution to all your Photography Post Production Needs!
  • Lightroom helps you to work on images in a non-destructive manner. Lightroom helps us harness the power of Non Destructive Editing & we will try and understand what non-destructive editing is and also the advantages of working in a non-destructive manner!
  • Lightroom is the most powerful tool for us to import, organise & manage all our photos. (Library Module)
  • Lightroom is an extremely simple & powerful tool to process & edit our images so that they don’t just look good, but they become works of ART. (Develop Module)
  • Lightroom is great for creating prints, uploading & sharing images on the web, creating slideshows & even photo books! (Print, Web, Slideshows & Book Modules)
  • Using the power of presets, you can create a systematic workflow & automate a lot of things so that you can work smarter & be more productive as a professional. We will also learn about creating & using different kinds of presets for automation in this blog post.
  • And finally & most importantly, Lightroom can also be used as an Elegant Back-Up System for all our imagery.
  • When you open lightroom, what you will find is a series of Modules, namely Library, Develop, Map, Book, Slideshow, Print & Web Modules.
  • Lightroom has been designed in a modular format because we tend to first import & organise photos which we can do in the Library Module. Then we develop & work on the photos in the Develop Module.
  • Every Module in lightroom is designed in a way that everything starts up from the top & goes downhill. So as we get more downhill, it gets more & more detailed & specific. This is not just so in the Library Module but also the develop module & all other modules in lightroom.
  • The same thing is true on the right hand side of every module in Lightroom as well. So if you think of Lightroom, lightroom is laid out from general to specific, from left to right, from top to bottom.
  • That’s the way lightroom is laid out. That’s how you will make the right moves in lightroom. You always start general & then get into the specifics.
  • If you change the specifics 1st & then change the general settings, you will mess up with the specifics & have to fine tune them again thereby wasting a lot of your valuable time.
  • Once you understand lightroom well, you will realise that most times the general stuff you work on does almost all the work for you & you don’t even need to get to the specifics.
  • Every photo that you bring into lightroom is 1st organised & managed in the library module & then edited and processed in the develop module. Once we are done with the editing & are happy with our images as to how they look, we can then go use the other modules as per our specific needs.
  • So once we’re done with editing, we might want to create slideshows or perhaps a photo book, or even get the images printed. We might want to search or locate the images on the Map, or even upload the photos on the web. For all of this, we would use the other modules in lightroom as per our specific needs.
  • The sheer speed, the simplicity, the strength, the structured format & the share-ability with which you can manage, organise and edit your images in Lightroom is what makes Lightroom very powerful. The best thing about lightroom is that unlike photoshop, it is very easy to learn lightroom & use because of its powerful & simple user interface & menu & navigation system.
  • Lightroom is an application that allows us to manage, organize, edit & share a high volume of photographs quickly and easily. Lightroom is extremely powerful when it comes to improving, enhancing, or correcting our photographs quickly and easily.

The key to understanding the core of lightroom is to have a sound understanding of the lightroom catalog.


[su_note note_color=”#F3CFC5″]What exactly is a Lightroom Catalog?

How does the Lightroom Catalog work? &

What’s Lightroom doing with all our photos?[/su_note][clickToTweet tweet=”The key to understanding lightroom is to have a solid understanding of the lightroom catalog.” quote=”The key to understanding the core of lightroom is to have a sound understanding of the lightroom catalog.”]

What exactly is a Lightroom Catalog?

lightroom catalog

[su_note note_color=”#F3CFC5″]A Lightroom Catalog is a database that tracks the location of your photos and information about them. When you edit photos, rate them, add keywords to them, or do other things to photos in Lightroom, all of those changes are stored in the catalog. The photo files themselves are not touched.[/su_note]

Lightroom Catalog is the most powerful & distinguishing feature & aspect of Lightroom that makes organising and storing pictures a snap in the most simplest & elegant way.

A catalog is a database that stores a record for each of your photos.

This record contains three key pieces of information about each photo:

  •   A reference to where the photo is on your system (This is done using the Import Function)
  •   Instructions for how you want to process the photo (This is done using the Develop Module)
  •   Metadata, such as ratings and keywords that you apply to photos to help you find or organize them (This is done using the Library Module)

Metadata put simply is the information contained about the image captured & additional information that you the photographer desires to add to that image. For example it would contain the Camera Manufacturer, Model, ISO Settings, Shutter Speed, Aperture, date & time when the image was captured, GPS & Location Data & also other data which you wish to add such as – Rating, Copyright Information, Caption, Description etc. This entire metadata of the image is also stored by the Lightroom Catalog.

When you import photos into Lightroom, what happens is that you basically create a link between the photo itself and the record of the photo in the catalog. Then, any work you perform on the photo — such as adding keywords or removing red eye, increasing exposure, reducing clipping highlights etc is stored in the photo’s record in the catalog as additional metadata.

Lightroom never changes the actual photos captured by your camera. In this way, editing in Lightroom is completely non-destructive. You can always return to the original, unedited photo. Lightroom Catalog stores instructions for how you want the photo to look, instructions that you create by processing the photo in Lightroom’s Develop Module.

[su_note note_color=”#F3CFC5″]In a nutshell:

1. A lightroom catalog is like the brain of Lightroom.
2. A lightroom catalog makes references to all the photos that we have, namely where those photos are exactly located, what’s inside of them, & what we have done to them.
3. A lightroom catalog remembers every single thing we have done to an image without overwriting the original image file. This way we can use lightroom to work on the images in a non-destructive manner.
4. Since a lightroom catalog does not overwrite changes done to the original image, if we want to share the edited images, we need to export those images from Lightroom.
5. Since a lightroom catalog is like a link between where your original image is located & the changes & edits you have done to your images i.e. the moving / renaming etc of the files must be done inside of lightroom & not outside of lightroom.[/su_note]

Here is a very concise and extremely helpful video made by one of our friends, Dustin Kahia. It complements this blog post very well! Do check out the video below 🙂

Lightroom Automation

Automation Using Presets & Recipes – The USP of Adobe Lightroom!

One of the most powerful aspects & functionality of Adobe Lightroom is the ability to automate frequently done tasks & processes.

Every aspect of the Lightroom Workflow can be automated using Lightroom Presets & Recipes.

That’s exactly what we help photographers achieve! We have created comprehensive & detailed Lightroom Presets & Recipes that will help you as a photographer, completely streamline your entire Post Production Workflow!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Every aspect of the Lightroom Workflow can be automated using Lightroom Presets & Recipes.” quote=”Every aspect of the Lightroom Workflow can be automated using Lightroom Presets & Recipes.”]

Let us see, what typically a Photographer needs to do with the images he shoots & how using Presets can completely automate that workflow for you!

Import: The very 1st thing you would do as a photographer is to import the images you shot inside of Adobe Lightroom.

There are a few options you need to choose from:

  1. Where is the current location where the images live?
  2. Do you wish to copy / move / add the images?
  3. The location on the hard-drive where you want to store the images?
  4. Any Metadata you need to add to your images?

Most of the above stuff can be automated by creating consistent systems for importing your images using what are called Import Presets. That’s exactly what our Import Presets do from our Ultimate Lightroom Presets Workflow System

Metadata: As we learnt above, simply put Metadata is the information contained about the image captured & additional information that you the photographer desires to add to that image.

And that would include namely:

  1. Name of Photographer
  2. Copyright Information
  3. Contact Info

Most of the above information that you would add as metadata to each photograph would remain the same every year. Our Ultimate Lightroom Presets Workflow System provides a pre-made Metadata Preset which you can customise as per your taste. We also provide a video tutorial on how you can customise this preset to your requirement.

Smart Collection: As photogs, we shoot thousands of images. When you have hundreds of thousands of images in Lightroom, managing & quickly finding the exact images in an ocean of all your images can be a daunting task. That’s where Smart Collections come in handy. Whether you wish to find just those images you edited in the last hour, today or yesterday you can quickly find those images using Smart Collections. If you wish to find all the images you shot this month or last month, you can find that as well. We have created the most useful set of Smart Collection Presets in our Ultimate Lightroom Presets Workflow System.

Filter: If you have a collection of images and you wish to find only specific images within that collection, then Filter Presets come to the rescue. Once you start using smart collection presets & filter presets, you won’t believe how much time they would save you. In addition to Smart Collection Presets, we also have filter presets in our Ultimate Lightroom Presets Workflow System.

Develop: When pro photogs talk about Lightroom Presets, they are mostly talking about Lightroom Develop Presets. Develop Presets are basically recipes that we apply on images to give them a distinct look, color, contrast, feel & evoke a particular emotion. There are hundreds of free and premium Lightroom Develop Presets available online but what makes our Ultimate Lightroom Presets Workflow System unique is that they are one of a kind S.M.A.R.T Workflow Presets! They are unlike any workflow lightroom presets you have seen and to get an idea of what exactly our Lightroom Develop Presets can do for you, click here.

Local Adjustment: Lightroom Brush Presets is the missing secret sauce of Professional Photographers that takes your imagery to an entirely new level. It’s the sizzle that sells your steak! If you ever wanted to use Lightroom for Professional Skin, Hair, Beauty, Make-up & Retouching, whether it is something as small as adding an eyeliner, highlighting hair, removing skin blemishes, reducing under eye dark circles or whitening the teeth; you can do it all and a whole lot more. In fact, you can even add realistic light effects on road side lamps or the headlight of a car if you wish to! All the above things we mentioned can be easily done using  Local Adjustment Presets but you need to either create them on your own on the easy option is to check out our Ultimate Lightroom Presets Workflow System.

Watermarks: The watermark presets let you easily & quickly apply your own custom made company watermark to your images so that they are ready to be used on social media & blogging. This will help you to build your brand visibility and also stop thieves from blatantly stealing your images and claiming them as their own. Our Ultimate Lightroom Presets Workflow System provides a pre-made Watermark Preset which you can customise as per your taste. We also have a video tutorial on how you can customise this preset to your requirement.

Export: When you wish to share the images you created in lightroom, export presets will help you to export images out of lightroom quickly & easily. Whether you wish to export images in High Res for Print or in Low Res for Social Media & Blogging, whether you want the images with or without watermark, whether you want your images to look great on tablets or smartphones, export presets can help you do all that and a whole lot more! Our Ultimate Lightroom Presets Workflow System provides a number of extremely useful Export Presets with which you can export your images for all the above purposes and lots more! We also provide a video tutorial on how you can do that.

All the above Presets & Recipes make Adobe Lightroom the Photo Management & Editing Software of choice for Pro Photogs.

Here is a beautiful infographic that showcases the capabilities of Adobe Lightroom & the advantages of using Adobe Lightroom in your Post-Production Workflow:

Now that you know how powerful Lightroom is….we need to answer a very important question here:

Can Adobe Lightroom do everything?

  • Lightroom is the modern day Digital Darkroom. Lightroom should be our central digital hub for all editing & post production workflow.
  • Because of the simplicity & power of Lightroom, now Photoshop can be used on an “if & when needed” basis
  • If we were to compare Lightroom with Photoshop, Lightroom simply put, is Adobe Bridge & Camera Raw both put together on STEROIDS because of The Catalog System!
  • If you are new to the world of editing and post production, chances are, you might not be having any idea about Adobe Bridge & Camera Raw & that’s totally fine…
  • All you need to know about Adobe Bridge & Camera Raw is that they both are built-in Photoshop Plugins. As plugins they constitute a small but a significant portion of Photoshop.
  • Adobe Bridge is a very useful plugin that is used for organising & managing your images on your computer & Adobe Camera Raw is an elegant editing & post production plugin that helps you to quickly & easily edit your photos without getting into the complexity of using Photoshop.
  • Since Adobe Bridge & Camera Raw are photoshop plugins, their capability as plugins is quite limited in comparison to photoshop but nonetheless, they are great powerful plugins that can be used as a starting point in your post-production workflow.
  • Lightroom simply put, is Adobe Bridge & Camera Raw put together but it is not just that but a whole lot more.
  • Lightroom is now considered to be an industry standard when it comes to the starting point of all post-production workflow. It is a hub of all organisational & post-production activities.
  • All the best Photographers worldwide start their Post Production workflow by importing pictures 1st into Lightroom.
  • Once the images are completely worked on & edited in Lightroom, if any further work is needed on the images which cannot be done in Lightroom, then & only then we need to go to Photoshop.
  • Since both are applications created by Adobe, they are integrated very well with each other & work well together in harmony to help you produce images of Art.


So in a nutshell….Lightroom does NOT replace Photoshop. It simply & beautifully complements it!

Now Photoshop can be used only on an “if & when needed” basis.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Lightroom does NOT replace Photoshop. It simply & beautifully complements it! #quote” quote=”Lightroom does NOT replace Photoshop. It simply & beautifully complements it! #quote”]

If you wish to understand in depth the core differences between Lightroom & Photoshop, refer our blog post & Free Infographic here.

So what do you think? What features & tools do you think are worth noting in Adobe Lightroom? Did we miss out on anything you wanted to know about understanding lightroom? Please let us know in the comments below.

If you loved this blog post, please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest 🙂

Scroll to Top