Getting To Know Lightroom
When I finish a shoot and bring my cameras into my computer, I'm always running 'em through Lightroom. I'm gonna just give a quick crash course and some shortcuts I'm using, some panels I'm using just so we don't have to go really in-depth on it while we're editing these images in the future. The first thing I wanna show you is Solo Mode. So if I open up all these, you can see it is just making a very long scroll bar and that's really annoying to go back and forth between. So if you click Solo Mode on here, boom, consolidates it and if you open up one, all the other ones close. That's gonna save you a lot of time scrolling. And to save you even more time, there is a way to open each panel with a shortcut and it's simply COMMAND and then one through nine or if you're on a PC, it's probably CTRL, I don't use PC, I don't know, but I'll just show you here. If I hit COMMAND + 1, that opens up Basic panel. Two, Tone Curve. Three, HSL, four, split toning and the list goes on, six, seven, eigh...
t, nine. Five, six, seven, eight. For the sliders that don't have main shortcuts, I use this all the time. I'm never, I don't think I ever click on the side panels actually. I'm always using shortcuts, it's just fast. So speaking of shortcuts, my favorite and probably most used ones is the ones that target the HSL panel. If you come into the panel and click this little circle right here, it gives you this little cursor. Little cursor. So as I go over the image, you'll see, if I hover over his shirt that's yellow/orange, on the side right here in the saturation panel, it's gonna light up that orange and if I click and drag, that's not the best example but I'll show you the sky as that's gonna be a bit more prominent, click the circle, click the sky and boom, it's gonna be targeting that general gamut of blue, that color. And it gets even better, there's a shortcut for all that and on Mac, it's COMMAND + ALT + SHIFT. S for saturation, H for hue, L for luminance. So if I wanna brighten up my sky, desaturate it and make it a little bit more of a teal cyan color, I can just go COMMAND + ALT + SHIFT + L for luminance, bump it up like that. COMMAND + ALT + SHIFT + H, target the hue, click on the sky and drag it more to that teal color and COMMAND + ALT + SHIFT + S to just desaturate it a little, so it's just a teal tint and not super prominent in the saturation. Just taking a bit more color out of it, adding a bit more gray. And let's say I made it a bit too teal, just go back COMMAND + ALT + SHIFT + H and just change it like that and maybe have it a more purple, dramatic color. Super nice, super easy. I am constantly hitting those in Lightroom. So that is one you should really know. I don't really know what to call this next one but I'll just show you what it does. So if you click on any of these words, we'll click on exposure 'cause that's the one I always have it on, you notice it says modify exposure with plus and minus keys. So if I wanna modify the exposure, I'm gonna click the plus and the minus keys. I'm using this just as often as I'm using the HSL panel shortcuts and it is a staple in how I edit. So if I'm looking at this image and I see that it's a bit too dark, I just hit plus and bring it up and if I want it to go up more, you can hold SHIFT plus and you can see it goes in bigger increments. So very, very useful and I'm constantly adjusting my exposure that way. Same goes with any of these other options. So if you want it on temperature, you can click temperature. I'm holding the SHIFT button as I press these keys and if I bring it way down, it's much more cool. So I always just leave it on exposure as when I'm editing, I'm constantly thinking of ideas and notching down my exposure to make those ideas happen or notching it up to make it happen. So, up to you, what you wanna do with that. So if I go in and make a few edits to this, I maybe bump up the shadows quite a bit and then bring down the blacks a little and then let's go add a little, oops, still on temperature, click that exposure, bring it up just a bit and then create a little contrast between that, whatever, cool. Let's say I wanna see a before and after, this backslash key that if you're on a MacBook, it's just under the DELETE key and above the RETURN key, that's a before, that's an after. Another way to see it is if you click the Y key, you see it goes half and half. So this was your before, this was your after and if you hit SHIFT + Y, you can see the full image side by side. So very helpful if you just wanna see that full gamut. I usually am just clicking the backslash key for before and after. You got the R key which is for crop, it just brings you right into that crop panel and you can see, adjust that, find what you want, hit ENTER, boom. I think it's really important to know your local adjustment filters, so your gradient, your radial and your brush tool. This is the gradient tool, simply if you set it to like, let's go negative 66, drag it and you can see it's just creating that exposure right there on that side. And if you hit the O key, you can see right where it's affecting. So you can see it affects it pretty heavily up until that center point on the right side and then it gradually falls off as it goes to the left. So I'm constantly using these in my edits and the shortcut for that is M. So if you hit the M key, you see it pops up right here and then you can just go into it right there. If you wanna make a Radial Filter, like let's say I wanna target Isaac, I'm gonna hit SHIFT + M and you see it selects this right there. I'm gonna make a circle around him and you see, he gets darker there. I'm gonna bump up the exposure a bit 'cause let's say, I wanna make him brighter. Obviously this is a very terrible looking edit but just to prove the point of what this does. It's gonna look terrible for a sec. It looks super overdone. Same thing as the gradient filter, you can see where it's affecting by clicking the O key. You see that green area is where it's affecting. One useful thing to know about the Radial Filters is the invert tool. So if you see this check right here, you see it's currently affecting him. If I uncheck it, boom, now it's affecting everything outside that circle. So here's our circle, and if it's not inverted, it's affecting everything around it. You invert that sucker, boom, it's affecting everything within it. So really helpful in doing some, just decent local adjustments. You'll definitely see some of that in my editing, I'm sure. And then, of course, the brush tool, you hit K and it brings up this. We'll just... We'll target Isaac here. Notice when I just brush, it kind of goes over and it's overlapping in the sky. I'm gonna hit COMMAND + Z to undo that and if you hit Auto Mask down here, you can mess with these settings to make it a bit better. I personally have never really messed with them too much but I'm sure it could help. Now, if I click that with the Auto Mask on, you see it isn't overlapping into the sky so much anymore. It sticks to whatever you clicked on first. So if I clicked on, let's say, the sky and it gets closer to Isaac, see it almost, I mean obviously it hits his top of the helmet there, but that's 'cause some of the sky area is the same color as his helmet and it thinks it's trying to do that. But let's say I target the sky here, you see it almost just goes around his dirt bike handle. So having that Auto Mask, very helpful. However, sometimes it's not helpful and if you need to quickly turn it off, you can just hit the A key while you're in the brush panel. you can see it clicks on and off there. So that's local adjustments and the next is the curves panel. Hit COMMAND + 2, that's the curves panel and if you don't know what curves is doing, it's essentially just affecting the exposure values, at least in this RGB channel. So picture this being dark, this being light and this just being the current level it's at. So let's say I wanted to make everything brighter, I can click, drag up, drag down. Cool, but a lot of times I am just clicking spots and then let's say, I want to adjust the highlights, if I just come up here and click that and do it, it's just gonna adjust the whole thing. So you kinda have to put placeholders down. So I'm gonna click those placeholders and I can adjust the sky accordingly. And as you saw me click those, you probably noticed that wherever I click, it jolts down to, or up to wherever I click. I'm gonna undo that, I'm gonna hit ALT, big moves here, hold ALT, click it and you notice it's just falling on the curve panel and not changing the curves at all. So that is super important to know 'cause if you keep clicking it and making more points, it's just gonna just make everything freaking crazy. So generally, I'll go ALT, click on the bottom left one here, click a middle one here and click a top one there and then I can just adjust that freely. One thing I'm doing here too is, if I click this and then I drag, it's very dramatic. I don't really like to do big dramatic swoops like that. So again, if you hold ALT and you already click a point that's there, it's a lot more easier and notice it moves left to right too. If I don't want it to move left to right, I hold SHIFT and it locks it in place up and down. So then you're just moving that up and down and I'm pretty much 95% of the time, well, 100% of the time I'm holding ALT and probably like 90% of the time, I'm holding SHIFT and just going up and down. So just like the HSL panel, when you come in here and hold COMMAND + ALT + SHIFT + S, remember it brings up that little nugget right there and you can target stuff. When you're in the curves panel, you can do the exact same thing, so, COMMAND + ALT + SHIFT + T. Don't know what the T stands for but that's what it is. Notice as I drag this around the image, you see that little dot, like scooting up and down that curves line. So if I move it closer to the shadows, you see it goes down to the shadows. If I move it closer to the highlights, you see it goes up in the highlights. So let's say I wanted to, let's say I didn't have a highlight point already. So I go COMMAND + ALT + SHIFT + T, let's say I wanna focus on getting like this sky up here, more even exposure like this sky and for some reason, I don't want it to be nice looking and gradated. I want it to be one flat color. So COMMAND + ALT + SHIFT + T, I'm gonna target that. That looks absolutely terrible but you get the gist. Undo that 'cause I cannot stand to look at it. I honestly don't really use that targeting tool in the curves a ton but it definitely could come into use in situations. I generally know what exposures where I know these grass will be like more right here, I know the sky will be more up here in the curves. So I'm generally just doing it by look and not by just targeting, so yeah. So I just did a little work in the curves here, you can see it kind of dips, goes up and then caps it at the highlights there. I wanna bring up the shadows just a bit, just to illustrate this point. After I do some curves work and get a good look of what I want, I'll oftentimes come into this panel which is still the curves and you have this which is pretty much the same as the Basic panel. You have highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, again, highlights, lights, darks, shadows. I don't know why they reversed the order there but someone made that decision. So if I target shadows, it's gonna do a little work there in the curves, maybe bring that down too with the darks, really make those highlights neutral if I want to but also make 'em brighter. You can see how it is targeting this area with the highlights and the lights targets this whole big area. So it's kind of like, local adjustments and then more local adjustments. I'll do subtle work in that tab but it's just important to know about, I think, 'cause if you're really struggling with an image, like if you like where it's at but you want to variegate your shadows more, like bring in a little more contrast in your shadows, you can come in here and really just nuke it, man. So last thing in the curves panel, I will just let you know I use the curves quite a bit in my editing, especially when you get into Photoshop but I really wanted to show you the red, green, blue. I'm really not gonna go into it too much because it's very subjective to each image but I'm just gonna show you what it does and when I'm editing, we'll probably talk on that a little bit more. So come into the red panel and the same thing, so if I am wanting to target my shadows, boom, maybe like the midtones right here, boom and then maybe create a highlight one there, boom. It's acting the same way as the exposure value curve. If I'm wanting to add more red into my highlights, I'm gonna come up here to the highlights and push up on the red. You can see it creates a gnarly reddish magenta looking thing against that blue. Let's say I wanna make it more blue, I wanna add more blue to that blue. So if you remember back to the complementary colors, that's all color curves is. So if I'm in the red channel and I take away red from the highlights, it's gonna be adding a lot more blue to it, so cool. Undo that 'cause it looks like trash and then, wow, voice crack, and then do the same thing if you wanna do that in the shadows. Blue, adding red. I'm gonna come into the green panel and just show you generally what it does. Add green, you go up. Cool, undo that. If you wanna take away green, it's gonna take it away and make it more of this magenta color. Again, going back to that contrast in colors, I mean, if you look at the tint, that's exactly what the tint is doing in a way. What curves is doing is giving you the ability to target a little bit more locally versus the entire image. Come into the blue panel, the last one here, I'm gonna click, drag up to add blue. You can see it adds blue, and the same thing, if I take away blue, it makes it more warm and it adds that yellow aspect to it. And if you remember, come back to the Basic panel again, your temperature, your contrasting colors, you got the warm, you got the cool. That's all curves is doing and you'll see, I use it a lot. The very last thing I wanna cover in Lightroom is the Lens Corrections panel. Sometimes I will click this Lens Correction profile. In this case, I did because it was very dark and I shot this at 2. and without it, you can see a very heavy vignette. I do usually like a vignette, but you can see I just kind of took it down a little bit there. So it still had some, but it wasn't like just heavy. Probably put it somewhere like right there. But mainly, the part I'm using in the Lens Correction tab is the manual. I guess this is more of a two-part thing. You have the Lens Correction tab and the Transform tab. So if I come into distortions, even though I already fixed it here in this panel, I like to just do it to my eye on like what I think is pleasing. So when I come into distortions and just kind of figure out where I want it. Boom. Notice it really adjusted the crop there. If I undo it, you see it brought it way down and that's because earlier when we went into that crop panel, hit the R key, I constrained it to image and you can see the image is kind of bowing right here because it is distorting it. All I'll do is just like, work with it and adjust my crop accordingly. I don't really like that look though, so I'm just gonna undo that all together. Maybe make it a little more subtle, COMMAND + 6, back into it like that. But really the main part is the Transform panel and this one's already composed pretty well, so I probably wouldn't do too much to it but to make it even more even, I'm gonna go COMMAND + 7, we could look at, you know, this side versus this side and maybe I want it to be a bit more even. So I'm gonna adjust the horizontal a bit. So that's the before and that's the after. Very subtle but it just kind of shifts it in the right direction. At least to my eye, it looks pleasing. I'm gonna rotate it a little bit, so this side's more even with this side and then you can come in here to the vertical. I shot this below Isaac's waist level for a reason 'cause I wanted it to look like he was up high and mighty but it does kind of distort it back a little bit. So it almost looks like, it looks like I shot it at a low angle. One way to fix that is just change this vertical like so and so, COMMAND + Z, undo, redo, that's before and after. I'm just gonna do a few changes here real quick and then I'll show you the before and after of it. Oops. Cool, so I'll show you without the Lens Corrections and the Transform tool. So this is without it and that's with it. So you notice a huge warp almost to the entire image. Boom. That's just a bit more pleasing to the eye. It's obviously very subtle and probably I would be the only one to ever notice that but I think it's really important and it's something I do in all my images. And so, for the sake of saving time and editing, I probably won't be going into the Transform panel every single time and showing you what I'm doing but just know I'm doing a bit of that to my image, pretty much every single image I ever edit. So boom, that's the quick crash course in Lightroom and with that, let's actually edit a few images in Lightroom. Let me make sure that's what's next. Yes, that is exactly what's next.