The Lightroom interface – inside boat reflection by photo artist Marcia Smilack
Let’s get back to Lightroom, the software program extraordinaire for post-production handling of all your photography, I have included with this article a visual to illustrate to you how it looks on your computer monitor, and to help you navigate along with me as I talk about its different facets.
Notice there is a major center space or Main Window that shows a photograph I have selected from the Film Strip below (showing only two images) in the bottom panel. There is a right and left panel, and a top panel that has my business name in the upper left and a Module Picker on the right.
I want to draw your attention to this Module Picker. You can see the Develop module is highlighted indicating it has been selected. I discussed briefly in the last article three of the five modules, including the Import, Develop and Web. Let’s go in for a more detailed look.
It would be difficult for The Triton to print an image to correlate to every Module and every situation, but let me first assure you I will make things clear using the photograph with this article that was taken in the Develop Module, just follow along.
After you open the program everything begins with the Library Module. At the lower left corner where it shows Copy and Paste in the Develop Module, the Library Module will show Import and Export.
Clicking on Import will bring up a window from which you can select where you would like to import from. It could be your hard drive or a camera memory card. All the options will make themselves available. Click on the one you desire and a new box opens up, and on the right side it will show little thumb prints of images you have taken. They will all have a checkbox, so you can choose those you would like to download.
You may wish to download them all, you may wish to select your favorites, or you may wish to make several downloads to get certain selections to specific designated folders.
On the left you find several other simple options to follow. It will ask if you want to download to a new location, something applicable if taking them from your camera memory card, or from the original location, if you are simply planning to show or work on them then putting them back.
With your selections made they will now display in the Film Strip. From this point you can select (highlight) one or a selection or select them all. The latter would be used to make universal adjustments to them all.
Both individual and universal adjustments can be made in both the Library and Develop Modules. The right panel of the Develop Module shown in the illustration has many precision options for making adjustments to your images. You see the Histogram, Basic, Tone Curve, and this is followed using the scroll bar by Split Toning, Detail, Lens Corrections, and Camera Calibrations. All are for general adjustments to your images and powerful, but the top two are the most useful.
At the right panel of the Library Page this display is replaced with Quick Develop, Keywording and Metadata options. Quick Develop is simply a less complete and sophisticated version of tools in the Develop Module. Keywording is where you put in words you can use later to quickly locate a set of photographs. A word like Newport would bring up photographs of events you took there. Metadata includes you copyright, time and date, camera settings.
After my Japan trip when organizing the 1200 or so photographs between two cameras that I used, my Canon 5D and Leica D-lux3, establishing a proper sequence was made easy to using the Metadata time information. I put everything in proper sequence by the time I took the photograph in this way and also adjusted for the 13 hour time difference.
Going below the center image again (of a fishing boat as seen reflected in the water) right above the Film Strip you will see: a square box – this is highlighted to show one image, two boxes side by side with a Y in each – this to compare before and after work on an image, followed by a cropping icon tool, a red eye adjustment, spot remover, stars, then square color boxes, and right left arrows for moving through the Film strip quickly.
The stars and colored squares are found both in this and the Library Module in the same position. Use either to grade and sort your work. For instance, I can make selections with red representing all the motor vessels and green being all the sailboats, then I can grade the quality of the photographs in each color category using the stars. Having done this I can easily go to the far right, on the black line below to see Filters and those stars and stripes again. This is were you can now quickly make selections, like only seeing your 5 star sailboats, by choosing green and 5 stars using your filters.
All this to a photographer is like heaven, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t like leaving you hanging, but try to keep the illustrative photo if you can, as I will be using it the next time. In the meantime, I’ll take permission to come ashore.