Lightroom Editing – Step by Step

I’m addicted to LIGHTROOM!

Yes, there I said it and now I feel better. If you are a hobbyist like myself; you may struggle with the post processing side of photography (like I do). Not long after having my camera I soon realized that I needed to get more involved in editing my pictures once they were loaded on my pc.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Adobe Photoshop, BUT for my personal pictures Photoshop had hours of tools that would send me down hours of editing for just a handful of pictures. What I needed was more broad adjustments and then on a few key pictures I could follow-up with Photoshop.. thus in comes Lightroom. Again.. HUGE FAN.

One of the things I love about Lightroom is the ability to batch process your pictures. If you have 5 pictures in the same area and lighting your can edit them all at the same time and then go through and add individual tweaks to each. LOVE IT because it saves tons of TIME.

With that I’m going to go ahead and step through the steps I take to edit one of my pictures. Please note I’m not an expert; I’m still learning. So if you have any tips or suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Step 1: Here is my SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) Obviously the key is to get this as good as you can and not rely on post processing.. Um yeah…I try.


By the way.. who doesn’t love a sleeping toddler?

Step 2: Crop, crop, crop! I go ahead and crop down the image to what I want. Now it’s already fairly close up but I got the edge of her stuffed doggie in the pic, so I cropped him out.


Step 3: White balance adjustment. So if I would have had some awesome grey card I could have made my camera shoot with the correct white balance settings… BUT who has time for that? So I used the wonderful little LR white balance tool and picked a good sort of grey area on the picture. I think I used her shirt.


Step 4:Adding some contrast… I like to use the Medium Contrast Curve in LR. It’s one of my favorites. Gets rid of some of the highlighting and darkens the darks.


Step 5:Some spot removal.. Notice she has a little red spot on her face and what looks like possible food remnants next to her mouth. Some quick spot removal and it’s fixed. I also tinkered with the white balance a little more to give her a warmer look.


Step 6: Sharpening and noise reduction! This is something I always do to most of my pictures. I just find upon exporting to jpg its needed. You can’t visually see too much of a difference in the editor unless you zoom in.


Step 7: Vignette, since the outer edges of this picture are already pretty dark, I’ve just added a medium vignette to this picture to give it just a little more. It’s very subtle and not noticeable which is how it should be.


AND… that’s it! Pretty basic stuff.. I felt this image didn’t need a lot of changes (others may think differently). A nice close up of some cute cheeks!

Here is the before and after.

If you have any suggestions or questions about what I did feel free to comment and I will try to answer as best as I can!

– Mommy H.

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