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Join photographer and author Chris Orwig in Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module, as he explores the interface of this popular image-management program and shows how to use its Library module to organize and manage a photo library. The course covers importing both still images and video; shooting in tethered-capture mode; organizing and rating images with flags, stars, labels, and location tags; and working with collections. The course also details how to export, email, and share photos, and introduces the Lightroom 4 video-editing features, as well as its ability to work together with the full editing power of Photoshop. Exercise files are included with the course.
Here we're going to take a look at a few steps that we can take in order to further customize the Lightroom interface. We're going to begin by looking at the Lightroom Interface Preferences. You can find those by navigating to the Lightroom pull-down Menu and next then select Preferences. What we want to do here in the Preferences dialog is click on the tab for Interface; it's on the far right. Well, here you'll notice we have some Groups of Preferences; Panels, Lights Out, Background, etcetera. Let's start at the top.
Well, Panels, you'll notice there's a default End Mark, this Flourish, well, we can choose something different here, say like Ornament 1, it will then update what's displayed at the base of the panel. We can also choose an option say None in order to turn that off completely. Again, this is just a preference; it's up to you what you select. I'll take this back to that default setting for now. We also have an option for the Font Size with these Panels. By default the Font Size is Small; you can choose Large, yet if you choose that, it will warn you, this font change will only take effect once you've quit and then restarted in Lightroom.
So just make sure to close it out and then reopen it and you'll see the change. Well, what about Lights Out, you may remember there's a shortcut, it's the L key, it deems the interface, it darkens it. Well, you can actually have it turned to Lights Out and darken the interface, or brighten it, in a sense kind of turn the lights on or turn them up. Let me show you what I mean. By default the Screen Color is Black and the Dim Level is 80%. Let's explore what that looks like. Here I will press L once, it dims to 80% Black; press it again, it's now completely Black.
Press it a third time, brings everything back to normal. Well, if we go back to our Lightroom Preferences and then go to the Interface tab over here, we can change this say to something different, like Dark Gray, Medium Gray, or White. If we choose White what will happen is when we press the L key rather than dimming everything, it just brightens it, brightens it at 80% of White, and then one more time it goes completely White. Press it that third time, brings everything back to normal. Navigate back to the Lightroom pull-down Menu and choose Preferences, you can see we have these different options, and really this is just a personal preference.
You know what happens is when you surround an image with White, the image seems a little bit brighter. It also feels like it has less Contrast and less Color Saturation. When it's surrounded by Black, it feels like it has more Contrast, more Color Saturation. So again, it's just a personal preference there. And the Dim Level, we have a few options as well, this is how drastic you want that dimming to actually take place. What about the Background? If we move the Preferences dialog off for a second, you can see that we have this Medium Gray in the background.
You can change that, this could go White, as you can see here, or we could take this all away to deep Black. And again, just a personal preference, by default it's Medium Gray, because most people say this mid-tone or Medium Gray helps you evaluate the image a little bit more objectively, it's a little bit less influenced than it would be if it were bright White or dark Black. Now, you can include a Texture, just a Pinstriped Texture if you wanted to have that in the Background behind the image, in order to add perhaps a little bit of separation. I am going to choose None, again, just to take it to that default setting.
Now, this is for the Main window obviously, the secondary window would be as if you're running Lightroom with two monitors and if you have a secondary display. Next, Keyword Entry, we'll skip that, that will be relevant later when we talk about metadata. We'll jump right down to Filmstrip. Now, in the Filmstrip what you can do is display different things. Here it shows the ratings and picks, badges, stack counts. Shows the photo in the navigator, I'll mouse over and show photo on info tooltips. Here if you look down in the bottom left-hand corner you can see there's a little red box around it, showing it has a red label on it, a flag and a star rating.
Now, all of the information we can either show or hide by clicking on these options and you'll notice as I turn these off, it will show or hide those various options. When you're getting used to Lightroom and you're starting off I recommend you turn all those on, because sometimes that information can be really helpful. The last little preference I want to look at here has to do with Tweaks, and this one is to zoom the clicked point to the center. This is really helpful. Let me show you what I mean. So that's turned on, and what I am going to do is scroll down just to find another image here, one way down at the end here, and I'll select this photograph.
Now, if I click up here in this top area of the trees, what will happen is it will zoom in, but it will then bring that to the center of the screen. In other words, it's not going to keep that up in the top part of the screen. The same thing will be true if I click on say the dress down here below, it brought that dress right to the middle of the screen. Now, that's really helpful, because it is assuming that wherever you click, wherever you're zooming into, you want to see that point that you've clicked into. So I recommend that you turn or leave that preference on as well.
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