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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has become a popular program for photographers of all experience levels. In this course, photographer and teacher Jan Kabili provides an approachable introduction to all its capabilities. The course begins with a look at how to import photos from a camera and from a hard drive, describing how the Lightroom catalog works along the way.
Then you'll learn key ways to manage your photos in Lightroom, from reviewing photos after a shoot to working with Smart Previews when your photos are offline. This part of the course covers making collections, adding keywords, and much more.
Next, the course introduces the Lightroom Develop module and its features for improving a photo's appearance, including adjusting tone and color, cropping and fixing perspective, converting to black and white, reducing noise, and sharpening. It explores how to make local adjustments with the Adjustment Brush, Radial Filter, Graduated Filter, and Spot Removal tools. The course ends with a look at the most commonly used Lightroom features for sharing photos: exporting, printing, and sharing online.
When you launch Lightroom, it opens to the Library module which is the work space where you'll manage your Lightroom photos. Let's take a look at the layout of the Library module work space. I'm working here in my exercise files catalog which we're going to be using for the rest of this course. To open the exercise files catalog, if you haven't done that already, I went to the File menu and, to Open Catalog, and then I navigated to my Exercise Files Catalog folder, and, in that folder, to the Exercise Files Catalog.lrcat, or Lightroom Catalog file.
And I clicked open. Starting at the top of the screen, you'll see a list of the various modules that make up Lightroom, the Library module where we are now, the Develop module, where you go to edit your photos, and then some output modules. You can view your photos on a map in this module, you can create a photo book, a photo slideshow, you can print photos in various layouts, as we'll see later in the course, and you can create a web gallery of your photos. To move from module to module, you can just click it's label up here. In the center of the Library module, you'll see thumbnail previews of all of the photos that are located in whatever folder or collection you have selected at the moment in the color on the left.
You can drill down through the folders in the folders panel by clicking the arrows to the left of the folders and subfolders. The Folders panel reflects your folder organization on your hard drive, but it doesn't show all of the folders that you're used to seeing in your operating system's finder or explorer. It's just the folders that contain Lightroom photos, so that this list just doesn't get too long. If you want to see a folder one level up, you can go to a top level folder, like the Exercise Files folder. Select it and then right-click that folder and choose Show Parent folder. And that will show the folder one level up.
In this case, my desktop. If the list gets too long, I can hide a parent folder by selecting the parent folder and right-clicking it and choosing Hide This Parent. And I'll click back on this sub folder to see just the photos in the sub folder here in the Grid view. Down at the bottom of the screen is the film strip. Which is displaying the very same photos. The film strip comes in most handy in the other modules. Because it gives you a way to access the photos in whatever folder or collection that you selected back here in the Library module. To show you what I'm mean, I'm going to switch over to another module, the Develop module.
I can either click Develop up here in this list, or I can press the shortcut on my keyboard d. So I'll press D, and here I'm in the Develop module. Down here is the very same filmstrip displaying the same photos. And if I want to work on a different photo I'll click on its thumbnail in the filmstrip, here in the Develop module, and it appears up here larger in the window. Now I want to go back to the Library module. So again, I could come up to this list and click Library, or I can use the shortcut for getting back to the Grid view of the Library module, and that is G for grid. I'll press g on my keyboard and I'm back in the Library module. There are just a few other interface elements in the Library module. Above the film strip is this gray bar called the Toolbar, and it contains various icons, and menus that you'll use as you're working with photos in the Library module.
For example, over here is the thumbnail slider, and if I drag this slider to the right that makes those thumbnail previews bigger, if I go to the left, they get smaller. You can control what features appear in your toolbar by clicking the arrow to the right of the toolbar and enabling or disabling some of these options. If you're ever looking for your Toolbar and you don't see it, it could be because somewhere along the way you press the letter T on your keyboard which dismisses the Toolbar. So just press the letter T again and the Toolbar will come back into view. There's another bar which is the filter bar which you can bring into view by going to the View menu at the top of the screen and chose Show Filter bar. If your menu bar isn't showing at the top of this screen then you use the keyboard shortcut the backslash key which is three keys to the right of the P key on your keyboard.
So if I press the backslash key. There's my Library filter, with its powerful search features, which we'll go over later in the course. Again, I'll press the backslash key to close the Library filter. Now you may not see the menu bar at the top of the screen, depending on which screen mode you're in at the moment. To cycle among the screen modes in Lightroom 5, hold down the Shift key and press the F key on your keyboard. And that shortcut is slightly different than it was in previous versions of Lightroom. There's one more screen mode in lightroom 5, and that's the full screen mode with no distractions. To make use of that, I'll select a photo here in the grid, and then I'll press the F key on my keyboard, and that shows me that photo, in this large full screen view surrounded by just black.
I'll press the F key again, to go back to the last screen mode I was in. One of the challenges in Lightroom, particularly when you're working on a small monitor, is to allocate the most space to your photos rather than to the interface elements. So let me show you some ways that you can hide the interface elements from view. First, let's bring up some more thumbnail previews. If you want to see previews of all the photos in a catalog, then go to the Catalog panel, click its title bar to expand, and click on All Photographs. The quickest way to dismiss everything on the screen except for the thumbnails is to hold the Shift key and press the Tab key.
And that's the view that you see, and then you can use the scroll bar to scroll up and down through these photos to see more of them. To bring everything back, Shift-tab again. And, if you want to dismiss just the columns on the left and right, then press Tab only. Like this, and Tab again. The columns on the left and right, as well as the filmstrip at the bottom, and this bar at the top, by default, auto-hide and show. How does that work? Well, if I go to the column on the left, and I click in the bar at the far left, then the column on the left disappears.
Then if I move off of that area and back on it, the column on the left appears again. Now, some people don't like that automatic hiding and showing behavior. I prefer to control the behavior of the panels myself. So here's what I do. I'm going to right-click on that far left bar and choose manual. And now that column on the left will stay on the screen unless and until I click anywhere in the column on the left, like this. And then I'll click again and the column comes back. And the same is true for the column on the right.
So I'm going to set that up the same way. Right-clicking on the bar on the far right and choosing manual. And I'll do the same in the bar at the bottom to control the filmstrip. Right-clicking on that bar at the very bottom and choosing manual. And the same in the bar at the top. Choosing manual to control this large bar up here that has the labels for the various modules. By the way, I usually keep that closed to save screen space by clicking the bar at the top like that. And if I don't need the film strip at the bottom, which I often don't need in the Library module. I'll go down to the bottom of the screen and click that bar. And then, I'll work like this.
So that's a look at the layout of the Library module. Next we'll talk about various ways to view photos in the Library module.
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