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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.
It almost goes without saying that when you're working in Lightroom, you need to select photos before you work on them. But Lightroom has some quirks around selecting that you should be aware of. First, let's go through the basics of selecting, which are much like the basics that you may have experienced in other programs. If I want to select a photo, I'm going to click on its frame. If I want to add more photos to that selection, I'll hold the Cmd key on the Mac or the Ctrl key on the PC and I'll click on the frames of other photos that don't have to be next to the first one I selected. If I want to deselect everything, then I'll either press Cmd+D on the Mac or Ctrl+D on the PC or I'll click in a blank area of the preview window if that's available to me like this. Now let's say I want to select photos that are next to one another. I can select a whole range by clicking on the frame of the first photo, holding the Shift key and clicking on the frame of the last photo in the range and that selects all in between.
And, as in other programs, if I want to eliminate one of these photos from the selection, I'll hold the Cmd key on the Mac or the Ctrl key on the PC and I'll click in the frame of that photo. So right now I only have three photos selected the three bike photos. And again I am going to deselect by clicking in this blank area. So that is all the same as in other programs. Now let's see what is different about working with multiple selections in Lightroom. To set that up I'm going to select four other photos. I'll click on this photo, I'll hold the Shift key and click on this one to select all four. Now, what's different in Lightroom is that if you look closely, you'll see that the borders around the selected photos aren't all the same color. The photo that I first selected has a brighter frame around it than the photos that I selected after that.
And the reason for that is to accommodate Lightroom syncing behavior. We're not going to look at syncing at great detail in this course, but the upshot is that you can have Lightroom take the settings from the most selected photo and automatically apply them to other selected photos. So that's why there is more than one level of syncing. Even if you don't plan to sync settings, the fact that there are two levels of selection can get you in a jam if you're not aware of it. And if you don't know how to avoid that jam. So let me show you the problem and then I'll show you the way that I recommend avoiding it. Let's say that I have a number of photos selected like this and then I decide that I want to convert just one of those photos to black and white. Well, you might expect from working in others programs, that if you were to click on the photo that you did want to remain selected, the others would become deselected.
So let's say that I want to convert only this photo of the table to black and white. I'm going to click right inside the image. Not on its frame, but inside the image. And then I'll try to change it to black and white by going up to the Quick Develop panel, which is in the column on the right side of the Library module. I'll click the drop down menu on that panel, and from here I can access various black and white, toned, and other color presets. And from this menu, I can select a preset. So, I'll go down to the first category, the black and white filter presets, and I'll choose the green filter preset. Now remember, I only wanted to convert, that photo of the table to black an white.
But in fact, all of the photos in the bottom row have been converted to black an white. An that's because clicking inside the image of the table, did not actually deselect, these other photos. All it did was change which photo is the most active. Now here, you could pretty much see what was going to happen. But imagine you had selected maybe a hundred photos, and you couldn't see all of the thumbnails on your monitor. That could cause a problem down the road, when you realize that you had turned all of them to black and white. So how do you avoid that. Well I think the solution is to get in the habit of clicking not directly on an image but rather to click on the frames of images as you've may have noticed that I was doing in this lesson.
So lets try that instead. I'm going to press Cmd+Z on the Mac, Ctrl+Z on the PC to undo that black and white conversion. Now I still have multiple photos selected. Let's say that I only want to convert this photo of the river to black and white. I'm going to click on the frame around the photo of the river and this time I get the expected behavior, which is that I've managed to deselect all the other photos. The only one that remains selected is the photo of the river. So that's the advantage of getting use to clicking on the frame rather than on the image itself. And now, if I were to go to the Quick Develop panel, and go back to that same black and white filter preset, only the photo of the river is converted into black and white.
Now there are exceptions to every rule, of course, one of the exceptions to clicking on the frame is this. If you want to move a thumbnail, then you need to click not on it's frame but on the image itself. And that's true whether you are moving a photo in the sort order as I showed you how to do earlier. Or if you are trying to move with thumbnail into another folder in the Folders panel or into a collection in the Collections panel as I will show you how to do later in the course. So, for example, if I wanted to move this photo of the cherries so it appeared down here, I can't click and drag from the frame.
I have to click inside of the image itself, and drag over here, and then release my mouse. There's one other thing to keep in mind about multiple selections in Lightroom. And that is that you can get different behaviors depending on where you make your selections. You can make selections here in Grid view. But you can also make selections in Loop view in the Library module or in another module like the Develop module. So let's compare the two. Here in the Grid view of the Library module, I'll select these three photos of the bike, clicking on one, and Shift-clicking on another.
And then I'll go to the Quick Develop panel, and I'm going to apply an effect. This time I'll go to the color presets category of effects and choose aged photo. And that affects all three of the selected photos. The most active selected photo, and the other two selected photos. Let's deselect Cmd+D on the Mac, Ctrl+D on the PC. Now let's go some place else and make a selection. We'll go to the Loop view of the library module. I'll press the e key to switch to Loop view. In Loop view, the Develop module, and other places, if I want to make a selection, I need to use the film strip to do that.
So I'll come down to the bottom of the screen and I'll click the bar there to open the film strip. I'm going to select the last three photo sin the film strip, starting with the photo of the bottles. I'll click on its frame, and then I'll hold the shift key and I'll click on the photo of the cherries. If you look very closely you'll see that the first photo I selected, the one of the bottles, has a brighter frame than the other two meaning that the bottles photo is the most selected. Now let's see what happens when we apply a quick develop preset.
I'll go up to the quick develop panel and this time I'm going to go to the Lightroom black and white toned presets and I'll go with the cyanotype preset. Keep your eye on that filmstrip. And you'll see that that blue effect has been applied only to the most selected photo in my selection, and that's because of where I've made the selection, not in Grid view, but here in the film strip in another view, Loop view. So those are some things to be aware of when you're working with selections in Lightroom.
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