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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
One of the best ways to take advantage of the Lightroom's strengths, and to speed up your overall workflow, is to use Presets. And in the Develop module, what you can do is open up the Preset panel on the left. You'll see a huge list of presets, everything from Black & White to Creative Color, and beyond. Well, in order to take advantage of these presets, typically what you want to do is open up the Navigator panel. Now, with the Navigator panel open, we have our preview of this image of my daughter and all her friends on their soccer team.
And what we can then do is hover over the different presets. If we think that one looks interesting, simply click on it. It'll then be applied to the photograph. One of the things that I find helpful is that if you find this Navigator window is too small, you can always hover over the edge of these panels and then click and drag in order to dedicate more space to the preview. Now here, as I hover over the different presets, I can determine if these look good, and then click on this in order to have an even larger view. And what are the fun things about presets is, of course, that you can do normal things like black & white conversation or sepia toning, or of course, you can experiment.
Here, I'm simply going to scroll down to some of the color creative options. And as I hover over these or roll over these options, I'm going to look for something that's a little bit different. With this photograph, I'm finding that I like Color Creative - Old Polar. Let's see how this looks. Here, I'll go ahead and click on this option, and then I'm going to hover over this dividing line to make that panel smaller, so I can really focus in on the image. Well, here I have something completely different, some really intriguing color and contrast. Now, one of the tricks, of course, is to try to determine if this is any good.
Because we've selected so many different presets, it's hard to visually remember where was the image originally? Well, in order to view them before and after, you remember the shortcut, right? It's the Backslash key. When we press the Backslash key, there's before, without any preset, and then there's after. Now, in this case, with this view, I decide, you know what, that looks amazing. I love the color. I love the contrast. It's a really fun expression of this particular photograph. Now, in wrapping up our conversation about Presets, I want you to keep this in mind.
One, Presets help you speed up your workflow. Two, they help you to become more creative. Three, a lot of times what you want to do is think about presets as a starting point, because sometimes what can happen is certain presets can become really popular and eventually, someone will look at your photograph and say, oh! You used that old polar effect, huh? And you never want someone to know what you did. You want to hide your tracks. You want to disguise your postproduction work so that rather than focusing on the postproduction work, they're focusing on the image.
So again, experiment. Play. See how this can speed up your workflow. But also, take some time to think about how you can use these as starting points, from which you can then further and more deeply modify your image. In order to do that, all that you need to do is to select the preset and then go ahead and open up your panels. Once you're there, you can modify some of these different settings and change the overall balance, in order to change the way the image looks and appears.
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