Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Basic Develop module workflow, part of Lightroom 3 Essential Training.
- View Offline
One of the things that I have discovered from teaching Lightroom in the classroom is that sometimes it's helpful to focus in on a small little task. Other times it's helpful to take a look at how you can string together all the different pieces in an overall workflow, and that's what we are going to look at here. And you know one of our first steps, in working in the Develop module in regards to our workflow, is of course to do a little bit of organizational work. And here I am viewing all of my images. What I want to do is select a few that I am going to work on in the Develop module.
So I will click on this image here, which is surfer_workflow.jpg, hold down the Command key on the Mac, Ctrl key on Windows. I will select this other image, titled nick_1.CR2, and then I will select this photograph, which is artist.CR2. Now that I have selected these images, I am going to go ahead and scroll down to Collections. Here in Collections, I will simply click on the Plus icon and then choose Create Collection. This will open up our Create Collection dialog. Here, I will name this Collection Workflow.
And I'm doing this just to get you to think about that even though we are focusing in on workflow in the Develop module, it always starts somewhere else. We always do our organizational work somewhere, and then we get to Develop. All right, well here, we will include these selected photos and then click Create. This will then give us this nice collection here, and the great thing about this is that if we select another folder, what we can do is we can navigate to Develop module, and in the Develop module, we will also see that Collection. If we want to view those images in that Collection, we will simply click on that option here, and now we have these three photographs in this collection.
All right, well let's start off with this image here. I am going to zoom out a little bit so that we can evaluate it in its entirety. The next thing that I might want to do is kind of clean up my interface a little bit. It's kind of hard to focus in on the task at hand, currently. So in order to be able to do that, I am going to hide a view things, and what I am going to hide is my filmstrip down below, and I will do that by pressing the F6 key. I also want to hide the panels on the left; I will do that by pressing F7 key. Now that's not an essential step when working in the Develop module, although it is something that I like to do now and again, in order really focus in on the task at hand, which is the art and craft of image-making.
I really want to zero in on that. Let's scroll back up to the top here, and let's evaluate what we have. Let's close some of these panels up just so that we can focus in on the Histogram. Now if the Histogram isn't open, you can press Command+0 on a Mac, Ctrl+0 Windows. One of the first things that's nice to do is to press the J key. That will turn on our Clipping Indicator. You can also do the same thing by simply clicking on these little icons here. Now that's just getting me familiar with the image.
What type of tone do I have? What type of color do I have? What all I have to work with? Well now that I have started to evaluate this image and determine that, you know what, I have pretty good exposure here, I am going to jump down to my Basic panel. And a lot of times in the Develop module what you are going to do is start up at the top and work your way down. So let's open up the Basic panel, either by clicking on it or on a Mac press Command+1 on Windows press Ctrl+1. Here in the Basic panel, one of the first things we encounter is the White Balance tool.
We can select this by pressing the W key. Now currently, what I want to do is hover over my image, and notice that this is a little bit blue over here, and as I start to evaluate this, I wish I had the Navigator panel visible. No big deal. I'll press the F7 key to bring it back, and here is why. When I hover over this area, you can see its showing me an update of what the image would look like in regards to its White Balance if I were to click on that spot. And again, you can see it changes as I hover over these different areas.
Well again, I feel like this is just a little bit cool, so I'll click on that area. And then now I don't need the Navigator panel anymore, so I press the F7 key in order to close that. And all that I wanted to do there was just illustrate how we can customize the interface as we start to work on our images, so that we can get the best of both worlds. Well now at this point I am done, so I want to exit this tool, and I currently happen to do not have Auto Dismissed checked on, so in order to get out of the tool, we will simply press the 'W' key again.
All right, well let's get rid of the Clipping Indicator. That's distracting right now. We don't need that. So I will press the J key in order to hide that. So far, we were really just working on a couple of shortcuts, setting the stage, maybe working on our Color Temperature. Well the Color Temperature now is really nice and warm, but maybe too warm, and we will have to take a look at that as we progress through some of our other controls. One of things that we might want to do next is work on some of the tonal areas of the image. For example, if we press J again, we remember that we have some overexposure here in these highlights, and also some trap shadows.
We can use these Recovery sliders to bring back some of the detail. I am not going to go too far though, because it will make the image look unnatural, and I am okay losing detail in some of these areas, because those are bright lights, and I don't need detail. It's irrelevant information. Next I will go to my Fill Light slider, and I'll bring that up, just to bring back some detail there in the shirt. Well, let's press the J key to hide the Clipping Indicators. How else could we make that same adjustment? Well you could also hold down the Option key on the Mac, Alt key on the Windows and then click and drag on your sliders. And as we do that we will get those clipping indicators, and you can see that it's showing me the Clipping Indicator as I modify the slider, again, while holding down Option or Alt.
Okay, well so far, so good. What about our Blacks? I don't really think we need to do anything with us those. I think we are good to go in regards to that area of the image. We have nice, deep, dark tones. We can work on the brightness just a touch here, add a little bit of contrast, interesting though. Take a look at this. I am going to exaggerate for a minute. When we increase contrast, we are also increasing color saturation. So now that warmth is way too warm. So let's bring this contrast back down to something a little bit more reasonable, but then let's go back to our Temperature slider and just modify that that touch.
We don't need to have it quite so warm there, and we don't want to overdo things, especially because we are adding contrast. So again, although we typically start at the top and go down, we will of course bounce around a bit as we work our way through these sliders. Next, most images need just a little bit of clarity. That gives us nice midtone contrast. Here I will increase Vibrance, which will increase the color saturation without oversaturating the face, and we have made our way through the Basic panel. Let's press the Backslash key.
There is the before. Here is the after. Or we can press the Y key, and then Shift+Y in order to look at the before and after side-by-side. Press Shift+Y again, and it will toggle back to that other view. Press the Y key by itself, and it will exit out of that Split View. In evaluating this photograph by pressing Backslash or Y, looking at our before and after, I would say, hey, you know what? I think we are going in a pretty good direction. I might just decrease that Color Temperature there, just a bit, and again, just playing with this, trying to find a nice place for this photograph.
I want it to be warm because it's a portrait, but I don't want to overdo things. So far, so good. Let's continue to work on this image, and we'll do that in the next movie.
- Understanding the difference between Lightroom and Photoshop
- Using interface shortcuts to navigate the workspace quickly
- Working with catalogs
- Making incremental adjustments
- Grouping images with collections and smart collections
- Creating virtual copies of adjusted images
- Correcting white balances
- Adjusting color with Vibrance and Saturation
- Cropping images and changing aspect ratios
- Using the Adjustment Brush
- Toning with the HSL controls
- Outputting images to slideshows and web galleries
- Printing photos