Basic Lightroom Edit | 8 Minute Video

I spend about 99% of my editing time in Adobe Lightroom. Clean, simple editing tends to be the type that produces imagery closest to my vision, and I find the interface of Lightroom to be easy, and time efficient, to use. Today, I am sharing a video that walks through a basic Lightroom edit. The video is 8 minutes long. Minus my talking, this edit would likely take me about 4 minutes to accomplish by hand.

Summarizing a few key tips that I included in the video:

Editing Order for a Basic Lightroom Edit

-I begin either by adjusting global exposure or global white balance. In order to decide, I look at which variable needs the most adjustment, and start there. From that point I proceed largely straight down through the panels and return to do local adjustments once all global adjustments have been made.

General Lightroom Knowledge Tips

-I press and hold alt/option while moving the Sharpening “Masking” slider in the Detail panel in order to see where sharpening is being applied within the image. White indicates sharpening and black indicates no sharpening.

-Clarity adjusts contrast within midtones. Adding clarity will increase the brightness of bright midtones and increase the darkness of dark midtones. Decreasing clarity will result in the opposite effect. I add clarity to increase depth in subjects’ skintones.

-Saturation adjusts the saturation of all colors within the frame. Vibrance is similar to saturation in that it acts on the strength of colors within the frame. However, vibrance is specifically formulated by Adobe to increase saturation of colors that are less saturated within the frame. It is also designed to protect skintones and avoid oversaturation in skin. I like to use vibrance, instead of saturation, on images including human subjects.

-Most RAW files will need an immediate boost in contrast. I accomplish this by adding a Medium Contrast Point Curve (on the Tone Curve panel) to almost every image I edit.

What else would you like to see me address in Lightroom? Let me know in the comments!


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  1. Veronie

    14 March

    Thank you so much for this edit video. I learned so much. I think I will have to re-edit all my pictures :)
    Great blog. I will continue to follow!

    • MeganCieloha

      15 March

      Thanks, Veronie! I’m glad the edit video was helpful :)

  2. Nadeen

    16 March

    What a clear and informative tutorial. I always enjoy viewing your work.

    • MeganCieloha

      16 March

      Thank you, Nadeen! I appreciate that :)

  3. […] For another blog post including a video showing a quick edit in Lightroom, please click here. […]

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