Lightroom Tutorial 3 – Develop Module Presets

Lightroom Develop Module

It would be helpful if you opened Lightroom and then clicked on the folder that you used for tutorial 2, Library module. If you didn’t make one then any folder will do, but it would be best if there were only 5 or 6 photos in it.

Once we have opened a folder we are in the Library module. You don’t need to click on develop as there are keyboard short cuts. Press D to go to the develop module and then if you want to go back to the library at any point then press G. To remove the side and bottom menus press tab │←→│.

Your screen should now look like this.

Develop-1

There are small arrows in the circles. If you click on arrows 1 and 3 you will notice that the develop menu has now disappeared and so has your row of photos at the bottom. This is really useful as you can then develop your photos in a larger format, and you can click on any of the arrows to bring them back. However, you don’t need to even do that. Hover over any of the arrows and the menu will show, and you can then use those features. I tend to have the develop menu (top) and the tool menu (right) permanently open, but you will find out what’s best for you by experimentation. For now, press tab and bring all of the menus back up.

The first thing that I always do when in the develop menu is to remove chromatic aberration and enable profile corrections. Chromatic aberrations are sometimes known as “Colour Fringing” and it is to do with how light at different wavelengths are brought to the focal point slightly differently, so you can get a blurred edge, more often of one colour. The lens correction is based upon the known distortions produced by a specific lens.

It’s best to adjust this with all of your photos in this collection at once. If I do this individually I forget some of the time. To choose all of your photos press Ctrl A, then use the right hand side slider until you find this.

Develop-2

Tick the check box for remove chromatic aberration and also for Enable Profile Corrections. You can choose which lens you were using. If you use a camera without interchangeable lenses then I don’t think you can correct the profile. My Fuji bridge camera doesn’t have a profile here so I can’t correct it. Once you have ticked the boxes press sync. (The above photo says auto sync, but it will say Sync on your screen).  If you have used multiple lenses you will need to go through them individually, but I mostly use one lens on one shoot. Your screen will now have this check box.

Develop-3

Although you can sync all settings and it can speed up workflow, I wouldn’t reccoment this until you have got an understanding of the different develop tools. Some photos will require different settings for optimal developing, so it isnt best to sync everything. When you are used to the develop tools and can make a fair assumption of how they will affect other photos you can then sycn settings by selecting multiple photos (Ctrl and left click). The settings will be synchronised with the photo that you are currently editing and applied to the others.

At the moment just tick the same 7 boxes that I have ticked above (deselct the rest by clicking on them if they are already ticked) and then press Synchronize.

Lightroom Presets

Lightroom presets are global develop settings that Lightroom has built in as options for you to use if you wish. They provide a range of options to develop photos and can speed up our workflow. You can use a preset and then add your own adjustments to these, or you may choose not to use them at all, but they are definitely worth exploring.

Develop-4

1- Change background colour, 2- Navigator preview image, 3 – Lightroom presets

Before we use the presets consider changing the background of your screen. Right-click to the side of your photo and click the background colour of your preference. I have recently moved over to a white background. My reason being that most of my photos are displayed online, on a white background. Having the same background in Lightroom means that I am developing a photo as it will be seen online. The colour of the background alters the way that our brain views the light and colour (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checker_shadow_illusion)

The navigator is brilliant. You can change the image ratio to zoom in or out, which you can also do with Ctrl + – (no Ctrl 0 in Lightroom like there is in Photoshop). You can increase the zoom further by using the double arrows next to the 2:1 ratio. The fab part of navigation is when you then start to explore the pre-sets. Most frequently I use the General Presets, occasional use of the Colour Presets, and rarely the Black and White Presets.

Exercise

Open the General Preset menu by clicking on the arrow to the left of it. Hover over each of the options whilst looking at the image above in the navigator. You get a preview of how the pre-set will adjust your photo. Do the same with the Colour Pre-sets. Click on one of them and it will adjust your photo, and then you can press Ctrl Z to undo the change.

There is also a + – symbol next to where it says pre-sets in the same panel. This is useful when you realise that you make a lot of similar global changes in your photo developing. You can make the changes to a photo and then press the + symbol, give your preset a name, and you have your own preset. This saves time, but get used to developing your photos first (Tutorial 4 and 5 will explore global and local developing).

I don’t use the copy and paste, you can add your own develop settings into the currently selected preset, or you can copy a presets settings and then paste them into a photo. I am not familiar with this process and I don’t feel comfortable changing around these settings by using the copy and paste. You do not need to use the copy and paste option as once you have used a preset you can still make your own local and global developments to your photo anyway.

Lightroom History

When you are developing photos in Lightroom you are developing a full size virtual copy in a non-destructive manner. It doesn’t matter how many changes that you make, you can always go back to the original settings. You can do this by using Ctrl Z, which is fine for going back a couple of settings, but what if you have used the tools (tutorial 4 and 5) and have made lots of brush strokes and altered a lot of settings and don’t like what you have done? Use the slider on the left of the screen and go down to history. As you haven’t adjusted anything other than chromatic aberrations and lens profile then your History won’t reveal much. However you can see that in my history settings it shows a few of the developments that I have made:- Dark tones, dark tones, lightones, vibrance, clarity, add brush stroke etc.

Develop-5

I have made some awful edits on mine and I don’t like them. I can now step back to anywhere in the history. By hovering over any of the settings, I can view how my photo looked at that point by looking in the navigator as I hover over the history changes. Then click on a change that I want to go back to. Being able to view our adjustment history in the navigator is an excellent tool from Lightroom (Adobe)

Exercise

Click on one of the Lightroom Colour Presets, we are doing this to ensure that you have made a change to your photo (a basic development), now you can compare your developed photo with the original. Press Y and your screen will look like this.

Develop-6

By clicking where it says YY you can alter how you compare the before and after settings, side by side, above and below, or split view side by side and split view above and below. Give it a go. To go back to having just your developed photo (after) on screen press Y.

When you are developing a photo and you want a quick view of the original photo, you dont have to see it side by side. Press the \ and it will bring up the original and then press it again to return to your current stage of development.

I personally do not use the three boxes to the right of where it says before and after because I don’t fully understand how to use them. If I want to go back to any previous settings I just use the history brush.

Next time, in tutorial 4,  we will look at the global developing tools and see how we can begin to develop the whole photo. In tutorial 5 we will make local adjustments.

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