Lightroom 5 Workshop I – November 30, 2013

Lightroom 5 Workshop I - November 30, 2013

Lightroom 5 Workshop I – November 30, 2013

Our first Lightroom 5 workshop was held on a snowy Saturday morning in the back shop at Eagleridge.  A dozen keen students and two instructors (Larry Citra and Derek Chambers) gathered to begin learning the basics of Lightroom 5.  Because the software is so rich with tools and powerful techniques, we focused on Catalogs and just two of Lightroom’s seven modules, Library and Develop (the remainder will be covered in subsequent workshops).  Below is an outline of the topics which were covered.

Students were provided with a set of 36 images that were subsequently used to illustrate the topics being covered and to form the basis for some common exercises.

The final exercise was to edit an image taken in Amsterdam:

Amsterdam Dawn

Amsterdam Dawn

The above is a jpg copy of the original RAW image.  It is a little flat and uninteresting.  It may be a rendition of what the camera saw, but it is not an accurate presentation of what my eye saw.  In order to achieve that, it is necessary to edit the RAW image.

Workshop attendees were invited to edit the original RAW image to achieve what they thought it should look like.  It is this process of editing where the real artistry of digital photography is displayed.  In this case, we also see how different is the creative vision of individuals, demonstrating unequivocally that there is no single answer. Click on any one of the images to see a larger version (and a carousel of the others):

Lightroom 5 Workshop II, covering some of the additional features of modules Library and Develop as well as the powerful Print module, is scheduled for Saturday, February 8, 2014.  We’ll also do a quick review of the major topics of Workshop I.


References and Learning Material

What is Lightroom?

  • Image Library Manager (Library)
  • Image Editor (Develop)
  • Place (Map)
  • Presentation (Book, Slideshow)
  • Printing (Print)
  • Publishing (Web)

How do you arrange your photos?

  • My Pictures or Photos?
  • Folder names chosen how? Date? Location? Event?
  • Things go better if you have a plan!
  • Example: by year > by month > by day so have folder 2013 > subfolder 2013-11 > subfolder 2013-11-30


  • What is a catalogue? Database – contains only information about photos (where are they, what’s their EXIF data etc), not the photos
  • How many catalogues should you have? Your choice. My choice? Normally only one.
  • Some Catalogue Settings
    • General
    • File Handling
    • Metadata
  • Creating a catalog
    • File > New Catalog
    • Exercise: “Lr5 Workshop”
    • Save as in Pictures > Lightroom (or Photos > Lightroom)

Getting Pictures into the catalogue

  • Import Photos: Add, Copy, Move etc.
    • Import folder of Lr 5 Workshop images (select Add)
    • Can also import from other sources
      • Camera Card: Make sure that in Preferences > General you have checked Show Import Dialog when card detected
      • You’ll also be given the opportunity to select Eject Card when Import completed
      • Two levels of dialog (see caret at bottom of dialog to select Compact or Verbose (my terms)

Lightroom Preferences

  • General
  • Interface
    • Panels
    • Background
    • Keyword Entry
    • Filmstrip

Top Menu Bar

  • Commands
    • File – jump back and forth between catalogues; import from another catalogue; update Elements catalogue
    • Edit
    • Library
    • Photo
    • Metadata
    • View
      • Many keyboard shortcuts shown here; revisit from time to time as you become more familiar with Lightroom
    • Windows
    • Help
  • Most of the above can be accessed this way or through another way
    • We will come back to these top menu items from time to time
  • Most important one is Help – Best if connected to the Internet

Lightroom Interface

  • Top
    • Identity Plate
      • Fun: Change the Identity Plate on your Lr 5 Workshop catalogue
    • Module Names: Library, Develop, Map, Book, Slideshow, Print, Web
  • Left Panel
    • Navigator
    • What else is visible? Right Click for choice
      • Catalog
      • Folders
      • Collections
      • Publish Services (probably don’t need this one visible)
    • Carets: triangles pointing left, right, up, down
    • Hide and reveal left panel
      • Right click to reveal choices (Auto Hide & Show, Auto Hide, Manual, Sync with opposite panel)
    • “Solo Mode”
    • More personalization: Flourish
    • Export and Import Buttons – More Detail Later
  • Center Panel
    • Photos in the catalogue
    • Two views: Grid View or Loupe View (G or E); View drop down, select Grid or Loupe; Lower left corner of center panel (checkerboard for Grid, framed for Loupe)
    • Caret: lower righthand corner allows you to select what is to displayed on bottom bar
      • View Modes
      • Painter
      • Sorting
      • Flagging
      • Rating
      • Colour Label
      • Rotate
      • Navigate
      • Slideshow
      • Thumbnail size
  • Film Strip
    • Slider
    • Selecting: One, many consecutive, many non-consecutive
    • Film strip visibility: use caret to Hide and Reveal
    • Enables view management of second monitor; select different folder; etc.
    • Filter: can use to particularize which photos are shown on film strip
  • Right Panel
    • Histogram
    • Quick Develop
    • Keywording
    • Keyword List
    • Metadata
    • Comments
    • Show All/Hide All
    • Solo Mode
    • Expand All/Collapse All
    • Panel End Mark

Keywords, Ratings, Flags, Label Colours and More

  • Keywords attached to individual photos enable you to find those photos subsequently
  • Keywords you use are your individual choice
  • Some suggestions: location, subject, people, type (e.g landscape, portrait. Panorama etc)
  • You can attach multiple keywords to any image; separated by commas (remember how we set that up? Lightroom > Preferences > Interface Keyword Panel)
  • You can select based on keywords (see collections), filter the grid
  • Attaching keywords
    • Right Panel > Keywording
    • Highlight the image, type in the keyword in the space provided; you can enter multiple keywords, separated by commas
    • Keyword Suggestions, Keyword List
    • Adding the same keyword to one or multiple images
    • Exercise: Add keyword “wildlife” to the right images
  • Ratings: None, one, two, three, four, five stars
  • Label Colours: make images stand out


  • Collections
    • making a collection from a selection
  • Smart Collections
    • dynamic, active collection based upon selection criteria; example: keyword wildlife
  • Quick Collection
  • Selection Criteria
    • large number of criteria can be slected
    • all or any one has to be true
  • Collection Set


  • Righthand Panel – Metadata
    • Lots of information about the image
      • Information about the image
      • Information about the photographer
        • Import Presets
        • Create Preset to import images at the same time writing in Copyright information
    • Syncing metadata (complete metadata in one image; select it plus all others to have same metadata; select Sync Metadata)
    • Change Filename

Quick Develop

  • Editing changes can be made to an image here, but it is much easier to do so in the Develop Module.


  • We will see this again in the Develop Module

Odds and Ends

  • Smart Previews
    • for use if images are on detachable hard drive
    • smart previews allow you to continue doing editing and metadata work when image drive is not present when you next plug in image hard drive, data will be synchronized
  • Virtual Copies
    • You may want to do different things to the same image
    • make a virtual copy to work on (only creates a new xmp file, not a new image)

The Develop Module

  • This is where the bulk of your editing work will happen
  • Select Grid view in Library, select and image, select Develop


  • Menu Bar
    • Tabs change with Module
    • If you don’t know how to do something, often you can find the command on the Menu Bar
    • We’ll be initiating many of these in a different way
    • Tabs
      • File
      • Edit
      • Develop
      • Photo
      • Settings
      • Tools
      • View
      • Window
      • Help
  • Left Panel
    • Navigator
    • Presets
      • expand the Preset lists
      • mouse over to see the effect as shown in the Navigator panel (size?)
      • there are many sources of Presets, some free, many inexpensive
    • Snapshots
      • as suggested by name, freezes where you are in a snapshot
    • History
      • Keeps a running list of everything which you’ve done to the image (stored as an xmp file)
      • Allows you to retreat to an earlier stage
    • Collections
      • Lists your collections
  • Right Panel
    • Histogram
      • Crop Tool
      • Spot Removal Tool
      • Redeye Removal Tool
      • Graduated Filter – Linear
      • Graduated Filter – Circular
      • Adjustment Brush
    • Selecting What Else is Shown (Right Click)
      • Show all/Hide all
      • Solo Mode
      • Expand all/Collapse all
      • Panel End Mark
    • Basic
      • Main editing area
      • Sliders allow you to change all the major elements normally used in editing, but only as percentages, not absolute values
        • Colour vs Black and White
        • White Balance (As shot, Auto, Custom)
          • Temperature
          • Tint
        • Either Tone or Auto for major ones
          • Exposure
          • Contrast
          • Highlights
          • Shadows
          • Whites
          • Blacks
        • Presence
          • Clarity
          • Vibrance Saturation
      • Let’s try these out on an image: DC Amsterdam.NEF
    • Tone Curve
      • enables total control, through curves, over tones, by colour and curve type
      • some neat effects by just fooling around
    • HSL/Colour/B & W
      • HSL
        • Change Hue, Saturation and Luminance by colour
        • Allows for very fine control over the image
      • Colour
    • Split Toning
      • treat highlights and shadows differently for Hue and Saturation
      • adjust what is treated as a highlight or shadow
    • Detail
      • Sharpening
        • every image benefits from sharpening (physical nature of light blurs edges)
        • definitely need sharpening before printing
      • Noise Reduction
        • fights noise in image because of low light or increasing the exposure slider a lot
    • Lens Correction
      • Correct for distortion caused by relative camera-subject position and axises
      • Use the sliders to address particular distortion directions
    • Effects
      • Post Crop Vignetting
      • Grain
    • Camera Calibration

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