Differences between the tone curve and the basic settings

In addition to the common contrast and exposure (brightness) settings that are included in even the most basic photo retouching applications, it is possible in Lightroom to modify individual ranges of brightness, which allows for precise adjustments. There are a couple of ways to do it, though, and new users of Lightroom are often (and justifiably!) confused with the settings in the Basic and Tone Curve panels.
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Lightroom basics #1: the catalog

The catalog, Lightroom’s central element, is a database that contains all the information about the photos in the library, as well as all retouches and adjustments that are made.

When you first use Lightroom, it asks you to create a catalog, which you can do by writing its name and choosing where to save it. In the selected location, a folder is created with the chosen name, for instance “my catalog”, and the following content: Continue reading

10 reasons to use Lightroom

  1. Even though it is a very powerful software application, Lightroom has an elegant and simple interface. The learning curve is pretty low and excellent results can be obtained in a matter of minutes.
  2. The develop module offers a lot of easy to use tools for cropping, lens correction, color enhancements (brightness, contrast, saturation, etc…), noise reduction and much more.
  3. One of the biggest advantages of Lightroom is that all adjustments that are made are non-destructive, meaning that at any time it is possible to undo the changes or simply view the original pictures. Continue reading

Introduction to Photoshop Lightroom

Despite its name and unlike Photoshop Elements, Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom is NOT a lighter version of Photoshop. In order to avoid any confusion, from now on I’ll use only the name Lightroom when referring to Photoshop Lightroom.

Some retouching, such as cropping or changing the contrast or brightness of a picture, can be done in either Photoshop or in Lightroom, though not always with the same simplicity or flexibility. On the other hand, other things can be done in only one of those two software applications: working with layers, compositions and complex retouching can be done only in Photoshop, while Lightroom excels at cataloguing and finding pictures, assign them geographical coordinates, etc… Continue reading