Photoshop Lightroom 4 Tutorial
So I recently upgraded to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 because I liked some of it’s new features including soft proofing and the ability to make localised white balance adjustments. After having used Lightroom 3 for a number of years for my work as a professional landscape photographer and written a number of tutorials on it I thought it was time to update them and create this new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 tutorial.
You can buy your version of Adobe Lightroom 4.0 (Mac/PC)
through Amazon at a great price.
Organising your Images in Lightroom 4
One of the main benefits of using Lightroom over Photoshop is it’s excellent Library function which allows you to do everything from importing to key wording and organising your folder structures. I’ll quickly take you through how to import your photos from your camera and how to set up your folders to keep them organised as well as automatically back up your images and add important meta data and copyright information to keep your pictures safe from theft.
Now to start off we should choose where we want to save all our images. The default is to store them on your main hard drive, usually the C: drive but I would recommend saving your images to either another internal drive or an external one because your main hard drive will quickly fill up. It is also better to have a dedicated drive just for your images if possible to keep things organised.
As you can see I have quite a bit of hard drive space but most people wont need this much. I store my images on my D: drive and have lightroom automatically back up to my external F: drive which in turn is then backed up to the G: drive. A separate backup is then made to another portable hard drive which is kept off site and a final backup is made to the cloud. Now this is certainly overkill for the majority of people but being a professional photographer means my livelihood depends upon those images so I am very paranoid about saving them. One backup will be enough for most people.
Keeping things simple
I would recommend storing all your images in one folder and then creating sub- folders within it. My main folder is called ‘My Lightroom Photos’ and then I have sub folders named by year and then date within it.
To keep things simple I would recommend moving all your existing images into this main lightroom folder so that Lightroom can keep all your photos easily organised.Simply drag and drop them into your new folder.
Now for images already on your computer all you have to do is tell Lightroom 4 where they are by importing them. Click on the import button in the Library module (Press Ctr+Shift+i) and you will be taken to the photo import screen.
Now just select the folder with your images in that you want to import into Lightroom. You can also deselect any individual images that you don’t want to import by unchecking the check box in the top left of the image thumbnail.
You also have the options to move the files, copy them or simply add them to Lightroom’s catalogue and leave them in their existing position. If you have already dragged and dropped your images as previously explained then you can simply choose the add option.
I usually leave the check box ticked for ‘don’t import suspected duplicates’ which helps to avoid creating multiple copies of files.
Now just like in Lightroom 3 you can setup Lightroom 4 to automatically apply keywords and/or copyright information to your photos on import which is a great time saving tool.
Simply click on the meta data drop down and select edit pre-sets on the “apply during import” menu and you can define the settings and meta data that you want to apply.
Here you can see I have added copyright information as well as my contact details so should someone find this image somewhere illegally on the Internet and want to use it they have no excuse for not getting in touch and requesting permission.
Importing Photos from your camera
Ok so you have now imported and organised existing photos but here’s how to get your beautiful new images from your camera and into Lightroom 4′s library.
Well it’s pretty much the same as importing images from your PC except you select a different source in the top left hand menu. In this case it’s called EOS Digital
Once you have plugged in your memory card to the computer Lightroom will see it and you can choose to import images from the card.
If you’re not sure if you want to import all the images then you can check them before importing by double clicking on the thumbnail to check for sharpness, composition etc. and simply uncheck the box in the top left corner if you don’t want to import a particular file, the thumbnail will then be darker than the others to show Lightroom will not be importing it.
Remember I mentioned earlier that I get Lightroom 4 to make and extra backup copy of my images automatically? Well here’s where you do it. Tick the check box in the top right hand corner in the file handling section that says ‘make a second copy to’ and simply select where you want Lightroom to create your backup copy. Simples.
Finally I normally add a custom name in the file renaming section to help me remember which shoot the images are from. I use something like Luskentyre Winter Sunset but choose whatever works best for you.
So there you have it, your images should now be nicely organised in Lightroom 4 and safely backed up as well as being protected from copyright theft. Next up I’ll show you one of Lightroom’s best features and one that will save you so much time. Next Lightroom 4 tutorial
Dont forget to pick up your copy of Lightroom 4 through my Amazon link below. It wont cost you anymore but allows me to earn a small commission which helps towards the upkeep of the site. Thanks to all those who buy anything at all through my links, no matter how small it all helps.