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5 Lightroom Myths Keeping you from Becoming a Skilled Photo Editor

A primary aspect of keeping a successful blog is its content. And I’m not referring to textual content only. I’m also talking about the creation of eye-catching images. 

You could be thinking to yourself “Is writing an interesting post not enough?….”

Look, this may have worked in the past, but I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed that visual content has almost completely taken over. In a fast-paced world, with so much changing content, you simply do not have much time to catch your reader's attention, and amazing photos are key in attracting people to your content, and in making sure they will return time and time again.

Today I would like to write about one of the best things that have ever happened to my photos… Lightroom.

When I first started my blog, one of the most important things, to me, was to make sure I had good images.

Sorry, not good – EXCELLENT!

I was determined to develop my photography and editing skills as soon as possible. I still remember every time I would open the internet and dig deeper and deeper, I found more and more bloggers and Instagrammers use Lightroom to edit their photos. At the time, I didn’t know anything about the software, had no idea how to use it, and knew no one who could guide me. Still, I set myself a goal that one day I will be able to work this software program like a pro. 

And it happened 🤗

Today, every single picture I take for my own blog or for clients is edited using Lightroom, and I can’t even imagine what I would do without it! But, and this is a big but {!}, from the moment I first heard of Lightroom and until the state I have reached today, a lot has passed… I’d like to shatter a few common myths about Lightroom which held me back, personally, in my way of becoming a skilled photo-editor, so that these prejudices won’t frustrate you and cause you to waste your time… 

Myth #1 - “Lightroom is very expensive and is only meant for professional photographers”

Up until 5 years ago, in order to use Adobe software programs, Lightroom among them, you had to physically purchase the software on a CD and pay an extra sum each time it was updated. At the time, the cost for such programs was high, and Lightroom was purchased mostly by professional photographers, or at least those who considered themselves to be professional. And then, there was a huge turnaround in the company's sales model, when Adobe stopped selling products and began to sell services with a monthly/annual subscription at much more affordable prices, which is much more suitable for people who just want to experiment with the software or use it as a hobby.

4 years ago, the company launched its photo package in Israel too, which includes a monthly Photoshop and Lightroom subscription, for only 9.99 USD a month {for an annual contract}. So it’s true, hacked versions of LIghtroom can be downloaded as well, but one of the drawbacks in using Adobe’s hacked programs {besides the legal issue} is that there are all kinds of bugs in the software, because it can’t be updated at the pace that the new versions that Adobe comes out with quite often, are released. 

The greatest advantage of Adobe’s monthly subscription is that unlike before, when you had to pay more money every time a new version was released, now anyone who subscribes to the Adobe photo-package received Photoshop and Lightroom updates on regular basis.

Basically, Lightroom is no longer an expensive program designed solely for professional photographers. True, it is not free, but in my opinion, the magic it can bring to your photos is worth every penny.

Lightroom editing tips for beginners

Myth #2 - “Lightroom is an intuitive program”

I’m sure this thought has crossed your mind at some point, after all, it is one of the biggest Lightroom myths! You may have already decided that it's time to subscribe to Creative Cloud and downloaded Lightroom to your computer {or, heaven forbid, download a hacked version}, but things didn't go as you planned… Let me guess, you opened the program, thrilled with excitement from the magic you were about to work on your images. But then, you realized, that you have no idea how to import photos to Lightroom, and where they go, you’re unsuccessful at giving your photos that “wow” look which is the reason you bought the software in the first place, and you feel like everything is taking waaay longer than you’d originally expected. Sound familiar? You’re not alone…

A few years ago I was literally in the same state. The truth is that Lightroom is not the most intuitive at first glance, and even though it can turn your photos into the kind that we see in magazines, there are a few basic stops one must learn before the program becomes user-friendly. 

There is no doubt that the software has many tools that are easy to understand right away – for example, if you want to change the exposure, simply drag the Exposure slider left or right. If you have a basic knowledge of English, you can easily understand what the slider does, so here, yes, it's quite intuitive. But that pretty much sums it up. The truth is that there is a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of how to tools really work and effect each other, then it becomes amazingly easy to work with. So, if you just started using Lightroom and you have no idea what you should do with all its modules and tabs, or you randomly pull the sliders on the ‘Develop’ screen and hope for the best, you're definitely not alone 🙂 But don’t worry, you too will be able to create amazing photos once you figure out how things work!

עריכת תמונות בתוכנת לייטרום | Lightroom editing tips for beginners

Myth #3 - “I can learn all about editing by watching Youtube videos”

When I first started learning how to edit photos, I watched several different YouTube tutorials and tried to apply all the knowledge I had learned from them to my photos. Putting aside what a difficult puzzle that was to put together, after all, I had no clue what the “perfect picture” should look like… I mean, I didn’t even know what features the program had. The result was obviously horrifying. My images came out looking overexposed, with crazy contrast and exaggerated colors. They looked as if they were edited by at least 20 different people. And to be honest, that may not be far from the truth. After all, it was pretty impossible keeping in line with one editing style, while I was learning from so many tutorials. 

The mere thought of my first editing jobs brings pain to my eyes! I was so upset about my bad editing job, it had such a terribly exaggerated look, and so unaesthetic… But I finally understood that although I was following a number of Youtube tutorials, and very basically figured out how to use some of the tools on Lightroom, I still didn’t know how to properly edit a photograph as a whole. 

There is a huge difference between getting to know the tools, and knowing how to edit. In order to really know how to edit amazing photos using Lightroom, it is not enough to get to know the program editing tools or have Youtube as your guide on how to achieve a certain look. 

At a certain point I experienced a moment of clarity, I understood that in order to truly know how to edit my photos, I have to look at what the picture needs and why it needs it, and only after that, use the best tools to realize the vision I have for the image. If you focus on learning only the final part – how to use specific tools – you simply cannot reach the amazing results such as those you see on Instagram or in magazines.

That is the reason why in my course, ‘The Blogger's Photobooth', I not only teach precisely how each tool works, but also to explain step by step why I chose to edit each image with specific tools that I chose. So if you decide to enroll in the course – you will not only understand how the tools work but especially why and when to use each tool. And that's the big secret to successful editing!

עריכת תמונות בתוכנת לייטרום | Lightroom editing tips for beginners

Myth #4 - “I can simply use Lightroom Presets”

This myth is directly linked to the previous myth… Lots of users tend to think they can simply buy presets online, and their photos will suddenly become perfect looking. If you’re not sure what I mean by presets, I am referring to image-design filters by Lightroom. Lightroom presets are actually predetermined settings for all or part of the software's features. In other words, presets allow us to edit an image, and then save the exact settings with which it was edited so that we can use them in the future on additional images. 

You’ve probably noticed that recently lots of Instagrammers have decided to make their unique and personal presets, available for sale. At first glance, this seems like a dream come true! Now everyone could have perfect photos that look exactly like those of their influencers. Still, you have no idea how many times I have read on the Internet and heard from my friends that even though they have the “perfect presets”, their images still do not even come close to those of their influencers from whom they bought the presets. The worst-case – the images become strange-looking once the preset effect is applied, and they become quite ugly and unusable.

This did not come as a surprise to me.  

  1. Because a good photo is not based only on a good preset, but also on photography skills, composition, and styling. 
  2. You need to familiarize yourself with Lightroom and understand how it works in order to make adjustments that will cause any preset to look perfect on different images.

The point of using presets is to drastically increase the time and energy we spend on out images, and they enable us as well to stick to a certain unified look when creating a series of photographs. But presets are most definitely not a substitute for in-depth study of the editing software.

עריכת תמונות בתוכנת לייטרום | Lightroom editing tips for beginners

Myth #5 - “Lightroom is useful only for general editing. If I’d like for my photos to look absolutely perfect, I’ll have to learn to use Photoshop as well.”

Absolutely not! There are so many things that can be done on this program you might not even know about… You can edit stunning photos in black and white, add hues of color to images, create a vintage look, change individual colors, just to name a few! If you thought Lightroom could be used just to change the lighting in your images, you’re about to be surprised by all the cool things that can be done! For example, using the adjustment brush tool, you can alter various elements in a picture, highlight your eyes in portrait pictures, eliminate redness, wrinkles and pimples, and more. The bottom line, it is a wonderful program and if you’re interested in turning your business, blog, or Instagram’s photos into no less than magnificent, you should not give it up! 

 

If you’re clueless about the way things work, or you’re stuck with a silly little thing (I, for example, couldn't figure out how to achieve that unique colorful look you see on Instagram!) you may be spending months just trying to figure it all out (Sadly, that’s the way I eventually learned) or you might just give up on the software program completely. For this reason exactly, the second part of my course ‘The Blogger’s Photoshoot' is dedicated to a simple understanding of how I work with the program, including the methods and tricks I learned along the way. If you still run into something you’re not quite sure about, don’t worry – As a student of the course, you will have access to a private Facebook group where you can get help and advice when you need it 🙂

If you’d like to begin creating magical, eye-catching, visual content, click here now to sign up for the course!

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