Mastering Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is not easy. Unfortunately, no introductory video tutorial or training accompanies this software when you first install it. Purchasing the Photoshop Lightroom application is not enough. For better or for worse, Adobe considers Photoshop Lightroom to be “professional-grade” application like their Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe InDesign products. Their corporate philosophy for all of their “professional-grade” products is to sell the software but to leave all of the training that most users to others like me.

There are few Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Certified Experts out there who have helped as many Photoshop Lightroom beginners as I have. Unlike many of the other Photoshop Lightroom experts out there, I have had the opportunity to teach this program both online and in a live classroom setting all over the country. The opportunity to teach this software both live and on-line has really helped me see where most beginners get lost and confused.

What I have seen again and again is that those who leap into this program without the right background knowledge often become very frustrated because they do not understand how Adobe Photoshop Lightroom actually works. I promise you that the time that you spend here learning about how Adobe Photoshop Lightroom actually functions will make your experience with this software far more rewarding and productive.

01: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Introduction

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Splash Screen

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a powerful image management tool and a wonderful digital camera raw file enhancer. This software is designed to streamline the modern photographer’s workflow. My Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Catalog helps me organize thousand of digital images. Finding the right image for a particular project, in a timely manner, is easy thanks to Photoshop Lightroom’s robust search tools and other organizational features.

02: The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Catalog Concept

Old Wooden Library Card Catalog Box

You must understand how the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Catalog functions if you want to master this software. Ninety-five percent of the frustration that most Photoshop Lightroom users experience with this software stems from a failure to truly understand how the Lightroom Catalog works.


03: Image Storage and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Catalog Storage Options

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Catalog Storage Options Diagram

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is an amazing program but this software will not devise the appropriate digital image storage system for you. It is your responsibility to design an image storage plan and to maintain your own backups. When you purchase Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, the Adobe software engineers assume that you have already researched all of the available image and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Catalog options and that you have careful formulated your own data storage plans before you start working with this program.

04: Professional-Grade Backup Plans

Total Data Loss Graphic

Nothing electronic lasts forever. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a wonderful image management tool, but it is not a backup system. Adobe Photoshop CC is amazing but it is not an image protection tool either. Drive failure is inevitable and when a disk fails that all of the photos that it contains might vanish. The real question is not “when will my hard drive fail” but rather ask yourself “what steps can I take right now so that I am properly prepared for my primary hard drive’s inevitable demise?”

05: What Does Import Mean in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom?

Lightroom 5 Import Dialog Box

The word Import has a very specific meaning inside of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Understanding this term within the Photoshop Lightroom lexicon can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that snare many new Photoshop Lightroom users. Import in Photoshop Lightroom means to add new reference points into your Photoshop Lightroom Catalog database file to keep track of a new group of digital images.

06: Organizing With Metadata

Organizing With Metadata in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Photo

Working with metadata tools like Keywords, Star Ratings, and the Map Module is the only way to harness the full potential of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as an organizational tool. Without these tools, finding an important image in a large Photoshop Lightroom Catalog can be a huge headache. Photoshop Lightroom’s Metadata Search tools are the best way to make digital image organization easy and efficient.

09: Non-Destructive Image Enhancement

Black and White Infrared Landscape After Processing With Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

With Photoshop Lightroom there is no need for this worry, or the “Save As” routine, because file protection is inherently built into the roots of this program. By design, Lightroom will never change your file’s original pixels. When you change a photo in Lightroom, what you are really doing is changing the file’s metadata.

Generally, we think of metadata as things like your copyright info, or the shutter speed that you used when you shot the image, but when you move the sliders in Lightroom’s Develop Module you are merely changing a different set of metadata fields. Your original image is never permanently altered, nor are any of it’s pixels overwritten, because Lightroom is only capable of changing the file’s metadata fields.

10: Black and White Image Enhancement Lesson I

Black and White Wheat Field After Processing With Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

This Photoshop Lightroom tutorial is the first in a series of lessons that I have put together on black and white photography. I believe that playing with black and white image enhancement techniques helps to trains our eyes to recognize the importance of concepts like line, shape, shadow, highlight, and pattern in our photography.

11: Black and White Image Enhancement Lesson II

Black and White Infrared Landscape After Processing With Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

In this tutorial, I am delighted to explain some of the fantastic tools that I use in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to polish up my black and white digital infrared photographs. This Photoshop Lightroom tutorial is the second in a series of lessons that I have put together on black and white photography.

12: Black and White Conversion Lesson III

Color Image Converted to Black and White in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Today’s tutorial demonstrates my favorite way to turn color images into striking black and white photographs using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5’s Black and White Mix Panel. Amazing black and white results are easy to achieve once you learn to utilize the Black and White Mix Panel, Lightroom’s powerful tonal controls, and add in a couple of other helpful sliders.

13: Basic Color Image Enhancement

Agave Image After Processing with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Setting the Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, and Contrast sliders properly is an essential step when working on full-color digital photographs in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. These Tone Controls are all part of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s Basic Panel, and your images will never exhibit their full potential and beauty if you skip over these sliders.

14: The Camera Raw Profile

Balsamroot Photo After Processing With Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

In this video tutorial, you will see how I can make amazing improvements to my color images simply by selecting the appropriate Camera Raw Profile and then carefully adjusting all of the Tone Controls up at the top of Photoshop Lightroom’s Basic Panel. Note that the Camera Raw Profile feature is only available to those working with digital camera raw files.

15: White Balance

Moonlight on The Fox Creek Schoolhouse

This Adobe Photoshop Lightroom tutorial is about improving the White Balance in our digital photos and illustrates the incredible power that we photographer’s can bring to our images using just two simple sliders in Photoshop Lightroom’s Develop Module.

16: Targeted Saturation Improvements

Water-Sculpted Rocks and Grasses Image After Processing in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

This Adobe Photoshop Lightroom tutorial is about the power of Saturation and Lightroom’s Targeted Adjustment Tool. Saturation is the secret weapon in great color photography, and it’s one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal when we want to drive the viewer’s attention towards a specific part of our image.

17: The Tone Curve

Spring Flowers and Flies

Once you understand how the Tone Curve Panel works, adding contrast with precision in Photoshop Lightroom is easy. It takes a little practice to master these tools, but it is worth the effort. Learning to add contrast to both your color and your black and white images via Lightroom’s Tone Curve Panel is one of the best things that you can do for your digital photography.

18: The Lens Correction Panel

Nashville Skyline And Barge Photo Before Processing With Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5’s Lens Correction Panel is truly amazing. Within Photoshop Lightroom’s Lens Correction Panel are tools for vignette removal, keystone correction, defringing, and chromatic aberration repair. There are few things in digital photography worthy of the word “magical” but the tools in this panel deserve that kind of lofty praise.

19: Noise Reduction in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Aurora above the Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Digital camera noise reduction using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is the focus of this video tutorial. When we are in situations that require shooting at a high ISO setting, the noise reduction tools in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s Details Panel can dramatically improve our images.

20: Input Sharpening

Stars Over The Matterhorn

This video tutorial is on Input Sharpening using the controls in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s Details Panel. Sharpening is one of the most misunderstood topics in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and perhaps in all of digital photography. This tutorial will help you understand what sharpening is and when to use it.

21: The Graduated Filter Lesson I

Full Moon over Glacier National Park Montana

The changes that we can make with the Graduated Filter are incredibly powerful but this is not an easy feature of Photoshop Lightroom to learn without guidance. This tutorial will get you up and running with the basics of using the Graduated Filter.

22: Changing Colors with the Graduated Filter

Silhouetted Trees on a Beach at Sunset

In this tutorial I cover further uses for the Graduated Filter. This tutorial builds upon the skills learned in tutorial #21: The Graduated Filter Lesson. I recommend watching that video first before delving into this tutorial which covers advanced uses for this amazing tool.

23: The Radial Filter

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The Radial Filter is a welcome new addition to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5’s image enhancement toolset. When used gently, Photoshop Lightroom 5’s Radial Filter is a fantastic way to highlight important circular elements in your composition and to keep your viewer’s vision focused in on your subject. In this video I demonstrate how to use the Radial Filter to enhance both landscape and portrait images.

24: Adding A Vignette

Squirrel Island Sunset

This video tutorial explores all five sliders and three vignette styles that Photoshop Lightroom 5 offers in the Post-Crop Vignette section of the Effects Panel. Photographers have been adding vignettes to the edges of their photos for decades, and learning this effect is well-worth your time as a finishing touch on certain images.

25: Red Eye Removal

Red Eye Before Enhancement in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

This Adobe Photoshop Lightroom video tutorial is on the Red Eye Correction Tool. This tutorial also covers how to efficiently zoom in and out using Lightroom’s keyboard shortcuts without having to change tools.

26: Spot Removal Basics

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We live in a dirty dusty world. No matter how clean your equipment sooner or later you will find spots that need to be removed which is the topic of this video tutorial. The keyboard shortcuts and the dust spot hunting skills that I demonstrate in today’s video tutorial are well worth learning. These tricks and tips make dust spot removal with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom more precise and a whole lot more efficient.

27: Advanced Spot Removal Tricks

Logo Removed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

In this tutorial I go over how to use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s advanced healing capabilities to remove larger spots and flaws. I also demonstrate the most efficient way to search your entire image for dust and imperfections.

28: The Adjustment Brush

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Photoshop Lightroom’s Adjustment Brush is a tremendous help when you want to adjust a specific region of your photograph without altering any of the other parts of the image. In this tutorial I demonstrate how the brush tool works while showing you some practical uses for this tool.

29: Export Dialog Basics

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Export Dialog

Export in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom vernacular means “to save a new copy of your photograph for a specific purpose.” Think of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s Export Dialog as if it were a big “Save As” button. Use this feature of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom whenever you need to create a copy of your photo for distribution via email, print, or for use on the web.

The word ‘Export’ in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom vernacular means “to save a new copy of your photograph for a specific purpose.” Think of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s Export Dialog as if it were a big “Save As” button. In this tutorial I will cover how to create a copy of your photo for distribution via email, print, or for use on the web.

30: The Crop Overlay Tool & Photo Lab Export Presets

Bighorn Sheep Graze in Yellowstone National Park

This video tutorial is all about Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s Crop Overlay Tool and using Export Presets to prepare files for sending to a professional photo lab.

31: Preparing Files For Email

Aurora Borealis Over The Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Learning to harness the full potential of the Export Dialog is an important skill for power Adobe Photoshop Lightroom users. In this tutorial I will show you how to efficiently create email-ready Jpeg copies of your digital camera Raw files.

32: Halloween Edition Creating Crazy Colors in Lightroom

The One Shoe Wizard

In today’s special Photoshop Lightroom Halloween Edition video tutorial, I demonstrate three strange ways to create unique colors in your raw images.

First, I explain how to use Photoshop Lightroom’s Develop Presets to cast a cold blue tone across one of my more unique images. Next, I demonstrate how to misuse the Hue and Saturation sliders in Lightroom’s Camera Calibration Panel to create a strange otherworldly look. Finally, today’s tutorial ends with a lesson on simulating the look of old cross processed film using the color channels in Lightroom’s scary Point Curve dialog.

33: Synchronizing Develop Settings

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In this video tutorial, I demonstrate three ways to synchronize your Develop Settings from one image to another using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Learning to copy and paste your improvements from one image to another is an essential, time saving skill. Your productivity will skyrocket once you learn how the Sync Settings commands works!

34: Creating A Time-Lapse Clip with Lightroom and QuickTime Pro

Arctic Aurora Borealis

I love time-lapse photography! In this video tutorial, I demonstrate how we can use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 and QuickTime Pro 7 to create a nice simple time-lapse video clip.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s ability to synchronize the Develop Settings from one image to another rocks when it comes to processing the hundreds, or thousands, of nearly identical images that it takes to make a long time-lapse clip. The ease with which we can copy and paste all of Lightroom’s Develop Settings from one photo to another makes preparing all of the frames that we will need for a time-lapse clip easy.

35: Creating A Slideshow

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Learn how to use Photoshop Lightroom’s Slideshow Module to create a family holiday slideshow in this week’s special Thanksgiving edition video tutorial. Lightroom’s Slideshow Module also makes it easy to turn a slideshow into a video that I can be shared or posted on the web.

36: Creating A Time-Lapse Movie with Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CC

Aurora Over The Trees Of Churchill Manitoba

This video tutorial demonstrates how you can use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CC to make elegant time-lapse video clips.

What most people don’t know is that you can also use Adobe Photoshop CC to tie multiple video clips together. The real message in this week’s tutorial is that Photoshop CC is also a powerful video editor. You can quickly edit video clips, add transitions between clips, and add a sound track to produce a professional-grade time-lapse movie using nothing but Adobe Photoshop CC.

37: Collections and Smart Collections

37 Photoshop-Lightroom-Smart-Collections-Dialog

Finding your favorite images is incredibly easy once you understand how to use Smart Collections and drag-and-drop Collections in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. This video tutorial is about the differences between Smart Collections, Collection Sets, and regular Collections. Understanding these differences will make your digital photography life so much easier.

38: Connecting Lightroom to Flickr Via Publish Services

Flickr Photo Service Screenshot

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom makes it easy to share your images online through the Flickr photo-sharing website. This video tutorial will walk you through all of steps involved in the Photoshop Lightroom to Flickr connection via Lightroom’s Publish Services feature.

39: The Lightroom To Dropbox Plugin

Lightroom To Dropbox Plugin Dialog

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to Dropbox plugin makes it easy to upload full-resolution jpeg files to a private album (folder) inside of your Dropbox account.

40: Lightroom To Google+

Google+ Album Screenshot

The best way to connect Adobe Photoshop Lightroom with Google+ is through Jeffery Friedl’s brilliant Export to Picassa Web Publish Service Plugin. Adding this Publish Service Plugin into your Catalog simplifies the Photoshop Lightroom to Google+ photo upload interaction.