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How To’s: Enhancing Photos in Lightroom Classic

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Scenario: You spent all day at your photoshoot and when reviewing your results you realize that some or all didn't turn out the way you intended. With Adobe Lightroom you can fix many aspects of your photo and in this post, we will show you how.

Notes: I highly recommend shooting your photos in RAW format over JPEG. There are many advantages to doing so, but for this post, RAW files allow for more opportunities to fix items like; exposure, detail, and white balance over JPEGs.

Let us begin by opening Lightroom and importing the photos you want to adjust. Select the first photo and click on "Develop" at the top right of the screen.

1) The first thing I usually adjust is the Lens Corrections. Which is located in the right panel towards the bottom. Checking these two boxes will correct lens aberrations and vignetting that may be associated with your Camera and Lens. Adobe Lightroom has pretty much all the major Camera and lens brand profiles in the system.

2) Next scroll to the top to Edit the Basic settings. I usually set “Highlights” to -100 and “Shadows” to +100. You may need to play with these settings to best suit your preferences and the photo. If your photo is of a Landscape that contains trees or rocks, then adjusting the “Texture” and “Black” settings will help enhance these items. Please keep in mind, that if your photo is a JPEG you will have a limited range with these settings.

3) The Tone Curve section is used in adjusting tones to make photos brighter or darker and to adjust shadows, lights, and highlights. For more advanced adjustments you can adjust the RGB curve for an individual color.

4) In my opinion, the HSL (Hue | Saturation | Luminance)/Color section is the most important of the adjustments. In this section, you can bring back the life in your photo. Under "Saturation" you can adjust more or less of a color. Under "Luminance", you can adjust the brightness or darkness of a color.

5) Finally, we will use the “Crop Tool” to adjust the photo aspect. After you click on the tool you will see a grid appear over your image. At this point, you can adjust the image crop or alignment. If you want to keep the original image size, select “As Shot” and change it to “Original” then click on the Lock icon. Once you get the crop/aspect/alignment you like click on the “Done” button when

Once you are happy with your photo enhancements click on “Library” then select “Export

Here are our final results.

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