6 Lightroom Hacks to Speed up Your Post Processing  

Most of us may think that Lightroom is just a glorified extension of Photoshop camera RAW, but Adobe has very good reasons behind developing Lightroom as a separate entity.

The name Lightroom itself is a play on the original photography term; the dark room. This might be a news flash for younger photographers but the truth is, before digital photography took over, it was done on photosensitive films. A roll of the film would be placed inside the camera and all the picture would get recorded on it. Such images captured were called negatives since they were just an impression of light created on the film by burning it selectively. This limited the number of shots you could take per film. Great care had to be taken not to expose these films to day light to avoid further burning of the films. That is why the negatives were taken out and developed with chemicals in special rooms called the dark rooms that had very low light.

And now, since we develop our images out in the light in the comfort of our own homes, Adobe chose to term this product as Lightroom.

Lightroom hacks

Knowing your way around a software will make it more user-friendly. Knowing shortcuts, will save you a lot of time.

1. Restore sky details

A sunny day with abundant clear sunlight might seem like a good day to take pictures with the beautiful blue sky in it. However, while you are trying to get the exposure right for the main subjects, the sky may get blown out. The easiest way to fix this in Lightroom. Navigate to the luminance panel and reduce the luminance on the blue colour.

sky restoration in lightroom

2. Adjustment brush stacking

The adjustment brushes in Lightroom let you do selective adjustments to your pictures. The best part about these brushes is unlike Photoshop brushes, the changes that these brushes make are non-destructive. That means you can go back and edit the changes you made any time.
So if you were to reduce the sharpness of a particular spot in an image, you can use the selective adjustment brush and mark the area on your image. And if you want to intensify the effect, you can place multiple brush points nearby and amplify the effect. Each brush placement is represented by a dot. You can go back to the changes that these dots made any time by clicking on them and you can edit the changes individually any time. You can also hold your mouse over each dot to see its coverage.

3. Split toning

This is the rave among photographers these days. Even if you haven’t heard of the term you must have definitely seen the pictures. It’s popularly known as the retro effect among smartphone photographers and instagramers.
Split toning is basically the process of adding colour to shadows and highlights on an image. Since two different colours are chosen, one for highlights and one for shadows, it’s termed as split toning. Scroll down to the split toning panel on the right side bar and you will see that there are hues and saturation sliders, two each for shadows and highlights. It might look confusing, as you try to dabble with these four sliders along with the balance slider in between but there is something common in most of the split-toned photos.

For highlights, the hues slider is normally at the second scale point from left and for the shadows it’s at the fifth scale point. This should give you an idea where to start. Play around with the saturation sliders and the balance slider to see what works best.

split toning in lightroom

Every image is unique and what works for one image might not work for another, but at least this trick will give you a starting point. Experiment for yourself.