There is no right or wrong way to edit a photo in Adobe Lightroom, it all kind of depends on the look you are going for and mood you are trying to achieve. With that said, there are some awesome tips and different ways to make editing easier before you even take a picture.
As we mentioned in an earlier blog, the quality and overall look of the picture depends on three things…well…four things. These important settings are: ISO, F-Stop, Shutter Speed and light! When first starting out with photography I watched YouTube channel after YouTube channel and they all told me basically the same thing, “shoot in the lowest ISO setting possible for better control in post production”. This isn’t false, but there’s more to the story than that.
Most of the control you may want to have in terms of color correction in Adobe Lightroom and other picture editing softwares comes from your image capture settings. These settings can usually be found on your main menu under “Image Capture” or “Camera Settings”. Make sure that you are always shooting in a RAW format. Now, when I first started shooting in raw, I took about 1,200 pictures in a 3 hour time frame and when I got home none of the images would open. I freaked out thinking I was going to need to buy some expensive software or plugin to be able to view them. Thankfully, you just have to update your editing software and/or computer. I also heard a lot of people complaining about how large the RAW files were and that they take up a lot of space on your computer…there is some truth to this, but thankfully I edit off of my external hard drive (I have a 4TB G-Raid…highly recommend it) which allows free space on my computer to do background tasks if need be. If you are serious about photography/videography and you don’t already have an external hard drive, or four, please do yourself a favor and go buy one before your computer devolves into dial up.
The beauty of shooting in RAW is that the file holds so much information. Yes, it is a huge file, but you get a larger dynamic range to edit all of your photos. What does this mean? If you are new to your camera or to cameras in general, you may not get all your camera settings correct for every situation. I still don’t get all my settings perfect when I’m outside shooting in a “run and gun” environment (clouds will mess you up a bit). But lets say you shot an image and your exposure was way too low. With a JPEG, you can obviously bring up the exposure, saturation, and clarity to outweigh some of your mistakes, but if you do too much of one thing or another, the image starts appearing pixelated and blocky. With a RAW file, you have more freedom to fix these issues while still maintaining a beautiful, clear image.
Don’t worry, if you are editing photos for a website, online blog, or other platform that requires a JPEG, you can always edit your photo in Adobe Lightroom (in RAW) and change the settings before exporting! Get out and shoot.
The images below were shot and edited in RAW and exported as a JPEG.
Camera Settings:1/400 sec at f/6.3, ISO 200
Camera: Panasonic GH5