Laura Shoe's Lightroom (and Occasionally Photoshop) Blog for Digital Photographers

Posts Tagged ‘Lightroom 2’

A Most Useful Shortcut for Viewing Images Full Screen

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm

While I know a fair amount about Lightroom, I am always picking up more from my fellow bloggers.  Here’s a quick but useful shortcut  from Sean McCormack over at  To see your image and nothing but your image, type Shift-Ctl-F on the PC, or Shift-Cmd-F on the Mac.  This will hide the surrounding panels, menu bars, tool bars and system task bars, and your image will be displayed as close to full-screen-size as possible .  While in this view, you can use your left and right arrow keys to scroll to other images.  This shortcut works in all modules, and your other module shortcut keys will continue to work, such as 0-5 for stars and P for Pick/X for Reject in the Library module.     Hit Shift-Ctl/Cmd-F again to exit this mode.

If you are going to be viewing your images full size on the screen like this, you should set your preferences so that your standard-size image previews are screen-size.  Go to Lightroom (Mac) or Edit (PC) > Catalog Settings > File Handling, and set the Standard Preview Size to be as close as possible to the width or your monitor’s resolution.  Check your system display properties to find out what this is.  (PC for other than W7: right-click on your desktop, choose Properties>Settings>Advanced, and note the resolution.  For W7, right click on the desktop and choose Screen Resolution.)  For Mac, System Preferences, Display.

Wondering what other blogs to follow?  Start with those in my Links section at the bottom of this page.

Video: Developing an Image in Lightroom

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I used the image below in a  a post on exposure a few months back.  A reader asked me to show how I developed the image, so I have produced a video showing my technique.  Click HERE to view it.

To develop this image, I use the Basics, Tone Curve and HSL panels, as well as the spot removal tool, adjustment brush and graduated filter.

I hope you find the video useful.

Unworked Image

Worked Image

A Handy Curves Trick

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2010 at 12:51 am

Curves isn’t exactly intuitive, so Adobe lately has been introducing tools to make it more accessible.  As I mentioned in my “Introduction to Curves” post, the sliders available underneath the curve in Lightroom (and Camera Raw) to adjust brightness of Highlights, Lights, Darks and Shadows are one example of this.   Another example is the targeted adjustment tool, which allows you to select tones you want to brighten or darken by clicking on those tones in your image and dragging up to brighten or down to darken. The tool detects the brightness of the tones underneath where you click, and adjusts those tones throughout your image.    Click on the tool to activate it, then click and drag in your image.   PS or LR will modify (i.e. bend)  the curve to reflect your instruction.    In Photoshop, first create a new Curves adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves.)  Then in the adjustment panel   the tool is the hand with the double arrow:

Photoshop Curves Targetted Adjustment Tool

In Lightroom, it is the small bulls-eye symbol in the Tone Curve Panel:

Lightroom Curves Targetted Adjustment Tool

When you are done, deactivate the tool by hitting the Escape key.

Try it!

Shortcuts Worth Knowing: Zooming In and Out

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2010 at 12:38 am

Sometimes your mouse is a zoom tool, sometimes it isn’t.  Sometimes you have easy acess to your navigator panel, sometimes you don’t.   You can always, however, use “Ctl/CmdCtl/Cmd +” and “Ctl/Cmd -” for zooming in and out.

These work in every view (Grid, Loupe, Compare, Survey) in the Library module and in every mode in the Develop module — even when you are using tools such as the adjustment brush or spot removal tool.  They work in Camera Raw and Photoshop as well.   (True, they don’t work in the output modules in Lightroom, but zooming is not available at all there.)

The first time you apply “Ctl/Cmd +”, the image goes from Fit to Fill, then to 1:1, then to the last  zoom ratio you have set in your navigator panel (e.g. 2:1).   “Ctl/Cmd -” zooms out in the same steps.

Finally, when you are zoomed in, if you hold down the space bar, the cursor becomes the hand tool, so you can click and drag to move around in your image.  Again, this works everywhere in Lightroom and also in Photoshop.

Why do I see my images change after they are imported into Lightroom?

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2010 at 7:24 pm

This is one of the most common questions asked by Lightroom users.  You import your images, see the thumbnails appear, but if you wait a few seconds you notice that the thumbnails change.  The changes can be to tone, contrast, or color.  What gives?

When we photograph with a digital camera, even if we shoot raw files, our camera creates a small jpeg file — this is what we see on the camera LCD screen.  Unlike a raw file, this file is interpreted — it has our camera manufacturer’s interpretation of color applied, as well as any jpeg settings set on your camera — color space, contrast, saturation, noise reduction, sharpening, etc.  None of these settings are applied to your raw files, but they are to the preview jpegs.

Because we prefer instant gratification, when Lightroom is importing images it first shows us these  jpeg thumbnails that our cameras generated.  Then it goes on to render its own jpeg thumbnails, based on the raw file, with Adobe’s interpretation of color, and minus all the settings mentioned above.

To most people I advise:  just don’t look until it is done!  Then you won’t worry about the difference.  I don’t — I accept the Adobe rendering of the raw file as I see it and work from there to make the image look great.

To those that really like the look of their camera’s jpegs and want to replicate the look with their raw files, or work their raw files in a camera manufacturer proprietary raw converter because of this issue, Adobe has provided camera-specific profiles that attempt to match what your various camera settings produce.  In the Develop module, under the Camera Calibration panel, click on the drop-down next to Profile, and choose one of the Camera profiles.  If there is one you want to apply often, consider creating a preset.  If there is one you always want applied to your  images, set it as the new default — change the profile (and nothing else!), then go to Develop> Set Default Settings.  (UPDATE:  In the camera calibration tab you will only see camera profiles for raw files.  Jpegs will only list one “embedded” profile — jpegs have already been “cooked”, so it is too late to change your mind on color rendering.)

Getting Your iPhoto Images into Lightroom

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2009 at 8:44 pm

I do free two-hour Lightroom demonstrations here in Seattle, and towards the end of these, a question I often get is:  how do I get my iPhoto images into Lightroom?  I take this as as a good sign — I figure that what they have seen of Lightroom from my demo has convinced them to move to it.     I’m not a Mac user, so rather than write my own post on how to get iPhoto images into Lightroom, I will refer you to Gene McCullagh over at

Click here for all but Snow Leopard

Click here for Snow Leopard (a much easier process)

As Gene says, make sure you that in the Lightroom import dialog, you Copy and Add to Catalog, choosing a different folder to copy the images into.  Once you have the images in Lightroom, you can use the Folders panel to reorganize them into meaningful folders.   To create new folders, right-click on the folder they will live in and select Create Folder Inside…   To move images from one folder to another, click on the first folder, select the images in the grid, and click on the thumbnail of one and drag to the new folder.   To move folders, click and drag them within the Folders panel.  Note that all this reorganization is happening on your hard drive, not just within Lightroom.

Lightroom Has Put My Pictures in Some Wierd Place

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2009 at 11:57 pm

I hear this all the time — new users import their photos successfully, see the images in Lightroom and  see the name of their imported folder in the Folders panel, but from the Folders panel they cannot figure out  “where Lightroom has put that folder”.  The folder certainly doesn’t seem to be where they told Lightroom to put it during the import process.

This issue is very basic for those who know what’s going on, but for those that don’t, I know that it is driving you crazy.  Your folders seem to be a total mess, with no hierarchy.

Here’s the scoop:  Lightroom has in fact put your folder exactly where you told it to — it is just not telling you where that is.     By default Lightroom lists your imported folder, but not the folder that that folder lives in.  (For example, my imported folders are for each shoot, and they live in year folders, which live  in my Pictures folder.)   To see this folder hierarchy, right-click (ctl-click on a one-button mouse and then go buy a two-button mouse!), and choose Add Parent Folder.  In my case, this would reveal my year folder (2009).  Then right-click on this folder and choose parent folder again to reveal the next higher-level folder.  Do this as many times as you need to to see where in fact your images live on your hard drive.

Lightroom 2 On Sale at Amazon!

In Uncategorized on November 30, 2009 at 10:58 am

If you haven’t bought Lightroom yet, perhaps now would be a good time — Amazon has it on sale for $169.99.  List price is $299!  Click HERE for more info.  I have no idea how long this will last.  Thanks to Scott, who runs for bringing this to my attention.

UPDATE:  The sale is over, and the price is up to $269.  Keep an eye out for those deals though!

Inverting Your Images in Lightroom

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2009 at 8:34 pm

If you photograph on negative film and scan it, you may want to invert the image in Lightroom.  Or, perhaps you like the “film negative” look, and want to invert your positive digital images.  In either case, if you have looked for an “invert” button in Lightroom, you will have found out that there is none.

Martin Evening has a video out on how you can create a Lightroom preset to invert your images.  It involves inverting one raw file using Adobe Camera Raw, updating the file in Lightroom to reflect the ACR changes, and then saving these changes as a preset that you can apply to other images in Lightroom.  To see the video, click here.

I have gone ahead and created a preset using his method.  It works on both color and black and white images.  You can download the preset here.   After downloading, in the Lightroom Preset Panel within Develop, right-click on User Presets, choose Import, and navigate to the file. The import process will copy the preset to the Presets folder — you can delete the version you downloaded.   After the preset is imported, simply select an image, and click on the preset.

Note that adjustments in the Develop panels are still operating on the negative, so they are reversed.  For example, sliding the Exposure slider to the right will darken your image rather than brighten it.   The same is true with Tone Curve adjustments, and all others.

Thank you to Dan for suggesting this topic, using the “Submit a Proposed Topic” button above.

UPDATE 8/2010:  See this post for an easier technique using Lightroom 3:

Applying Develop Settings to Groups of Images

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2009 at 5:41 pm

If you are looking to save time as you work a shoot, before you start developing it think ahead about which images are shot under similar conditions and therefore need similar adjustments, or which images you  you want similar treatments for (e.g. black and white), and apply your changes to these groups of images all at once.

Lightroom is a relatively new program, but there are already multiple ways of accomplishing this,  each with a different twist.   You have three main choices:

1.  Make changes to your first image and then synchronize the settings:

  • After making the changes to the first image, in the filmstrip select all of the images you want to apply the setting to, including the one you already did.
  • Make sure the one you already did is “active”.  Do this by clicking inside the thumbnail for that image, so that the border is brighter than the other selected images.  (Clicking outside the thumbnail will break apart the selection!)
  • Click on the Sync… button at the bottom of the right-hand panel strip. (If you don’t have multiple images selected, you won’t see it.)
  • Choose which settings from the active image you want to apply to the rest of the images, and hit Synchronize.

2.  Make changes to all of the images at once:

  • In the filmstrip, select all of the images you want to affect.   Decide which of these images you want to see as you work, and click inside its thumbnail to make it active.
  • Hold down the Ctl/Cmd key, and click on the Sync… button to change it to Auto Sync.
  • With Auto Sync on, make changes to the active image.  Notice how the same changes are applied to all of the selected images automatically.
  • Remember to turn Auto Sync off, or you may end up making unintended changes to groups of images.  Hold down the Ctl/Cmd key and click on Auto Sync to change it back to Sync…

3.  Copy and Paste your settings:

This method works for applying settings to one additional image, not groups of images.  I find it completely unnecessary given the Sync functionality, but since the buttons are there (at the bottom of the left hand panel strip), I will mention it.

  • Make changes to your first image.
  • Hit Copy, and select which settings you want to copy to another image.
  • Select another image you want to apply the settings to.
  • Hit Paste.

Figure out which method(s) you prefer, get in the habit of using them, and really start to leverage the power of Lightroom to get you away from the computer in much less time.