How to use Adobe Lightroom for Photo Editing on Your Blog:
As a blogger, I’ve come to realize that pictures are one my best methods for gaining traffic. Whoever said a picture is worth a thousand words was spot on.
When I use a good quality picture that matches my content, I always get better traffic. This is especially true when I post images to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Pictures will always draw attention better than lines of text.
I try to use my own pictures as much as possible, in part to avoid copyright issues, but also because I like photography. When I don’t have an appropriate picture, I typically use Flickr.
This article explains how to use Flickr for free images.
I use a variety of program for my final images including Canva, (most amazing free product ever), iPhoto, and Adobe Lightroom. Each program has its uses, but for the editing and management aspect, Adobe Lightroom has become my workhorse.
Most photo editing programs are designed to edit photos, they aren’t designed to manage photos.
The ability to manage photos is what sets Adobe Lightroom apart for me.
Being able to manage my photos while editing them is critical to my success as a blogger.
- I need to be able to quickly find a specific photo based on keywords, location or specific people.
- I need to be able to quickly edit and then share my photos to various social media and wordpress platforms.
- I need simple easy to use editing tools that overcome my deficiencies as a photographer.
Fortunately, Lightroom is designed to handle all of these requirements.
I’m not a professional, which means I take a lot of pictures. I figure the law of averages is with me. If I take enough pictures, eventually one of them will work out.
This means I need a fast efficient way of dumping unwanted photos.
I can easily delete photos as I review my pictures. With lightroom, as I’m reviewing my pictures, I simply hit the “x” button if I don’t like the photo. Any picture with an “x” goes into a “waiting to delete file” which I can then delete later.
This is significantly easier than having to double delete each image as you cycle through your pictures. There are times when I’ll take 4-5 shots of the same image. I’ll simply find the image I like the best, mark the rest with “x” and then delete later.
The other feature I love about lightroom is the rating system. As I’m sorting my pictures, I can assign a numeric value from 1-5 for each picture. This allows me to easily mark my favorite photo’s for later editing.
Once I’ve sorted through my pictures, I’ll delete all the images I’ve “x”ed and then resort everything based on a specific rating. This means I can easily narrow down a grouping of 200-300 pictures into a small group of 20-50 in a matter of minutes.
Photo Color Coding
I can also color code pictures. For example, I mark all textural images with Blue. This means when I need to find a cool background, I run a color search and everything I’ve marked with blue will be pulled in the query.
I can also sort based on keywords. I use this feature when looking for pictures from a specific trip or type of shot. For example, when I need a camping related pictures, I can pull up pictures related to hiking, canyoneering or rock climbing rather than having to go to a specific file.
Obviously, most people chose to use Adobe Lightroom for the editing tools.
The editing tools are amazing. I don’t even scratch the surface of what is available on this tool. Even with my limited knowledge, I can easily adjust contrast, shadows, lights and darks, white balance and saturation. It is very easy to do minor facial corrections like removing a facial blemish or smoothing out slight wrinkles.
Is Lightroom Right for you?
Lightroom uses a feature called Non-destructive editing. This means that you aren’t actually editing your original photo. All edits and changes are done to a “copy”. This means that you can’t find your edited photo’s in your normal file structure.
It is a weird concept to non-photographers and takes some getting used to. Once you’ve ruined a few of your original photo files through over editing, you’ll quickly realize how priceless this feature is.
Is Lightroom perfect for everyone? Definitely not. If you are a casual photographer, I don’t recommend this tool.
The learning curve is fairly steep and it takes time and effort to learn a program like Adobe Lightroom.
If you are just a casual cell phone photographer Lightroom can definitely give your photo’s some nice oomph, but I think you can find cheaper alternatives.
I recommend this program to users like me who are in the middle. They take a ton of pictures because they aren’t pro, but are heading in that direction and need a boost to their existing skills.
Adobe Lightroom Costs:
- Adobe Lightroom is available as part of the Adobe licensing system through their creative content license.
- Personally, I just use the $9.99 per month license, which include Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop (which I rarely use). If you are doing a lot of video editing you may need to jump up to the full creative commons license which includes their entire array of products. The full license is $49 and for most people is complete overkill.
- You can also purchase the older version of Adobe Lightroom as a stand-alone product. It doesn’t include upgrades, but for a casual user who doesn’t want to be locked into a monthly charge, it is a great option. I used this route for years and would typically keep my product for 2 years and then upgrade. It would save me 20-50 dollars every two years or so.
Now that I’m blogging more consistently and sorting through hundreds of pictures on a weekly basis, I’ve had to upgrade to the regular licensing system.
If you are a blogger and are trying to boost your photography presence I highly recommend Adobe Lightroom. It is the best program for sorting, categorizing and managing your photos. More importantly, it is one of the best editing programs on the market.
I don’t even scratch the surface of what Lightroom can do and I’m still constantly amazed at how effective this program is. I’ve turned a lot of poor photographs into decent photos by using Lightroom. If you are looking to upgrade your photographic game give it a try.