Learning Lightroom: The Early Days

Learning Lightroom

For quite some time, I’ve been deliberating with the idea of investing in Lightroom. I’ve made no secret of it before, all my pictures are edited on apps…on my phone. I use Snapseed, FaceTune & VSCO and love them all. I’ve been really happy with the results thus far but think it’s now time to switch it up. That’s where Lightroom comes in.

I’ve known of Lightroom for years now and to me, it’s always been one of those untouchable things. It’s pretty expensive, pretty top class and pretty expert. I am under no illusion, I’m not the best editor in the world so the idea of learning Lightroom, was pretty daunting. But you know, I’m always up for a challenge so one day, I decided to drop some serious dough and purchase Lightroom… to only find out, I think I purchased the wrong one. There’s Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC (not one clue what the difference is) but I purchased Lightroom CC and all my ‘photography friends’ seem to think it’s the wrong one. Fuck it, I’ve dropped the dough so it’s time to learn all about Lightroom CC.

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// Learning Lightroom – My First Edit \\

So my first attempt at Lightroom went pretty well (I think). I hadn’t touched it before, I hadn’t Youtube’d anything, I hadn’t looked at any tips… I simply downloaded it and had a look around. I learnt it by myself and for that I’m pretty proud. I used this image I took at the beach in Murawai, Auckland. It’s quite a simple picture of trees but definitely could’ve done with some touchups. For this one, I just played around with the sliders, editing the colours, contrasts and exposure. After a lot of playing around, I’ve found a style & decided I really like to up the clarity & sharpness of my images. So I firstly played around with the colouring and then decided to try out the patch feature. As you can see from the Before & After, the excess branches to the left of the image are now gone. After a lot of back and fourth, I figured out just how this feature works and managed to make it work. It’s just these tiny points that change the image massively.

// Learning Lightroom – Pro’s & Con’s \\

It’s not all been plain sailing. Don’t think for a second that you can just download Lightroom and all of a sudden, create some incredible images. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some edits that very quickly made their way into the bin. It really is all about trial and error. I’ve been learning Lightroom for about 2 weeks and although there are some great pro’s to Lightroom, there are also some con’s. So let me list them:

~ Pro’s ~

It’s more professional. There’s no doubt about it, Lightroom is the elite photo editing app. There are many features to Lightroom that allow you to completely change your original image and create some pretty incredible works of art.

What I also love about Lightroom and as simple as it sounds, it’s on my laptop. Editing on a computer is a lot easier than on your phone. You have a lot more space to play with, the image is bigger and the quality is a lot higher. This allows for a lot more precision when editing your images.

~ Con’s ~

I quite like that filtered image look. As I’ve said, I’m a big fan of VSCO and the way it makes my images look. It’s not the most professional, it’s not the hardest thing to use and it’s definitely a lazy mans editing tool, but some of the filters on VSCO are stunning and it’s something I struggled to give up.

Also the ease of it. Learning Lightroom requires a lot of concentration, requires me to have my laptop to hand (I know there’s the app, but I’m learning the desktop version first) and requires a lot more time. This is all in the learning process but in the early days, I’ve found it to be a bit of a con.

Learning Lightroom

// Learning Lightroom – First Thoughts \\

We’re 2 weeks in now and overall, I’m loving it. It’s been really inspiring to have something to focus on and to learn a new skill… after all, that’s what life is all about: learning. It’s been frustrating at times, at times I’ve questioned whether I just wasted a bunch of money and there have definitely been times where I think I should just return to VSCO. But I’ve not. I’ve stuck with it. I’ve been using old images to practise on and every bit of spare time I have, I’ve been jumping onto Lightroom to learn. It’s all part of the journey.


I’m going to make this a little series here on the blog. If not for anything else other than for me. For me to be able to see my journey, to document my progress and to hopefully see how I’ve (fingers crossed) improved. I hope it’s something you guys will also find interesting.

If you use Lightroom, let me know as I’m always looking for people’s brains I can pick. Any tips, tricks or hacks? Drop a comment below and let me know.

| By Harrison |


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