With so many options available when it comes to photo editing, you might be having a tough time deciding which one is the best fit for you.
Some offer unique and specialized tools, but the best all-around option for almost any photographer will be Adobe’s Lightroom. I use it every day, and it’s undoubtedly helped step-up my photography game and save me from a ton of wasted time and energy. Here’s why:
It’s easy to use once you learn
A lot of photo editing software has a steep learning curve and a daunting interface that can be overwhelming for new users (I’m looking at you, Photoshop). Lightroom is a lot more beginner-friendly, with an intuitive design and simple slider controls for most tools. There are some complex features that might be worth digging into, but you’ll be able to load up your photos and start making impactful adjustments right away, without any confusion.
It helps for image organization
One of the first lessons professional photographers learn is the importance of keeping their shots sorted and organized. You can waste a lot of time trying to dig through folders with hundreds of images looking for specific captures, so the powerful organization tools in Lightroom can be a real lifesaver.
You can quickly go through batches of photos and sort them in a ton of different, useful ways. Lightroom lets you give each shot star ratings, color-coded thumbnails, and instantly tag your favorites with a single keystroke.
Bulk editing can speed up your workflow
Once you’ve got those sliders fine-tuned (or have found a perfect preset for a series) you can quickly apply the settings to multiple photos at once, With a little finetuning, you’ll have an entire photoshoot looking polished and consistent in no time.
It won’t hog your computer's resources
Unlike similar photo editing programs, Lightroom doesn’t hog up a lot of memory or resources on your computer. It’s streamlined so it runs quickly and efficiently, meaning you don’t waste half of your editing time waiting for things to load. Using about 1/10th of the disk space as photoshop, it can easily fit onto any device, and can even be used on mobile.
Auto-Tone gets you started with a click
You’re going to be spending a lot of time adjusting the hue/saturation/luminance (H/S/L) settings and tone-curve to zero in on the exact look and style you're going for, but it can be tough to know where to start. The auto-tone feature in Lightroom will detect things like the brightness and contrast of a photo and quickly apply settings that are almost always a huge improvement over the raw image and will give you a great starting point to get you on your way.
You can undo changes infinitely
Lightroom uses a catalogue of edits to keep track of every single change you make to a photo. This means that you don’t have to worry about accidentally ruining a great shot because you’ll always be able to revert back to any stage of editing, and won’t have to worry about saving or exporting multiple copies.
Always being able to tap that undo button takes away any anxiety of experimenting with settings and lets you try new things worry-free.
There are a huge variety of incredible presets available
Similar to the auto-tone feature, presets can be used to instantly apply a variety of settings and tweaks to your photos. The big difference is that, instead of relying on software to make changes, you can find presets that have been created by professional photographers to give your shots a stylish and polished look.
Making versatile presets has been a labor-of-love for me, but they’ve become an invaluable part of my editing process, and I love seeing what other photographers can do with them.
It makes posting photos a breeze
When you’re done editing and ready to publish your photos, Lightroom has some incredible features to make it hassle-free. You can adjust aspect ratios to get the ideal size for social media, add watermarks, and export to any format you need with just a few clicks.
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