Hidden gems in Lightroom - share your

thommy

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#1
Hi all

I'm very familiar with Lightroom and it's doing what it's supposed to do. But now and then you find hidden gems or not so often mentioned features that can help you in your workflow.
So why not share your latest found feature that made you shout out loud - WOOOW?
Please share with me and others so we can make full use of Lightroom together.

Thommy Andersen
 

NJHeart2Heart

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#2
I don't know if this counts..
I just imported a set of keywords for the first time and it was so easy! Love that you can do that in LR.
 

clee01l

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#3
Some of the simplest things many old hands take for granted. It is difficult to recognize "gems". So I will start with the most basic.
Smart Collections: These are queries that help you by automatically grouping images that belong in some meaningful association. Smart collections can be simple or very complex. That can be long term standing smart collections or something quick that might be a little more involved that what you can achieve in the filter bar. They are especially useful in managing Publish Services
Here is an example of on that I use to determine which images to submit to my local camera club for monthly competition judging:
Match{all}
{label color}{is}{purple}
{keywords}{Contains}{@HCC}
{keywords}{Contains}{@4HCCSelection}
{keywords}{doesn't contain}{@Submitted}
{keywords}{Contains}{@Projected}
{keywords}{Contains}{@Selected}
{keywords}{Contains}{@Regular @Creative @Field @Assignment @Monochrome @Unlimited}


Publish Services:
Since Publish Services were introduced, I no longer use a static export preset to generate a derivative image file. Instead I let Publish Services manage my derivative files. This includes not only those that are published off site (Social media) but all those that I need a local copy (such as the monthly competition images for my camera club)

I think it was discovering the power of these two LR functions that really made a quantum leap in managing my image inventory.

Perhaps the biggest "gem" was discovering the power of John Beardsworth's Workflow Smart Collections to manage my workflow.
 

johnbeardy

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Because you adapted it to your own needs, of course!

For me the hidden gem is the Alt/Option key when:

- dragging sliders in Basic panel or Detail
- dragging the histogram in Develop
- clicking the + to add a new criterion in a smart collection
- clicking a parent keyword / folder / collection set
- zooming in on Map
- in any module....

In the last case, notice in Develop how Reset becomes Set Default. But also on the left hand side Copy... becomes a Copy without launching the Copy Settings. Slideshow has a JPEG export option. There are plenty of others, so just get holding down that Alt/Option key.

Another favourite is "\" when dust spotting - I call it "guess again" as it recalculates the automatic choice of the source.

The Favourite Sources feature is another which I think is too hidden. It's in the filmstrip where the folder name is displayed and lets you define and quickly access certain folders and collections which you frequently use. If Adobe listened to me, Add to Favourites would be a right click in Folders and Collections!

John
 

I-See-Light

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#5
Not always 'hidden' - just woohoo!

- Setting a default camera profile.
- The Book Module and receiving my book in the mail.
- Converting to B&W by setting all saturation sliders to 0 then using the TAT for contrast (luminance) adjustments.
- Shift + A to quickly crop the selected image to the last used aspect ratio.
- [SpaceBar] to toggle zoom between last two zoom settings.
- Cmd+Option (Mac) Ctrl+Alt (Win) -drag a pin will duplicate local adjustments made with the Radial Filter, Gradient Filter and the Adjustment Brush.
- Tap the Apostrophe key ( ‘ ) to toggle the Invert Mask option in Radial filter.

Slight correction to [dust spotting - "guess again"] use the "/" forward slash. (Think of the key with the "?" on it.)
 

johnbeardy

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- Converting to B&W by setting all saturation sliders to 0 then using the TAT for contrast (luminance) adjustments.
That's actually a workaround for a Lightroom 1.0 bug where setting the image to B&W disabled the noise reduction. ;)
 

rob211

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#7
The "synchronize folder..." command.

I am surprised more don't use it; it's the bomb for synching metadata if you share photos with other applications, or people drop images in a common folder, or you just wanna sort out a messy folder.
 
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#8
One that I use often: in the Develop Module Basic Panel, just put the cursor over any of the sliders and then hit the up or down arrow keys to adjust. Works to make small, precise adjustments and is very useful for people like me with clutzy hands to move the slider(s) by clicking and dragging.
 

I-See-Light

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#9
That's actually a workaround for a Lightroom 1.0 bug
Thanks John 'Beardy'! With two of your books on B&W topics, I should have known that fact!:):hail:
 

johnbeardy

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Ha! And I'm 99+% certain I spilled those beans in those books too.

John
 

davidedric

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#11
Not sure it's really hidden, but tapping"V" in Library to get a quick view of b&w, and "V" again to revert to colour.

Dave
 

JohanElzenga

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#12
In Lightroom, the source of the clone/healing tool is automatically chosen, though you can drag the source to a different location afterwards. Here's how you can do that right from the start (please note: this only works as a spot, not as a brush): Click on the destination point while holding the Cmd/Cltr-key. Keep that key pressed and start dragging. You will now be dragging the source point (bypassing the automatic selection). Let go to set that point.
 

Victoria Bampton

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#13
My favourite - Shift-double click on the slider label for the Blacks and Whites sliders. It calculates the 'auto' setting based on other existing settings (Exposure, Crop, etc.) so it's usually right.
 
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I-See-Light

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#14
In this thread alone I have learnt more about the Spotting Brush- Thanks!

[ / ] to 'automatically' relocate the 'source' to another area. (& repeat ad infinitum)
Holding the Cmd/Cltr-key to drag the cursor onto choice of 'source' area.
and by dragging the 'destination' spot you can place it over the top of any other defined 'spot'. (handy to correct errors with the 'first' spot)
 

thommy

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#15
And I can do nothing but agree - learned a bunch of new things - WOOOW x 2 and thanks for all feedback.
One feature I do not understand is the one with the abbreviation TAT - what does it mean? See below...
"- Converting to B&W by setting all saturation sliders to 0 then using the TAT for contrast (luminance) adjustments."

Thommy Andersen
 

I-See-Light

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#16
Hi Thommy,
The TAT is the Targeted Adjustment Tool. It appears in the Tone Curve Panel and the HSL Panel when you are developing a photo.
A tiny weeny little spot that looks like a circular target.
When you are in either of these two panels you can click the mouse cursor on the 'Target' and the mouse cursor then changes to a tiny circle with an arrow above and below. Now you can move the cursor onto the photo, click & drag up down to change the effect set in the active panel.

In my post I mention "saturation sliders to 0 "- that is not necessary, you could as easily just click on B&W in the HSL panel and achieve the same effect.
An example- a photo with Blue sky: Convert to B&W (in HSL panel), select "Luminance" in the panel, click the TAT, place cursor on sky area, drag up or down to change the brightness of the "Blue" channel in the photo.
To be more correct- it changes any color channels that are under the cursor- not always one single color channel.

In a B&W image TAT and luminance will vary contrast between tones, Saturation can be used to bring back one or more colors to the image.

Screen clip - Used the TAT with Luminance to achieve two different effects-


Try it on the Tone curve!- Set an image to B&W in the HSL panel, change to Tone curve panel, select the TAT and drag up/down on the image.
 

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johnbeardy

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The beauty of using the TAT is that you keep your eye on the picture and its changing appearance, rather than continually switch back and forth to the right hand side sliders, guessing which slider to drag. So your concentration is entirely on image and how different conversion settings might bring the most out of contrasts between certain colours in the picture, or lessen them. So here some treatments reveal the airplanes' interesting paintwork while or others subdue the sky and make the aircraft more obvious.

But for B&W work, use TAT with the B&W adjustment and not the Saturation+Luminance sliders. While the results will be the same, with B&W you're dragging fewer sliders around, you can easily / temporarily switch back to colour with V, and find B&W images more easily in Library (Treatment is B&W). The Saturation+Luminance method was only a workaround for a v1.0 bug affecting noise, but don't mistake a surprising method for a hidden gem ;)
 

JDGriff

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I took up photography as a retirement hobby and started using Lightroom with version 4 in 2012. My scores at 2 camera clubs were much higher for color images than monochrome.

Before the September 2014- May 2015 club year, I concentrated on improving my monochrome scores and using the TAT with the Luminance after desaturating all 8 color channels proved to be a useful learning tool for me.

My basic method now is to select a good RAW capture, make a virtual copy, then lens correction, straightening if needed, cropping, back to the basic panel for white balance, setting the white and black points, possibly contrast and vibrance, then to the HSL section to desaturate and use the TAT to adjust luminance.

If I think areas need it, I do selective adjustments, then export it as a PSD file to Photoshop for resizing, final sharpening if needed, then a border and save as JPG for projected image competition.


For the Sept 2014 - May 2015 club year, my monochrome projected image scores were much better than my color ones, and in the club which has a separate monochrome digital image category, every one of my entries earned an honor award and at the end of the club year I was promoted 2 skill levels, from beginner, bypassing intermediate, and going to advanced level. This current club year, I'm keeping up the pace in monochrome scores so far.
 

I-See-Light

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#19
Correct me if I am wrong! John "Beardy"-
Setting all Saturation sliders "-100" and moving one slider back to "0", is one way to create "Spot Color" on a mono image?
Or you could just Brush on "-100" saturation!
 

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I-See-Light - Off topic but nice shot of the Roulettes - they make a spectacular fly by.
 

Hal P Anderson

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Rather than holding the cursor over a slider to be able to use the up/down arrows, which is kind of fiddly, you can position the cursor in the appropriate part of the histogram--a much bigger target. For that matter, instead of trying to grab the tiny handle on the slider, you can scrub in the histogram itself. An option for every taste.

 

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reidthaler

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Great thread! Is there one for a Lightroom wish list?

I have to say one of the hidden gems is the Import preset. I teach light room and feel that the import preset is the cornerstone of an organized image collection. I’m surprised how many other teachers and tutorials don’t mention the importance of creating and using an import preset. Once you get it set up, you don’t even have to look at the import dialog box, you can just click the up arrow in the lower left corner and collapse it. Just put your card in, make sure your preset is selected, and hit import.

It can also be used to organize a previous mess. Just put your images in one folder, change copy to move and organize your images by year and month.

I spend more time doing photo forensics with individual clients helping to figure out where their images are and getting them organized. The import preset can tidy up a big mess.
 

Victoria Bampton

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Victoria...that shift double click on the blacks and whites is worth it's weight in.....well black and white. Immensely helpful.
 
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My favourite - Shift-double click on the slider label for the Blacks and Whites sliders. It calculates the 'auto' setting based on other existing settings (Exposure, Crop, etc.) so it's usually right.
That is a nice one, thank you! I have to try this out immediately!
 
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