Suggestions on how to advance to the next level in Lightroom

Status
Not open for further replies.

drmaxx

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
56
As a beginner, I advanced to a point where I can produce decent pictures. I know how to manually get the picture look well exposed and crisp, apply local adjustments and can reduce noise.

However, much of my fine tuning for giving the picture the extra kick is trial and error. I push some buttons and slider and see, if they produce the desired result. Especially sharpening, contrast and split toning just evade any systematic approaches of mine.

I really would like to learn how to achieve systematically a specific feel and look that I want from a picture. Any suggestions (e.g. specific books) on how I can achieve that? How did you learn this skill? What should I focus on?
 
It's a very good question. In a way, I think you're already moving to the answer by not being complacent. Beyond that, it's a question of time, looking at photographs and paintings, and continuing to go back over your existing work. It's not very systematic, but can art be so?
 
I'm learning a lot with a Kelby Training Tutorial that I finally got around to watching.
I forgot where I got it, it's been quite a while since I did get it, converted it to divx for my settop box, and then forgot about it.
It's called "Lightroom 3 In Depth", VERY informative, I'm learning a lot of stuff I didn't know since I started with Lightroom.

This may be worth your while to look into.
 
I'd also recommend looking at the tutorials on AdobeTV.
 
I really would like to learn how to achieve systematically a specific feel and look that I want from a picture. Any suggestions (e.g. specific books) on how I can achieve that? How did you learn this skill? What should I focus on?

While I am certainly not expert, I share the same desire even though I am not exactly a beginner with LR. And while I seem to struggle when I finally find time to work on images, I would recommend two things that might help.

First, spend some time looking at a variety of LR books. Each author has their own focus, and some books just call out to you. I cannot stand Kelby, but his books are great if you like to learn "cookbook" style (i.e. step by step). Martin Evening's book is very different, but useful to dig into at times. Victoria's book/PDF is very useful as I can search it when I have a specific issue.

Second, put yourself on a production schedule if you can stand it. Before I took ill last year, I tried to post an image a day on a website. It forced me into production mode, and sometimes there is no substitute for "doing". I did not necessarily like all of my images, but it kept me moving forward, and that was important. I miss the challenge, but I am still dealing with health issues that are consuming more time that I care to account for, and I do not need any more challenges right now. :(

Let us know what you decide to do.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
drmaxx, i'm in the same boat, well maybe your boat is further out the harbor than mine. while i'm both watching videos (for now the free ones, but i'm pretty sure i'll pop the $25 for a month of kelbytraining) and reading through books (martin evening's on lr3), i also downloaded a slew of free presets (just googled "lightroom presets" and hit gold). i'm doing a lot less slider sliding and a lot more preset button pushing, amazed at the creativity and generosity of the people willing to help each other!
 
Lynda.com is worthwhile too!!
 
i also downloaded a slew of free presets (just googled "lightroom presets" and hit gold). i'm doing a lot less slider sliding and a lot more preset button pushing, amazed at the creativity and generosity of the people willing to help each other!
:mrgreen:That's what I did as well and it is indeed fun to watch and learn how the same picture can look so completely different and can have so many different faces.
However, that's not quite what I am looking for. But I do use them to recreate the effect and see how the authors achieved a specific look.

Most of the online courses I find for Lightroom are all about workflow, picture management and publishing. That's what Lightroom is of course all about. So it makes totally sense - but not for me.

I might need to dive more into the Photoshop literature/courses, even if I don't own PS. Any recommendations?
 
There's a good book on Lightroom's Develop Module that features a detailed analysis of all the sliders in the Develop Module and then shows ten before and after photographs explaining how the author achieved that look. It's interesting because it not only deals with the how but also with the why of pushing sliders in a certain direction.
It's called Vision & Voice and is written by David duChemin.
 
There's a good book on Lightroom's Develop Module that features a detailed analysis of all the sliders in the Develop Module and then shows ten before and after photographs explaining how the author achieved that look. It's interesting because it not only deals with the how but also with the why of pushing sliders in a certain direction.
It's called Vision & Voice and is written by David duChemin.
 
It's called Vision & Voice and is written by David duChemin.
That looks very promising for my wants.
Don't quite understand why on amazon the hardcopy is less expensive then the Kindle edition though - but then there is so much in this world that I don't understand.
Thanks for all your help.
 
drmaxx, i am using lightroom as my image database and management program, as well as to make overall exposure corrections. for pixel based editing i am still deciding on using full version photoshop cs or elements. so far i'm finding that lightroom does so much, that i can do everything i need in elements. i've set up the pse 9 editor as my alternate program to edit the images, and it is practically seamless.
learning elements takes time and patience. the learning process for me was very similar to learning lightroom. i use a combination of books, magazine, videos, and forums to gain skills. the most helpful book i found is by barbara brundage in the missing manual series. i joined photoshopelementsuser.com. they publish a very helpful small magazine every couple of months that is free with membership, and they have a whole host of videos viewable to members. they also sponsor elementsvillage a forum similar to this. there is quite a bit more available, some of it very helpful, but these have become my "go to resources" for elements.
 
There are two distinct aspects you need to remember.

1) Learn what makes a photo good and how you want your photos to look and why.

2) Learn how to use a software application that allows you to modify your photos to get them where you wanted in step 1.

The biggest "trip up" I see is people letting the software define their images look instead of using the software to create their own vision. Presets are great to learn from and also give you new ideas but they can lead you down this path if you are not careful.

My favourite books for step 1 are :-

The Art Of Photography - Bruce Barnbaum
Within The Frame - David duChemin
Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography - Brenda Tharp
The Camera - Ansel Adams
The Negative - Ansel Adams
The Print - Ansel Adams


Step 2 :-

Lightroom tutorials - http://www.lynda.com
George Jardine Lightroom tutorials - http://mulita.com/blog
Lightroom 3 FAQ - http://www.lightroomqueen.com
and of course http://www.lightroomqueen.com/community
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Just as a quick feedback on the advice I got from you all.
I started to read some of David duChemin books and tips and they indeed spot on what I am looking for.
Very helpful in helping me to develop the pictures into a specific direction that I would like to achieve (e.g. a gloomily looking picture to illustrate a doom scenario).

Thanks a lot for the help - it is great to be part of such a knowledgeable community.
 
I started to read some of David duChemin books and tips and they indeed spot on what I am looking for.
Very helpful in helping me to develop the pictures into a specific direction that I would like to achieve (e.g. a gloomily looking picture to illustrate a doom scenario).

If you like his books, you may want to visit his website. Also note, that he injured himself quite badly on a recent trip to Italy, and is recovering in a hospital in his native Canada.

--Ken
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top