Last week, we introduced the Edit views. This week, we’ll start some basic editing using the crop tool and presets.
In an ideal world, you’d have the time to make sure a photo was perfectly composed in the camera at the time of shooting. Unfortunately, few of us live in an ideal world, and by the time you’ve perfected the shot, you’ve missed the moment.
Most photos benefit from cropping, whether to remove distractions from the frame, to straighten horizons, to improve the composition, to draw the viewer’s eye to the subject, to fit a specific paper or frame shape, or simply to zoom in closer to the subject, if you were unable to move closer at the time of shooting.
To access the Crop tool, select Edit view at the top of the screen, then tap on Crop in the toolbar. Here are all the tips and tricks you need:
Photo editing is a skill, just like any other. If you’re trying to learn a language, repeating phrases from a phrase book is only going to get you so far. To become fluent in a language, you have to learn its structure and vocabulary, so you can start to build your own sentences that can apply in any situation. Editing photos is the same. Presets are like those pre-built phrases. They’ll work ok in some situations, but they’ll never be a perfect fit.
Skilled editing can enhance photos in a way that presets simply can’t match. However, using presets is a great way of:
- Trying out new editing styles and learning the kind of looks you prefer.
- Ensuring consistency over a group of photos, or over your entire portfolio.
- Figuring out which sliders to adjust to get a specific look.
To select the Presets mode, select Edit view and then tap on Presets in the toolbar. The presets are grouped into sets, and previewed as small thumbnails. Simply tap on a preset you like to apply it.
Your Own Presets
The presets are built in to Lightroom mobile. You can’t currently sync or create your own from the desktop, but there is a workaround:
- On the desktop, create a collection called “Develop Presets” or something similar, and enable sync for the collection.
- Add a series of photos to the collection (or a single photo plus virtual copies). If the preset names are important for identifying the correct preset (e.g. noise correction presets), rename the files to match the preset name. You might even like to create some simple JPEGs in Photoshop or in the Slideshow module, adding the name of the preset as text, like this:
- Apply a different preset to each photo.
- When you want to apply a preset on the mobile device, navigate to the photo that has your chosen preset applied.
- In Edit view, tap the … button to show the menu and select Copy Settings, as we learned in a previous post. Check all of the settings you wish to copy (remembering that presets don’t necessarily adjust all of the sliders).
- Navigate to the new photo, tap the … button to show the menu and select Paste Settings to apply the settings.
Next week, we’ll learn how to edit using sliders in Lightroom mobile.
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