Why I couldn’t live without Lightroom / by Tiffany Matthews

When I started my journey into photography, I swore to myself that my images would stay as raw and as out of camera as they could and no or as little editing as possible would take place. Well, that’s definitely not the case now. Apart from my camera itself Lightroom is the software that I could not live without and here’s why:

Colour grading
: Lightroom has HSL, Luminance and Saturation sliders which mean you can do literally anything you want with your colour. You can make grass pink, change the sky red or even just lower the tones to create a softer look. For me this is THE best part of playing around in Lightroom.

Sharpness: Now, I am sure we have all taken a photo on our camera and thought it was completely in focus only to realise after downloading that it's not as sharp as you thought it was. Well, Lightroom can fix this... sort of. Half way down the editing section on the right we come across the details tab. Here you can increase your sharpness, mask it to certain places and even lower your noise (take out that grainy look if you are shooting with high ISO). But don’t go too far, a little can go a long way.

Brushes and gradients - another part of Lightroom I could not live without: Lightroom is the brother of Photoshop and so there are similar editing tools in both. Lightroom gives you the opportunity to heal parts of your image. This is great for taking out unwanted zits or back marks on walls that aren’t meant to be there. Gradients are also extremely fun to play with too. Once you know where you want your gradient placed you can use it to highlight the angle of the light or darken a corner that you want to lose attention in. Basically just play around and have some fun.

And finally presets. So you’ve spent hours on one image using brushes, changing the saturation and masking in areas of sharpness but now how do you make the other 100 images exactly the same? Well, that's where presets come in. On the left of the screen is a button called presets, once clicked you create a ‘filter’ where you can select what you want to keep the same and then apply it to any image in your library. You can make as many presets as you like and use them on whatever shoot you do. Create a signature style and if your presets are that great, you could even sell them.

So there’s the main reasons why Lightroom is my best friend in photography. I couldn’t live without it.