get going with lr4: part 2

Once you’ve purchased Lightroom or installed a trial, there are several things you can set once & forget about them.  Well, not really forget-forget, but things you won’t have to go back and tell it to do each time.  For this setup process, you use the right panel to do things like:

*tell Lightroom to stamp Copyright information on each picture.  You customize the information in terms of name, website, location, etc.  This is important for the protection of your images regardless of your level of skill or professional status.  I don’t include location information but I do have my website & name.

*tell Lightroom where you want your pictures stored when it imports them from your camera card.  Do you want to copy from card & then delete or just copy?  Do you want them stored by date?  Do you want to rename them?  I have mine set to copy from the card and save by date.

*add keywords each time you import for easy searching later.  I put the names of the family members, sometimes the location & any other specifics I might want to search for later, ie “birthday”, “balloon”, etc.

*tell Lightroom how to handle the previews of your images.  I have mine set to “embedded & sidecar” so that it has quick little thumbnails associated with the big image file for easy browsing.

*apply a preset to each image upon import.  Presets are collections of editing settings that you can apply with just one click.  I tell Lightroom to apply the default sharpening preset upon importing.

Lightroom catalogs the images you import into it.  This means it stores little thumbnails (teeny little image files) for the images you’ve imported into your catalog.  You can have as many different catalogs as you’d like, but Lightroom has to restart each time you change catalogs.  You might have images on your computer that aren’t in your catalog because you haven’t told Lightroom to import them.  The images you have imported into the catalog you’re currently using will be listed on the left panel when you’re in Library mode (top bar, right side).

Once you’re ready to play around with the pictures you’ve imported, you can set a few preferences first.  When you switch to the Develop mode (top bar, right side), the left panel will be a list of presets and the history of what you’ve done to the image selected.  The right panel will be your developing options.  You can control how many of these panels are active and you can also switch to Solo Mode to tell Lightroom to close one panel when you open a new one.  Do this Solo Mode thing, it’ll save you a ton of scrolling!


The last item you’ll want to set before you start working your magic on your amazing images is setting the Loupe info (a Loupe is a device film photographers used to view negatives & slides).  You’ll do this by selecting “View” on the top menu & choosing “Loupe Info”.  It’s extremely helpful to have the settings used to capture an image visible when you’re processing your photos, especially when you’re learning.  If you see a blurry image and wonder why, just consult that info & decide what you can do to improve next time.  Was your ISO set to 100 indoors?  Next time, increase it!

Do you feel closer to ready to jump in?  This kid is:

Please ask questions in the comments below or on Facebook!

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