What Is Adobe Lightroom? A Guide on the Key Things to Know

Approximately 1.2 trillion digital photos were taken in the year 2017. If you’re one of these snap-happy people, you’ve likely considered looking into photo editing software. One of the most well-known images editing software is called Adobe Lightroom. What is Adobe Lightroom, exactly, and what is Lightroom used for?

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this powerful program.

What is Adobe Lightroom?

Available on MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS, Lightroom can be purchased either as a standalone app or along with Photoshop in the Creative Cloud Photography Plan. Technically, the official name for Adobe Lightroom is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, but don’t get it confused with Adobe Photoshop. This family of image manipulation and image organization software was developed by Adobe Systems.

Lightroom is a post-processing application that acts as a catalogue for all of your images. With this program, you’ll be able to import, save, view, tag, edit, organize, review, and share a huge collection of photographs.

After you import your photographs from your SD card or camera, these images are stored on your hard drive. During the process of importing you’ll be able to organize them by adding information like titles, keywords, captions, or metadata.

What is Lightroom Used For?

Lightroom is beloved by both amateurs and professional photographers alike, as it is both user-friendly and incredibly powerful.

Whether you just want a simple way of keeping all your photographs organized and easily accessible, or you want to get into fairly technical photo editing, Lightroom is a great tool.

If you’re taking tons of photos or working as a professional photographer, editing individual images can be incredibly time-consuming. Many professionals solve this problem with batch editing. Follow this link to learn how to batch edit in Lightroom.

One great thing about Lightroom is that it allows you to rate your photos to help you organize your best shots and your less than favourite ones. This is priceless if you take a lot of photos. The organizing and cataloguing features of Lightroom are much better than those of other comparable software.

Another thing that makes Lightroom stand out is it’s powerful RAW image editing capabilities.

High-quality cameras like DSLRs are able to record RAW files that contain way more information than your standard JPEG. This means that you have a lot more to work with while post-processing. An underexposed JPEG photo will just be trash, while an underexposed RAW file will likely contain enough information for you to edit it into a usable photo.

What Are the Best Things about Adobe Lightroom?

One of the best things about Adobe Lightroom is that you are afforded the gift of unlimited undo. That’s right. No matter how many steps down the wrong path you travel, you can always start over with a clean slate.

While most other photo editing software edits the original image, Lightroom is what is known as nondestructive. That means that it imports a copy of the original, letting you edit the copy and keeping the original fully intact. This is great because it lets you play around without fearing the original to be gone forever!

Another great thing about this software is that publishing your photos is a breeze. Using their “Publish Services”, your photos can be exported to your specifications, allowing you to select the dimensions, file name, quality, and desired file format.

Once you use Lightroom’s “Before and After” feature, you’ll be hooked. This view allows you to compare the original and your edited photo side by side. This feature is absolutely invaluable in the photo editing process.

The ability to work with multiple files at once is also a game-changer. It often happens that you want to make the same basic changes to a whole collection of images. With Lightroom, you’re able to edit all of the files at one time rather than going through and editing each individually.

Lightroom also offers headache-free file conversion. This means that most types of cameras are supported by the software. It also means that converting files between different formats is a breeze.

With all these powerful features, Lightroom must take up a ton of space, right? Wrong! Lightroom takes up way less disk space than Photoshop, using about 100 MB to Photoshop’s 1 GB.

What is Lightroom Software Not Good For?

While there are many things that Adobe Lightroom is great for, it can’t do everything.

If you’re looking to do things like adding, altering, or removing individual items from a photo (also known as doctoring), render 3D objects or text on images, or alter specific video frames, Lightroom is not the software you want. These are rather tasks for Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Lightroom Can Change Your Relationship With Your Images

Now that you discovered the answer to the question “what is Adobe Lightroom?” you can make an informed decision about whether or not this powerful software is right for you.

Having this powerful software can completely transform your relationship with your camera and your photographs.

Images that were before unusably overexposed are now salvageable. Photos you’ve been looking for for years are now organized and easily accessed. Imperfections in shots are now easily dealt with, allowing an otherwise wonderful photo to perform to its full potential.

Some people might use Adobe Lightroom to drastically change the color, tone, and vibe of an image, while others might use it to make subtle touchups. How you use the software is entirely up to you and your creative vision.

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