Photography tools

Demystifying the most confusing but essential tools in Lightroom

A true master of a craft is someone who knows the right tools for the job and how to use those tools to maximize their abilities in a given situation. Discover the best ways to use some of Lightroom’s most mystifying yet vital tools.

Ever since I got into digital photography, I’ve always been a Photoshop user. It’s mainly because Lightroom didn’t exist when I started using software to edit my images, and as I got familiar with Photoshop and familiarized myself with its features and interface, I didn’t never really saw the need to change. To some extent, that’s still true, because I’m so comfortable with Photoshop that it’s still my default platform. That being said, over the past few years Lightroom has made leaps and bounds as a standalone editing tool, so much so that for some work these days I prefer to use Lightroom. However, I’ll be the first to admit that my skills in Lightroom still lag far behind Photoshop, so I’m always on the lookout for tutorials and tips.

And that brings us to this great video by Mark Denney, in which he decodes some of Lightroom’s most essential tools. What I really like about this video is that Denney freely admits that there are many ways to do things in Lightroom, but he gives great examples of why some commonly used practices aren’t actually not best practice at all. For example, he discusses vignettes and using Lightroom’s default vignette tool, under the Effects panel, or a radial vignette, in the Basics panel. Some of these may seem simple, but knowing the right tool for the job is an essential part of becoming a better editor and photographer. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.