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Editing 101 Photography

Before and After…A Lightroom Tutorial

Lightroom is my editing software of choice. I always get questions on how I edit my photos, so I am starting a monthly Lightroom Tutorial series where I will show you how I edit a photo. I’m not big on doing a whole lot to my photos, and I’m no expert. BUT I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks that I want to share.

So. This month, I took this photo:

lightroom before


I took this photo on  a cloudy day in my dining room.

It was underexposed, the white balance was off, and just….boring.

But I had a feeling about it. So, I took it into Lightroom to have a closer look.



lightroom before and after edit

First, I fixed the exposure( +1.45) , because an improperly exposed photo can make your photo look like your white balance is off.

lightroom tutorial




Since I tend to like my white balance warm, I adjusted that using a basic preset from Clickin Moms for white balance that gave me what I wanted…

lightroom tutorial



Next, I applied a preset that I made from a VSCO preset.  Presets are Lightroom’s form of changing a photo with one click.  Basically a short cut. You should always know how to edit by hand if you will,but once you learn what you want, a preset is a WONDERFUL AND ESSENTIAL time saver!!

I love VSCO, but most of the presets are a bit too strong for what I like. I always found myself doing the same adjustments to each photo, so finally, I just made my own preset. Pretty easy to do. I’ll have to do a post on it soon.

lightroom tutorial



Next, I wanted this photo to have a little bit of that matte feel. So, I turned to my tone curve. I also decreased the darks and the shadows just a bit to bring out the pop in the cream colored flower.


lightroom tutorial

And here is the finished product….


lightroom before and after


So did you learn anything from this Lightroom tutorial? Anything you can add, would do different?

Also, don’t be afraid to leave suggestions on ideas for future posts! I want to help everyone to grow!


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  • Reply
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
    January 23, 2015 at 10:26 am

    okay so this is amazing except I don’t know what a preset is and HOW I should be using them and where I can get them from?!!! *off to google* Also if you could put a arrow where you are talking about what you did–I know about the exposure and warmth but not sure where everything else is. 🙂

    • Reply
      January 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Ma’am!! I updated the post in case you wanted to come back and have a look. 🙂

      • Reply
        Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
        January 23, 2015 at 2:15 pm

        got it. Life changing. Seriously. THANK YOU. Do you know how much time I spend manually editing all my photos? Nevermind. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Keep em coming!

  • Reply
    Andrea @
    January 23, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Lovely finished shot. Are you also editing the photos for #OurProject52? I’ve been leaving those unedited to try to push myself to take better photos and not have to edit them. Normally my photos get some Photoshop love.

    • Reply
      January 23, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Yes, I use Lightroom to edit for most of my photos even if I just add sharpening to it for the web. I always say, get it right IN camera,but it’s good to know how to “help” a photo just a little!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Chile I am going to have to pay you for lightroom. I have it but I am lost. Now I can do photoshop like no one’s business but lightroom…..*sigh*

  • Reply
    January 24, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    This was great, if you could go over how you created the preset that would take sooooo much off me. THANKS!

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