If you’re reading this, the likelihood is that you’re a Lightroom user, maybe even a power user. Regardless of what else is out there, whether it be Capture One, Affinity Photo, or whatever else, if I were a betting man I’d wager Lightroom is still on your computer and for many that means it’s still the go-to organizational and raw processing tool, and as such, if you’re going to use it, learn to use it better.
For the power users out there, what you’ll read here may be nothing groundbreaking, but for the rest, the beginners, the intermediates or those who just don’t quite wield LR like you invented it, here are 3 simple tips geared to utilizing Lightroom better, and with more precision. Implementing these should aid your processes in being quicker, and therefore speeding up your workflow whilst retaining accuracy.
Cut Time And Keystrokes With Auto Advance
One of Lightroom’s strongest suits is its library management. While some of you may balk at that, it is much-loved for it. Part of Library/Catalogue management is the dreaded culling phase, and within which we must whittle down the thousands of images shot to just a few keepers.
That process approach varies from person to person, but in all likelihood, using the rating or flagging system within Lightroom is part of everyone’s process, and this is simply a matter of going from one photo to the next and deciding upon a rating (or flag) for the image to see if it’s to be kept or discarded. At minimum the process of rating one shot and moving to the next takes two keystrokes under normal use, but setting Auto Advance will cut that in half.
What is Auto Advance? Simply put it’s a mode within Lightroom that will allow you to rate an image and then Lightroom will automatically move on to the next image. That’s it, but when you’re going through a torrent of shots that saved time adds up fast. Here’s how to engage it:
Lightroom Menu > Photo > Auto Advance, or, alternatively, simply toggle Caps Lock on/off. That’s it.
Switch Image Orientation Quickly
As a natural progression from the last tip, we should approach cropping. In this day of high resolution cameras many are able to pull usable shots from frames which at first may not seem so great – cropping their way to success. Even if that’s not the case with you, the right crop can focus an image just right, and sometimes that requires flipping the orientation of your image, or crop.
If you’ve shot in portrait orientation but ‘see’ a better shot with a landscape orientation or vice versa, then once in the crop tool you can drag a corner until LR flips orientation for you or manually decide, or you can simply hit ‘X’ for that flip to occur. Just toggle ‘X‘ and your crop will toggle between orientations.
Bring Up All Lightroom Shortcuts
As the previous two tips are really about smart shortcut utilization, it should be obvious that using shortcuts in LR is key to a better experience, and thus it would seem prudent to mention that there is a way to bring up a list of all shortcuts within a given Lightroom module right on your screen. Here’s how:
Hold Command and hit ‘/‘. The following screen will appear, and to get rid of it simply click it.
If you really do and want to absorb lots of this kind of information, I highly suggest you take a look at our Lightroom Organization & Workflow workshops and Premium SLRL Members get access to it all (all new courses we release, along with more direct access to the SLRL Staff). They’ll get you up to speed, and fast, allowing you to get the most out of this program we spend so much time with.