Demystifying Lightroom’s Most Confusing Yet Essential Tools

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 capabilities in any given situation. Learn 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. That’s primarily because Lightroom didn’t exist when I began using software to edit my images, and as I became more proficient in Photoshop and familiar with its features and interface, I never really saw a need to change. To a certain extent, that’s still mostly true, as I’m so comfortable with Photoshop that it remains my default platform. That being said, in the last few years, Lightroom has come on in huge leaps and bounds as a standalone editing tool, so much so, that for some jobs these days, I prefer to use Lightroom. However, I’m the first to admit that my skills in Lightroom are still a long way 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 there are multiple ways of doing things in Lightroom, but he gives excellent examples of why certain, commonly used practices are actually not best practice at all. For instance, he discusses vignettes, and whether to use Lightroom’s default vignette tool, under the Effects panel, or a radial vignette, in the Basics panel. Some of these might 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.

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