So... this post isn't going to tell you the one magic thing you need to be doing in Lightroom. Sorry. This post is a bit of a rant. Why am I ranting today? Because I am sick. and. tired. of. people saying do this ONE thing in Lightroom and your images will be AWESOME!!
Ok, so maybe sometimes they say do "these 3 things" or "5 things" but I think you get what I am going for here. And these aren't just random people. I have been seeing these for years coming from viable people and groups. Guys, this isn't easy stuff. Sure there are little tips and tricks to learning Lightroom but you aren't going to learn how to use Lightroom well with little tidbits of information and there certainly isn't just one or two things that you need to be doing in Lightroom - there is a laundry list of things that you should be doing. And sometimes that list seems overwhelming but I promise you this, the more you use Lightroom and actually understand what you're doing - not just doing some quick "hack" that someone on Facebook is pushing - the easier the list gets.
Think about driving a car for a second. That seems pretty easy, right? You've probably been doing it for a while. But what about someone just starting to drive? Doesn't seem so easy to them! There is a long list of things you need to be doing to drive a car and you probably think about nearly ZERO of those things when you get in the car! First there's unlocking and opening the door. Then you have sit down and buckle up, insert the key, depress your brake, turn the key, put it in gear, check your mirrors, let off the brake, hit the gas. And that's all before leaving the driveway! But how much of that do you think of when you're actually doing it? Not much.
Lightroom is the same - well without the mirrors of course. If you're just starting out there is a long list of things you need to be aware of but once you've been using it for a while, well things become second nature. It isn't going to happen overnight and it isn't going to happen next week but eventually you will be comfortable and confident with Lightroom. I am fairly proficient in Lightroom and guess what - it took me a LONG time! But now that I have been using the program for a long time, things come quicker and new features quickly become second nature. There is no magic bullet, no golden ticket and no quick hack that is going to make using Lightroom easy. There is a process and a - wait for it..... WORKFLOW that will make Lightroom easier for you and that's a big part of what the Lightroom Learning Group is about. Yes, you're going to learn "quick tips" here but no those aren't the only things you'll need to know. They are pieces of the workflow puzzle.
Learning Lightroom is a process and it can take a while - there's a lot to learn. You want to know how to best Develop your images and use the adjustment tools. You want to to know how to organize and label your images. You want to know the best practices for importing your images. You want to know how to recreate a certain look in an image. You want to know how to print and share your images. I know it can seem like a lot and it is, but it's also pretty incredible that one piece of software can help you with ALL of that - and it's also pretty incredible that you can learn how to use it efficiently and and in a way that is best for your specific workflow. But, again, it's just not going to be done with one or two or three or four actions or commands or presets.
Now I'm not saying ignore everyone and everything you read about Lightroom just because it sounds too good to be true. But remember if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Lightroom is a big piece of the photography puzzle and a huge factor in having a better photographic workflow. Learning how to use it correctly - not necessarily quickly - will result in better images. Yes it can be frustrating but keep driving that car - it will get easier!