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Scott Kelby shows us how to create custom vignettes and spotlight effects using the Radial Filter in Lightroom. p5 PHOTO BY ROB SYLVAN





Now that the Google Nik Collection is free, you have to try out Analog Efex Pro 2 to add retro effects to your images. p15


Extend the Power of What You Do in Lightroom on Your Mobile Device The best-selling Lightroom book author of all time is back to show you, step by step, how to unlock the power of Lightroom Mobile, and extend the power and reach of what you do in Lightroom on your desktop. Scott Kelby gets straight to the point to show you how to get up and running fast, how to make the most out of Lightroom Mobile’s amazing capabilities, and even how to use it to do things that Lightroom for the desktop can’t do. You’ll learn all about organization, editing, and sharing— the entire process. And, you’ll be up and editing like a boss in no time. Scott’s been working with Lightroom Mobile and teaching people how to use it from the very beginning, so he knows first-hand which parts of the process users struggle with and where they get confused, and he knows exactly how to get you past those stumbling blocks and really enjoying the newfound freedom editing on a mobile device can bring. Get your copy today from your favorite bookseller.

fuel for creativity

Scott Kelby

Sean McCormack

Rob Sylvan

Scott Kelby




Tips Tricks


Questions Answers

Maximum Workflow BY SEAN McCORMACK

analog efex pro 2

Under the L oupe


customizing preferences and catalog settings

Lightroom Workshop


custom vignettes and spotlight effects

lightroom magazine › contents › ›

Rob Sylvan

005 010 015 022 024

LIGHTROOM MAGAZINE An official publication of KelbyOne ISSUE 21


Scott Kelby, Editor-in-Chief Chris Main, Managing Editor Kim Doty, Associate Editor

Contributing Writers

Seán Duggan • Scott Kelby • Sean McCormack • Rob Sylvan


Jessica Maldonado, Art Director Margie Rosenstein, Senior Graphic Designer Angela Naymick, Graphic Designer


Adam Blinzler • Kleber Stephenson • Melissa White


Adam Frick • Brandon Nourse • Yojance Rabelo • Aaron Westgate


Scott Kelby, Publisher Kalebra Kelby, Executive V.P. Jean A. Kendra, Business Manager


Jeanne Jilleba, Advertising Coordinator 800-201-7323 ext. 152


U.S. Mail: 118 Douglas Road East • Oldsmar, FL 34677-2922 Voice: 813-433-5000 • Fax: 813-433-5015 Customer Service: Letters to the Editor: Letters to the Lightroom Editor: Advice Desk:


Lightroom Magazine was produced using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5 and Adobe InDesign CC 2015. Roboto was used for headlines and subheads. Frutiger LT Std for text.

This seal indicates that all content provided herein is produced by KelbyOne, LLC and follows the most stringent standards for educational resources. KelbyOne is the premier source for instructional books, DVDs, online classes, and live seminars for creative professionals.

| fuel for creativity

All contents ©COPYRIGHT 2016 KelbyOne, LLC. All rights reserved. Any use of the contents of this publication without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Photoshop User is an independent journal, not affiliated in any way with Adobe Systems, Inc. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and Photoshop are registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks mentioned belong to their respective owners. Some of the views expressed by contributors may not be the representative views of the publisher. ISSN 2470-7031 (online)

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Lightroom Workshop

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custom vignettes and spotlight effects BY SCOTT KELBY

Vignettes (where you darken the outside edges all the way around your image) have become very popular in the past couple of years. Normally, we would apply them using the Effects panel, and it works great—as long as your subject is right in the middle of the frame (which, hopefully, isn’t always the case). Now, not only can you create vignettes in any location within your image, but you can do more than just darken, and you can

Excerpted from The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers

have more than one vignette, so you can also use it to re-light your image after the fact.

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the brightest part of the image first, but unfortunately, in this shot, the lighting is fairly even, so we’re going to use the Radial Filter tool to “re-light the scene” and focus the viewer’s attention on our bride. So, click on the Radial Filter tool in the toolbox near the top of the right side Panels area (it’s shown circled here in red; or press Shift-M). This tool creates an oval or a circle and you get to decide what happens inside or outside this shape.

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step two: Click-and-drag out the tool


in the direc­­tion you want your oval (or circular) pool of light to appear (here, I dragged it out over the bride). If it’s not in the exact spot you want it, just click inside the oval and drag it wherever you want, just like I’m doing here (you can see my cursor has changed to the grabber hand cursor as soon as I started to drag the oval). Note: If you need to create a circle using the Radial Filter tool, pressand-hold the Shift key and it constrains the shape to a circle. Also, if you press-and-hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and doubleclick anywhere in your image, it creates an oval as large as it possibly can (you’d use this when you want to create one that affects nearly the entire image).


step one: The viewer’s eye is drawn to

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step three:

Here, we want to focus the attention on the bride, so we’re going to make the area around her much darker. Drag the Exposure slider over to the left (as shown here, where I dragged it to –1.58), and you can see it darkens the entire area outside the oval (the area inside the oval stays the same as it was, and what’s nice about this is that it kind of creates a spotlight effect on our bride). The transition between the brighter area and the darker area is nice and smooth because the edges of the oval have been feathered (softened), by default, to create that smooth transition (the Feather amount is set to 50. If you want a harder or more abrupt transition, just lower the amount using the Feather slider at the bottom of the panel).

tip: removing ovals

step four: Once your oval is in place, you can rotate it by moving your cursor just outside the oval (as seen here, where my cursor is just outside the right side of the oval, just below its center, and I’m rotating it a little to the right). The area where you can rotate is really small, so make sure you stay pretty darn close to the edges of the oval, and make sure you have the double-headed arrow cursor before you start dragging to rotate or it will create another oval. If that happens, just press Command-Z (PC: Ctrl-Z) to remove that extra oval. To resize the oval, just grab any one of the four little handles on the oval and drag out or in (here, I dragged it out to cover more of our bride). The nice thing about this filter is that you can do more than just adjust the exposure.

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If you want to remove an oval you’ve created, click on it and then just hit the Delete (PC: Backspace) key.


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step five:

Now, let’s create another oval—this time to help hide that bright area over on the right side. Just move your Radial Filter tool over there and click-anddrag out an oval about the size you see here. By default, it’s going to affect what’s outside the oval, but you can switch it to have the sliders control what happens inside the oval instead. You do that by turning on the Invert Mask checkbox at the bottom of the panel (shown circled here in red). Now, when you move the sliders, it affects what’s inside the oval and the area outside it remains unchanged.

tip: swapping the effect to the inside/outside

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Pressing the ’ (apostrophe) key turns the Invert Mask checkbox on/off, swapping the effect to the inside/outside.


step six: Drag the Exposure slider over to the left a bit (here, I dragged it to –1.15), until that area inside the oval gets dark enough to make it kind of blend in (instead of stick­ ing out and drawing our eyes over there). Again, if you need to move the oval, just click inside it and drag, and if you need to rotate it, just click-and-drag in a circular motion right outside the oval. If you look at our bride now, you’ll see a gray pin on her arm—that’s an Edit Pin showing the first oval we placed there (the one that darkened the background). If you want to make any adjustments to that oval, just click on that gray pin and it becomes the active one.

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step seven:

You can also add an oval inside another oval. Here, we want one that’s inverted (so the center of the oval gets affected), so let’s drag a copy of the one we just made. Press-andhold Command-Option (PC: Ctrl-Alt), and click-and-drag on the center of the second oval and a third oval appears (it’s a duplicate of your second one). Place it over her face (as shown here), shrink the size way down, and rotate it. Now, to make her face just a little bit brighter, drag the Exposure slider a bit to the right (here, I dragged to 0.44) and it just affects her face. Next, press Command-Option (PC: Ctrl-Alt) once again, this time on this third oval, and then move this new one over onto the bouquet. For this one, drag the Highlights slider to the right to around 0.16 to brighten that area a bit. We also could have used the Radial Gradient’s new Brush feature to erase the gradient over the bouquet. A before/after is

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shown below. ■


Under the Loupe

customizing preference and catalog settings B Y R O B S Y LVA N

Taking control of your Lightroom experience involves becoming familiar with key Lightroom settings, and even customizing some of them to best fit your needs. In my experience, many Lightroom users can quite happily use Lightroom for a long time before ever discovering the Preferences and Catalog Settings dialogs. I think this is due to the fact that most of the default settings are well tuned for the majority of users, and that most users are more interested in their photos than noodling around in dialogs.

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The moment of discovery of the Preferences often comes hand-

catalog file corruption, or self-inflicted injury, which happens

in-hand with something going wrong, and that’s usually not

when you inadvertently do something in your catalog (like

the best time to discover anything. So to give you a leg up, or

delete a saved book collection) and don’t realize it until some

at least give you something to file away for if (when) things go

time down the road. In any one of those situations you’d be

wrong, I want to share with you a few important settings that

glad to have a recent backup copy of the catalog that was cre-

you might want to customize beyond the defaults.

ated right before the disaster. As to the frequency of when this should run, that’s some-

schedule a backup

thing you’ll need to decide for yourself. I have mine set to Every

One of the most important settings is how often you tell Light-

Time Lightroom Exits. Seem excessive? Well, if you’ve ever had

room to create a backup copy of your catalog file and where

to recover using a backup copy of anything, you’ll know that

you want it to be created. You can find the first part of this set-

the magnitude of relief you felt was directly proportional to

ting by going to Lightroom (PC: Edit)>Catalog Settings, which

how recent the backup was created. Plus, Lightroom gives you

opens the Catalog Settings dialog.

the option to pass up a backup if you just don’t have the time. The backup only runs when you exit Lightroom (based on the frequency you choose), and at that time you’ll be prompted to

On the General tab of the Catalog Settings you’ll find impor-

As you can see on the Back Up Catalog prompt, there’s a

tant information about your catalog, such as its filename and

Skip this Time button that you can click anytime you’re in a

where it’s stored on your hard drive (make sure you know these

hurry. Just don’t skip too often. I like being prompted each time

two important facts). At the bottom is where you’ll find the

I exit Lightroom so I have the option to back up, but in reality

option to set the schedule of how often Lightroom creates the

I may only create a backup once a week or right after a big

backup. Just to be clear, Lightroom only creates a copy of the

work session. You might also notice the location of the backup

catalog file itself. This doesn’t include any photos, previews,

folder is also shown on that prompt. As a matter of fact, that’s

presets, or anything not contained within the catalog file. For

the only place you can configure where you want the backup

this reason, you want to be sure that you have some kind of

copy to be created.

full-system backup process in place that includes all of your

By default, Lightroom puts the backup in a folder (named

files. Lightroom simply creates a copy of the catalog file at a

Backups) in the Lightroom folder inside your Pictures folder,

location of your choosing.

which is also the default location of your working catalog. This

This may not seem like much help, but the Lightroom cata-

isn’t ideal if you want to provide some protection against drive

log file contains all of the work you do inside Lightroom (e.g.,

failure, so I’d recommend directing the backup to be created on

Develop settings, keywords, captions, titles, collection member-

a different drive. Click the Choose button to manually navigate

ship, flags, virtual copies, etc.), which is the most important

to and select the location you want the backup to be created.

thing after your photos. Having a backup copy created on a

On my laptop with only one internal drive I have my backup

regular schedule can help you in case of disk failure, disk loss,

directed to my Dropbox folder so that the backup copies are

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continue (or not).


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eventually uploaded to my Dropbox account and synced to my

import options

other computer.

In the Import Options section of the General Preferences,

I also recommend leaving the integrity test and optimize

there’s an option to Treat JPEG Files Next to RAW Files as Sepa-

catalog boxes checked. It will make the process take longer, but

rate Photos, and this is unchecked by default. My suggestion is

I feel it’s a good investment of time and resources. One final

to check that box even if you don’t currently shoot RAW+JPEG.

note, Lightroom creates a new backup copy each time the process runs, and then compresses the backup copy into a zip file (Lightroom CC/6 only) to conserve space. Lightroom leaves the job of deleting old backup copies up to you. I periodically go into my backup folder and delete all but the most recent four or five copies to prevent Lightroom from filling my drive with them.

default catalog On the subject of catalogs, there’s one other vital setting I want you to customize for your situation. Go to Lightroom (PC: Edit)>Preferences, click on the General tab, and note the setting for Default Catalog. Do yourself a huge favor and change that setting from Load Most Recent Catalog to your specific catalog file. Click the drop-down menu and you’ll see the path to the current catalog displayed as an option, and choose it. If you have more than

A fairly common question I get on the KelbyOne Advice

one catalog that you regularly use, then choose the Prompt Me

Desk is from people who start shooting RAW+JPEG and then

when Starting Lightroom to be given the choice of which cata-

wonder why they can’t actually see the individual JPEG ver-

log to open each time. The reason this is so important is that

sions in their catalog (and why they can’t delete them). When

you (and not Lightroom) need to be in the driver’s seat on the

that option is unchecked, Lightroom copies the RAW and JPEG

decision of which catalog to open. I can’t tell you how many

versions from your card, but it only shows you the RAW ver-

lost hours and lost hair I’ve seen over the years because the user

sion in the catalog (and treats the JPEG like a hidden sidecar

didn’t realize which catalog was opened when they launched

file). The thinking is that the RAW is better and that’s the one

the program. If you do nothing else, save yourself from this fate

you’ll process in Lightroom, but most people I know who shoot

and customize that setting for your catalog.

RAW+JPEG need access to the JPEG too, so unless you absolutely don’t ever want to see the JPEG version in your catalog, my recommendation is to check it. Configure the other options

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on the General tab as you wish.


cache settings Over on the File Handing tab there’s one setting worthy of a little consideration. In the Camera Raw Cache Settings section there’s a place where you can control the size of this cache folder shared by Lightroom and the Camera Raw plug-in. This cache is used to store a base rendering of your RAW photos each time you view them in the Develop module. The larger the cache the more data it can hold, which means performance can be improved when moving through a large number of RAW photos in Develop.

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By default this cache is set to 1 GB, but I’d suggest increasing it anywhere from 5 to 20 GB to see if that comes with any performance improvement in Develop. Obviously, this is also dependent on how much free space you have on your drive. If you have another internal drive with more free space, you can click the Choose button and configure the cache to be created on that drive instead.

performance While I’ve seen the number of issues related to this last preference go down considerably, it’s worth noting in case you should encounter it. On the Performance tab of the Preferences (only in the latest version of Lightroom), there’s a single checkis supported, this can improve performance while in the Develop module. If you have an older machine, however, and your GPU isn’t supported, then you can experience problems. Adobe prepared a troubleshooting document to help users solve these problems, but the easiest thing to do in the short term is uncheck that option if you’re having any odd performance

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box for Use Graphics Processor. When checked, and if your GPU


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problems and see if that helps. I have it unchecked on my older

step two: Hold down the Shift and Option keys (PC: Shift

Windows machine and have no problem.

and Alt keys) while launching Lightroom (keep the keys down until you see the prompt).

step three:

Choose Reset Preferences when prompted.

Lightroom will replace the old preferences file with a new one, and hopefully solve whatever problem drove you to try this trick. Once Lightroom launches, go back and reconfigure any


of your custom settings.

If Lightroom is ever acting really strangely on you and you can’t figure out the cause, it could be worth resetting the preferences. This got a lot easier in Lightroom CC/6 because Adobe added a keyboard shortcut for just this purpose, and they separated out the part of the preferences that keeps track of the catalog you’re using from the rest (that way resetting the preferences doesn’t also contribute to your having trouble finding the correct catalog). Before you do this, it’s worth noting any customizations you’ve made so that you can reconfigure them

The rest of the default settings in Lightroom work fairly well

after the reset. Here’s how it works:

and most users don’t need to change them, but take the time you see fit. ■

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step one: Quit Lightroom (if you haven’t already).

to familiarize yourself with them and then customize them as



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Maximum Workflow

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analog efex pro 2 BY SEAN McCORMACK

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that Google has set the Nik Collection free, literally. The formerly $150 software pack is now available to everyone at no charge, so why not download it and get to grips with their retro photo offering, Analog Efex Pro 2, the focus of this “Maximum Workflow’s” walkthrough.

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installation & application The Nik Collection comes with a dedicated installer and un­installer for an easy installation process. With Lightroom closed, just run the installer file to begin. As part of the installation process, shortcuts to each of the Nik plug-ins are added to the Edit In command in the Photo menu in Lightroom. So launch Lightroom, select a photo within the Library module with which you want to work, and go to Photo>Edit In>Analog Efex Pro 2.


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The whole Nik Collection has a unified design, so if you’ve seen one Nik application, the others will be instantly familiar. Here’s a quick overview of where everything is located in the Analog Efex Pro 2 interface.


1. The Preview Bar: Select before/after and compare views from here, as well as zoom levels. Use the light bulb to change the background color surrounding the main image area. The icons with an arrow inside a rectangle on either end of the bar toggle the related panels open and closed.

5. Preview area: This is the main image area where you can preview or compare the settings you’re applying. Nothing is applied until you save the image.

2. The Camera Selector: This is where you choose the type of camera to begin creating your analog look. We take a more detailed look at this next.

7. Loupe & Histogram: The Loupe previews the image under your cursor at 100% (click the pin icon to unlock the current Loupe view; Right-click the image to pin the current position of the Loupe). Hover over the panel to bring up the switch to change to the Histogram if you want to see the balance of colors in your image.

3. Camera Presets: Once you’ve selected a camera, the Camera Presets section changes to give starting looks based on that camera. These are great for getting a quick start. 4. Additional panels: Other panels here allow you to save custom presets, import presets from outside Analog Efex, see your edit history, or get help.

6.  The Adjustments panels: These contain the filter stack generated by the preset you select. You can also build your own stack from scratch.

8. Cancel and Save: Save the image and go back to Lightroom from here, or Cancel to exit without applying settings. You’ll still have an additional unedited image back in Lightroom even if you cancel.

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the camera selector Click on the current camera, which is Classic Camera by default, to bring up the Camera Selector dialog. Here you can either choose from prebuilt cameras (a.k.a. Tool Combinations) or make your own from the available list of Tools. These Tools are the filters that appear in the stack in the Adjustment panels on the right. Clicking a Tool will place that tool in the filter stack, overwriting the existing stack. It will also change the Camera Selector to Camera Kit, where you can build your own camera. This is great for when you’re familiar with the program and want to create a unique look from scratch. We’ll create one shortly.

getting a quick start with presets

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The fastest way to get started is to select a camera that’s closest to your vision for your photo. If you’re looking for something very retro then Vintage Camera is a good option. For whacky photos, you could try Toy Camera. Whichever camera you choose, the Presets panel will update with thumbnails based on that camera. Click the thumbnail to load those settings into the Adjustment panels.


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build your own While you can use an off-the-shelf camera, the most versatility and fun comes from making your own, so let’s do it.

step one: Open the Camera Selector and choose Basic Adjustments from the Tools list. For this image, I set Contrast to 29% and Saturation to –19% to reduce color.

step two:

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To add another filter, hover over the Tools list that has appeared in place of the Presets. As you move over each of the Tools, a + icon will appear to the right of the tool’s name. Click this to add it to the filter stack. In this case, I’ve gone for Film Type. The active tool in the Tools list appears in orange, while other tools used appear in white. Unused tools are gray.


step three: Film Type has a large range of options. First, click on the drop-down menu at the top of the panel to select from a subset of options: Warm, Cool, Subtle, B&W Neutral, or B&W Toned. I’ve gone for Subtle. Clicking the film swatches will load that look. I like the third one in row three, so I’ve clicked that one to apply it. To make this more retro, push the first slider toward Faded, which lightens the blacks in the image. Set the Strength to 100% to apply the full effect

of the cross processing in the Film Type. To add more grain, I’ve reduced the Grain per Pixel slider to 247. This works in reverse to a normal grain filter, so lower is more. The Soft/ Hard slider controls the effect the grain has on the photo. I want to retain some details, so I’ve set it to about 2/3 of the way toward Hard. One side effect of using grain is that it will smooth out pores in skin, so it can have a slightly beautifying effect.

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step four: The next effect I want to add from the list of Tools is Double Exposure. This tool loads with two on-image visual controllers. The first is a rectangle that controls the size, location, and rotation of the second exposure. The second controls the Zoom and Rotate Strength settings in the Double Exposure panel. To activate the controller that you want to use, just click its respective circular icon on the image. By default, this second exposure is a copy of the image, but by clicking on the thumbnail with the plus symbol, you can choose a different image. For this photo, I’ve made a larger copy at the top left, and faded it by setting the Exposure Balance slider to 14%. Because overlaying the second image has darkened the photo overall, use the Exposure slider to brighten it again. By clicking the box to the left of the Double Exposure panel header, you can toggle the effect off and on to compare brightness. In this example, 27% seems to give the same level of brightness in the before and after images. Finally, I changed the Zoom and Rotate Strength to taste, which gives a subtle swirl to the double exposure.

Leaks filter. You have a choice of Soft, Crisp, or Dynamic in the drop-down menu below the Strength slider in the Light Leaks panel. I’ve gone for a subtle purple leak in the Soft presets. Using the on-image control, I’ve pulled the leak more over the face. To remove some of the light leak from the face, but to keep the rest intact, click on Control Points at the bottom of the Light Leaks panel, click on the Add Control Point icon, and then click on the image where you want to place the Control Point. There are two sliders on the Control Point: one that controls the size and one that controls the Texture Strength. I’ve placed the Control Point over the model’s face, set the Texture Strength to 0%, and then dragged the top slider on the Control Point to cover the width of her face.

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step five: To go a little toy camera, add the Light


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step six: I’m a texture lover, so my next choice is Photo Plate. There are three types to choose from: Streaked, Corroded, and Concrete. I’ve gone for Corroded for a wet plate photo look. Use the Strength slider to pull back the effect. Because I’ve chosen a preset that’s not covering the face much, I don’t need to add a Control Point.

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step seven: To get a Lensbaby type effect, add the Zoom & Rotate Blur tool. We’ve seen this as part of the Double Exposure filter, but this is for the main image. First, move the center of the tool over the face. To keep the face intact, use Protect Center (I used 33%). I want a substantial effect, so set Zoom Strength to 71% and Rotate Strength to 109º. We could’ve used Bokeh here, which would also give a controlled blur, but I wanted the swirl effect.


step eight: The final thing we’re going to do is add the Levels & Curves tool. From the drop-down menu, choose Luminosity. This will let us add contrast without also adding saturation, which normally happens when boosting contrast. Create a subtle S curve and we’re done.

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step nine: To save the settings for the future, go to the Custom panel on the left and click the + icon in the panel’s header. Give your preset a name and click OK. A thumbnail of the preset will now show in the Custom panel.

the remaining tools Here are a few of the other tools not covered in the steps above: • Lens Distortion lets you make the photo look like it was taken with a poor lens. • Bokeh (shown here) allows you to create a controlled blur around a chosen center point. You can choose a range of Apertures, as well as go between a circular-type lens blur or a planar tiltshift-type blur. • Motion Blur makes creative streaks in the image. • Dirt & Scratches adds just that to the photo. I didn’t use it here as there was enough texture from Photo Plate. • Lens Vignette lightens or darkens the corners of the photo. I recommend adding vignettes in Lightroom, though, because it has more control. • Multilens allows you to create a multi-frame layout using different focal points of the same image. • Finally, Frames allows you to add cool retro frames. While I liked quite a few of the frames, I didn’t like that they also altered the brightness of the main image. You may find them more pleasing than I did.

going retro

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Now that the Nik Collection is free, you have no excuse not to experiment with all the plug-ins that it offers. I love retro effects, and Analog Efex Pro 2 is great for creating them. Now go play! ■




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Questions Answers In the Library module, there’s a Comments panel. What is that for?

It’s for use with Lightroom Mobile, for client feedback purposes. For example, you could be doing a shoot and having the images from your shoot appear on a custom webpage that you can share with your client. They can then review your images and even comment on them right from their Web browser. Their comments are then synced back to that Comments folder, so if you click on an image you shared, you can see any comments they made on that image there (you’ll also see a comment icon appear in the Library grid thumbnail beside any commented images so you don’t have to keep jumping over to the Comments panel to check image by image). Lastly, if you don’t use Lightroom Mobile, you can hide that panel altogether by Right-clicking directly on the title bar of the Comments panel and then uncheck Comments. You can get it back by Right-clicking on any other panel in the right side panels in the Library module.


I saw that you can add a watermark to your images in the Print module, but I don’t want to print from Lightroom—I just want to add a watermark to my images that I’m going to share on my website. Is there a way to do this without jumping over to Photoshop? Yup. In the Library module, click on the image(s) to which you want to apply a watermark, and then click the Export button. When the Export dialog appears, scroll down and you’ll see a module for adding a watermark to your saved images. Turn on the Watermark checkbox, then from the pop-up menu to the right of it, choose Edit Watermarks to bring up the Edit Watermarks dialog where you can add a text or a graphic watermark (like I did here).

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Is there an easy way to keep my pano frames or my HDR bracketed images organized inside a collection?


Absolutely. Let’s say you have six frames in a pano you shot. In the Library module, select all six frames, and then press Command-G (PC: Ctrl-G) to collapse all the selected images together into one single thumbnail that represents the group. You’ll know they’re a group (Adobe calls them “Stacks”) because you’ll see a little icon with a 6 on it in the top-left corner (as shown here). To expand the stack and see all six images again; click on the thumbnail and press the letter S on your keyboard. To collapse it again, press S again. If you ever want to break the stack apart, click on it to make it active, and press Shift-Command-G (PC: Shift-Ctrl-G).

I’m running out of room on my laptop. Is it okay if I move my images from my computer to an external drive? Not only is it okay, it’s recommend (mostly for the reason you’re mentioning here). Once you move them onto that external drive, you’ll just have to tell Lightroom where you moved them. For example, if you look in your Folders panel (in the Library module) you’ll see a question mark on your main photos folder, which is letting you know Lightroom no longer knows where those photos are. You’ll still see your thumbnails, but it has lost its link to the high-resolution originals so you can’t edit those images in the Develop module. (Note: Your thumbnails will have exclamation points to let you know those photos are missing.) To relink them, simply Right-click on that folder in the Folders panel and choose Find Missing Folder from the pop-up menu that appears. Now navigate your way to that folder on your external drive

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and then click the Choose button, and it relinks the images and all is right with your Lightroom world.

I have a computer at work and one at home, both running Lightroom. Is there a way that I can make edits to images when I’m at the office and have those changes automatically update my Lightroom catalog at home? Actually, there is, and the secret is to store your Lightroom catalog in the cloud (in something like Dropbox, iCloud Drive, or Google Drive) and then work off that catalog. That way, by the time you get home (provided you don’t live really close to your office), those changes to your catalog will be synced, and when you open that same catalog from home, those changes will already by there. Two things to note: (1) You’re always using the same catalog—it’s not two different catalogs; and (2) you can only work on one catalog at a time, and only one person at a time can work on a catalog—this doesn’t make Lightroom networkable. You’re just storing your catalog in the cloud so no matter where you open it from, you’re always working on the same catalog (rather than having one catalog at work, and a separate catalog at home—that would making syncing the two a very manual, kind of pain in the $%&$ process).

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When I use the Spot Removal tool, there are two circles—the larger outside one has a really thin line and the smaller inside one has a thicker line. What does this mean? The larger outside circle with the thin line gives you an indication of how much feathering (edge softening) is applied to the brush. The further away the outer circle is from the inner circle, the more feathering that has been added, so at 100%, the edges are fully softened. If you go to the Spot Removal panel (right below the tool strip) and drag the Feather slider to the left to around 40% (as shown here in the second image below), you can see that the inner circle increases in size and gets closer to the outer circle. This means that there’s much less feathering and your brush has a somewhat harder edge. If you drag the Feather slider all the way down to 0%, now there’s just one circle because there’s no feathering, and you have a hard-edged brush. ■

In the Filmstrip at the bottom of Lightroom, I used to be able to filter my images by pick flags, star ratings, and color labels but for some reason those options are now gone. Is there a way to bring them back?

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There is, and don’t feel bad because it’s not very obvious (to say the least). See where it says “Filter” over on the far right just above the Filmstrip, and next to that it says “No Filter” in a pop-up menu? Well, just click once directly on the word “Filter” to the left of the pop-up menu and all of those filtering options will return. See, I told you it wasn’t obvious.



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Lightroom has some keyboard shortcuts that are both very useful and timesaving, but also perplexing because hitting a single key by accident can change the viewing mode of the interface. In this column we’ll take a look at some useful shortcuts and also explain some of the mystifying interface changes you may have experienced.

hide the interface Tab will hide or show the two side panels, and Shift-Tab will hide or show everything except for the Toolbar (if it’s visible). F will toggle in and out of Full Screen Preview, and Com­ mand-Shift-F (PC: Ctrl-Shift-F) will go to Full Screen and Hide Panels (essentially the same as Shift-Tab). Shift-F will cycle through the different Screen Modes.

lights out One of the more mystifying shortcuts that you might acciden­ tally discover is Lights Out mode. Pressing L cycles between a dimmed interface, the thumbnails or image surrounded by black, and then back to normal view (Lights On).

The Filter Bar: The Filter Bar appears above the thumbnail grid in the Library module and lets you search your image catalog in a variety of useful ways. It also appears with differ­ ent functions and is referred to as the Header Bar in several of the other modules. You can hide it just by tapping the Back­ slash key (\). This one definitely falls into the category of being easy to hide by accident. Show a hidden Filter or Header Bar by tapping Backslash again.

the strange case of the disappearing and reappearing controls

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That section head is a bit melodramatic, perhaps, but like Lights Out mode, when you first encounter these shortcuts by chance, you might find that you’ve hidden an important interface element or control. The Toolbar appears in all of Lightroom’s modules under the main content preview in the center, and in each module it offers useful options. Hiding and showing the Toolbar is as easy as tapping T on the keyboard.


It should also be noted that the Toolbar usually has a menu on the far right. Click the triangle button to open this and configure what controls are visible on the Toolbar.

Hiding module names and panels: If the entire top part of the interface that shows the module names is hidden, mouseover the dotted triangle at the top-center part of the screen to temporarily show the hidden element. Click the triangle to turn the view on all the time. This same behavior works with the side and bottom triangle buttons to show or hide the side panels and the Filmstrip. Right-clicking on a module’s name shows a menu where you can hide or show different modules. If you click on a vis­ ible module in the menu, the checkmark next to it is turned off and that module is hidden. Right-click on another mod­ ule’s name to show that hidden module again. You can also Right-click on any panel’s title bar to hide or show entire panels in any of the different modules. Missing the Basic panel in the Develop module? This is how you get it back! In addition to controlling visibility for the panels in a module, the contextual menu also offers the option to Expand or Collapse All panels, or to choose Solo Mode. In Solo Mode

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only one panel is open at a time, which can be very useful for simplifying the interface to focus on a particular task.

In the Map module, it provides a wide view of the map and lets you choose a new area for the main map display.

changing modules

compare and survey modes

Lightroom has seven modules and only one has a shortcut letter that corresponds to the name of the module (D for Develop). Tapping the other first letters of the module names will call up a range of different interface changes or tools (though G for the Grid view is a great way to get back to the Library module). The best shortcut to take you to the module that you want is to hold Command-Option (PC: Ctrl-Alt) and then press 1 through 7, with the numbers corresponding to the modules going from left to right.

Compare (C) lets you view two selected images side-byside. Click on one side of the Compare display to activate either the Select or the Candidate (the first image you select in Grid or Filmstrip view is always the Select). Then click on another image in the Filmstrip to use that as the current Select or Candidate.

viewing and reviewing the image

The Survey mode (N) lets you view multiple selected images. Clicking the X removes an image from the view. The shortcuts for these are in the Toolbar for the Library module. There are also buttons for theses modes, as well as other controls to fine-tune the view of the image when using Compare and Survey.

adding flags, stars, and labels One of the most worthwhile time investments is reviewing your images and adding some value or quality designation to them. At a top level you can add a Flag to indicate a select (P for Pick), or choose to Reject an image (X). Tapping U will Unflag an image. Stars can be added by pressing 1 through 5, or 0 to remove all stars from an image. Adding a flag to designate an image as a Pick or select is a more general designation of quality or value; Star ratings allow you to get a bit more fine-tuned in how you attach values to images. Finally, Color Labels (6 through 9 on the keyboard) can be used for any number of other organizational purposes, such as when you’re reviewing images with a colleague and you both need to be able to attach a quality rating to the image.

a shortcut for the shortcuts While in the Library module, the Navigator panel will also show you the first image of any folder or collection you mouse over. This is not a shortcut, just something that’s good to know. In other modules, it offers a variety of displays, including previewing Develop module presets and preview­ ing the templates for the Slideshow, Print, and Web modules.

So far I’ve concentrated on some essential shortcuts for working with the Lightroom interface, as well as viewing, reviewing, and navigating through your images. There are, of course, many more. To see a chart of the shortcuts for each module use Command-/ (PC: Ctrl-/). Click on the chart to dismiss it. ■

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Double-clicking on any thumbnail in the Library module while in Grid view will take you into Loupe view and zoom into that image at the zoom level currently specified at the top of the Navigator panel. The default is to Fit the entire image, but you can also choose to Fill the screen, or a range of zoomed-in or -out views. From any view you can press Z to zoom in to the default zoom of 1:1 (or another zoom level if one has been selected in the Navigator panel). When in Loupe view, clicking once in the main image pre­ view will either zoom in to the chosen zoom view (the default is 1:1), or if you’re already zoomed-in, it will take you back to the Fit onscreen view. Zooming with Brush or Gradient tools: While the Spot Removal tool, Red Eye Correction tool, Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, or the Adjustment Brush are active, you can press-and-hold the Spacebar and click on the image to zoom in or out. Navigator panel: When you’re zoomed in to 1:1 or closer, you can drag on the box in the Navigator preview to move the main view to a different area of the photo. Doubleclicking inside that preview will return the image to the Fit onscreen view.







THE MAGAZINE Each issue of Lightroom Magazine features in-depth tutorials written by the most talented designers, photographers, and leading authors in the industry. As a KelbyOne member, you automatically receive Lightroom Magazine delivered digitally ten times a year.

Produced by the KelbyOne

Lightroom Magazine Issue 21, 2016  
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