Editing Snapshots with Lightroom


Hello hello!  With the holidays right around the corner, I thought it would be a great time to show you how you can use Lightroom to quickly edit all the snapshots you’ll be taking!  Hopefully you will be taking lots of photos of the impending festivities.  :)


When I am taking snapshots, especially of my kids, my first priority is to capture the moment.  I don’t have time to mess with my camera, so I typically don’t shoot in Manual mode – I often shoot in Aperture Priority (AV) mode or Program (P) mode.  My white balance is on Auto (AWB).  I do still toggle my focus points to focus on the eyes, but I’m really just trying to get the shot before the moment passes. 


Since my camera doesn’t have a flash, indoor photos taken with an overhead light usually don’t come out pretty.  As a result, the images often need a little TLC.  Lightroom is the perfect tool.  :)  It is great for making quick, effective edits to your photos. 


For a basic clean edit in Lightroom, I typically adjust  white balance, exposure, brightness, and contrast  where necessary.


Here is my before snapshot:

Yikes!!  Can you say orange?!  My camera’s Auto White Balance setting obviously does not do a great job at adjusting the color of light in these scenarios.  If I had my camera on the ‘Tungsten’ White Balance setting (it looks like a light bulb), my results would have probably been better.  But again, I don’t usually have time to switch my camera settings for snapshots.


Okay, here we go.  :)  Once you are in Lightroom, make sure you are in the Develop module.


I am going to focus on the Basic Adjustments Panel.


Obviously we need to adjust the White Balance (the color of light).  I can just start adjusting the ‘Temp’ and ‘Tint’ sliders, but I am first going to see how close I can get using some of Lightroom’s tools.


Since I shot this photo in RAW format, I can use the built-in ‘Tungsten’ setting and it would be like I had used this setting in-camera (again, tungsten is for regular lightbulb-type light).  I clicked on the ‘WB’ options and chose Tungsten to see how this would affect my photo.


Here is the image now:


It looks a little better, but it’s not right yet. 


Another trick to try when adjusting white balance is to use the eyedropper tool and selecting the white of an eye.


The reason this often works is that the whites of the eyes are usually a neutral or close to it.  A ‘neutral’ is when Red = Green = Blue.  In other words, a neutral is white (R=255, G=255, B=255), black (R=0, G=0, B=0), and any shade of gray where the red, green, and blue values are the same.  They whites of the eyes are often a shade of gray, or close to it.


To try this method of correcting white balance, select the Eyedropper tool…

… and select the white of an eye…


Here is the image after setting the white balance using the eyedropper tool:


It will need some tweaks, but this white balance looks a little closer to accurate than the ‘Tungsten’ setting. 


Because this snapshot is also slightly underexposed, I made adjustments to the Exposure slider.  I also increased the Brightness and Contrast a bit.  Then I only had to tweak the ‘Temp’ and ‘Tint’ sliders a tiny bit because the ‘Eyedropper on the eye’ trick got the white balance pretty close!  Here are all the adjustments I made:

And here is the after snapshot:


Super quick, and a pretty dramatic difference!  It’s still a snapshot, but it’s one that will look much better in my photo album than the Before.  :)  The great thing is that I can copy the adjustments I made to this photo and paste them onto other photos in the series, saving me even more time.


So take out your cameras and get snapping over the holidays!  Making adjustments to your snapshots is super quick and easy with Lightroom.


PS – So in an attempt to make good choices over Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc., I tried a new exercise video this morning.  It was a Billy Blanks dancing video, I thought it sounded fun.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I sure hope there are no hidden cameras in my basement, and I hope my family wasn’t spying on me.  I certainly won’t be winning any dance competitions anytime soon!!  What a sight I had to be!  :)  Oh well, I’m trying.


Have a great Thanksgiving!!

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One Response to Editing Snapshots with Lightroom

  1. Very informative and creative tutorial. Glad to share with us.

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