This post is about photography basics & why I like and use Adobe Lightroom photo software and why I think you should too.
Let me begin with a photography disclosure.
I am a photography hobbyist. I’m self taught. I’m not a pro, I don’t even consider myself an advanced amateur.
I’m just a guy that likes to go out and snap some photos as a hobby. I’ve never sold any picture I’ve taken.
I am proud of the fact that some of my photos seem to make my wife happy and she is framing them for our house.
I will finish a photo and show her. If she likes it, she makes me put it on her thumb drive.
Next thing you know, she goes by Costco and orders a real nice print and then she frames and mattes the photo.
To see one of my photos hung on a wall at my house makes me want to get better at photography.
I have problems understanding all the 478 camera control buttons on my DSLR.
I have one lens, the lens the camera came with. An 18-200mm kit lens.
It seems as soon as I learn something about my camera or photography, I forget something also so it’s a wash sometimes.
I’m a firm believer that the more you practice any craft, the better you will become.
Not long after I bought my DSLR, a Canon 60D, I heard about the Adobe Lightroom photo software and people all over the internet seemed to be using it to process their photos.
Literally, 2 years ago, I hardly knew what processing a photo meant. I had bought a DSLR and I just wanted to learn how to make decent photos.
I’m pretty intimidated by the full blown Adobe Photoshop software. I try not to use it unless I have to. That’s why I love Lightroom. It’s easy!
Adobe Lightroom is much more simple. At $149 it’s a no brainer to purchase.
I’m a simple guy as my 8 readers know. I take a photo, pull it into Lightroom and goof around with the settings until I like the way a photo looks.
It’s such a simple process, that anyone can do it. I recommend that you start doing it and bringing a little extra life and pop into your photos.
I generally shoot most of my photos in a “raw” format instead of .jpeg. Raw photos simply hold more data and can be more easily manipulated by software.
A raw photo file on your SD card is a much larger file than .jpeg.
When you see beautiful photos on the internet, not a single one comes out of the camera looking like that. They have all been processed with some sort of software.
I really hesitate to call someone a great photographer. I want to call them a great photo software manipulator.
When you are behind the camera, your photography composition matters a lot but you will improve as you go along.
Don’t get me wrong, the Pro’s have camera skills. However, once the photo is on the SD card, the real work begins. There are photographers that may spend 40 or 50 hours working on processing a single photo.
Now you tell me what they are? Photographers or software experts?
You do not have to be an expert with a camera. You do not have to be an expert with photo software.
Just know a little about each and you can make some pretty awesome images that will impress your family & friends.
Here is a classic example of what I mean. Below are 2 of my recent photos.
The first photo is straight out of the camera with no processing whatsoever done to it. When I shot it, it looked great on the back of my screen.
Click images for larger view
There is no trick. The “after” photo was simply developed in Lightroom 4. I adjusted sliders and did some simple cropping to achieve this look.
There are no presets applied. I simply started clicking on the settings until the photo was pleasing to my eyes.
I like the way my photo looks and that’s good enough for me.
Seriously, anyone could have taken this photo. It’s what I did afterwards that matters.
YouTube has hundreds of Adobe Lightroom tutorials where you can easily learn this software.
Here is one YouTube Channel for Adobe Lightroom that I highly recommend.
If you could only watch one YouTube video about how to retouch photos using Lightroom, I would choose this video.
If you have been intimidated getting into photography because everyone uses the Mach 5 Turbo DSLR with Hubble Lens 3.5 700mm. That is simply just a bunch of bullshit.
Get an affordable DSLR camera, buy Adobe Lightroom 4 and teach yourself some simple photography basics. There are great photos within you, I promise.
I’m a simple man and if I can learn these photography basics, so can you.