Lightroom Tricks

Lightroom Tricks Every Photographer Should Know

In Lightroom Tutorials by Stefano CaioniLeave a Comment

If you are familiar with Lightroom, it is quite likely that you have come across several of the tricks you can use to speed up your workflow. There might be some that you are not yet aware of as well.

Lightroom Tricks

Let’s go through some of the most popular, powerful, and useful tricks that are sure to come in handy!

Related: How to Export Photos in Lightroom

Lightroom Tricks

Quick Auto Tone

Quick Auto Tone is an excellent place to start off when editing your image. If you haven’t decided on a particular direction that you want to take with respect to the editing, this option can speed up your editing workflow by a huge margin. With a mere click of a button, your image will be edited by Lightroom based on how it thinks the image would look best. Just keep in mind that Lightroom usually overexposes the image. Generally, if you use Quick Auto Tone, it is recommended that you lower the exposure to get results that are usable.

Lights Out Mode

You may find yourself wanting to focus on the image that you’re working on, and not get distracted by the User Interface of Lightroom. You can use Lights Out mode to help you there. All you have to do is to enter the Library module, and then press the ‘L’ button. Doing so will dim out the area surrounding the image, leaving your image in focus. Pressing ‘L’ once again will result in the area surrounding it to completely disappear. If you want to get the original view back, you will have to click ‘L’ for the third time to reset it. This mode is excellent for images in the grid view, or even in the single image view. 

Lightroom Tricks: Solo Mode

It can become quite tedious to scroll through all the panels in the Develop mode. The sidebar can fill up really quickly, once you open up a few of the panels. By right-clicking on any of the panels, let’s say ‘Basic’, you will be able to turn on Solo Mode. This is a mode where any time a panel is open, all of the other panels stay closed automatically. This is a very handy trick that can help you navigate Lightroom with ease.

The Alt/Option Key

Here is a trick that is hidden in plain sight. The Alt/Option key has such incredible functionality that it is a wonder that it’s missed by most people. Here is a feature that you can access with just this one key!

Expanding the Quick Develop Panel: If you hold down the Alt/Option key, you will be able to toggle the Quick Develop Panel. You can now adjust the sharpening as well as the saturation without ever having to enter the Develop module!

Improve Lightroom Performance

It can so happen that Lightroom begins to lag, and you feel like it’s performance has dropped. There are a few things that you can check, which could potentially improve its performance:

  • If you are using a system with integrated graphics, or perhaps an older GPU, go to Preferences > Performance, and turn ‘Use Graphics Processor’ off. It has been reported by several users that they notice slower performance if that setting is turned on.
  • Having a Camera Raw Cache set to a lower storage space can also affect performance. Go to Preferences > File Handling, and increase the size of Camera Raw Cache by a significant amount. Generally, 30 GB is a good place to be.
  • It is a good habit to keep your Catalog well maintained. You can do this by regularly going to File > Optimize Catalog and running it.

Lightroom Tricks: Fade Lightroom Presets

There are several presets that you might enjoy using, but you may find yourself in a situation where the preset applied is a bit too strong. It would be great if the same preset could be applied, but with a slightly lower intensity. In fact, quite analogous to how you can dim down a layer in Photoshop. Well, this is certainly possible! You will have to use a Lightroom plugin called ‘The Fader’. You can download it and then install it by going to File > Plug-In Manager.

Related: Capture One vs Lightroom

Final Thoughts

While Lightroom is a fairly lightweight, and simple tool to use, having a few handy tricks up your sleeve can greatly enhance your experience. You can quicken your workflow, and enjoy several conveniences that just make using the tool easy. We hope that his article has helped you add to your knowledge of Lightroom.

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