There is a very small chance you haven’t heard of Adobe Lightroom software before as it is the most popular and most widely used photo-editing software on the market.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is software that gives photographers everything they need to edit digital photographs easily, from basic edits to complex enhancements and manipulation. For photographers who are new to image manipulation software, this is an ideal starting point. PhotoCollageTM provides all the tools necessary for optimizing photographs, from color correction and retouching, to collages, filters and masking – as well as special features not found elsewhere such as mass modifications of multiple images simultaneously. As well as basic features for novice users, this software offers advanced features for more experienced users, such as HDR mode for working on one image at a time, vibrancy/saturation sliders/HSL section to increase or decrease specific colors’ intensity, tone adjustment of highlights/shadows adjustment along with custom gradient map creation capabilities.
The program includes four steps in its workflow: Import, Organize, Edit and Share. Organize is digital asset management in its purest sense – keeping all your images sorted according to date, location, subject matter and other criteria. Plus it features some great search and find features so that any photograph in a large database is easily found!
Easy to learn and use, its intuitive interface offers four tabs of image processing tools. The Develop tab houses all image adjustment tools – click on its name in the top-right of your screen or use Command-Shift-D (Mac OS)/Control-Shift-D (Windows). Basic adjustments include cropping, sharpening, noise reduction, contrast enhancement, exposure adjustment as well as cropping/sharpening adjustments. While Enhance allows you to add extra details, remove dust spots or red eye and improve photographs further.
Alongside basic adjustments, more advanced tools include custom brush creation and application to add subtle textures or more dramatic effects such as burning or dodging small areas of an image. There’s even the ability to convert your photos to black-and-white or give them an aged vintage aesthetic.
Adobe Lightroom was intended for RAW files, though it can import and edit JPEG and TIFF images as well. If you need to deal with many JPEGs and TIFFs simultaneously it might be more practical to utilize Adobe Photoshop or another program tailored specifically for this task.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom can be purchased individually or as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud All Apps plan, including Bridge for image database management. If you plan on doing more than photography alone, however, Adobe’s Full Suite of video and graphic design programs may also prove valuable – although if Lightroom alone is enough for you, consider choosing their Lightroom Only Plan with 1TB storage instead.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom comes in two distinct versions, previously known as “Adobe Lightroom Classic” and “Adobe Lightroom (Cloud-Based). You can purchase one outright or pay annually to access all Creative Cloud software applications; many resellers of these applications provide money-back guarantees, customer support services and other perks that can help guide you in selecting the one best suited to your needs.
If you don’t want to commit long-term, there are other Adobe alternatives such as Darktable which is free for most users and provides all the main features of Lightroom sans AI and cataloging tools. ACDSee Photo Studio Pro and Ultimate are popular alternatives with similar capabilities but cost more, including Liquify for retouching photos by moving groups of pixels without touching them or producing artifacts.
Lightroom’s focus on photography combined with its affordable pricing makes it an excellent choice for photographers of all levels, even professional ones who may use Photoshop for more advanced retouching or manipulations. Even professionals often start off using Lightroom because it provides them with non-destructive editing of images – the only caveat being adequate internet upload speeds and trust in Adobe servers with your entire photo collection.