Follow Up – How Should I Teach Lightroom

First off, there’s a tip for today in a post right below this so make sure you scroll down to read it. Next, thanks very much for the kind words many of you said in your comments yesterday. And even if you didn’t agree with me, everyone was really civil in the way that they did it. Here’s what I’ve learned and I feel we can now put the discussion to rest:

1) I’m going to keep teaching the way that I do it.

2) If the way that I do it entails something that costs extra money (Photoshop not included – see #3 below), if possible, I will try to make brief mention of the free way. But I’m not devoting a lot of time to it.

3) I’ve realized that I need to be clear on something that I may have taken for granted before. Photoshop is definitely absolutely 100% part of the Lightroom photo-editing workflow. Any videos I do that deal with “start to finish” stuff WILL include Photoshop, so be prepared for that. I don’t even consider trying to do it all in LR because I’m assuming you have PS. If you don’t (and can’t afford it), then pick up Photoshop Elements at $79 which does a heck-of-a lot too. Either way, all of my retouching and detailed work will continue to be done in Photoshop.

4) If I do use a third party plug-in as part of my editing and the video covers that, I will make mention of it in the blurb about the video to let you know ahead of time. This doesn’t include Photoshop (see #3 above).

5) Maybe I need to write a mission statement for Lightroom Killer Tips (that sounds so corporate of me doesn’t it?) ;) Anyway, in the meantime one thing to realize about this site is that it’s not just Lightroom. As my friend RC said, sometimes the “killer tip” is what software or what else you should do “with” Lightroom – not necessarily something within Lightroom itself.

Once again, thanks for your time yesterday. Have a great weekend.
– Mr. Kloskowski :)

Author: Matt Kloskowski

Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based photographer. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Lightroom Magazine, the lead instructor on the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom LIVE Seminar Tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Matt also hosts the world's top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com, where he's built up a massive library of Lightroom videos, presets and tips. In addition to teaching Photoshop, Lightroom and photography seminars around the world, he's an instructor at Photoshop World and one of the full-time staff writers for Photoshop User Magazine.

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48 Comments

  1. Sounds good to me. I look forward to it and I really appreciate the work you put into this site and the information you provide.

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  2. Matt,
    Glad you’re still going to show your way of editing. I’m really surprised by the reaction of some of your readers. When I was deciding between Lightroom & Aperture, I chose Lightroom. I could’ve gone with Aperture because it was cheaper, but I really liked the workflow integration between LR & PS. That’s the main reason I chose LR, not to mention that there were many more (free)resources like this blog available for me to gain a better understanding of the product.

    I think it’s important to remember that although we refer to it as “Lightroom” the actual name of the product is “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom” so it’s only natural to go between the two products. To quote Forest Gump, “They go together like peas & carrots”.

    Keep up the great work.

    Dave

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  3. Matt,

    Glad to hear that you will continue being well…you!

    Cheers!

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  4. Matt:
    I have gained an enormous amount of information in processing my images from this website. I don’t think you should change doing what …you want to do. People ought to appreciate this FREE information and use it when they want to.

    Actually I have the complete NIK package for Photoshop ( I originally had it for LR but switched when I became more familiar with the program), and it was recommended by my Digital Darkroom teacher. The only thing I would like to see changed in all recommendations of software and materials is a disclosure if you have received free “stuff” from the manufacture. As a physician I was glad when journals made authors list whether they received grants from the manufacture they were studying, using and reporting. It’s just more transparent.

    Otherwise keep up the great and useful teaching you are doing and it appears you love to do.

    David

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    • I don’t want to start a whole thing here, because I think the comments from the previous post covered it, but I just have to interject this here.

      If I go to my mechanic and ask him, “Hey, what should I do to change my oil?” and the mechanic explains the process and then says to put Pennzoil in it, I am not going to ask him if Pennzoil is sponsoring him or giving him stuff. I ask him because I trust his OPINION. If I don’t trust his opinion, why go to him?

      I come to Matt because I trust his opinion on all things digital imaging. Asking for a disclosure of whether he has received things from these companies is a bit excessive. Frankly this whole discussion has been a bit excessive. This man is GIVING away his expertise. Take it or not, but please don’t complain.

      David, this isn’t directed at you, it just had the most relevance from your comment.

      Respectfully,

      Gavin

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      • Bloggers are required by the FTC to disclose any compensation relationships with a vendor whose product they endorse, sort of like what you described with the medical community:

        I believe these were enacted last December…I quit staying up with the topic late last fall personally.

        “The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.”

        I don’t think Matt was directly trying to encourage sales of Silver Effects Pro given all the commentary, but the expectation that a reader could reasonably have a right to know if there’s a business relationship driving such ad-hoc/quasi endorsements is supported by FTC rules. (This is to expose what’s referred to as blog-ola – where bloggers are pitching things without identifying their for-profit motives)

        I think Matt and Scott do a great job of mixing it all up and hopefully they act in the spirit of the FTC regulations, because I don’t think they’re in this space trying to be deceptive at all and seem like really upstanding people. Not all bloggers are so transparent.

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  5. Matt, I’m not a Nik fan – simply as I’m not a big “effects” fan and don’t want to spend more money on tools that I’ll not use a lot. Yesterday I watched the video, it got to the Nik bit and I skipped it. Period. I didn’t give it a second thought.

    Seeing your post above I went back and read the comments and was surprised.

    I love that you show us what you do for real and not fake up something for the video which doesn’t do what you do. It means we see workflow that works and if it doesn’t work for us… like I did yesterday: skip it!

    I just wanted to add my voice to those saying THANK YOU for taking the time to create educational snippets for us.

    For those that don’t like it please remember that blog posts are like biscuits (cookies for you US folks) if you don’t like the Garribaldi biscuits – leave them on the plate but don’t moan at the person who is handing them around: it isn’t good manners! :D

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  6. Hi Matt,

    Great to see you’re gonna keep things ‘as is’ and just do it your way; that after all is what gives you such a big following when all is said and done.

    Just one think re Nik Silver Efex Pro; one BIG thing that made me go out and buy it wasn’t just for the great B&W’s it produces, but the fact that I get little if any at all ‘banding’ when converting whereas it seems the vast majority of other methods does produce it especially in areas such as the sky. For that reason alone I would have brought the Nik Silver Efex Pro.

    Anyway, all the best to you,
    Glyn

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    • Thanks Glyn,
      I actually commented about a comment the other day. I mentioned how I really wanted to show all these examples I had of Silver Efex being better, but I didn’t because I deliberately didn’t want it to seem to promo-ish. But heck yeah! Just open up any photo with a lot of sky in it and try converting to B&W in Photoshop and LR. You get lots of banding. Silver Efex just seems to do much better with it.
      Glad its not just me :)

      Thanks man!

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  7. Matt,

    I discovered your site very recently so here’s my first post to thank you for all these before/after video, i loved all of them and learn a lot watching them ! I’d love it if you keep it that way :D

    again, thanks a lot for all these FREE stuff !! :)

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  8. No mission statements, please. ;) Everything else, yes please. :D

    And thank you for providing this resource to us.

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  9. There is enough material on this site for newbies to gain the basic understanding of Lightroom . I for one am solely interested in learning to get more from my photograph; the before and after you did earlier this week, is a fantastic example. I own every NIK plug-in so it was great getting your direction and input on implementing other applications into your workflow. Keep it up, much more useful information.

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  10. Matt –
    Here’s the deal: You can’t please everyone! Period. So let’s start with the fact that the vast majority of us LOVE Lightroom. And we want to know any secrets, presets, etc. that will help us use our favorite program. You do an excellent job with that, and it’s very appreciated. You’re the LR guru, after all. Now, like many folks, I grew up with Photoshop, but find LR to be my program of choice and use it to do 90% of my work. But the bottom line is that I want WHATEVER will work to enable me to produce the best work possible, and I’ll use any program that helps achieve that aim. So do I want you to let me know about programs other than LR? Of course, because I can then survey them myself and make my own decision as to whether they will work best for me. In the case of Silver Efex, I already have it and agree with your re it’s value. So my request is that you continue to expand our universe with information and programs that will help us achieve our aims, and quit trying to be a literal LR expert to the exclusion of the rest of the universe. You rock, dude!

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  11. To paraphrase someone from somewhere: Hey, if you don’t like it, go get your own damn blog.

    Great work Mr. Kloskowski.

    Really, Matt? Mr Kloskowski? Talk about corporate. :-)

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  12. Matt, no mission statement. Continue to do what you do best – explaining how to improve photographs. Any mission statement would be a waste of YOUR time.

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  13. I am actually glad you are teaching about workflow…Lightroom, photoshop and third party plugins. My aim is to improve my skills, and I am happy this is such an excellent place to go and learn things. I love Lightroom, I do recommend my friends to try it, but I could never do without Photoshop either. It is the combination that is so powerful in my eyes!

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  14. I just request that you provide links to the products’ website so we can further look into them. I know we could easily google the product, but that takes too much effort. :)

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  15. Hi Matt,

    Don’t be upset of all the comments on how you should teach LR. Just be yourself and choose the way you want to teach. I can imaging that people are ‘ disappointed’ about the use of a $200 plug-in instead of only using LR. But that is no reason to complain about the fact that you did not use LR. I know about the Nik software but still did not buy it because I will not use it intensively enought. So I think is too expensive to use it once in a while. But I do not complain about you use it in one of your videos. Next time you will use a $10 plug-in and get great results most people will thank you for the tip.
    It is a good thing you will briefly mention how you can achieve the same results (in some way) in LR (as you did in the black/white video).
    So keep up the good work. I am always very interested in your before/after video’s so we can see the workflow of a professional.

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  16. Haha- “Mr. Kloskowsk”

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  17. Matt,

    I hope my question is not too off-topic to answer, but if it is, I still thank you for what you do on this blog. It has been a valuable source of information for me since I downloaded LR1 beta. If a post includes a product I don’t have, I consider it as another option and move on. No changes necessary on your part.

    Question: Is editing in Photoshop (or Photoshop plug-in) the last step in your photo-editing workflow? In other words, after you do your Photoshop work and a copy of your raw file is saved in Lightroom as a PSD (or TIFF) file, do you do any tweaks or additional editing in Lightroom to that ‘-Edit’ copy?

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  18. matt, please bury this topic…if somebody doesnt like what u do then just tell them what was said back when tv’s had dials.”change the channel”…nobodys forced to listen to you and any change mighht affect your own creativity and those of us that appreciate your work would suffer…and besides you’re an artist and an artist uses all tools to a result…sometimes lightroom alone cant produce the end result….personally my workflow is lightroom to photoshop for finish…all much ado ab out nothing.

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  19. Thanks for your blog.

    I like to see your plug-ins so I can see if they are something I’d be interested in. I am not into B&W so your last blog wasn’t of interest to me. No big deal, next time it will be something I am interested in.

    Keep up the good work.

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  20. One question I have specifically regarding the use of plug-ins, is: when you have plug-ins that work in both Photoshop and LR, is there a preference wrt where that plug-in should be used?

    In the case of the B&W tutorial, you can use Silver Efex in either PS or LR, but you’re using it in PS. Is this indicating a preference on your part, or is it just chance?

    Thanks for all the great tips Matt!

    paul

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    • paul,
      I prefer to use a plugin in PS rather than LR because the resulting change is on its own layer and can be further modified by using additional plugins or reducing opacity, etc. When using the plugin in LR, once the change is made, using another plugin requires opening another copy of the file in LR.
      I just noticed Matt’s post and these discussions. I encourage Matt to continue as before; I appreciate information about other products.

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  21. Matt, don’t change a thing about the way you teach – you do a great job. Your website and your video tutorials are immensely helpful.

    For me, Silver Efex Pro is an indispensible program ? I think, really, any discussion about black and white in Lightroom should make people aware of what it does and of just how good it is.

    Thanks for everything you do.

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  22. Mr Kloskowski (ha) You’re my favorite teacher! Be it here or on Kelby training or in the books you write. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Thanks for doing what you do as well as you do.

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  23. Matt, keep things a rolling! by integrating other software into your workflow allows me the opportunity to see alternatives.

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  24. Hi Matt,
    thanks for keeping your way of teaching. Your blog is really helpful for me. I think the way you will go now is perfect for everyone.

    best regards from germany
    Günther

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  25. Hi Matt,

    Not to worry. Your Photoshop Lightroom instruction is excellent. I’ve learned a ton from your videos on Kelby Training and from your classroom instruction. Hey, you even include just the right amount of humor.

    Please keep it up. And thanks.

    Stan

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  26. Agree with others who say, “If you don’t like the way Matt teaches, get your own blog.”

    Good to hear you won’t be changing your teaching methods, I’ve learned all I know about Lightroom from your teachings and am quite satisfied with the results of my imagery. Keep it up, Matt.

    Hope to meet you in the next couple of days at PSW. :)

    Mike

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  27. I think the only concern that I have relative to using 3rd party tools and Photoshop is that, these are separate tools that require a completely different skill set to utilize.

    I have learned a heck of a lot from you over the last two years Matt, however my focus has been 100% on learning LIghtroom. Now that I understand it, I’m willing to move on to other, more powerful tools that intergrate into LR. That being said however, I can COMPLETELY understand where others are coming from if there is any form of confusion regarding 3rd party plug ins or Photoshop because whenever you discuss Photoshop, due to my completely limited understanding of the application, I am halted in my tracks during that specific lesson.

    For me, it’s not about the money, it’s about the message that is being conveyed and my ability to process and comprehend the data.

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  28. On the topic of using “extra-Lightroom” editors…
    Is there any difference in how PS integrates and PS – Elements integrates with Lightroom? Is it possible to integrate GIMP (gasp! heretic!) in the same way, or will it not function as smoothly? Basically, is the “seamless integration” feature exclusive to PS (or Elements), or will it work well with other editors?
    I’m purely a hobbyist, and just use Lightroom, but I also enjoy seeing tips on PS and plugins that I can drool over and add to the Christmas list :)
    Matt, I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have pros like you sharing their knowledge with stone cold rookies like me. I am very grateful.

    cl

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  29. Matt,

    Ignore the criticism and just keep doing what you do so well. Love your site, your photos and everything you take time to teach us (FREE!!!). If there’s an add-on or other software that works well I want to hear about and see it in action.
    Keep up the great work.

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  30. Thank you Matt for all your efforts. Its very informative to see other examples and tools that integrate with what most of us use.

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  31. Matt – love your blog – think it’s fine exactly as it is – basically the only one I follow without fail.

    Death to mission statements though – hate ‘em – sorry!

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  32. As a hopeless software junkie, I have no problem whatsoever with you showing us how you use PS and other software with Lightroom, I was interested to be introduced to the NIK B&W conversion plugin, and I plan to take a closer look at it. It’s your blog, and what you do with it is great. That said, I did also think that your previous post sounded a bit perfunctory and dismissive about the creative potential of B&W conversion in Lightroom.

    The greyscale mix tool works together nicely with the tone curve tool just next to it in the develop panel, and a before and after view showing the colour image next to the B&W conversion makes it easy to explore the vast potential of monochrome for any given colour image – or, if you move elsewhere on the panel, duotone or selective colouring. For mine, a nice combination of simplicity and power . I am sure you can do lots of other great things in NIK or other specific B&W plugins, but Lightroom itself has a lot of potential that is worth exploring. You can make great music on a full symphony orchestra – or on just one violin.

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  33. Hi Matt,

    I missed the whole discussion so far. Let me tell you: I think you were doing everything just right! It was always obvious that you’re showing the way YOU edit your photos.
    IMHO you just need “1) I?m going to keep teaching the way that I do it.”.

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  34. Matt,

    I am restoring old family photos. I have Lightroom 2 and Photoshop. I am trying to put together a work flow. Most of the photos need extensive retouching due to age. Should I import all the photos into Lightroom and then go to Photoshop to retouch and then return to Lightroom for final work. Or should I do all the extensive work in Photoshop and then import them into Lightroom for final work?

    Thank you for any suggestion you may have for me. I have a lot of work ahead.

    Bill

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    • If I can chime in on this topic, since I’m doing exactly what you are.

      If you do lots of crack cleanup, filling in missing details, extensive dust spotting (like, thousands of them…) – those are all done easier and with greater accuracy in PS… AND, when you do them in LR – the time to load the photo can become outrageously long, as each time you do because you’re replaying the journaling of your edits. In PS, the is no such journaling involved, you’re modifying the bits once so to speak and then accessing the end result… I import the files into LR for tracking/cropping etc. and then push them to PS for the multi-hour cleanups, save and bring back the file. Results in much faster overal performance in LR in my experience.

      There’s a lot of love in someone restoring old photos – family is forever it seems, enjoy it :)

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  35. Hi Matt:

    I agree with Andre, I love what you’re doing and I use Lightroom 2.6 and use it with Photoshop Elements 6. You just have to modify some things but it works just fine. You’re doing a great job and I really appreciate it. Always good to learn new things.

    My only problem now is that with the upgrade to Photoshop Elements 8.0 for Mac, it doesn’t seem compatible with Ligthroom. There is no way to access the program from the Ligthroom menu bar as it was in Elements 6.0. I have contacted Adobe, but so far they not been able to help me. Does anyone know how I can edit photos in Elements 8.0 from Lightroom with out going outside the program?

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  36. I disagree that PS should be 100% of the workflow. To bounce into Photoshop to do an edit that can just as easily be done in LR is just time and processor intensive, with no real return (a zit zap is a zit zap, regardless the location of the tool). Now, if you need to lasso and layer, that’s another story. I think PS should only be part of the workflow when it does something LR won’t do, or can’t do as effectively or efficiently as it can in PS. That being said, LR is a 95% effective tool for most photographers, and PS bridges that 5% gap for those select photographs and select photographers.

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  37. Hi Matt,
    I love the way you teach! I only use Lightroom by choice and read this blog because as it says on the tin “LIGHTROOM Killer tips” not Adobe or Photoshop so when I download a video to watch on my iPod I’d love it to be LIGHTROOM and keep the Photoshop separate because with no need for Photoshop I wind up having to translate what you’re doing into Lr or delete it while getting frustrated. Don’t mind the plug-in mentions or your Photoshop references. I want to learn how to use Lr more creatively!!

    Hopefully you can find a way to separate or change the name of this as it’s misleading!
    Phew…rant over and
    Thank you

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  38. I love your site and your teaching style – please don’t change a thing.

    I would ask one little addition to be added? How can we ask you questions or for specific help?

    I’d like to export my slideshows from Lightroom to be presented to clients on DVD, can this be done?

    Keep up the amazing work, you are helping us get the most out of these amazing programs

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  39. Thanks Kylie,
    You can ask your questions right here in the comments. I read them all and plenty of other folks do too – so if I don’t answer them, lots of other people usually help out. I don’t take open questions as I wouldn’t get anything else done in the day, but generally I come to the comments for content ideas.

    Thanks!
    Matt

    PS: You can’t really export your slideshows to DVD in LR2. In LR3, you can export the whole thing, music and all, to a video and then burn to a DVD if you’d like.

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  40. Matt, your vidos are excellent in presenting the different processes when editing in Lightroom. Please keep up the good work and share your knowledge to us fledging photographers

    Post a Reply

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