Video – Lightroom Quick Develop Printing Trick

I saw a good question on my Facebook page (just click “LIKE” to follow it on Facebook) last week and realized it would make a great video for the site. It has to do with a tip I’ve covered before about Quick Develop, along with a tip I’ve covered before about making your photos brighter if they tend to print too dark. You can actually put both of these together to come up with a great solution if you find you need to make a change to a bunch of photos. But not just a change that synchronizes your photos, which basically means you’d make all the settings the same. Say you’ve already made changes to them. Instead, you can make adjustments that move a specific setting by the same “amount” for each photo. It’d definitely something you need to see rather then read, so stop reading this and click Play :)

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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24 Comments

  1. I appreciate you answering my question Matt. The answer seemed almost too easy but it was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again.

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  2. Great tip as usual. i remember you cover something similar. Increasing the exposure for individual photos using the quick develop.

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  3. I’m curious though. If I am outputting for two different destinations, say Print and Web, is there a way to just increase the brightness for the print only but leave the photos the way they are for web?

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    • Cory, if you are trying to have two different output destinations, Print and Web, I would probably set everything up for web and then create a collection of virtual copies that have the exposure tweaked for print. That way you get to different values, they are easily found in collections, and they are virtual copies so they aren’t eating up hard drive space. Hope that helps.

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  4. Thanks for this tip as I have always had this issue. Can you explain why this is necessary: I’ve been an Epson user since they upgraded from rocks. I do not have to go through raising the brightness as much when I been forced to use an HP, Canon, or laser b&w. I’ve spent a small inheritance trying to narrow the extent by which to raise the brightness. Its this very reason why I’ve never marked the checkbox at Mpix to not alter the settings.

    ps. Is lightroom killer tips no longer posting to iTunes, last update was early March. This video s/b there for lost inheritances.

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    • Screens emit light, whereas prints reflect the ambient light. The maximum brightness of a print is limited by the whiteness of the paper, whereas a screen is as bright as the manufacturer wants it to be. Generally, screens are set too bright for matching to print – that is why the print comes out dark. It isn’t necessarily dark of course, it is more likely that the screen is just too bright for judging how the print would turn out. You’ve really got to options: do as Matt suggests and find what the optimim adjustment is for compensating for your screen, then apply that as an adjustment to boost the print brightness; or bring your screen brightness right down to a level more consistent with the print (I’m at about 100cd/m2) – many people think this is too dim for normal use, so it helps to have a screen where you can flick between different custom settings.

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      • The other thing you can do is of course calibrate your monitor with a Gretagmacbeth or similar calibration tool. In reality most consumer displays have very poor color accuracy and they change quite a bit as they warm up/ cool down and age.
        Calibrating for your printer is also important and Lightroom allows you to import printer calibrations which work well if you have done this with your display.

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  5. Funny Matt, I just did this exact thing with a bunch of photos in a Quick Collection. I had them all selected and the Quick Develop panel caught my eye along with the Brightness tool. Truth be told, I went back through this very blog last night looking for this specific Brightness tip for printing so it was still top of mind. After I clicked the Brightness slider I saw what happened, I realized I did this to my source files so I did a CTRL-Z (undo) and then made a set of Virtual Copies to repeat the process before Export.

    Really great tip, works quickly and really well. Just remember to use the VC feature so you don’t mess up your original files.

    Cheers!

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  6. Hey Matt,

    That was just plain cool! Great tip! I’ve wanted to know how to do that for a long time, but could never figure it out.

    Thanks,

    Dennis

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  7. Hey Matt,

    That was a fab tip. I saw the last episode of Grid yesterday and you mentioned you make photo books. I was wondering if you could give us some short summary and few tips how you make it, where you print it etc. I know it’s not really related to Lightroom but it would be awesome for many people who don’t do anything with their personal photos.

    Cheers!

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  8. excellent – I wondered why they didn’t include incremental values in develop module, but this would do what I wanted anyway… thanks for sharing the un-obvious (to me).

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  9. Matt – good tip. I wonder if there is something which could be done by editing a Preset file (in a text editor) to enable to proportional increase in brightness…?

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  10. Nice tip, thanks for sharing. Question though….
    I noticed in the video that your original imports were NEFS rather than DNG files and since you are a big supporter (as I am) of the DNG format I’m wondering why you don’t convert on import?

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  11. Both. I flag rejects to eliminate them from the catalog. Then after post processing, I go through and rate my favorites, either 4 star or 5 star. 5 star are the best of the best…the one or two I would consider worthy of a contest, hanging on a wall, etc. 4 star are photos I really like for any number of reasons.

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  12. I flag to get the keepers and reject the rest. Then I go through the keepers and use the stars (3) to select the best of the keepers. Then review 3 stars and above and sort out the 5 stars. I know it sounds like a lot of picking but it goes really fast.

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  13. What a great tip! I never would have realized that. I feel like I might use this sometime, so thanks again!

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  14. 11 seconds of intro is quite a waste of time

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    • Are you serious? You’re complaining about the intro? Matt, don’t let people this this get you down. My father once told me something about human nature that I find true just about every day.

      You could stand out in a crowded parking lot or store and hand out $100 bills for free all day. People will crowd around, come up and thank you profusely. But it won’t be long before some one comes up and complains that you’re not giving out 5 $20’s instead.

      Unfortunately, it’s so true.

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  15. Are there transcripts? I hate watching videos, horrible learning medium for me.

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  16. Hi Matt, When I hit “P” and select my pics…I have a heck of a time getting Ligthroom to only show me Picks “Picks-Only” I’m not sure why ,…I have to spend 5 mins clicking through combinations of Rejected + Unflagged etc. Is there a direct way to just click on viewing the Picks Only?

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  17. You forgot to tell that there is a difference between flags and stars: Flags are collection (or folder) specific, and stars are universal (if you chage it in one collection it gets changed in all collections)

    Personaly, I use 1 to 3 stars for the photos I like and 4 or 5 stars for the ones that could be in a portfolio or exhibition. And I use the x for the rejects.

    I only use the white flag when I want a rating to be specific to a folder or collection.

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  18. Thanks for the tip, this is very helpful

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  19. Rating is so much cooler …

    1= maybe in photo show
    2= definitely in next photo show
    3= maybe print out
    4= definitely print out
    5= “best of” collection

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