10 Things I Would Tell a New Lightroom User: #9

Happy Monday everybody! I’m back from sneaking off to Portland, Oregon this weekend for a Valentine’s Day getaway with our friends Moose and Sharon Peterson, but now I’m back (OK, I got back really late), with #9 in my series.

Before I get to that, first I just want to thank everybody for the great feedback and ideas we got after launching “The Lightroom Show” last Friday. Glad to get that first one under our belts and we’ve got some fun stuff planned for upcoming episodes (the next will be here on Friday). Anyway, just thanks for your support, very kind words, and suggestions.

OK, now we can get to #9:


#9: Don’t Turn Your Amp All The Way Up To 10!

By that, I mean: when you’re editing your images in the Develop Module, it’s easy to get carried away with things like Clarity, Vibrance, Contrast, Sharpening and Shadows. They’re all very powerful features and you’ll definitely want to use them, but it’s easy to push these sliders too far, and the more you do it, the more immune you become to how far you’re pushing them. After a very short time, you get desensitized to their “look” and you start dragging them farther and farther to the right, and pretty soon you’ve started to trash your images without even realizing it. I see it all the time.

My advice to you would be this: If you’re going to make a mistake, and your choices are:

(a) you’re going to add a lot of sharpening to the image, or

(b) you’re afraid you might under-sharpen the image…

always go with “b,” the “under” choice.

Nobody will ever call you out for not sharpening quite enough, but if you over-sharpen an image it stands out like a sore thumb. Same with Clarity. Same with the Shadow slider. Same with all of it. If you’re going to make a mistake one way or the other, go a little under and your images will look better for it.

By the way, nobody likes your amp up on 10 but you. Ever. (especially the other guys in the band). 😉

One more thing: 
Just a quick shout out to Lyle Stavast who has been really helpful in the comments section here. He’s usually one of the first folks to jump in with helpful comments (he knows his stuff), and I just wanted him to know I’m grateful and glad to have him as part of our community. High-five Lyle. 🙂

Hope you all have an awesome Monday!