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Lightroom 5: Everything You Need To Get Started In Real Estate Photography

July 10th, 2013

LR5It’s been a month since Lightroom 5 was released and I have to say I really like this version! In previous versions of Lightroom my inclination was to take a round trip to Photoshop to straighten verticals that were any more than slightly out of vertical because I was just more comfortable with vertical straightening in Photoshop. But with Lightroom 5 I rarely leave Lightroom to straighten verticals! There are a few situations where Upright in the Lens Corrections panel gives unexpected results but for me it is fairly infrequently.

There are only a couple of reasons now to leave Lightroom 5 to get common real estate photography edits done:

  1. Intensive cloning: If you need to remove some object from a photo it’s hard to beat the Photoshop clone tool and content aware fill. 
  2. Sky replacement:
  3. Manually blending multiple images:

I would go so far as to say that a beginning real estate photographer can get by with just Lightroom 5 because the three things above that Lightroom 5 doesn’t do are things that beginning real estate photographers are less likely to do than experienced real estate photographers. I find myself removing things I forgot to move while shooting (#1 above) all the time, but rarely need to do #2 or #3. I’m going to practice doing more cloning with Lightroom 5.

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12 Responses to “Lightroom 5: Everything You Need To Get Started In Real Estate Photography”

  • I must say that I’m not impressed with the vertical correction in LR 5. I still prefer to use PT lens. This may just be because it’s what I’m used to but I find it much easier to get very precise results in PT Lens.

  • I have been using LR5 since the beta introduction. It’s cut down by at least 80% of what i used to do in PS. Actually, LR5 has some features that are better than PS or at least much quicker and easier to use (the new circular gradient tool for example). The new perspective correction tool is really quite good for 95% of interior shots. Especially if care was taken in the first place to get the verticals straight. The new ‘healing’ brush still needs some work as it’s really a cloning tool, not a true healing brush as in PS. But all in all, if one can master LR5 there will be little need for PS for many!! Can’t wait to see what they come up with in LR6!

  • I agree with you Larry. I shot a 5600 sf home yesterday and only had to go to PS to replace the skies on the exterior images. LR5 has definitely turned out to be a time saver for me. Not only does it save me a considerable amount of time, but saves on disk space as well. Now most of my finished images are 20-25MB dng files. Images that were sent to PS ended up being over 100MB regardless if saved as PSD or TIFF and that’s after flattening them before saving. If I forgot to flatten them, then they were over 300MB. LR5 is proving to be one of the best purchases of the year so far.

  • Julieanne Kost has some great free tutorials on the new perspective correction tool and the new cloning/healing features in Lightroom 5 at

    http://www.jkost.com/lightroom.html

    They are short, to the point and jam packed with how to use the tools, including tips that you probably wouldn’t fathom completely on your own-especially the new perspective tool—at least that was my experience and I’m a pretty solid lightroom user.

    It’s free and definitely worth your time—especially before too quickly dismissing the value of these tools. Her approach to correcting verticals is really more of a fine art approach-listen to the whole video and pull out what YOU need-especailly how the different parts of the auto tool works and how to lock in your manual corrections (if you want) before using the auto tool.

  • Photoshop. What’s that?

    LR 5 is just making me open PS even less and only for minutes and not hours.

  • The automatic perspective control is fantastic for saving time, but it has some limitations in that it can’t figure it out for every image, and in cases of moderate to extreme barrel distortion curvature, it leave some of that curvature in place. But in most cases, I’m very impressed with it and it’s a bit faster then doing it in PS, although PTLens is probably more accurate.

  • I used to be a PS-or-nothing guy, but just over a year I finally gave LR a shot and never looked back. LR is a HUGE time saver for real estate photography. I still love PS for artsy stuff, but LR is the best for PFRE application.

  • I use for the last 4 years Element 9 to do the straightening and do not see any problem.
    The key is get the vertical and horizontal rulers attached to the program.
    Just drag a horizontal and several vertical lines to the part of the pictures to straighten the walls and use Image>transform>and your option to choose from.
    There is nothing simpler.
    After that I use Topazlabs, which is my choice.

  • Agreed. Lr5 is a notable improvement over ‘4.

    I moved from PS myself to Lr4 roughly a year ago and…as Jeff noted…never looked back. My time in PS is sharply decreased. The vast majority of my workflow requires nothing more than Lr right now.

  • Used yesterday for a gig I had yesterday. Saved a huge amount of time. Didn’t even open Photoshop. Hope they add a rectangular marquee selection tool in the future.

    Lovin’ it

  • Like for so many others I’ve moved to LR the last few months and only 20% is left in PS. But I don’t see how the new automatic features in LR5 can solve one of the most common adjustments that still has to be done in PS: adjusting only 1 of the lines in say a wall.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but LR5 doesn’t seem to be able to let me do that simple ctrl+b and drag a line. Wish it did though !

  • I’m noticing faster imports and exports in LR5 vs LR4, which is a big deal for me. On the other hand, I was hoping that the Upright feature would be a real time saver, and in practice I’m finding it does an okay but insufficient job, as do most “Auto” features in any software. Either way, the import/export speed is worth the upgrade for me.

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