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How to Edit in Lightroom Like a Pro

Published: 15/07/2021

Lightroom has proved to be a total game-changer in the world of image editing. It has become one of the leading post-processing programs used by many professionals. By learning how to edit in Lightroom like a pro, you can take your images to a whole new level in a matter of minutes.

How to Edit in Lightroom Like a Pro

Lightroom is a very robust and useful tool that can help you achieve your image editing goals with just a few clicks. With Lightroom, you do not need to spend hours creating effects and edits for your images. With just some basic settings and simple steps, you can easily create a masterpiece.

Lightroom offers endless possibilities to take your images to the next level. The available configurations, presets, tools, and adjustment panels will enhance your image editing capabilities significantly, making you a pro. Therefore, learning the correct editing techniques in Lightroom is essential to create high-quality images.

Editing in Lightroom

This tutorial will support you in getting started with Lightroom by showing you some of the basic functionalities of Lightroom. We will also explain how to use these functions and tools correctly so that you can edit your images expertly in Lightroom. Learn these fundamental steps to master the process of image editing in Lightroom.

Essentially, there are three parts to editing images in Lightroom. These include importing the images to Lightroom, editing the images, and exporting the edited images from Lightroom. We will look into each of these three steps so that you can have a complete picture of how the Lightroom workflow goes.

Importing the Images

When you are editing your images in Lightroom, the first thing to do is to bring your images into the application. This is called importing the images. There are different ways through which you can easily import images into Lightroom. You can follow any one of the methods below to achieve the same results:

  • Go to File > Import Photos and Videos. You will then see another window. Navigate to your desired images, select them, and then click on the ‘Import’ button at the bottom of the window.
  • Press the keys CTRL + Shift + I to open the same window.
  • You can also click on the ‘Import’ button present on the bottom left of your Lightroom workspace to go to the same window.

When you import images into Lightroom, your images are saved in the form of collections. This leads to a more organized and easy-to-manage image catalog.

Editing the Images

Once you import your images into Lightroom, the actual process of editing begins. Before you start editing, switch to the ‘Develop Module.’ This module gives you the maximum options and possibilities for image editing. In the develop module, the first thing is to select the images that you want to work on.

Once you are done selecting the images, you can use two different methods of editing them. You can either use the presets present on the left side of your screen, or you can use the right side of the screen to edit as per your own needs.

Lightroom presets are a great option to edit images as they are created by professionals and can help you create amazing effects with just a single click. All you have to do is select the preset that you want to use, and your image will be completely transformed.

However, if none of the presets match your requirements, or you want to create customized effects on your image, then you can use the different editing options present on the right side of your Lightroom screen. Here, we will look at each of these options and the effects they make on your images.

White Balance

White balance slider in Lightroom

The white balance slider in Lightroom helps you set the mood of your images. Using this, you can either make your image have a warmer or a colder appearance.


Tone sliders in Lightroom

The tone of an image plays a huge role in its quality and look. Hence, this is an important tool that can help you create great effects on images. Tone essentially refers to the range between the lightest to the darkest parts of an image. 

There are multiple sliders included in this section through which you can set the tone of your image. The exposure slider allows you to correct the amount of captured light on your image, in case you were not able to get it right while shooting. The contrast and highlight sliders allow you to adjust the illumination and brightness of the image.

The Shadows slider helps adjust the influence of shadows present in the image. Next comes the Whites sliders through which you can increase or decrease the white balance of your image. Lastly, through the Blacks slider, you can boost or reduce the intensity of blacks on your image.


Presence sliders in Lightroom

Presence also contains several image editing tools, each of which produces different effects on your image. The first slider is Texture that helps you increase or decrease the ‘feel’ of your image. Second, the clarity slider is used to make your image more sharp, detailed, and focused.

The next slider is ‘Dehaze,’ which is a really unique and useful editing tool. It can help you reduce any haziness or blurriness in your images, which can be a problem in outdoor photos. The last two sliders, Vibrance and Saturation, help you improve the intensity of colors on your image.

Tone Curve

Tone curve for adjusting overall contrast and brightness in Lightroom

The tone curve can adjust the overall contrast and brightness levels of your image. With this tool, you can easily make the whole picture brighter or darker with a single click.


HSL editing tool in Lightroom

HSL refers to the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance of images. The HSL editing tool allows you to control and adjust the different colors present on your image, and that too independently. You can easily modify only one color while the other colors remain unaffected.

Split Toning

Lightroom split toning sliders

Split toning is one of the most useful and quickest tools for adding a characteristic color to your image. It can tone up the overall appearance of the image by adding one color to the highlights and another to the shadows of the image.

Exporting the Images

Once you have completed all the editing and are content with the results, then it is time to save the edited images. However, Lightroom works differently than other programs. In Lightroom, instead of saving the files, you have to export them. This is because the edits you make are saved within the Lightroom program.

So, if you want to share your images or keep them for later use, then you will have to export them. Here are the methods that you can use to export your images from Lightroom:

  • Go to File > Export. This will lead you to the export dialog. Set all the export configurations in this window as per your requirements, and then click on ‘Export.’
  • Right-click on any one of your edited images. This will open a popup menu for you. In this menu, navigate to Export > Export. You will then see the export dialog.
  • Click on the ‘Export’ button present on the bottom left of your Lightroom workspace. Then enter all the configurations in the export dialog, and click on ‘Export.’


Here is the fundamental workflow of editing images in Lightroom like a pro. Lightroom is the best tool and is certainly used by the best professionals. Learning how to use it properly will help you transform your images whichever way you want, and that too with ease and speed.