Intro To Adobe Lightroom – Lesson 6.1

In this lesson you will learn how to edit still photos you take with your drone.

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This video is meant to be a quick introduction to Adobe Lightroom, and how you might use it to edit still photos that you take with your drone.

If you’d like to learn a lot more about Lightroom, please feel free to join my free Adobe Lightroom course at

Adobe Lightroom is a great tool for organizing your photo library, and making non-destructive edits to your images. This means that you can make adjustments to your photos and leave the original untouched.

Okay, so I’ve opened Adobe Lightroom here and clicked on the ‘Import’ dialog box and then navigated to the location on the drive where I have some drone photos that I’ve taken in Swan Valley, Idaho with the Inspire 1 drone.

So you can see here, here’s the still photos, I’m just going to import those, not the videos, and we’ll select those and hit the check box to select them all and then click ‘Import’ and that’s going to take a little bit.

But once those are imported, you can see them all here in the ‘Library’ tab. If you press the space bar after selecting one of the images it’ll make it larger and then you can use the arrow keys to scroll through your images and take a quick look at what you have. I’m going to go ahead and work on this image. I like the composition.

So with this image selected, I will click on the ‘Develop’ tab. And this tab is where we are going to make all of the changes to this image. So remember again that Adobe Lightroom is non-destructive. I can make changes and always reset and get the original image back, so we don’t have to worry about messing anything up.

But most of the stuff what we’re going to do is over in this ‘Develop’ tab bar. We have a histogram here, let’s just see where the highlights and shadows are falling. And as we scroll down here, there are some more editing tools.

This is a crop tool, you can use the crop image if you want. There is a spot removal tool, if there is a spot or something in your image that you want to remove, like a spot on the lens or something like that, you can remove it with this tool. There’s a red eye correction tool, not applicable in this case, a graduated filter built-in, and then a radial filter and then the brush tool.

Moving on down in the ‘Basic’ tab here, this is the ‘Basic’ scroll-down, we have some controls here that will be very familiar if you’re familiar with editing raw photos in Photoshop. And again, this is a raw photo. It’s a .dng image from the Inspire 1, so there is going to be a little bit more image information here than if we were just shooting straight jpegs. So you can see, I can change the color balance here with this, if we wanted to make the image cooler or warmer. I like it about where it was, so we’ll leave that there.

In the ‘Exposure’ tab, we can change the lightness or darkness. And again, this is exposed fairly properly, so I’m just going to leave that there. ‘Contrast’ we might boost up just a little bit. It’s important to remember that if you take these too far, you can get some really unnatural results. So the key is to be a little more subtle with your adjustments. ‘Highlights’ is going to just affect the highlights, so if we had some blown highlights, we could bring that down a little bit or increase it to lighten it up a little bit. Increase or decrease the shadow areas of the image. ‘Whites’ affects the whites of the image, ‘Blacks’ affects the blacks. I’m going to leave most of those alone.

Down here we can give the image a little bit of clarity, and this is going to make those edges pop just a little bit more. You can play with the vibrance here, so kind of boost colors or decrease colors. And ‘Saturation.’ We can desaturate the image or add some saturation to our liking. There is a tone curve here that you can play with, if you want. You can add a little bit of fade to the image for a little bit of vintage feel.

So those are the basic controls that I would use to edit in Adobe Lightroom. Scrolling down there is one more here, if you keep going down to the detail drop-down, there is a sharpening tool. And you can increase or decrease the sharpening here to your taste. Again, sometimes this helps to bring out the details in the image.

One more thing I forgot to mention, a lot of the cameras you might be shooting aerial photos with will have a very wide lens, and this wide lens can sometimes cause some distortion in your image. It’ll make straight lines appear curved instead of straight, like they should be. And one way to fix that, there’s actually a tool built into the Lightroom and Photoshop, but in Lightroom it’s here in the side panel under ‘Lens Corrections.’ And if you go to basic, you can turn ‘Enable Profile Corrections’ on. So, Lightroom is smart enough, it has a profile or a database of lens profiles built into it. And Lightroom is smart enough to actually detect which camera and thus, which lens, especially with these cameras from DJI and GoPro, which camera and which lens the image was taken with. And so it can automatically detect that.

And if you just enable this here, just as easily as checking the box, watch close as the image changes. You can see, it’s pretty subtle, but it does correct for that fisheye just a little bit. And so you can enable that there. But just realize that this is here in the ‘Lens Correction’ drop-down. So it’s a great tool, if you go to the ‘Profile’ tab you can actually see here, it has detected the correct model here. It is a DJI Inspire 1 camera.

And it’s applying the default fix for that lens profile. If you click the drop-down here, you can see all the other lenses that has in the database. So it’s quite extensive, but again, auto-detection works great and you can pull out some of that wide-angle distortion.

While you’re editing, you can come over here to this comparison tool. If you click on that, it’ll show you the before, the original, and then the after image. And once you’re happy, say you want to save this out, you can just go to ‘File,’ ‘Export’ and then use this export dialog. So you can choose a specific folder to export this to and then a file format. So I’m going to save this out as a jpeg at full-quality. And then it’ll be ready to share on Facebook or Instagram, and you’re good to go.

So guys, that’s just a really quick look at using Adobe Lightroom to edit your images. Go ahead and get familiar with these controls here. They’re very powerful, the things that you can do with your images, especially if you’ve shot an image in the raw format, the raw dng format or some other raw format from your camera.

So I hope you had fun with Adobe Lightroom, and we’ll see you in the next video.

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