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How to use Adobe Lightroom (Part 2 of 5) - The Photography Express

How to use Adobe Lightroom (Part 2 of 5)

Welcome back to session 2 of ‘How to use Adobe Lightroom’. In this tutorial, I am going to show you the workflow you should implement right after you import your photos into Lightroom. I am also going to demonstrate how to keyword tags your picture, star rating your pictures, as well as using the filtering system in Lightroom. There are many ways to implement the Lightroom workflow but in this tutorial you’re going to master the technique I’ve been using to manage photos inside this software. So next time when you look at your photo library with thousands of pictures you can find your photos easily and edit photos just like every other professional photographer.

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Show notes

  1. Lightroom is all about workflow and organization. If you implement systems correctly you can edit massive amount of pictures at a given time. On the other hand if you treat Lightroom just like every other photo editing software then it may drag down your photo editing progress.
  2. In tutorial 1, we talked about how you’ll spend 99% of your time in two modules (the library and develop module). In this tutorial I’m going to focus on the library module. This is the place where you manage your photos right after you import pictures from your camera or memory card.

Actionable items

1. Keyword tag your photos

To keyword tag your pictures in the library module, you first click on the photo you want to edit, then under the keywording section on the right panel that is where you type the description of your photograph. If you want to use the same keyword for multiple photos, you’d copy and paste the keyword description, hold control and select the pictures you want the same descriptions on, then paste the keyword for those pictures.

If you see a * in the keyword description that means the tag is only applied to some of your selected photos. In that case you should go back to make sure you didn’t miss any descriptions.

2. Star rating your photos

To star rate your photos, you double click on the photograph (so the photo is now full screen) then on the bottom there is where you place your star rating. You have 1-5 stars to choose from. Personally, I use 1 star for photos that I can delete right away, 2 star for photos I am thinking about deleting, 3 star for an average photo to keep, 4 stars for photo that is good enough to share around, and 5 stars for an exceptional photo for my portfolio.

To make this progress faster and less tedious, you can star rate your picture by pressing the 1-5 keys on your keyboard. I use the arrow key to move to the next picture then press a number from 1-5 to finish rating the pictures. Using this I can rate almost 2 photos per second!

3. Using the filter system in Lightroom

The reason we spent so much time keywording and star rating your pictures comes down to the filtering system. When you have thousands or even tens of thousands of pictures down the road it’ll be very hard to find what you are looking for merely by the date or file names. Using the filter, you can basically type in a keyword and Lightroom will immediately show you all the pictures with the same keyword in it.

The filter function locates at the middle top section of Lightroom. You can filter by text, attribute, or metadata. All the keywording tags that we went through were for the text filter. Not to your surprise, the star rating that we did was for the attribute filter. Last but not least, metadata filter criteria such as zoom range, aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc. This is by far the most useful filtering system you can find in a post editing software.

Buy Adobe Lightroom

If you ever think about buying Adobe Lightroom feel free to use my affiliate link above. Please note that using this link means I get a commission if you decided to buy the item. It does not incur any additional cost to you. I recommend this product because it is something I’ve experienced with and I trust. I truly believe this will benefit your needs. Please do not spend any money unless this item will help you achieve your goals.

How to use Adobe Lightroom (part 3 of 5)

About Gary

A passionate photographer with goals to fulfill your photography passion and motivate you to take pictures even when life is busy!


  1. Hi Gary, love the video. Very informative. Will have to watch the previous videos in the series.

  2. Great tutorials! Thank you so much.

  3. Thank you! Your tutorials are awesome

  4. Super informative! Great tips on improving your workflow!

  5. Thank you SO SO much for these videos! SO helpful!