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How to use Adobe Lightroom (Part 3 of 5) - The Photography Express

How to use Adobe Lightroom (Part 3 of 5)

I am so excited to have you back for session 3 of the ‘how to use Adobe Lightroom’ tutorial! Over the last 2 sessions, I showed you the Lightroom workflow process and how you can efficiently manage large quantities of photographs. In this tutorial, I am switching gears to talk about the photo editing side of Lightroom. This is the main functionality inside Lightroom and I am going to dedicate part 3-5 of the tutorial purely on showing you different photo editing skills with this software. In this current tutorial, you will learn how to use the basic adjustment tools such as the crop overlay, spot removal, and graduated filter. You will also learn how to read the histogram and how to efficiently edit your photographs with histogram. As always, if you have questions in any of my ‘how to use Adobe Lightroom’ tutorials feel free to ask me here.

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Show notes

Focus on the “Develop module” in Lightroom

The develop module is where you will spend most of your time in Lightroom. Once you are inside, note that on the right hand side you see panels such as basic, tone curve, HSL all the way down to camera calibration. Remember that the Lightroom interface is set up in a way that you should make photo edits from top (basic panel) to bottom (camera calibration panel). It is ok to edit photographs from a random spot but what I found is that some adjustment is dependent on what you made previously. For example, if you changed the highlights before adding exposure it doesn’t work as well as adding exposure before the highlight.

The “basic” sliders inside the develop module

When you click the basic panel you will see a whole list of adjustments sliders (temperature, exposure, clarity etc). Ignore them for now but focus on the histogram that is on the top right hand side of Lightroom. You should pay close attention to the histogram before starting to make adjustments to the photo. In fact, you can move the histogram lines around by clicking on it and drag left or right. Doing this may save you time with the adjustments sliders later on.

Actionable items

Understanding histogram

What the histogram does is that it is a visual guide to the range of tones or brightness level of your photograph. You don’t need to be overly obsessed with the details in the histogram but there are two things you need to know: The Blacks and The Whites. On the graph, the blacks is on the left and the whites is on the right. If any line touches either side of the graph that means some areas of your photograph is either too black (underexposed) or too bright (overexposed).

Go over the quick adjustment panel

Crop overlay (starting at 3 mins 21 sec)– it lets you crop out any areas of the photo you don’t want in the picture. This is very easy to do and self-explanatory.

Spot removal (staring at 3 mins 58 sec)– it lets you repair a selected area of the photograph by sampling from another area. In the video, I showed how to remove the light pole near the bottom right section of the photograph (I should say security camera pole in the video).

Graduated filter (staring at 4 mins 55 sec) – This is the best tool to work with the sky. In the tutorial, I showed you how to change the sky’s color to more purple using this tool.

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 4 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. Great information. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  2. I have been using Lightroom for five years, and I definitely learned some stuff!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for the compliment Katie! And I also feel I’ll be using Lightroom for a while it’s such a great post processing software.

  3. Best way to learn! Thank you!

  4. Thank you for the helpful tips on how to use lightroom!

  5. Great tips on using Lightroom. You can do so much in there.