How to Optimize Lightroom Speed and Performance

Love it or hate it, Adobe Lightroom has become one of the most popular post-processing and image management tools on the market. With its simple and intuitive interface, it is easy to learn and our team at Photography Life has provided many in-depth articles on using specific Lightroom features over the years. However, one of the biggest frustrations with Lightroom can be its poor performance, which can be especially disappointing when using the software on an older computer. In this article, we will go over a number of different techniques and settings in order to optimize Lightroom’s overall performance.

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How to Simulate the Orton Effect in Lightroom

In my last article on photographing winter landscapes article, I tried to list a few useful tips for capturing the beauty of a winter landscape. Since I promised to elaborate more on my post-processing technique later on, I would like to do that in this article. To get the unique look of some photos, I use a “negative clarity” method that emulates the very well-known Orton effect. For the classical Orton effect, Adobe Photoshop or any other software with layer functionality is needed. How can we achieve something similar in Lightroom that does not require working with layers? Please keep in mind that what I will describe here is not a complete post-processing workflow. The negative clarity method that I developed for myself is rather the finishing step in the editing process, which can give a distinctive atmosphere to your image. So how does it work?

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How to Upgrade Lightroom

With each new release, Lightroom requires specific changes to the database, also known as a “catalog”, that must be carried out in an upgrade process before the newer version of the software can be used. While the process of upgrading the actual software is pretty straightforward, there are some important steps one needs to take to make sure that the Lightroom catalogs are upgraded successfully. If you are scared about upgrading and have not done it in the past, this guide might assist you in this process. The good news is, Adobe allows keeping both the newer and the older versions of Lightroom on the same machine, which means that you can continue to use your old Lightroom catalog if anything goes wrong. Once you are fully satisfied with the upgrade, you can then remove the old version of Lightroom, along with the old versions of catalogs. In this article, I will guide you through the process of upgrading Lightroom to the latest version.

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How to Use the Spot Removal Tool in Lightroom (Video)

Have you ever wondered how to use the spot removal tool in Lightroom? Although we have covered it in depth in our Workflow and Post-Processing course, I thought it would be a good idea to share some detail about the specifics of the spot removal tool in a video. If you are just starting out in Lightroom, this will be a good introduction on how to use the spot removal tool, which keyboard shortcuts to use to access it and how to do basic customizations to make the tool fit your needs.

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How to Create a Lightroom Snapshot (Video)

If you find yourself editing photos but have a hard time deciding between different looks for a particular image, creating a snapshot in Lightroom is a great way to quickly switch between different image edits. Additionally, snapshots are also a great way to preserve a particular image edit even if you decide to completely change an image. Many people don’t know how to create a snapshot in Lightroom or even know that the feature exists, so I created a video to give you an idea of what they’re all about.

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How to Use the Radial Filter in Lightroom (Video)

Have you ever wondered how to use the radial filter in Lightroom? Although we have covered it in depth in our Workflow and Post-Processing course, I thought it would be a good idea to share some detail about the specifics of the radial filter in a video. If you are just starting out in Lightroom, this will be a good introduction on how to use the radial filter, which keyboard shortcuts to use to access it and how to do basic customizations to make the tool fit your needs.

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How to Use the Graduated Filter in Lightroom (Video)

Have you ever wondered how to use the graduated filter in Lightroom? Although we have covered it in depth in our Workflow and Post-Processing course, I thought it would be a good idea to share some detail about the specifics of the graduated filter in a video. If you are just starting out in Lightroom, this will be a good introduction on how to use the graduated filter, which keyboard shortcuts to use to access it and how to do basic customizations to make the tool fit your needs.

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How to Use the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom (Video)

Have you ever wondered how to use the adjustment brush in Lightroom? Although we have covered it in depth in our Workflow and Post-Processing course, I thought it would be a good idea to share some detail about the specifics of the adjustment brush in a video. If you are just starting out in Lightroom, this will be a good introduction on how to use the adjustment brush, which keyboard shortcuts to use to access it and how to do basic customizations to make the tool fit your needs.

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How to Create a Lightroom Develop Preset

One of the features of Lightroom that I use the most often and has probably saved me more time than any other step in my editing process is creating and using develop presets. A develop preset is simply a group of adjustments that all get applied to an image at the same time. By default, Lightroom includes a variety of presets, but you can also create your own if you want something more personalized. In this post I’ll show you the process of creating a Lightroom develop preset, as well as how to modify an existing develop preset.

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How to Make Sharp Watermarks in Lightroom

One of the biggest frustrations with Lightroom’s built-in watermarking tool, is the fact that it often ends up making watermarks appear too soft / blurry, especially when extracting smaller JPEG images. This happens due to Lightroom’s rather poor implementation of watermarking on images. Not only does Lightroom seem to apply sharpening to images before adding a watermark, but also, the resizing algorithm used by the software appears to be pretty bad. No matter what image dimensions one chooses, Adobe has not provided a way to turn off scaling in Watermark Editor, even if one provides transparent PNG / GIF images with the correct dimensions. For this reason, many photographers end up using Photoshop for adding watermarks to images, which certainly does take more time and effort, but certainly delivers much sharper results in comparison. After seeing poor watermarking results, I decided to look into alternative methods to see if there is a way to make watermarks sharper using the same tools. After some experimentation, I came up with two methods that ended up working well and that’s what I am going to share with our readers in this article.

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