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The Library Module is all about managing your images, and in a nutshell contains all the tools you need to import images into your library, handle their metadata, and then publish your images to the big wide world.


The Development Module in Lightroom is your go-to place for image editing. I kind of like to think of it as the digital darkroom. The Development Module is made up of various tools for applying effects to your images. It contains everything from setting the correct tone, white balance, or contrast, to adding texture, enhancing tones and colors, and making corrections like spot removal and dodge and burn.

In this section of the site, I have added short and to-the-point articles on how to do stuff in the Development Module, think of it as a FAQ guide. The guide is intentionally not an exhaustive look at every single slider and button in Lightroom, it is more a compendium of some of the most frequent photo fixes. I hope you find it useful.

Incidentally, if there is a Lightroom editing technique you think should be here, then pop the suggestion into a contact form for consideration. Also, if you do want an exhaustive guide to Lightroom, head over to my book page and check out my Ultimate Guide To Lightroom Classic.


The Basic Panel is where all of the core adjustments needed to adjust exposure, white balance, tone, contrast, and texture are performed. In fact, there is nothing basic about the basic panel at all, as it's typically where you spend most of your time when processing images in Lightroom.


This tool is in my opinion, one of the most powerful selective tools in the Lightroom arsenal. It is in essence very similar to both the Gradient Filter and Radial Filter in that you can apply Hue, Saturation, Luminance, Contrast, and other effects selectively to your image. As its name suggests though, the Adjustment Brush enables you to apply these effects using a paintbrush. This means you can really hone in on detailed adjustments that you want to make to an image. The Adjustment Brush is accessed using the short-code ‘K’ or by selecting the Adjustment Brush icon.


The Spot Removal tool enables you to remove minor blemishes from your digital images, such as dust spots and small unwanted objects. In theory, you can use the tool to remove larger objects from your images. However, Lightroom typically doesn’t achieve the same quality of result doing this as Photoshop. For minor blemish removal though, the Lightroom Spot Removal tool does an excellent job. Plus, because the edits are all non-destructive, you always have the ability to go back and undo any changes you make. You can select Spot Removal either by left-clicking the Spot Removal icon or using the short-code Q.


The Lightroom Graduated Filter replicates a graduated filter applied to the front of your camera lens. Graduated filters (Keyboard shortcode M) are used extensively in photography, particularly landscapes, where a graduated neutral density is used to balance the exposure between the sky and land portions of a shot. Lightroom is able to replicate the effect of these filters, but there are also some distinct advantages in using Lightroom. Graduated Filters in Lightroom can also do much more than just replicate neutral density filters, you can apply several of the effects from the Develop Module on a gradient! Not only this, but you can apply multiple effects on a single gradient, and you can apply multiple different gradients to the same image.

The Lightroom Radial Filter (Keyboard shortcode SHIFT + M) functions in the same way as the Gradient Filter. Except that, as its name suggests, you apply effects on a radius. They are great for adding highlight spots on your images.


You will have guessed this one already by its name, so yes, it helps remove those ugly red eyes from your people shots. Also though, it can do the same for people and animals which is quite useful if you are into flash photography for nature and/or your pet cat, dog, etc! There is no keyboard short-code for this one, so you have to select it directly from the Red Eye Correction icon.

Working With The Red Eye Tool


As its name suggests, this tool is for cropping into your images, with many useful options included for different aspect ratios. You can access this tool either directly using the keyboard short-code ‘R’, or by selecting the icon. As well as cropping, you can also use the Crop Overlay Tool to straighten horizons.


Lightroom Lens Corrections tool is all about adjusting your image to take into account lens distortion from the lens you used to capture your digital image. Before we describe what the Lens Correction panel does, it’s worth understanding what lens distortion is, why it occurs, and therefore why it is often desirable to correct it in our digital images.


The Detail Panel in Lightroom enables you to add sharpening to your images and to control the amount of noise.


The Transform Panel sits towards the bottom of the Develop Module. Transform and enables you to correct vertical and horizontal misalignments. These misalignments in digital images can be due to a number of factors including lens distortion, perspective distortion, and incorrect alignment between the camera and the subject.

Perspective distortion is a warping of an image and tends to be exaggerated depending on the angle of the shot, where objects close to the lens appear larger than they really are, and conversely, objects further away appear much smaller. Incorrect alignment is where the photographer gets the horizontals and/or verticals misaligned when they take the shot, i.e. think slanting horizon lines.

Lightroom gives you multiple methods in this panel that you can deploy to help with perspective and alignment.


HSL/Color - HSL stands for Hue, Saturation, & Luminance. This tool enables you to enhance colors as well as making color corrections.


Color grading was given a major update by Adobe for the last big release of Lightroom, and it has to be said, they have done a fantastic job. It allows you to perform global and/or targeted adjustments to colors in your images. The intuitive user interface means tonal adjustment is now a breeze to achieve. This makes the tool ideal for correcting tonal imbalances and making tonal enhancements in your images.

Working With The Color Grading Tool


This tool is split into two separate effects. One called Post-Crop Vignetting, and the other Grain.

Post-Crop Vignetting Vignetting is a reduction in an image saturation and/or brightness towards the edges of the image, as compared to the center of the image. In photography, we often use vignetting for an aesthetic effect to draw the eye into the image. The vignetting that occurs naturally in-camera tends to be a little harsh and therefore non-aesthetic, therefore, a trick is to use the Lens Corrections panel and remove the in-lens vignette and then use post-crop vignetting to add a more aesthetic vignette.

Film Grain is often referred to as granularity and dates back to photographic film processing. Historically it was due to the presence of small particles of metallic silver developed from silver halide during the processing procedure. In digital photography, the effect of Film Grain is sometimes added for aesthetic effect, as digital photos are often perceived to be too clean and/or sterile. It is an effect that is particularly powerful in Black & White photography.


An eclectic mix of hints and info, in no particular order, but each useful in its own right.

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