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Happy Friday, everybody! I’ve been getting this question a lot lately, so I thought I’d tackle it here on the blog:

“What do I need to do to prep a photo book I made in Lightroom for printing at Blurb? Do I convert the images to CYMK first? What resolution should they be, and do I need to change that in Photoshop?”

Here’s the good news:
There is no prepping for printing your photo books for Blurb. All the prep work is done for you behind-the-scenes, so you don’t have to worry about color modes, or color conversions or even changing resolution.

The only time resolution even comes into play is if you see a warning on a particular page of the book that an image doesn’t have enough resolution to print clearly at the size you currently have it. This sometimes happens if you’ve cropped an image really tight, and while originally it may be have an 18 or 20-megapixel image, after the cropping it’s down to five or six, and you’re trying to print a two-page spread with it. In those cases you’ll get a warning icon right on the page (and the fix is simply make the image smaller on the page until the warning goes away. Sometime it just needs to be a little smaller to have enough resolution for printing (the smaller you make it, the more the resolution...

I get this question often enough on the Lightroom Help Desk that I thought it worth making a public service announcement about it. The question usually goes something along the lines of, “All of my imported photos keep coming into my catalog with the same keyword applied to them, and I never applied that keyword. Help!” They will usually go on to report that they’ve cleared the Keywords field of the Import dialog, and the darn mystery keyword(s) still keeps appearing.

I admit that the first time I encountered this question years ago I was stumped too. The solution is simple, but it is not obvious. It always comes down to the metadata preset/template being applied on import. If you click the Metadata drop-down menu and choose Edit Presets it will open the Edit Metadata Presets dialog.

If you then select your custom preset from the Preset drop-down menu, and scroll all the way down to the very bottom of that dialog you will see there is a Keywords field. The mystery keyword is always there.

All they have to do is clear they keywords out of...

It’s another helpful, and short (less than 60-seconds) video tip from Benjamin Warde on this Lightroom Coffee Break Tuesday.

Pretty handy (as always). Thanks, Benjamin.

Have a good one, everybody.



The post When “Zooming Out” in Lightroom is Helpful (and how to set it up so it’s one-click away) appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Just a heads up: in the quest for lessening confusion I’m still calling it Lightroom Mobile. Anyway, yes — you can now finally use Collection Sets in Mobile (or organization your Collections), but of course they’re not called Collections Sets (they’re called “Folders” now in Mobile), and that’s just as well because Collections aren’t called Collections there either (they’re called “Albums”), so Folders are used to organize your Albums.

If you’re still with me, you’re doing better than 90% of the Lightroom users out there, so let’s celebrate that first. If not, this will make more sense shortly.

Above: Here’s Lightroom Classic on the Desktop. If you look over in the Collections panel, you can see I have an Automotive Collection Set and inside that Collection Set are three other collections: Ferrari Daytona, Maserati, and Mercedes CL 550. I clicked the Sync box to the left of each of those Collections to sync them over to Lightroom Mobile, but the Collection Set itself won’t come over, so you create the Collection Set part (called a ‘Folder’ in Mobile), and then you move the collections in that Folder right within the Mobile itself (that’s what’s coming next).

Step One: In Lightroom Mobile (known as Lightroom CC on your mobile device), in the Album View, tap on the...

I’m basing my vote on comments, emails, Tweets, etc., because I’m seeing a lot of folks scratching their head over this one. So, Adobe added (in the recent 7.2 update) a new criteria for making Smart Collections, or filtering in the Library Filter Bar. This new criteria is called “Has Edits” so theoretically choosing this criteria would make a Smart Collection (or you can filter by it), with nothing but your images that have edits applied. But wait, isn’t there already a criteria called “Has Adjustments?” Isn’t that the same thing? Well, yes it is, but with one small, weird, confusing exception (well, confusing if you didn’t somehow know).

Has Adjustments — this means you applied adjustments to it in Lightroom but it DOES NOT include cropped images. So, you could have just cropped an image; chosen “Has Adjustments” and even though you adjusted that image, that cropped image wouldn’t appear in your Smart Collection or in your Library Filtered results.

Has Edits – is the same thing, but this one actually will include photos that are cropped. Oy!

I know what you’re thinking, but let’s keep this classy. Anyway, I hope that clears up any confusion.

My New Post Processing Class is now live

I’ve often been asked if there was a way to set a default crop ratio, so that every time you brought a photo into the Crop tool it would automatically be cropped to that aspect ratio. Unfortunately there isn’t a way to do that, but here’s the next best thing.

Let’s say we need to crop a batch of photos (however many you want) to 5 x 7 (or any aspect ratio you desire). Start in the Library module by selecting the source (folder or collection) containing all of the photos. Next, press G for grid view, and select all the photos you want to crop.

Next, expand the Quick Develop panel.

If needed, click the disclosure triangle next to Saved Preset to see the other options hidden there.

Now, click the Crop Ratio drop-down menu and choose the desired aspect ratio. In my case, I chose 5 x 7.

As soon as the new aspect ratio is clicked, all selected photos are cropped to that ratio. The thumbnails will start to update accordingly.

With a continued emphasis on improving overall performance, Adobe has released the next update to Lightroom Classic (7.2). These updates roll out to customers over the course of the day, so if you don’t see it in your Adobe CC Application Manager app now, check back later (and if you still don’t see it, try logging out, then back into the App manager to see if that triggers the update notification).


Improved Performance

The really big news is about the additional improvements to performance. Windows users, and high performance machines should see the largest speed gains. Specifically, you should see:

  • Faster import (both regular and Auto Import)
  • Faster preview rendering
  • Faster export
  • Faster merging to Panorama and HDR
  • Faster rendering in Develop when making adjustments
  • No loss of performance over time

If you’re still having problems after installing this update, head over to the Lightroom Community forum and share your experience. Adobe has worked with a lot of customers to resolve reported issues. The best set of third-party testing I’ve seen looks very promising.

This update isn’t all bug fixes, new camera support, and performance enhancements (though we are really grateful for them). There are a number of new features that you may find pretty useful.

Search Folders Panel

You’ll appreciate this new feature if you have a long list of folders, and you’re tired of scrolling up and down through them. As we’ve had in the Collections panel, there is now a...

Happy Monday, everybody! I know it’s not Tuesday yet, which is the normal day for us sharing a Lightroom Coffee Break, but what the heck – let’s kick off what is going to be an awesome week with another new tip from Adobe’s own Benjamin Warde – this one is about using Lightroom Classic’s clipping warnings. The video is just 60-seconds long, but it’s all good stuff to know!

That stuff can save you! Thanks, Benjamin.

Hope you all have a great Monday (one that feels like a Tuesday), and I’m looking forward to seeing some of you next week at my seminars in San Antonio and Houston. If you’re not signed up yet, here’s the link. 



The post Using Lightroom Classic’s Clipping Warnings appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

OK, well now technically it’s called “Lightroom CC” in the App Store, so if you go searching for Lightroom Mobile there (it’s still free by the way), it’ll bring up Lightroom CC instead — they’re they same thing. Adobe just changed the name for confusion purposes. Anyway, if you’re thinking of taking the leap and learning the mobile version of Lightroom, here’s the best tip I could give a new user:

Turn your phone or tablet sideways. Why? Because then it looks and works a lot like the Lightroom you’re already used to on your computer.

Take a look:

Above: When it’s turned tall, you have a bunch of icons along the bottom, as seen above left, which is nothing like the Lightroom on your computer whatsoever. , If you click an icon, some sliders pop-up from the bottom of the screen where the filmstrip is on your desktop Lightroom (see above right). Besides the dark interface, and sliders with the same names that are found in every editing app these days, there’s nothing there at all that says “Lightroom” to you, so you’re pretty much figuring it out from scratch.

Above: Now turn your phone sideways, the icons move to the right side, and all of sudden you’re like, “Hey…image on the left, and the Basic panel sliders now appear...

The often-overlooked Painter tool can be a real time saver when working with large groups of photos in Grid view of the Library module. I always find myself forgetting about the Painter tool, then I come up against a project where I need to scroll through hundreds of photos for some reason-such as assigning a new keyword, adding them to a collection, or applying a flag-and then I remember the Painter! Do you see that little spray paint icon in the Grid view Toolbar?

If you don’t see it make sure you are in Grid view by pressing G, and if you still don’t see it then press T to make sure the Toolbar is visible. What? Still don’t see it? OK, click the drop-down arrow on the far right end of the Toolbar and make sure Painter is checked. Got it now? Good.

After selecting the Painter from the Toolbar to enable it (or go to Metadata > Enable Painting) you can load it with keywords, color label, flag state, star rating, metadata template, develop preset, rotation setting, or even a collection. Once enabled, the Toolbar will change to reveal the Painter’s options, so if you choose Keywords then a keyword entry field will appear, choosing...

Here’a a great new video from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde – it’s a great little 60-second tip on some cool features kinda of hidden in the Metadata panel. Definitely worth checking out:

Pretty handy, right? Thanks, Benjamin!

It’s Dave’s Day on my blog
I don’t know if you’ve been catching Dave Williams’s Tuesday posts over on my daily blog at, but he’s been sharing some incredibly useful posts on building your brand online, including Instagram tips that are gold! Plus, Dave’s a pro travel photographer, drone dude, and generally all around just interesting bloggers, so if you haven’t been checking Dave’s work out – here’s your change (seeing as it’s Tuesday at all. Here’s the link).

Here’s wishing you a better than average Tuesday!



P.S. Just a little over two-weeks until my San Antonio Lightroom seminar, and then I’m off to Houston four days later on Monday, Feb 26th. Here’s the link. Hope you can join me there (it’s just $99 for the full day). 

The post Some Really Useful Features of the Metadata Panel appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

It was Matt Kloskowski who originally tagged it with that name here on Lightroom Killer Tips, and I think he was spot on. Well, maybe it should be “The Most Useful Button in Lightroom?” (with a question mark instead) because while it’s certainly debatable, I believe it’s truly one of, if not the, handiest. If you’re not using the Previous button in your daily work, check out this short little video on why it’s so handy. 

I love that dang button!

Are you coming to the Photoshop World Conference in Orlando this Summer?
We’ve got three solid days of Lightroom training (and a bunch of Photoshop classes, and lighting and photography and more!). You’ve always said to yourself, “One day, I’ve gotta go to Photoshop World…” and this can be the year. If you’re still on the fence, watch the 1-minute trailer below:

Don’t wait another year – don’t look at all the videos and photo afterward and think you should have gone, but you missed it again. Go right now to – book your hotel (you can stay at the same hotel where we’re holding the conference – the beautiful Hyatt Regency Hotel & Convention Center – it where all the instructors and staff are staying, and we’ve even got special discounted room rates). Pack your bags — we’re going to Orlando May 31-June 2, 2018. Let’s do it!

Have a great Monday everybody...

Hi, gang. How ’bout a quick one-question Q&A? Great! Here goes:

Q. Is there any way to use the Presets I created in Lightroom Classic, over in the new cloud-storage based Lightroom CC?
A. Wow, I’m glad you asked, and the answer is “Why yes, yes there is Timmy” – and it’s easy, it just takes a few really boring steps. Here’s how:

STEP ONE: Start in Lightroom Classic, and go to the Preferences window and click on the Presets Tab. In the Presets Preferences you will find a button that says “Show Lightroom Presets Folder” (it’s seen above with a big red circle around it. You won’t see that circle in your copy, but don’t let that deter you.

STEP TWO: This will lead you to the Lightroom Secret Stuff folders and since you asked for the Presets folder you’d assume that this must be it. Nope. Too easy. Too obvious. Too “un-Lighroom like.” You must dig deeper, but at least you’re in the right neighborhood.

STEP THREE: Double-click on that Lightroom Secret Stuff folder and inside that you’ll there are a whole bunch of different presets (not just Develop Module presets, so I’ll have to give Adobe a pass on that, but since...

Wrapping up last week’s post with some more tips for keeping Classic in control.

Managing Import Backup Copies

We left off last we speaking of automated back up processes that are left to the user to manage, the Make a Second Copy To option in the File Handling panel of the Import dialog is another potential disk space hog.

This is a very well intentioned checkbox whose purpose is to allow you to copy the contents of your memory card to two different drives at the same time as a function of the import process. This is a very handy feature if your regular full-system backup function only runs once a day (or perhaps less frequently), and you want to duplicate the new photos immediately so that you can format your memory card sooner and return it to service.

That is all well and good, but it is important to know that Lightroom has absolutely no continued connection to this second copy of photos it creates. It won’t apply develop presets to the second copies, iterative copies created via Edit in Photoshop aren’t included here, and Lightroom won’t update the second copies in any way after you start working on the originals in Lightroom. Management of those second copies is entirely in your hands. This second copy is essentially a backup of your...

Benjamin Warde has an awesome, quick little tip on how to get finer adjustments in the Basic panel (you will dig this, if it’s not one of those things you’d probably figure out on your own, so…here ya go).

Pretty slick, right? Thanks, Benjamin.

Here’s wishing you a better than average Tuesday!



P.S. For those of you here in the States, I just saw Amazon now has the printed edition of my latest book, “The Flash Book” for only $16.67 which is like crazy cheap, right? If you’ve always wanted to fall in love with using flash, you’re only $16.67 away – here’s the link.  

The post Great Trick For “Micro” Adjustments in Lightroom appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Hi Gang (and Happy Monday).

I’ve talked about this one before, but recently I’ve had some questions about how I finish off portraits, so I thought I’d share this technique again. It’s not  some earth-shattering Lightroom secret or anything, but it’s something that I do to most of my portraits as a finishing move once I’m done with any retouching. I simply brighten my subject’s entire face just a bit, and while it’s subtle, really does make a difference. The original image is above.

STEP ONE: Get the Adjustment Brush; double-click on the word “Effects” to reset all the sliders to zero. Now I drag the Exposure slider to the right to about +1.00 or so (doesn’t have to be exact at this point), and I paint over the subject’s entire face and the top part of their neck (as shown here).

STEP TWO: Now I drag the Exposure slider back to the left until the lighting looks realistic (usually that +1.00 is too much), and in this case, it...

Happy Friday, everybody! Today I thought I’d share a Q&A that I wrote in this month’s issue of Lightroom Magazine (Published 10 times a year for KelbyOne Pro members), and it’s answering a question I’ve been getting about the cloud-storage based version of Lightroom (now called “Lightroom CC”). Here’s the question:

Q. I don’t take that many images each year, so I’m considering switching to Lightroom CC [cloud-based storage]. If I do store all my images in Adobe’s Cloud, and then I decide it’s not for me, how do I get my images back? 

A. Adobe makes a free “Adobe Lightroom Downloader App” that will let you download all the images your stored in the cloud directly to your desktop computer. Here’s how:

1. You can find the free downloader at

2. Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, launch the app, then click the “Begin” button.

3. In a moment it will ask you to log-in with your Adobe User Name and ID.

As Lightroom Classic users we focus on the job it does with our photos, both in terms of managing them and processing them, but it is worth taking a moment to think about the footprint the Classic-related files leave on our computers, which when left unchecked only continues to grow over time.

Disclaimer: Let’s just acknowledge that in the grand scheme of things your photos and videos will require far more storage space than your Lightroom catalog and its related files ever will. However, because this is so obvious we all take steps to manage our disk space relating to our photo storage. The files related to running (and backing up) Lightroom tend to accumulate in the background, and it isn’t until we find ourselves running short on disk space that we start to wonder what is going on behind the scenes. My goal is to simply shed a little light on the subject so that you can make the decisions you need for your system. There is not a one-size-fits all answer here, and you shouldn’t just run out and make changes to your setup if you aren’t having any problems. I just want you to be more fully in the driver’s seat as you make decisions down the road.

When you look under Lightroom’s hood you find that there are a number of files that work in concert to make Lightroom function, and all of these require some amount of hard disk space. By default, all of these...

This is such a great tip – I used to show this one in the Photoshop World “Lightroom Killer Tips” live session. You can also use this in conjunction with the Visualize Spots feature – another super-helpful tip from Benjamin Warde.

Pretty handy, right?

Thanks to everybody who posted a comment here yesterday
I read every comment (always do). Anyway, thanks much for taking the time – it makes a difference.

Have a great Tuesday everybody, and don’t forget to head over to my blog, ya know, in case anything fun happens today.



The post Making Sure You Don’t Miss Any Dust Spots On Your Image appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Before we get to today’s tip, I have some terribly sad news to share. Winston Hendrickson, Adobe’s VP of Engineering for Lightroom and Photoshop passed away this weekend after a tough year-long battle with cancer. He was a dear friend, a reader of this blog, and he totally “got” Lightroom users because as a pro-sports photographer, he used it daily in his own work. I wrote a tribute to Winston on my daily blog — if you’ve got a sec, I think you’ll like learning more about this force for good in the Lightroom universe. Here’s the link. 

Note: after this, I have a small favor to ask, so please don’t miss it after the tutorial.

Lights on!
This is a trick I’ve used over the years when I have a scenes that has visible lamps that are turned off. This trick simply turns them on to add more visual interest to the shot. Great for anything from street lamps to table lamps, and in this case, hanging lamps.

STEP ONE: Here’s the original image, and I want to make it look like those hanging lamps are turned on. We do this with the Adjustment Brush, so click on the Adjustment Brush tool. Then increase the Exposure Amount (here I increased the Exposure to +1.27. Then drag the White Balance Temp slider the right over to 24 to add some yellow to the brush. Note:...