Discovering Adobe Lightroom for the first time may be somewhat overwhelming. This is a powerful and complicated program. Learning how to use Lightroom well requires some direction and dedication. Just as well there are many great Lightroom classes available we can connect you to.
Here at PhotographyCourse.net we are all about making sure learning photography is fun and informative. We want to make finding the best resources for learning photography a rewarding experience. This includes how to learn Lightroom.
We’ve compiled a library of some of the best lightroom classes offered by industry experts and image processing gurus. The content ranges from introductory classes to more advanced lightroom tutorials.
The Importance of Learning How to use Adobe Lightroom
After you’ve taken a photo, it may not look how you hoped it would. Sometimes you can use filters in an app to bring it to life. There are also many presets available that are easy to use and provide instant and terrific results. These are the simplest ways to post-process your photos.
Post-processing is the editing you apply to your photos after you’ve taken them. You can process with an app using filters. You can also use presets in Lightroom or post-process manually. Filters typically make global changes to your images. Or you can learn to use Adobe Lightroom to manually style your photos. This can be done with both global and local adjustments.
For many photographers using presets and filters is satisfying. Using presets can save you a lot of time. Often though you may find they’re not able to manipulate your photos to obtain the style you want. This is when the importance of learning how to use Lightroom comes into its own.
Starting with the right type of file format influences how much you can successfully process a photo.
What’s Up With Different File Formats?
Your camera will have at least two options of file formats when it saves the photos you take. The most common file formats are JPG and RAW.
Photos saved as JPG files are compressed and tweaked by the software in your camera so they look better. Some of the data recorded by the camera when you take the photo is discarded. This means file sizes are smaller.
RAW files are not compressed or altered in any way by your camera after you take them. All the data your camera records is saved in a RAW file. This means file sizes are larger.
Photos from JPG files always look better straight out of the camera than photos from RAW files do. Your camera will make adjustments to things like color and sharpness when saving JPG files. When it saves RAW files nothing is altered. This is why you need to post-process your photos to make them look how you want them to.
The Real Strength of Lightroom
Adobe Lightroom is specifically designed for editing RAW image files. Each camera manufacturer uses different file extensions for their RAW files. The files do not end with .raw. Depending on the camera you use the RAW files will have a suffix like; .nef, .cr2, .arw, .orf etc.
Working with RAW files takes more time and effort to get them looking their best. It’s easier to save your photos as JPG files. But this is very limiting if you do want to alter them with Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. Because JPG files are compressed it means you can’t post-process them as much as RAW files. If you process them a lot you’re risking technical faults in the image. When this happens your photos will look worse, not better.
When you post-process RAW files you have all the image data your camera recorded to work with. You can manipulate it without such a risk of the image degrading.
One of the big strengths in how Lightroom works is that it uses ‘non-destructive’ processing. This means your original image file is not altered in any way by Lightroom. Instead, it overlays the changes you make. These can be undone or added too limitlessly.
Learn How To Use Lightroom
Whether you’re brand new to Lightroom or already a little experience, here are some of the best courses available.
You’ve probably watched a few video tutorials on Youtube and realized taking a video course would be more practical. Youtube provides some great tutorials for Lightroom. But they’re limited when you want to dig deeper.
Signing up for a course by a competent instructor provides you with a more structured learning experience. With software as complex as Lightroom, learning with some well-organized classes is more effective.
Lightroom Digital Workflow (on Udemy)
In this course, I teach you my Lightroom Digital Workflow. This course is mainly about using Lightroom to organize your photos. It also provides an introduction to editing your photos manually and how to use presets.
The most unique aspect of this course is that it’s a walkthrough of my digital photography workflow. I teach you how to import your photos and then how to choose the ones you’ll edit in the Develop Module. Editing images with Lightroom will be painless after taking this course.
Many photographers, at all levels, find it challenging to cull their photos. Separating your best images is vital to a good workflow and it’s not that difficult when you follow my method.
Lightroom Digital Workflow teaches step by step this method that I’ve developed over the past 30 years. The content is comprehensive and easy to follow.
Learn Adobe Lightroom Classic in 60 minutes (on CreativeLive)
This is a quick course for Lightroom beginners. Jared Platt takes you through everything you need to know to get started. This course takes the pain out of learning the basics from the first time you launch the software.
In this crash course, you’ll get an overview of how to import your photos and a method of organizing them. There’s some teaching on basic editing techniques so you can make your photos look how you want them to. You’ll also learn about exporting and sharing your photos. Using Lightroom for video is also touched on in this course from Creative Live.
Two Level Retouching Course from The Photo Academy
This combined course includes two levels of retouching spanning over seven hours. The first level of this lightroom retouching course is 3.5 hours long, which will help you familiarize yourself with organizing your images logically so that you can sort more efficiently before beginning any editing. It covers everything from importing to organizing and finally retouching and exporting. The main objective of the first level is to help you learn how to choose the right images before you do any significant editing.
Next, in the second level of the course, you will begin to retouch. Your online professor will guide you through the art of retouching using a variety of tools within Lightroom. The great thing about both courses is they take place in real-time live over Zoom. During this course, you will unmask the full potential of what Lightroom can do, including white balance, contrast, and how to easily correct abnormalities such as teeth whitening and blemishes.
Adobe Lightroom Classic CC & CC: Photo Editing Masterclass (on Udemy)
Phil Ebiner and Jon Haase have been using Adobe Lightroom for over a decade and have been become experts in the field of editing. Designed for photographers of all levels, the course works especially well for a wedding, portrait, and landscape photographers.
This class only covers Adobe Lightroom Classic and is the perfect course for people wanting to learn the precise details of what this powerful program can do. You will learn how to improve portraits of people, setup, basic tools, and more advanced techniques.
Learn Lightroom CC in One Hour (on KelbyOne)
Scott Kelby introduces a course that crams in everything you need to know into one hour.
- importing your photos,
- organizing them,
- editing them,
- and keeping them synced across all your devices,
Scott shows you his workflow and shares tips and tricks along the way.
This course is for anyone who needs to get up and running with Lightroom CC quickly. It gives an overview of many of the features.
Lightroom Classic CC Essential Training (on LinkedIn Learning)
This essential training from photographer Chris Orwig is comprehensive. It’s nearly five hours long.
The course content teaches Lightroom features in an easy-to-follow, enjoyable, and fun way. Follow along with Chris as he explains how to import images into Lightroom. He teaches how to view and review your images, group and organize photos, and make them look their best.
In this essential training course learn how to:
- fix exposure,
- crop images,
- fix blemishes,
- enhance color,
- and so much more.
Plus, learn how to batch process a set of images to save time and maintain a consistent look.
Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide (on CreativeLive)
Another, more comprehensive Lightroom course, from CreativeLive. In this course instructor, Ben Willmore teaches you to streamline your workflow and add drama to your images.
When you buy this course you’ll have access to a great resource to build your editing skills. You will also receive a workbook, Lightroom presets, and Lightroom keywords.
During this course, you’ll learn how to process and organize your images more efficiently. This will leave you more time to spend with your camera in hand. In this 20 lesson course, Ben covers everything from importing to troubleshooting. This course is set up so photographers can spend about an hour or so each weekday to learn Lightroom in four weeks. This course will equip you with more skills than a simple tutorial on Lightroom will.
Niche Targeted Lightroom Courses
Once you’ve got your head around the basics of using Lightroom you’re going to want more. Editing your photos becomes addictive and you’ll want to keep learning how to advance your skills.
Here are a selection of courses that focus on specific aspects of Lightroom and teach more detailed techniques.
Creating Panoramic Images with Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic (on LinkedIn Learning)
Another solid course offering from the folks at Lynda.com (now merged with LinkedIn Learning). In this course, you’ll learn to stitch many photos together into dramatic panoramas. The course also covers combining Lightroom with Photoshop for even more control.
The process of making panoramas is easier than ever with Lightroom. You will learn to combine many images and preserve the flexibility of raw photo editing. Additionally, by combining Lightroom and Photoshop you can get an advanced level of control over the final results.
Lightroom Workflow for Wedding Photographers (on Udemy)
This is a Lightroom course for wedding photographers, by a wedding photographer. Chris Parker takes your through each step of his workflow and explains it clearly. Once you know the system and see it in action, you can then use this workflow as a baseline for creating your own.
Taking this course you will learn a faster wedding photography editing workflow. The course also includes a selection of Local Adjustment Brush presets.
Photoshop and Lightroom for Landscape Photographers (on CreativeLive)
Matt Kloskowski teaches his techniques for helping to bring landscape photos to life. Learn how to edit photos that reflect the beauty and mood of the landscape you see with your naked eye in Photoshop and Lightroom.
In this class, Matt will show you his personal workflow for enhancing outdoor images. You’ll learn to edit so they reflect the world as it truly looks and feels. You’ll learn how to create great-looking skies and manage your whole editing workflow.
This course covers using both Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. These programs are both included in the Creative Cloud photography bundle.
Adobe Lightroom Masterclass – Beginner to Expert (on Udemy)
This course by YouAccel Training is broken down into several modules to give you an in-depth view of Adobe Lightroom. After an informative introduction, you will move into the fundamentals to create catalogs and customize your own presets. Later you will study more about file formats and color space while comparing the pros and cons of using RAW or compressed images. You will also learn how to use third-party software to export and edit your images.
Finally, the course wraps up with a basic configuration for watermarking their images and as well as how to use the map, book, slideshow, and print modules which are often overlooked while editing. This course doesn’t require any prior education with Lightroom so it works for photographers of all levels. If you want to learn everything about Lightroom, this masterclass is for you.
Lightroom tutorials on Youtube will get you only so far in learning how to use this awesome software. Committing to a more substantial course will save you time and frustration. There’s so much to learn it cannot be taught in a simple tutorial for Lightroom.
If you are trying to save money but still want to learn more about how to edit photos professionally, then consider using these free tutorials from Adobe offering an array of free online courses including basics, selective edits, silhouettes, shadows, editing, enhancements, and much more. Our favorite section is the projects tutorials. They help students find new exciting ways to better their work but in easy-to-follow courses. Learn on the go and have fun for free!
Are you still looking for more advice on other ways to learn to edit using Adobe Lightroom? Then jump right into our Facebook group and ask the community there how they have learned to use this fantastic software.