Editing a photo in Lightroom – Easy Beginner Tutorial

Welcome to our blog on editing photos in Lightroom, the ultimate beginner’s guide! Whether you’re an amateur photographer or just starting your journey in the world of photo editing, Lightroom is the perfect tool to enhance your images and turn them into stunning works of art. In this easy-to-follow tutorial, we will take you step by step through the process of editing a photo in Lightroom, from importing and organizing your images to applying basic adjustments like exposure, contrast, and color grading. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to confidently edit your own photos in Lightroom and take your photography to the next level. So, let’s dive in and unleash your creative potential with Lightroom!

Editing a Photo in Lightroom – Easy Beginner Tutorial


In this tutorial, we will learn how to edit a photo in Lightroom from scratch, without using any presets. We will cover techniques such as adjusting white balance, sharpening, using lens correction, and graduated filters to enhance the image.

Getting Started

Let’s begin by opening the photo we want to edit. In this example, we have a photo of my sister taken at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. The image is dark and has a blue cast. We will work on improving these aspects and achieving a more balanced and natural look.

Adjusting Exposure and White Balance

The first thing we notice is that the image is overall dark. To fix this, we can increase the exposure. However, doing so reveals a blue and green cast. To correct this, we can raise the temperature slightly and adjust the tint towards the pink side. This gives the image a more natural and balanced appearance.

Enhancing Contrast and Detail

Next, let’s work on enhancing the contrast and detail in the image. We can do this by lowering the black point for increased contrast and raising the shadows for more detail in the trees. However, raising the exposure and shadows have caused us to lose detail in the sky. To recover some of the lost detail, we can decrease the highlights or use a graduated filter specifically targeting the sky.

To use a graduated filter, we drag it across the sky area where we want the effect. To make it look more natural, we can make the filter longer and soften the transition. We can adjust the exposure and highlights within the filter to restore detail to the sky. However, keep in mind that anything else, such as the trees, will also be affected by the filter. To compensate for this, we can raise the shadows to retain detail in the trees.

Correcting Lens Distortion

The edges of the image appear dark, caused by the lens used. We can use lens correction to fix this. Lightroom automatically selects the lens correction based on metadata, but we can manually adjust it if needed. To make it look more natural, we can decrease the intensity of the correction to about 50.

Sharpening the Image

Now, let’s focus on sharpening the image. Increasing the sharpening helps improve the overall clarity. We can adjust the sharpening settings to our preference. Personally, I like to increase the sharpening for a crisp and defined look.

Applying the Final Touches

At this point, we have made significant adjustments to the image. To add a finishing touch, we can use a tone curve to give the photo a film-like finish. Adjusting the highlights, shadows, and curves can help achieve the desired look.

If you find that the image appears too bright, you can decrease the exposure, blacks, and highlights accordingly. Keep in mind that these adjustments might affect different elements in the image, so it’s important to continuously go back and forth until you are satisfied with the final result.


Editing a photo in Lightroom is a process of continuous tweaking and fine-tuning. By adjusting white balance, exposure, contrast, and other settings, we can transform a raw image into a visually pleasing final product. Remember, experimentation and practice are key to mastering the art of photo editing in Lightroom.

Thank you for reading this beginner tutorial on editing a photo in Lightroom!

FAQ – Editing a photo in Lightroom – Easy Beginner Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions – Editing a Photo in Lightroom

1. What is Lightroom?

Lightroom is a powerful photo editing software developed by Adobe. It is widely used by photographers and enthusiasts to enhance and manipulate their digital images.

2. Is Lightroom suitable for beginners?

Yes, Lightroom is beginner-friendly and offers a user-friendly interface with a wide range of useful features. It is a great choice for photographers at any skill level, including beginners.

3. How do I import a photo into Lightroom?

To import a photo into Lightroom, simply go to the “Library” module, click on the “Import” button, and select the image you want to edit from your computer or storage device. Lightroom will then import the photo into your library for further processing.

4. Which editing tools are available in Lightroom?

Lightroom provides a comprehensive set of editing tools to enhance your photos. Some popular tools include basic adjustments like exposure, contrast, and white balance, as well as advanced features like selective editing, spot removal, and gradient filters.

5. Can I undo changes in Lightroom?

Yes, Lightroom allows you to undo any changes made to your photo. You can use the “History” panel located in the Develop module to revert to previous editing states or use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl/Cmd + Z” to undo your most recent action.

6. How do I export my edited photo in Lightroom?

To export your edited photo in Lightroom, navigate to the “Develop” module and make any final adjustments. Then, go to “File” in the top menu and select “Export…” Choose the desired file format, quality settings, and destination folder. Finally, click “Export” to save your edited photo.

7. Can Lightroom edit RAW files?

Yes, Lightroom is particularly well-suited for editing RAW files, which are uncompressed and retain more image data compared to other file formats. Lightroom’s powerful editing capabilities allow you to make precise adjustments and get the most out of your RAW images.

8. Are there any online resources to learn Lightroom editing?

Absolutely! There are many online tutorials, videos, and written guides available that provide step-by-step instructions on how to edit photos in Lightroom. Some great resources include Adobe’s official Lightroom tutorials, YouTube channels dedicated to Lightroom editing, and photography blogs with Lightroom tips and tricks.

I hope you find useful my article Editing a photo in Lightroom – Easy Beginner Tutorial, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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