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Photoshop Lightroom 3 Visual QuickStart Guide: Organizing and Reviewing Images

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While it’s tempting to immediately start fixing and tweaking the exposures of your photos, time spent in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom's Library module organizing and reviewing photos will be worth it. Nolan Hester explains how and why to use the Library module.
This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter

Dimming the Lights

Stacking Photos

Flagging Photos

Using Ratings and Labels

Using the Compare and Survey Views

Removing or Deleting Photos

Putting It All Together

You’ll do most of your organizing and reviewing of images in the Library module. Along with the catalog database discussed in Chapter 3, the Library module is what gives Lightroom an edge over its more well-known cousin, Photoshop. Both give you vast photographic powers, but Lightroom’s Library module offers the most efficient way to pick, label, rate, and otherwise identify individual photos amid the incoming digital flood.

It’s tempting to jump ahead to the Develop module and immediately start fixing and tweaking the exposures of your photos. After all, it can be a bit of a slog combing through your images, comparing one against another, and making the judgments about which ones to keep and which to reject. But the time spent offers a hidden bonus: Deleting poor images (explained on page 88) will leave you with far fewer—and much better—images once you finally turn to adjusting their exposures.

Dimming the Lights

Lightroom’s “lights out” feature lets you dim or hide every part of the program’s interface except the photos. This can be very helpful when you need to concentrate on your photos—and their sometimes subtle differences.

To dim or turn off the lights:

  1. Select the photos on which you want to concentrate A. In any module:
    • In the Menu bar, choose Window > Lights Out and Lights Dim or Lights Off.
    • or

    • Press the L on your keyboard once (to dim) or twice (to turn lights off).
  2. Depending on your choice, the surrounding Lightroom interface dims by 80 percent or darkens completely BC.
  3. A Select the photos you want to focus on once the lights are dimmed.

    B By default, the lights dimmed choice darkens the Lightroom interface by 80 percent. You can adjust the amount of dimming.

    C The lights-out choice hides every bit of Lightroom except the selected photos.

To cycle through the lights settings:

  • In any module, press the L on your keyboard up to three times to go from lights on to lights dimmed to lights off, and back to lights on.

To change the lights setting:

  1. In any module, press Ctrl-, /Cmd-, (comma) and click the Interface tab in the Preferences dialog.
  2. In the Lights Out panel, use the Dim Level drop-down menu to set the dimming effect between 50 and 90 percent (the default is 80 percent) D.
  3. D Use the Dim Level drop-down menu to adjust the dimming effect by 50 to 90 percent. Screen Color choices range from pure black to pure white.

  4. In the same panel, the Screen Color drop-down menu lets you choose among several colors other than black (including white, simulating photos on a blank page) if you find that default not to your liking.
  5. To apply the settings and close the dialog, click OK.
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