Lightroom & Learning New Things

For anyone who has a blog, or is semi-serious about photography, there comes a point in time where one outgrows the features of iPhoto or other (free) editing software.

That’s where Adobe Lightroom 3 came into my world.

Not that anyone cares, but I spent all free moments of my weekend (at least 6+ hours) and all spare moments on Monday and Tuesday when I wasn’t working (another 6+ hours) just trying to figure it out.

I know Jessica and Ashley use Lightroom version 2.   Kath uses Lightroom 3 and just posted an amazing post about how she blogs and uses LR 3.  I had this post somewhat pre-written but didn’t want to post about Lightroom until I sort of had the hang of it.

This software is no joke!  The program is complex enough that I wish I had a graphic design minor to figure it out. Just getting 25,000 photos from my iPhoto library into the LR 3 library took me enough google searches and time spent in uber-geeky online forums to really question what I was doing.

There are entire blogs and websites devoted to learning the program such as:

Lightroom Killer Tips

Digital Photography School’s Post Production Tips

Lightroom Secrets

and Adobe’s own AdobeTV with Video tutorials

I think one could make learning this software it’s own college degree.  I have heard Lightroom 2 is a bit easier and more user-friendly as it pertains to uploading pictures into a Mac, but even so, a major learning curve for me since I have no experience with graphic design, Photoshop, or photo editing.

After all is said and done, here are a few screenshots of a couple of photos I edited of the No Bake Toffee & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Before on the left and After on the right

Before on the left and After on the right

And apparently Lightroom worked because I just re-submitted this newly edited photo to Foodgawker and it made it!


Also potatoes, Before on the left and After on the right

The screen shots are nice because they show the before and after simultaneously.  Unfortunately, you don’t get quite the full effect because the pictures are smaller and not full screen, but I think you can see there is a difference in the before and afters.  Brighter, crisper, cleaner, more “pop”.  Enough of a difference that it’s worth it to keep learning.

I feel like I’m in college again, seriously.  I have been “studying” so hard!  All that studying made me hungry.

I made a salad with Vegan Slaw Dressing

And 4 Ingredient Hummus (garlic-free, vegan)

Dessert: Vegan Chocolate Chip Coffee Softserve Sundaes

You can omit the coffee if you don’t like it, but I think coffee + chocolate go so well together.  Most things go well with chocolate, though, for me.

From my last post and my meetup with Marla, thanks for telling me who your last meetup was with and if you’ve met anyone from the blogosphere or been recognized or recognized anyone.  Some of you have been recognized, too!  Cool and surreal, all at the same time, right?


1. Have you ever used any photo editing software? If so, which one and do you like it?  How was the learning curve?

I realize that not everyone has a camera, has a decent camera, cares about photography, or cares about how the photos they do take look.  <— That was my progression the past two years.

Fast forward to now, I traded in the Point and Shoot for a DSLR, photography is becoming a passion of mine, and I do care how my new photos look.  I could never go back in time and re-make and re-photograph 500 recipes but going forward, I am trying harder and using editing software will only help.

Once I wrap my mind around it and learn it.

2. What new things have you learned lately?

I have learned or attempted to learn:

My DSLR camera

New ways to workout in less time and I have streamlined 75+ minute workouts into 40 minute ones

I’ve learned that the grass is not always greener and to be content with where I am at today.  Right now.  Life is a journey, not just an end game.

I’ve learned my body can tolerate small amounts of dairy

That mindless TV like the Kardashians and The Real Housewives gives me joy

I learned that my mother’s intuition is right on the money


What things have you learned?  What would you like to learn?

75 comments on “Lightroom & Learning New Things”

  1. What a difference the software makes! And that sundae sounds AMAZING :)

  2. oof! look at you becoming a photo-guru! i love it ;) it’s so fun for you to look back and see how your pictures have changed over time plus i bet your creating GORGEOUS memories of photos of skylar as she grows up!

  3. Ahh I am so jealous I want a new camera so bad and now I want lightroom ahaha ooh I cannot wait to graduate and have money! Your photos look beautiful and LOVE your plate!

  4. I would love to learn more about photography. I have Photoshop and I am pretty good with editing, I would like to learn how to take better pictures and graduate to a DSLR camera :)

  5. I think I’ve caught a teeny tiny baby photography bug. I have a feeling it will bloom into something big at some point!

    This past year I tried to purposefully learn a lot of things and put myself into new situations – took a painting class, learned to letterpress, learned to swim the crawl, learned to meditate, committed to practicing yoga 3-4 times a week. I feel like my brain & spirit really woke up!

  6. I currently use iphoto. I think it’s working for me right now, but someday I might be ready to move on to one of the big boys out there (LR or PS).

    Recently I have learned that cinnamon can be toxic in large doses. Apparently a “large dose” is 1/2 teaspoon a day. Ummmm…I’m not sure how I’m still alive?!!

  7. Oh my goshhh I want to get lightware! Is it expensive? It def. looks worth it though! And I love the marshalls plate :)

  8. We are going to have to enjoy being tech head buddy – photo geeks together OK? Dang girl, you and Lightroom are gonna be tight from here on out. xo

  9. Your after photos are looking smashing!

    • Thanks, Kath :)

      And thanks for the comment replies to me on your posts, i.e. creating my own presets. I figured that you manually created what you wanted and have a few standard “batch edit solutions” in your arsenal. I am going to create my own, too, because after looking online and downloading tons of free, pre-made ones…nothing is striking me. Necessity is the mother of invention. Off to create my own :)

      • There aren’t many presets that look good with food. A few good for people though. I have found a boost in clarity and contrast is all it takes to make photos pop a bit – with warmth and brightness/fill light upon request

  10. Nope, don’t use image editing software although after seeing your before and after’s I SHOULD. Wow. Reason #3450 why I’m not a food blogger;)

  11. I have never used any photo editing software, but I have seen two lightroom posts tonight and I am SOLD!! It looks like a great piece of software.

  12. Between you and Kath, I may have worked up the courage to try Lightroom. I’m scared to do it with a Mac! I’m currently just using iPhoto and Picnik.

    Those pics are incredible! I thought they were good before, but whoa! :)

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  14. I have just gotten into photography, so this is probably a stupid question, but it has been bugging me for a while. How do you get pictures side by side in one frame? Do you need a certain type of photo editor? I can’t figure it out!

  15. WOW the lighting is SO good!!!! those pics turned out great!! YES .. i actually used to take a digital imaging class! but it was fancy software that I really dont know where to get!

  16. Awesome post. I’d never really considered getting Lightroom before, but now I’m really quite interested!

    I’ve been a Photoshop user for many years & I’ve dabbled with Illustrator & a bit of Flash (I am an Adobe fan, teehee!) but never Lightroom… I guess I figured I could do most of the editing I needed with Photoshop…but I actually don’t know a lot about *photo* editing with photoshop. I use it mainly to *draw* using a WACOM tablet (like this:

    But I do strive to take good photos for the recipes in my blog. It’s amazing how much of a difference a good photo (or two or three or four!) can make to help people recreate dishes, inspire them & entertain readers. :-)

  17. Hi Averie,

    On a totally different subject, I’ve seen many different Blogging sites mention Kombucha and I have no idea why this is something that should be added to my daily diet? I bought some flavored Gingerberry Kombucha and wow, what a different experience that was. I can’t even imagine drinking it if it didn’t have some other flavor to sweeten it up. Can you go into detail how you stumbled upon this and what the benefits are?

    I love your site, and follow it religiously over my lunch hour!

    Keep up the good work.

    • kombucha is a fermented beverage and all fermented foods have healthy bacteria for our gut and bodies. the same principle as probiotics, healthy bacteria.

      my kombucha that I make at home is not sour but i know some people just dont like the taste. I actually dont sweeten it but I promise, it’s great.

      just google kombucha benefits for tons of info!

  18. I have used the free photo editing program that came on my computer. While I like pictures that are pretty, I don’t really spend much time playing around with them. As long as they get my point across I’m good.

    I’d really love to learn to speak another language though. I keep saying it, and my husband and I actually were practicing nightly for a little while, but I think I’ve already forgotten everything we learned!

  19. I only use picasa, but I really want some osrt of program for my picture editing!!!

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  22. I occasionally edit my photos, but I usually only use Picasa, Google’s free editor… I don’t have time in my life right now to mess with anything else! ;) I love the difference in your photos though… they look great!

  23. Hi Averie! This is really great tutorial. Could U make a detailed post on using Lightroom? What things to be considered and what to leave out? Thanks in advance.

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