Lightroom Features I Love: Before & After

About two and a half years ago, I made the big switch to Lightroom for my photo editing. Up until that point, I only used Lighroom if I needed to process a lot of photos from one shoot. Lightroom’s batch processing capabilities put my open-one-photo-a-a-time Photoshop Elements to shame.

But in January 2012, I decided to take my photography to the next level and I knew that meant I needed a better workflow for my photo editing. As much as I love Photoshop Elements and believe it is a great program for both photo editing and digital scrapbooking, I had to admit that my photo and editing skills were starting to surpass what I could do in Elements. And so I made the switch.

And I couldn’t be happier. In fact, since I made the switch, EVERY PHOTO I HAVE BEYOND JANUARY 2012 IS EDITED AND READY TO BE PRINTED, SHARED, OR SCRAPPED! Lightroom just makes is SO fast and SO easy.

And so, I thought I would start a series of posts of specific features of Lightroom that I love. There are the things that make me cringe at the thought of having to ever edit any other way. These are the things I do EVERY SINGLE TIME I import photos to my computer.

They’re that good and they’re meant to be shared.

And for today…BEFORE & AFTER viewing.

I love, love, love this (I will probably say this about every feature I write about…I am quite smitten with LR!)

When you are working on a photo and you are editing away, it’s easy to forget what the photo looked like in the first place. Editing can be taken way too far and without a good-but-unprocessed photo to compare it to, it’s easy to let things get out of hand. Also, sometimes you aren’t sure what a photo needs so you need the original to compare it to. Lightroom makes it easy!

When you have a photo open in the Develop Module, all you have to do is click the small double rectangle in the bottom left corner

There is a tiny triangle just to the right of the split rectangle. If you click that, you have choices of how to view the before and after

Here are the different options (obviously, some options are better for horizontal and some for vertical)

Before/After Left/Right

Before/After Left/Right Split

Before/After Top/Bottom

Before/After Top/Bottom Split

I love looking at my before and after in order to check my editing and also to remind myself that:

1. It’s better to have a good photo out of camera than to try and fix a bad photo (like the example above).

2. Editing is powerful. I love seeing the results of my work behind the camera and with my editing program! Sometimes the results are subtle and sometimes they are intense. But either way, editing allows me to recreate a feeling in my heart…and that is powerful.

Here are some more examples where you can see just how powerful editing can be…exposure, white balance, cropping, brightness, contrast, and more!

So what about you? How do you edit your photos? Have you tried Lightroom? Do you love it?