Common errors in Lightroom

Programs like Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw include a wealth of information for photographers of all skill levels. Creating an efficient and productive strategy for saving and editing your images might be difficult. This essay is not intended to be a how-to guide for processing your images in Lightroom, but rather to help you understand some frequent errors and how to prevent them in your own photos. Remembering these little but critical elements can keep your photographs free of subtle editing errors.

A hiker looks out over the mountainous Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor on the Oregon coast’s southern shore.
Maintain Your Organization
Lightroom is both a great picture editing and an organized tool. As you import more photographs, having a system for organizing your photos becomes more important. Everyone has their own method for organizing and manipulating large groups of photographs; there is no one right technique. Some photographers organize their images by day, while others organize them by location or topic.

Whatever you do, it is critical that you have a plan. Consider the long term, but don’t make it so intricate that you can’t discover your own photos. Having a plan for organizing and editing your images can pay off in the long term.
Photographs should not be moved outside of Lightroom.
The most frequent Lightroom problem I receive is that “Lightroom can’t find my photos.” There might be various reasons for this, but the most probable is that the photographs were relocated to another location on your computer.

Lightroom does not save high-resolution files. What you see is a preview of the original file, which is saved on your computer or an external hard drive. If you tell Lightroom that the images are in “Folder A” and then transfer them to “Folder B,” the connection is broken, and Lightroom has no idea where the photos are.

Lightroom can search your computer for the files, but moving photographs inside Lightroom is the best approach. This Adobe website video illustrates how to transfer photographs in Lightroom.

Chromatic Inconsistency
The colourful fringes you see along objects in your images are caused by Chromatic Aberration. When your lens is unable to bring all color wavelengths to the same focus plane, you have chromatic aberration. Chromatic Aberration affects all lenses, although wide-angle lenses, zoom lenses, and lower-end lenses are more vulnerable.

Chromatic Aberration not only adds unwanted color fringes, but it also softens your picture. The good news is that it is a rather simple remedy. The Lens Correction tab in Lightroom may correct it automatically or manually. There’s no excuse not to tick the “Remove Chromatic Aberration” option on each and every picture.

On the left, you can see the Chromatic Aberration from my 17-40mm lens. The right side is after I checked the “Remove Chromatic Aberration” option in Lightroom’s Develop Module under Lens Corrections.

Adjust the Horizon
This may seem apparent, but you’d be shocked how many images with slightly tilted horizons make it out into the world. It’s a simple repair using the crop tool or the transform panel.

Using the grid (either by grabbing the crop tool’s corner or by using the rotate slider in the Transform panel) will assist you in getting the horizon absolutely level.

Edges of the mask
Sloppy mask edges are one of the most frequent editing mistakes I notice. It’s critical to use accurate brush strokes while making local alterations using the brush tool. Assume you’re attempting to brighten the scenery. A halo effect will be evident if your adjustment brush leaks into the sky. Bad mask edges indicate a lack of attention to detail and may be a huge distraction in your photograph.

The halo effect on the left was produced by careless painting with my correction brush. The shot on the right displays a more exact mask that just lightens the rock and leaves the water alone.

Sliders are being abused.
While processing technique is mostly a personal preference, I would advise you to be gentle while tweaking sliders. You want the reader to focus on the topic and feelings of your photograph, not on how you processed it on your computer. Of course, some photographs may need more editing than others, but I’ve discovered that little is more for the most part. Use the saturation, clarity, and dehaze sliders with caution.

The overuse of certain sliders might give your picture an unnatural and over-processed appearance. It may also have unintended consequences. For example, if too much clarity is applied, halos surrounding things may emerge. This causes the halo along the rock in the left picture. Although processing is subjective, you should avoid creating distracting effects regardless of personal style.

Stitching Mistakes
Stitching frames together is an excellent method for producing panoramas and photographs with larger file sizes for large printing. I usually advise folks to consider stitching photographs to achieve the highest quality possible. The disadvantage is that Lightroom might have difficulty flawlessly integrating frames at times. The easiest approach to avoid mistakes is to shoot the frames correctly in the field, however even with flawless execution, the frames don’t always merge precisely.

As a result, always carefully inspect your stitched picture for flaws. Irregularities are often seen along lines or in texture patterns. These issues are easy to ignore, so make it a practice to check for them immediately away. They may sometimes be fixed by rerunning the stitching process in Lightroom/Photoshop. Other times, you may use the clone tool to “repair” the irregularity.

While the top panorama seems to be in fair shape at first sight, a closer inspection reveals a stitching error in the wave motion. These sorts of flaws may be difficult to detect, so it’s critical to go over the picture immediately after it stitches before proceeding.

Cloning Relics
If your camera sensor looks anything like mine, it’s probably covered with dust from changing lenses in less-than-ideal settings. This implies that for most photographs with large, clear expanses (such as a blue sky), I’ll need to use the spot removal tool to eliminate dust spots.

This program does an excellent job at identifying the issue region and sampling new pixels to fill it up. It isn’t always flawless, even when it works well most of the time. That is why it is critical to go back and double-check that you did not create any further issues using the spot removal tool. Instead of addressing a problem, the tool sometimes reads slightly incorrect tones or samples pixels from a textured region, resulting in an artifact. You can avoid having tree textures in the midst of a blue sky by double-checking where the tool sampled from.

The spot removal tool is usually effective at matching textures and tones, but it’s still vital to double-check for artifacts. The picture on the left clearly shows a black circle where the spot removal tool sampled from an area that was too dark and did not align the clouds properly. This was simply remedied by repositioning the tool to find a better match.