10 Beginner tips to get started

Welcome to this series of tutorials designed to help you get started using Adobe Lightroom CC. This tutorial explains the Lightroom CC ecosystem and workspace and shows how to add photos to your photo library.

Introduction to Lightroom CC

Understand the Lightroom CC ecosystem.

What you learned: The Lightroom CC ecosystem

  • Lightroom CC offers powerful, streamlined tools for editing, organizing, sharing, and storing your photos.
  • Lightroom CC is a cloud-centric ecosystem that gives you multiple surfaces on which to view and work with your photos, including your computers, mobile phones and tablets, the web, and Apple TV.
  • The cloud is the central point in the Lightroom CC ecosystem. All photos you add to Lightroom CC are stored in the cloud as full-resolution originals, along with any changes you make to those photos. Your benefits from this cloud-centric system include: the ability to work with your photos anywhere, an automatic backup of all your photos, and access to exciting cloud-based technologies, like automatic photo tagging that helps you find photos by their content.

Add photos to your photo library

Add your own photos and the sample files for this tutorial..

Here you can see how we are editing this black & white photo.

What you learned: Add photos to your photo library

You can add photos or videos to your photo library from the desktop, a mobile device, or the web. This lesson focuses on adding the sample files for this tutorial using the Lightroom CC desktop app.

  1. In Lightroom CC, click Add Photos (the plus icon) at the top left of the workspace.
  2. In the Finder (MacOS) or File Explorer (Windows) that opens, navigate to a folder of photos or individual photos on your computer or external drive, like the unzipped folder of sample files you downloaded from this page.
    Note: If a camera or camera memory card is attached to your computer, you’ll see options to choose a camera device from which to add photos or browse to photos on an internal or external drive.
  3. Click Review for Import (MacOS) or Choose Folder (Windows). On the next screen of photo previews, you can uncheck any photos you don’t want to add to your photo library. If you’re using the sample files for this tutorial, leave all the previews checked.
  4. You have the option to include photos in a new or existing album during import. At the top of the preview screen, click to the right of Add to Album and choose New. Name the album and click Create. If you’re working with the sample files, this will make it easier to access these files later.
  5. Click Add Photos at the top right of the preview screen to finish adding photos to your library.

Lightroom CC automatically copies the originals and uploads them to the Cloud at full resolution. The photos sync through the cloud to all your devices in the Lightroom CC ecosystem. If you edit a photo or make changes to its metadata in Lightroom CC, those changes also sync across the ecosystem.

Tour the workspace

Get to know Lightroom CC’s streamlined interface.

Here you can see an editing of a photo of a wolfdog.

What you learned: The interface

  • Everything is accessible from one screen in Lightroom CC’s streamlined interface.
  • In the column on the left, you can choose a source of photos to view–All Photos, Recently Added photos, or photos By Date. In the Albums panel, you can create albums to organize your photos.
  • Use the Search box at the top of the screen to search for photos by content. Your photos are auto-tagged in the Cloud, so Lightroom CC can find photos based on what’s in them even if you haven’t added keywords.
  • Click Refine Search (the funnel icon) at the top of the screen to filter photos by properties like flags, stars, and keywords.
  • Click the Share icon at the top right to save a copy of a photo to your computer or to share a photo to Facebook.
  • Click the Edit icon in the column on the right to access panels of editing controls for adjusting lighting and color, adding effects, refining detail, and fixing perspective in a photo.
  • The column on the right includes the Crop tool for cropping and straightening, the Healing Brush for removing unwanted content, and the Brush, Linear Gradient, and Radial Gradient tools for adjusting part of a photo. Click the three dots in this column to access more editing controls, like the Edit in Photoshop command. Use the icons at the bottom of this column to access the Keywords panel and the Infopanel. Click Presets to use the Presets panel.
  • In the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, you’ll find icons for changing views, sorting, adding flags and stars, zooming, accessing the Filmstrip, and viewing the original of a photo.

View your photos

View your photos in different ways.

Here you can see the editing of a photo of a wolfdog and ebike.

What you learned: View options

  • Click the Photo Grid icon in the toolbar to view photos in a grid with no borders or information. Click the Square Grid icon to view photo in a uniform grid, with flag, star, and sync information under each photo.
  • To change the size of photos in either grid, drag the Size slider in the toolbar.
  • To change the sort order of photos in a grid, use the Sort menu in the toolbar.
  • Click the Detail icon for a large view of a selected photo. Use the Filmstrip to move between photos in Detail view.
  • To change the zoom level of a photo in Detail view, click on the photo or click Fit, Fill, or 1:1 in the toolbar.
  • To pan a large image in Detail view, click on the photo and drag.

Tutorial Source: Adobe