Get Started with Lightroom Classic 2023 for beginners
Welcome to the Lightroom Classic tutorials for beginners series.
This will be a quick overview of what Lightroom Classic is, an introduction to the Lightroom Catalog system, and reviewing the Lightroom Classic interface so you know where everything is located and how to customize the interface.
Also, if your version of Lightroom doesn’t look like this, then you’re using a different version of Lightroom. Check the playlists in the description below to find the Lightroom tutorials for your version.
WHAT IS LIGHTROOM CLASSIC
So, what is Lightroom Classic? In essence, Lightroom Classic is an editing and photo file management system.
It was designed specifically for photographers’ use and was created to help you streamline your workflow by allowing you to organize, edit, and share your photos easily.
And for me, this was a life-changing application when I ran my wedding photography studio full-time in 2008 when I started using the first version of Lightroom.
It literally saved me days of work. It used to take at least a week to edit a thousand images with Photoshop, and then, once I developed a workflow with Lightroom Classic, I was able to cut the amount of editing time down to a few hours for the same amount of photos.
But it wasn’t just the speed of editing that was life-changing. It also allowed me to organize hundreds of thousands of images, and by doing so, I could find any photo I needed within seconds.
WHAT IS A LIGHTROOM CATALOG
And this is possible based on the structure of Lightroom, which is essentially a database. When you start Lightroom for the first time, you must create a Catalog that stores information about your individual photos.
So, when importing, you’re not importing the actual files. Instead, it’s a preview of what your photo looks like. Then, when you add information to organize your images and any edits you apply are stored in the Catalog or as a separate file that is stored with your original RAW file, which is known as an XMP file.
And this is what they look like. And if I open this in a text editor, you can see all the editing information and any other metadata like star ratings, labels, keywords, and more.
So, the catalog is essential for organizing and storing your metadata without altering your original file.
CREATE YOUR FIRST CATALOG
So, for those that have just installed Lightroom Classic, you’ll be presented with a screen that looks like this.
To create a catalog, give it a name and choose a location to store it. For my catalogs, I store it with the primary location of my images.
LIGHTROOM CLASSIC INTERFACE
Once created, you’ll be presented with the Lightroom Classic Interface, and at this point, you don’t have any images to view. We’ll get to importing in just a second. Let’s first look around the interface to discover where everything is located.
Now, let’s discover how to import your images with this Lightroom Classic tutorial next.