Photography for Beginners

Can I Learn Lightroom if I’m Not Comfortable with Technology?

March 31, 2022

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Cover Image of paper asking the question "Can I learn Lightroom if I'm not comfortable with technology?"

Adobe Lightroom Classic is a powerhouse for organization and editing.  To beginners trying to learn Lightroom, entering this new world of imports, catalogs, and collections is perplexing and overwhelming. In addition, there can be serious repercussions if your photo library is not setup on a solid foundation.  The double whammy is if you describe yourself as not being comfortable with technology and wondering if the Let’s Get Organized! course can help.  Since “not being comfortable with technology” is relative, let’s walk through a few topics to help you make a decision that is best for you.

First, a common and big hiccup that people discover is Lightroom doesn’t store your photos. People see their photos in Lightroom. Lightroom knows everything about the photos. It only makes sense that people assume that Lightroom is holding those image files. However, Lightroom simply knows where to find your photos through what it calls a catalog. 

Think of Lightroom’s catalog system just like a library card catalog.  That index card knows everything about the book, but the book is sitting on a shelf somewhere. It’s the same in Lightroom. Lightroom is the card that has all the information. However, that actual image file is sitting on your computer or an external hard drive. This is where many find hiccups. If you move or rename your images files or the folders that contain them on your computer, Lightroom will get confused and not be able to find your images.  In essence, the book moved or the title changed, but the card catalog didn’t get the memo. (As a side note, fear not, if this happens, we can fix it and the course shows you how)

With all that said, to learn Lightroom, it’s helpful to be comfortable working with folders. There is a need to create and rename folders. It is helpful to understand where your photos are located on your computer and/or external hard drive.   The course walks through what I recommend for an organized folder structure as well as how to rename and reorder folders. 

Next, the course takes a deep dive through all the settings and preference options for a Lightroom Classic user. Module 03: Understanding Catalogs and Module 04: Lightroom Preferences are by far the most technical heavy portions and can be overwhelming. The good news is that information is mostly provided for people who are having issues with Lightroom’s performance speed (they must wait 10 seconds every time they click something for Lightroom to act) or want to tailor Lightroom to their exact workflow needs. With the advancements with computers over the last decade, this is becoming less of an issue.  The majority of Lightroom’s default settings are fine, and I have notes under each video to highlight the few settings I feel everyone should review/adjust.  As long as your computer meets Adobe’s recommended system requirements, you should be okay. 

Also, I recommend watching those more technical modules, feeling the discomfort, and then come back after finishing the rest of the course. Much of this is a chicken-and-egg situation. The more you watch and learn, the clearer the puzzle becomes.  And if you feel really unsure on something, reach out and I’ll do my best to help clarify a concept.

To summarize, the course gives all the tools needed to setup Lightroom Classic. Although, it doesn’t necessarily present it in a step-by-step process. Everyone has a different starting point with their photo library. It simply isn’t feasible to give an exact formula to follow. With all that said, I feel this is one of the best, if not the best course on the market to get people started in Lightroom Classic. 

If you take the plunge to learn Lightroom, it will be daunting and will have moments of frustration (anything new always does). Though, I have confidence you’ll be thankful and embrace the robust creative freedom gained from transitioning to Lightroom Classic.

Are you ready to take the next step?
Learn more about getting started inLightroom  under the education page.

How to Setup and Organize Your Photos in Lightroom Course

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Fine art nature and landscape photographer, speaker, and Lightroom educator.

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