(By the way, Lightroom 6 is also known as Lightroom CC 2015. The former is the version if you buy it on DVD disc; the latter is the online version, which you download, via subscription, from Adobe's website).
Okay, let's get started …
Using Adobe Lightroom 6 For Editing Photos
1. Import Photos
1.1 Transfer Images … Insert your Memory Card into your computer's card reader (if it's integrated into your machine, or you're using a plug-in USB memory card reader).
1.2 Start The Import Process, In Lightroom … In the Library tab (accessed via the top-right set of links, in Lightroom 6), click on the "Import …" button.
1.3 Add Keywords … At this point, I add keywords to all applicable photos, which can be found over in the "right panel" of Lightroom. I do this so that I can quickly find the photos later (I may not be ready to process the images, at the time, so I often get the images into Lightroom, so they're ready to be worked on when it's more convenient) . It's much quicker to click the keyword label over in the "right panel" in Lightroom, than it is to go hunting through random folders to find out where the heck Lightroom deposited them.
1.4 Import Your Images … Over in the "right panel", click the "Import" button (you'll find the button in the bottom-left corner).
You're now ready to begin developing / processing / editing (whatever you want to call it) your photos …
2. Develop Photos
2.1 Switch To The Develop Module … When you import images, you'll be in the "Library" module. However, you will need to be in the "Develop" module, in order to use the processing tools. So, click the label that says "Develop", from the menu at the top-right of Lightroom's interface.
2.2 Selecting A Photo To Edit … From the "film strip" (running along the very bottom of Lightroom 6), click on a photo that you would like to edit, and it should display in large, in the center of Lightroom.
Now, before I go through the following editing process, I need to point out that this is "my" way of editing photos in Lightroom 6; there are many ways you can approach this task; this is the one I use all the time, at present, so I'm going to explain what I do. However, once familiar with the various tools, you may find your own method works more intuitively for you, so I encourage you to keep an open mind as you go through this process of developing photos, and see if you find a better method for yourself . I should also point out that I'm not totally technically savvy when it comes to using Lightroom. I was shown how to use it and I've mostly been using the same method, albeit I tweaked things slightly to my preferred way of working. I can not explain why this method works, all I know is it works well enough for me, so this is what I continue to do …
2.3 Adjustments I Do For Multiple Photos At Once … There are some settings that I know that I'll use for every single photo that I edit. So, to save an awful amount of time, I take the first photo in the film strip, and make the following adjustments.
2.4 Applying Changes To Multiple Photos … At this point, I'm ready to apply these changes to ALL of my other photos – there may only be a useful or less; there may be hundreds. First, still within the "Develop" module, I click on the "Copy …" button, that's at the very bottom-left of the "left panel" (just above the first two thumbnails on the film strip). A dialogue will pop up, with a tick-box menu of all the settings you may want to copy to the clipboard (ready for pasting to all your other images). At this stage, I usually leave all the boxes checked and just click "Copy". Then, I click on the very next photo in the film strip, hold down the Shift key on my keyboard, then click the very last image in the film strip, so all the remaining images are selected. Then, I right-click on one of the highlighted Image, go into the "Develop Settings" option, and click on "Paste Settings". It may take a few moments to process all the changes, depending on how many photos you have, and how fast your computer's process is. But that's the first major job, done. Next, I go into the individual images and make further adjustments, to refine and enhance each photo.
2.5 Editing & Refining Individual Images … Again, there are multiple menus and options to work through, and I tend to do it in the following order:
And that's it. That, for me, would be ONE image processed or edited (even you want to describe it).
2.6 Exporting Images … Click on the "Library" module and click to highlight the photo (s) you want exported to a folder on your computer. Next, click the "Export …" button, in the left panel, typically above the first few thumbnail images in the film strip. At this point, a dialogue box will appear, with multiple options for exporting your images. I tend to use this for turning my RAW files (the photos I've just processed) into JPEG files, which I will then either chop up and further play about with in an image editor, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, or if I do not need to do anything further with them, I can upload them directly to my image hosting account (I use Zenfolio), which can then be used as I need (either sell the photos through Zenfolio, or embed them on one of my websites). I export images in the following manner:
– Choose Export Location … I make sure the "Export To:" option is set to "Specific Folder", then I click "Choose …", and select a folder on my computer (actually, on an external hard drive ) in which to save my JPEG file.
And that is it. That's my process for editing and exporting images, using Adobe Lightroom 6.
Do You Really Need To Use Software, Like Lightroom, To Edit Photos?
The short answer is, "no". You do not "need" to edit photos. For a while, when I had my first, renovated, DSLR-type camera (a Panasonic FZ1000), I did not want to be sitting in front of a computer, moving sliders about to tweak photos. I just wanted to be out there, taking the photos and then letting the camera convert them straight to JPEGs, so I could then publish them to one of my websites. However, once I was shown the above process for processing / editing photos, I was amazed at how much detail I was missing out on, by converting images from the camera, straight to JPEGs. Now that I've got my editing method worked out, I find it does not take that much extra effort to process even a few of hundred images (not with the speedy features of Adobe Lightroom), and the enhanced detail always makes me glad I made the extra effort.
So, you might not "need" to use software, such as Lightroom, to process and edit your photos, but you just may well "want" to. I guarantee, you'll be astounded at how much better your photos will look, if you take the extra steps (outlined above), to develop your digital images, properly, by shooting all your photos in RAW, and using a program like Lightroom , to edit them.