Let's just pretend to have the nightmare scenario that one morning you wake up and all of your hard drives, backups and RAW files have ascended away from this Earth. If you still have your computer and Lightroom, there might be a chance you could, at least minimally, salvage your images. This article on Fstoppers, which is a great resource by the way, gives you the rundown on how you might be able to save some of your work, if you've had things set up the right way. Read on, and let's pray there's never a real need for this!
Lightroom is not only a powerful image editing platform, but can and/or should also serve as your digital image and video library. But before you start getting thousands of images in your library, it's important to follow a few ground rules, so that you can always find your images later, as well as making sure Lightroom doesn't lose track of where your images are as well. This quick video from Adobe's Julieanne Kost will give you the rundown on the best practices.
I'm a visual learner. I like to watch rather than read. If you're like me, and are new to Photoshop, you may like to watch this 45 minute video from Adobe Creative Cloud TV. Over the course of the video, you'll see how to:
How to remove blemishes or 'touch up' a portrait (using the Spot Healing Tool)
Working with Layers and Adjustment Layers
Working with Masks
How to Crop
How to adjust exposure and fix colour-cast problems (using the Camera RAW filter)
How to remove an object from a photo (using Content Aware Fill)
How to move an object in a photo (using Content Aware Move) and duplicate/transform content
How to remove a subject from a photo and place it on a new background (using Smart Select and Refine Edge)
How to add text
How to save your photos in both editable and sharable format
The brush tool can be your best friend in Lightroom, allowing you to add just about any adjustment you like onto very specific parts of your image. But did you know LR also lets us have 2 brushes set up to quickly switch between the amount of adjustment being added?
With the A & B brushes, you can set a different Flow and Density for each, letting you choose and quickly switch between the amount of adjustment you're painting on. Sometimes you'll need a high Flow and Density to achieve a powerful effect, other times you'll want lower settings to give you much more subtle changes. Set up your A & B brushes to your most common needs, and start saving time!
And what the heck is Auto Mask? Basically, it's LR's way of coloring within the lines. If you have it turned on, and you're painting effects on areas with very definable lines, say a red car against a blue sky, LR will try to follow the lines in the image, allowing you to paint a bit faster and with a little less accuracy than you may think you need to.