How I finally got serious about my photography [Reviews]


Get serious with a Lightroom crash course that won't take too much of your time.
Get serious with a Lightroom crash course that won't take too much of your time.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Even if the “teacher” is a college kid with bad diction, the one-hour Lightroom Basics course that I just took is pretty darn fantastic.

I have to take a lot of photos here at Cult of Mac, especially for reviews. Every gadget and gewgaw I review gets a big, bold photo at the top to best show off its features.

Because of this, I’ve been hoping to get serious about my photography for a while now. The first step was to sign up for one of these amazing, useful courses.

Before you close the window thinking that this is an advertisement for a Cult of Mac service (disclaimer — we do actually sell these course bundles), I want to reassure you: I grabbed the bundle that includes the Adobe Lightroom course because I need the knowledge, not because of any quid pro quo.

I’ve been using the pretty great Photos app on my Mac to tweak my product photos for a while now. There’s a great Automatic option in there, and you can make adjustments to things like exposure and color balance with a couple of clicks. Adobe Lightroom, which combines several tools for photo enhancement from Adobe Photoshop, always seemed a bit overkill to me.

Then I took the Adobe Lightroom Crash Course as part of the Adobe KnowHow All-Inclusive Photography Bundle. I learned more in one hour than I thought possible.

The course "classroom" is right in your browser.
The course “classroom” is right in your browser.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

It’s a series of videos taught by Phil Ebiner, a friendly guy with a lot of knowledge about how they all work. Basically, I watched the videos section by section and came out with a fairly clear understanding of what all the buttons and knobs do in this fairly sophisticated program.

Being able to see the instructor click and mouse around the same Lightroom environment as I have on my Mac was a tangible benefit to learning this way. I could pause the lecture and go try it out, right there, on my own copy the program.

What’s so cool about Lightroom? The biggest takeaway for me was how much easier it is to enhance only certain sections of photographs, rather than the whole thing. There’s actually a tool called Vibrancy that works only on the highlights of your photo, like a smart Saturation tool that makes photos better without looking like they’ve been stomped on with a neon crayon.

I’m a huge fan of the program now that I understand its power and can use it to a fairly good degree. I even signed up for the $10/month Creative Cloud option with Adobe so I could have Lightroom on my Mac. Lucky for you, the photographs I take from now on will have just a bit more pop thanks to the hour I spent learning how to use Lightroom and the rest of the courses in my bundle.

I can’t wait to check out the other courses, like Bernie Raffe’s Become a Better Photographer series and the Master Adobe Photoshop CC course, too.

If you’ve got the itch, head on over to Cult of Mac Deals to grab your own bundle of Photography learning, or just drop in to the Adobe KnowHow site itself to try a few free samples before you buy.


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