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Mastering the Art of Photography Editing: Common Mistakes to Avoid with Adobe Lightroom



Photography editing is a powerful tool that can elevate your images from good to extraordinary. Adobe Lightroom, with its user-friendly interface and robust features, has become a go-to platform for photographers looking to enhance their shots. However, even with the best intentions, it's easy to make mistakes that can compromise the final result. In this blog post, we'll explore some common errors photographers make when editing with Adobe Lightroom and provide insights on how to avoid them.


1. Overusing Presets:

Presets are a great way to streamline your editing process but using them excessively can lead to generic-looking images. The key is to use presets as a starting point and then make adjustments to suit the specific characteristics of each photo. Customisation is key to creating a unique and polished final product.

Lightroom Presets Pane
Lightroom Presets Panel


2. Ignoring Basic Adjustments:

 It's tempting to jump straight into advanced editing features, but neglecting basic adjustments like exposure, contrast, and white balance can undermine your efforts. Begin by fine-tuning these fundamental settings before diving into more complex tools to ensure a solid foundation for your edits.


Lightroom Basics Panel
Lightroom Basics Panel

3. Overdoing Saturation and Vibrance:

Boosting saturation and vibrance excessively can result in unnatural colours. Instead, make subtle adjustments to enhance the natural tones in your image. The goal is to achieve a balanced and realistic look that complements the subject matter.


Over saturated image
Original image vs the same image with too much saturation and vibrance

4. Neglecting the Importance of White Balance:

White balance plays a crucial role in determining the overall tone of your image. Ignoring or incorrectly adjusting white balance can lead to images that appear too warm or too cool. Take the time to adjust white balance based on the lighting conditions when the photo was taken for a more accurate representation of colours.


White Balance before and after
Here the before image shows a colour cast across the image, but when the white balance is corrected we can see the correct tone of the bottle and label

5. Overlooking the Importance of Detail:

While it's crucial to keep it simple, ignoring the finer details can result in a lack of sharpness and clarity in your images. Use tools like the sharpening and noise reduction features in Lightroom to enhance the overall quality of your photos subtly.


Lightroom Details Panel
Lightroom Details Panel

6. Ignoring the Histogram:

The histogram in Adobe Lightroom provides a visual representation of the tonal range in your image. Ignoring it can lead to images that are overexposed or underexposed. Pay attention to the histogram while making adjustments to ensure a well-balanced distribution of tones.


Lightroom Histogram Panel
Lightroom Histogram Panel

7. Inconsistent Editing Across a Series:

If you're working on a series of photos, maintaining consistency in your editing style is essential for a cohesive look. While each image may require unique adjustments, strive for a harmonious overall aesthetic to create a visual narrative.


Inconsistent Editing
These 8 images were all taken one after the other but because they have each been edited differently it looks like they were taking on different days



Photography editing with Adobe Lightroom is a skill that evolves with practice and experience. By avoiding these common mistakes and focusing on simplicity and precision, you can elevate your images to new heights. Remember, the goal is not to overpower your photos with effects but to enhance their inherent beauty in a subtle and sophisticated manner. Keep it simple, stay mindful of your adjustments, and let your creativity shine through in every edit. If you want to learn more about editing your photos with Adobe Lightroom make sure you check out my courses and books.


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