Discover some of the amazing ways that you can edit and enhance your photos using Adobe Lightroom Classic.
A beautiful autumn landscape photo of trees by a lake with the bright yellow and orange fall colors reflected in the still water.

Powerful tools for improving your photos

A good place to start in Lightroom Classic’s Develop module is with the Auto button, which analyzes your photo and applies intelligent corrections to fix common exposure and color issues.

Two versions of the same landscape photo in Lightroom Classic before (left) and after (right) auto image corrections have been applied.

Apply Custom Exposure Adjustments

The Tone sliders in the Develop module’s Basic tab provide the basic controls for improving your photos. Is the image underexposed (too dark), or overexposed (too light)? Experiment with the Exposure slider to adjust the overall brightness of the image.

  • If a photo is too dark, drag the Exposure slider to the right to lighten it
  • If a photo is too light, drag the Exposure slider to the left to darken it

Use the sliders for Highlights and Shadows to fine tune the adjustment.

Adjust lighting in a landscape image using the Exposure slider in the Basic tab of the Develop module.

Add life to a dull photo

Sometimes a photo looks flat or dull straight out of the camera. Try these techniques to add contrast to a dull photo in Lightroom Classic:

  • Drag the Contrast slider slightly to the right to increase overall contrast
  • Drag the Clarity slider to the right to give more punch to the midtones
  • If the darkest tones still seem a bit dull, you can add even more contrast by dragging the Blacks slider to the left to make the darkest tones deeper and richer
Develop module shows a photo of flowers before (left) and after (right) making changes with the Contrast, Blacks, and Clarity sliders.

Make colors pop

If the colors in a photo are too dull or bland, you can increase color intensity using the Vibrance or Saturation slider.

Drag the Saturation slider to the right to intensify the color saturation of all the colors in a photo. If the effect is too strong, try the Vibrance slider instead. Vibrance targets colors with low saturation values more than colors that are already highly saturated.

Before and after versions of a campfire image, illustrating how adjustments to Saturation levels improve the colors in the photo.

Adjust color balance

Lighting conditions in a scene can sometimes fool your camera’s automatic white balance function, resulting an unwanted color cast in a photo. Use the Lightroom Classic White Balance controls to make the colors in your photo more realistic.

Choose from White Balance presets or drag the Temperature and Tint sliders to achieve a more natural balance of colors.

Before-and-after versions of a family photo show how adjustments to the White Balance levels can dramatically improve the color in a scene.

Apply adjustments to a group of photos

Save time by applying the same adjustments to other photos shot in the same conditions.

First, use Lightroom Classic on your computer to adjust one photo. Then select additional photos in the filmstrip and click the Sync button. Select the settings you want to synchronize, and click Synchronize to apply the same settings to multiple photos at once.

You can also use the Previous button to apply selected settings from the last opened photo to the current photo.

When you include Lightroom Classic in your photography workflow, you can rely on basic adjustments like these to improve and enhance photos that may not look perfect straight out of the camera.

In the Lightroom Classic Develop module, several photo thumbnails are selected to synchronize the develop settings with the Sync button.
A view of the Synchronize Settings dialog showing all the different develop settings that can be synchronized across multiple photos.

Merge photos into a panorama

If a scene is too wide to fit in a single shot with the gear you have with you, take multiple, overlapping photos to capture the entire view and then use the Panorama feature in Lightroom Classic to stitch them together into a stunning panorama. 

Select your shots in the Library module. Then go to Photo > Photo Merge > Panorama. In the Panorama Merge Preview window, select the projection method Lightroom Classic uses to merge the photos. Enable Auto-crop to crop away any white borders around the panorama, or drag the Boundary Warp slider to preserve the entire image. When you’re satisfied with the results, click Merge

A view of the Merge to Panorama preview dialog showing the settings used to merge 4 photos of a coastal landscape into a single panorama image.
05/05/2021

Adobe Stock contributors: Dawn2dawn, lorcel, Maestrovideo, Monkey Business

Presenter and Photographer: Seán Duggan

Was this page helpful?