Tips to speed up editing: Learn how to batch edit in Lightroom

While we all love the final result of post-production and the ease of it all, not many photographers truly enjoy the work that goes into digital workflow. Lightroom can be a time-consuming and frustrating process.

Cole from Cole’s Classroom was our contact and shared some essential insights to make batch editing more enjoyable and faster in Lightroom.

Photoshop or Lightroom?

Lightroom is preferred over Photoshop for editing speed and organization. Photoshop isn’t able to compete in these areas. Photoshop is capable of doing things Lightroom can’t. Photoshop is the best tool for editing precision and control.

The software isn’t just an image editing program. The software is an image management system that will help you keep everything organized.

Lightroom works best for:

  • Sorting through your images, and selecting the best (culling).
  • Batch editing images quickly with presets or batch editing many photos at a time
  • organizing multiple photo shoots
  • It is easy to locate photos that have been taken previously
  • Making slideshows and designing books/albums

Lightroom Advice

Do not be afraid to try! Once you start to experiment, it’s a very intuitive program. Lightroom does not have to be a “nice-to-have” program. It is a “must–have” solution. Don’t let fear get in the way of your creativity and don’t give up.

If you are looking to learn quickly, take some time to explore and join a Lightroom training class. Your next shots will be edited so fast that you can easily recover all the training costs.

Are you ready to cut your workflow by half?

One-click presets are the best way to cut down your photo workflow by automating 85-90% of the basic work. This allows you to spend more time editing the last 10% of the photo.

Cole admits that editing each wedding took him 24 hours per year. Cole says that editing weddings was not fun and that it reduced my profits. Now I spend only 4 hours editing each wedding. Smart batch editing and presets work every time!

Smart collections: The Lightroom Trick Most Photographers Don’t Use

Smart collections in Lightroom can be a huge time-saver when you need to quickly pull together a group of photos across multiple folders. Smart Collections can only be as smart as you make them. Smart Collections are based on the metadata of your photos, as well as any keywords or ratings that you have applied to them. For maximum impact, add keywords and ratings!

Smart Collections are especially useful for updating your portfolio. Smart Collections allow me to easily view my favourite wedding images by category (Bride/Ceremony, Reception, etc.). It takes only seconds to set the date range and it’s done.

How to batch edit in Lightroom

Cole has already mentioned batch editing, and he is absolutely right. This is a great time-saver ! We’re going to outline the steps for batch editing in Lightroom. This will make your editing process much more efficient and help you save time!

Batch editing can be done in a variety of ways. We’ll show you the different options so you can decide which one is best for you.

Option 1: Import your Lightroom Preset

Presets allow you to make frequent edits and adjustments to images, rather than manually processing each one. Batch editing is easy. A preset can be applied during import to multiple images.

Step 1: Locate the images to import

You can search for photos that you wish to batch edit, and drag them into Lightroom from the Library module. When selecting images to import, ensure that they all have the same preset.

Step 2: Use the Preset during Import

Click the Apply during Import module button in the right panel of the import dialog. Select the preset that you would like to apply to photos when they are imported into Lightroom. This will apply the preset automatically to multiple photos imported into Lightroom. It saves you tons of time customizing edits for each image.

Cole points out that this method has a downside. You can’t undo an action once you have imported photos. You will need to delete photos in order to modify presets.

Option 2: Apply presets to the Library Module

Batch editing in the library module will be your best option if you don’t wish to use presets during import.

Step 1: Choose photos in Lightroom and apply preset

Select all images in the GridView from the Module that you wish to apply a preset.

Click on the Quick Development panel. Lightroom will update all your photos after you have selected the preset that you wish to batch edit them with.

#Shoot Proof PRO Tip: Do You Know About the Painter Tool?

To use the painter tool , click on the little spray can icon. You can apply a preset to a large collection of images that are highlighted in Grid mode.

Step 2: Continue Applying the Preset

As needed, use your preferred preset to each pose or scene.

This method is similar to the first, but it doesn’t offer a preview option. So make sure you carefully select the preset that you want to use. If the preset doesn’t work or you make a mistake, go to Develop settings and click on Reset.

Option 3: Sync your Adjustments in the Develop Module

Batch editing in Lightroom allows you to sync any adjustments made to images using the Develop module. When you need to sync multiple images, more than one preset, sync your photo settings. If you have made several adjustments to an image with various tools and sliders from the Develop Module, and want to apply batch processing on multiple photos, then syncing is the best option.

Step 1: Edit an image

Use the Develop module to convert your Lightroom edits into a photo. You can add a gradient filter or adjust the white balance using the adjustment brush.

Step 2: Select images and apply the same edits

Select the photos you wish to apply the same edits in the Develop Filmstrip View. You will typically want images with similar lighting conditions to the original image you edited.

Step 3: Sync to Batch Edit Photos

The settings box will open when you click sync,. You can then choose the edits or options you wish to sync across all images. Click Synchronize to see your photos “magically” update with the synced preset.

Cole reminded us that once the edits have been applied, we can quickly review those photos in Lightroom to make any adjustments.

Option 4: Use automatic synchronization

The Sync feature in Lightroom is a great way of batch editing photos. However, you might need to synchronize another image again if you want to make any additional edits to the images. It is better to use auto sync if you need to update the batch while you are working on a photo.

Step 1: Select Your Photos

You won’t start by selecting the first image, unlike Sync. Instead, you will need to select all the photos from the series using the Develop module.

Step 2: Perform the Edits

Click on the switch to turn on Auto-Sync next to the Synchro button. You will see your first photo in full-screen view. This allows you to edit in detail. The software will automatically apply edits to all photos you choose while you are editing. You should make sure your laptop or computer can run photo editing software. This can cause a bottleneck in your computer.

Cole says that if you make a mistake, you can quickly correct it by either adjusting the edit tool or going back to how you would normally work on a photograph.

Practice Makes Perfect!

You can batch edit Lightroom to create a professional look, no matter how many photos you have. You can try all the techniques until you discover the best way to improve your photo workflow.

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