Why You Should Be Using The Reference View in Lightroom

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every photographer should be using the reference view in lightroom, it is a game changer when it comes to editing.  for most photographers, having a consistent editing style is a big struggle.  they feel like their exposure is all over the board, their white balance isn’t consistent, and their images don’t look like they belong together.  when you struggle with consistent editing, you are creating a portfolio that is all over the board and lacks cohesiveness.  if you are looking to make your images more cohesive and create a portfolio that is more harmonious, you need to start using the reference view in lightroom.

need help learning how to edit?  read more about how i learned to edit in lightroom + photoshop.

Why You Should Be Using The Reference View In Lightroom

Why You Should Be Using The Reference View In Lightroom | Bethadilly Photography

How To Use The Reference View

1. edit a photo from beginning to end.  this first photo will be the photo you reference, so be sure that you nail your edit and it’s exactly how you like it.

2. with your final edited photo selected, click the R | A button at the bottom of your editing view screen in the develop module of lightroom.

3.  make sure the image that you edited is on the left side (reference), because that is the image you are going to reference.  if it isn’t simply there, drag the photo into the reference side by selecting the thumbnail and dragging it up and into the reference box.

4.  select a photo you want to edit next and drag it into the right side (active).

5.  begin editing the active image, while referencing the reference image.  be sure to reference your edit image as you tweak your white balance, exposure, contrast, etc.  having your images side by side allows you to ensure that your edits are the same, or very comparable.

it’s important to note, i like to edit my images in loupe view because i want to see my images as big as i can.  once i get my image closely edited, i will pull it into the reference view so i can ensure that my image matches my first image and make the final small tweaks.

Why You Should Be Using The Reference View In Lightroom | Bethadilly Photography

using the reference view in lightroom is so helpful to me, as it allows me to ensure that my edits are cohesive which helps to ensure that my collection of images flow together effortlessly and harmoniously.  i love using this feature when i have images that were taken on the same day, but in different light or from a different angle.  for example, the images i am editing above were taken moments from one another, yet they need different edits because i changed my angle and used the light differently.  even though i have to edit them differently, i want the end result to look the same.  seeing them side by side helps me ensure that i am creating the same cohesive look, despite using different editing sliders, or amounts of each slider, to achieve that look.

have you tried batch editing?  here is a step-by-step guide to batch editing that will help speed up your editing.

lightroom has so many wonderful features that help us become better and more efficient editors.  as of right now, i believe the reference view in lightroom is only available for creative cloud members as an update.  if you are a creative cloud member, be sure to take advantage of this new update so you can begin seeing the advantages in the reference view.

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