Look ma, only Lightroom!


© Ake Vandervelden

Update: if you like this tutorial, then also check out this one, in which I take the template a notch up :-)

When I saw the beautiful pictures and the beautiful print template that my talented fellow-photographer Ake Vandervelden had made, I asked her if she’d done it in Lightroom. She replied to me she had made it in Photoshop (with a lot of hard work) and that she had no idea if this could be pulled off in Lightroom.

Well, actually, it can… It’s just one of those occasions where you have to think Lightrooms different modules through. And with some creativity, and some ‘out of the box’, or should I say ‘out of the modules’-thinking, you can make this work and then save it as a Print Template, and never have to worry about doing this in Photoshop again… We will be adding the text with the… Slideshow module, of all things!

There’s a lot of advantages to keeping it in Lightroom:

  • you don’t have to own (or open) Photoshop
  • you don’t have to create a new (big) Photoshop file
  • you can change your mind about which pictures to add, and where to put them
  • you can easily make minor tweaks to the print template, and update the template with your new tweaks or save the tweaked version as a different template. Want one without white space between the pictures? Just make a new template…

Here’s a video explaining how you create this effect yourself. No Photoshop or Indesign was used during this movie :-) .

Look ma, only Lightroom from MoreThanWords on Vimeo.

It’s actually the very first video tutorial I made (writing this down would have been far too long), so bear with me if not everything is perfect. I hope to be posting more ‘how-to’ videos because there’s a ton of stuff you can do in Lightroom.

For those of you who have bought my (Dutch) book on Lightroom: this technique is similar to the one discussed on page 192, but it goes even further!

In this video, I did everything in Lightroom, just to show you that it’s possible. However, there are some issues with adding text through the Slideshow Module: the biggest one is that it works okay for smaller sized prints. If you would want to make something poster-sized, you run the risk of running into the limitations of the Slideshow JPG Export feature. In an upcoming blogpost, I will show you that, with a little use of Photoshop (for those who have it), it’s possible to speed up the workflow even more and circumvene the resolution limit of the Slideshow Module text, while maintaining Lightrooms flexibility.

P.S. In my video, you will see the ‘Iran’ text centered in the frame. If you want to have it slightly above the center (like ‘Juliaan’ on Akes template), you can make use of the crop tool to make a square crop of the text and in the mean time reposition the text where you like.
P.P.S. Just a quick note to all you overseas visitors. I am planning on posting more English videos like this. So keep checking every once in a while!

This entry was posted in Lightroom, Lightroom Boek, Videos. Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Look ma, only Lightroom!

  1. Lin Hawkyard says:

    I was directed over to your tutorial from Matt Kloskowski’s Lightroom Killer Tips pages and was delighted to find your easy to follow tutorial on making this wonderful collage. The result can be seen on my webpage at http://www.lorrequer.com (still a work in progress).

    I can see great potential for this tip and had never even thought of using the print or slideshow module inside Lightroom for work such as this. I know I can go back and finetune this collage now and have some ideas for adding more print utilising Photoshop.

    Thanks so much for the great tutorial. I’ve bookmarked your blog and put a link to your blog in my website.


  2. Rachel O says:

    I have loved using the tutorial in the past, but I just went to try to use it in the LR 3.2 Beta and there is no longer the option to export as a JPEG (only as PDF or Video) do you have any ideas as to how to still export a text from the slideshow module? Thanks again for this video. It has been so helpful!

  3. Hi Rachel, actually the possibility to export as JPG still exists. I’m not near LR right now, but try alt-clicking on the export PDF or export Video: one of those buttons doubles as the old Export JPG function…

  4. Linda says:

    What a WONDERFUL tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing and thanks to Ake for the original idea…I can’t wait to give it a try!

  5. Kelly says:

    Do you know if you can save to jpg in Lightroom 3?

  6. Hi Kelly,

    it’s not really called ‘saving’, it’s called ‘exporting’: you can export your developed raw file to a number of file formats, such as JPG, TIFF, PSD by selecting the file and choosing File => Export. In the export dialog, you’ll then need to put in the values for size, resolution, color space, etc.
    In the Print Module, you also have the option to ‘print’ a certain print layout to a JPG, instead of printing to a printer.

  7. Katrina says:

    Thank you so much! Had alot of fun making a tiled photo!

  8. Scott says:

    I love lightroom. I think the word “Photoshop” has been used so much that people new-ish to digital photography think that Photoshop is the only way to alter/correct an image.

    It’s great to see an article like this introduce people to Lightroom. Hopefully they realise it will do everything they need to do to their images. With the recent price drop it’s a great way for people to own Lightroom rather than pirating Photoshop.

  9. Sasha says:

    HI thanks for that. I finally made one but now when I export it exports 9 photos not the storyboard/collage I created as a whole. I see there is no option to save so how to you ‘save’ to send off to a printers to have a canvas made and to also come back and change the photos etc? Thanks

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