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The Develop Module

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This is part two of a two-part tutorial. To read part one, click here: Raw workflow article using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Part 1

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The Develop module of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is where the hard work and the fun really begins. This area is where you can be creative as you like or as restrained as you need to be. Amongst its tools are tone and colour corrections, sharpening and lens corrections as well as a host of other fantastic options.

The layout is similar to that of the library, with left and right panels, a main screen and the filmstrip at the bottom. You can select the image you want to edit in the filmstrip or by selecting in the library and simply switching between the two modules.

The left side strip has the Navigator, as in the library module, which lets you zoom in on the image and move around it by dragging the box around the image with the cursor. Below that are a number of presets that have been saved by the nice chaps at Adobe and allow you to add creative effects. Some of these replicate old film processes and some just add different tonalities to the image.

There are a number of presets that can also be downloaded from various sources on the Internet. Check out the numerous Lightroom forums and user groups for details of these. As you run the cursor over the preset it is applied as a preview to the image in the navigator so you can decide which effect works best. You can also create your own preset, which I'll discuss later.

Beneath the preset pane is the Snapshot tool. This allows you to take a snapshot at any stage of the editing. Essentially this is like a history tool, and at any point you can go back to the edit captured in the snapshot, so it's really useful when experimenting and you want to quickly start again. Below that is a proper History tool, which lets you track and delete changes to your edits.

Some useful tools in the bottom left-hand corner accompany the main window. Firstly the copy and paste buttons let you choose and copy any aspect of you edit then paste it into other images. So, if you like the split tones of a black and white image and want to recreate it on the next image, copy those settings by copy button and selecting the relevant tick boxes. Then on your next image press the paste setting and those settings are added to the new picture.

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