Our 1-2-3 Lightroom develop strategy is an easy and fast approach to great results for raw captures (JPEGs, too). Beginners and even experienced Lightroom users can benefit from utilizing Adobe Sensei’s ever improving machine learning. These features are incorporated into the Develop module of both Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC. Using the 1-2-3 Lightroom develop strategy takes less time and is far more productive than poking around with sliders, especially if you’re unsure of what the sliders do.

Taking advantage of Adobe Sensei means clicking on those AUTO buttons and options. It’s not always perfect, but awfully close most of the time. And, since Lightroom is non-destructive, go ahead, click away!

The 1-2-3 Lightroom Develop Strategy

1-2-3 Lightroom Develop Strategy
  1. Click the AUTO button in the Basic Panel’s Tone section (that should be cool enough, but there’s more!)
  2. Above the Tone section is the WB (White Balance) section. Select the pulldown menu where it says, AS SHOT and select AUTO. If AUTO doesn’t do it for you, return the setting to AS SHOT.
  3. Next is the Profiles panel. You might have missed this new feature, which has been available since Lightroom Classic 7.3. I usually go to the Modern Profiles – Modern 3 or 4 are my go-to’s. You might want to explore the Profiles to see what you like best.

Done. That’s the 1-2-3 Lightroom Develop Strategy. Watch the one-minute video to see this process in action.

There is a number 4 in the 1-2-3 Lightroom develop strategy. It’s adding radial filter (a digital version of burning and dodging for you former darkroom users), to open shadows on faces or scene details. I’ve written about this before with in-depth how-to video. You may want to watch it for the specifics of using the Radial Filter. One of my clients describes it as an “instant spotlight,” adding a light to fill in unwanted shadows.

Now, I’m not allowed to discuss specific upcoming Lightroom features due to our NDA with Adobe. However, you can expect more updated develop module improvements in future versions of Lightroom Classic very soon, making this 1-2-3 Lightroom develop strategy even more effective.