3 Ways to Edit Natural looking Photos in Lightroom

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

A video tutorial using lightroom for editing natural looking photos

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How to Edit Natural looking Photos in Lightroom

Get natural looking photos in Lightroom with these 3 Methods!

In this video tutorial, Chadeverday shares the three ways you can edit natural looking photos with a little editing in Lightroom.

Sometimes it’s nice to edit photos that still look like they are natural and closer to straight from the camera.

3 Ways to edit a photo with a natural looking process in Lightroom

This tutorial won’t go in-depth on how to use Lightroom, so if you need more instruction check out these videos:

Edit Natural looking photos Method #1: Letting Lightroom Decide

With this approach you can use Lightroom’s photo AI to determine what is best for you photo. This is at least a good starting point for you to tweak some of the settings.

Go to the development tab, and then on the editing panel all you do is hold shift key and double tap each slider.

Lightroom will then decide what it thinks is the right level of adjustment to balance out the photo and give it a natural feel. 

Letting lightroom decide the editing for you with quick edit for natural looking photos


Method #2: Using the Histogram 

This approach is very similar to before but will give you more control over the editing process. You will stay in the development tab, but stretch the editing panel more over to the left to give you more room to play with.

This will give you more precision over the sliders as you make changes. As we make manual changes to the sliders, we will be looking at hte histogram to guage where we are at.

What is Lightrooms’s histogram? It’s a graphical representation of the tones and colors in a photo. It is shown in the top right corner of your editing screen.

This gives you a quick and easy, way to precisely check each image for exposure and contrast issues. Here is the image with histogram before adjustments:

Before adjusting the histogram settings in lightroom


The human eye generally see’s a wider dynamic range than what a camera will pick up in a photo. So all we really want to do is correct the photo’s dynamic range to match what we would expect to see.

Generally start by pulling highlights down, not all the way but quite a bit, and then pull shadows up about the same amount. This is a great starting place to balance out the photo to look more natural.

In this photo you can see where the histogram started:

Then move to Whites and Blacks. Hold the option key and adjust the whites tab until you start to see white show up and leave it there. Then do the same thing with the Blacks tab until you start to see that first showing of black.

From there you can do little tweaks to contrast and shadowing or whatever you feel the photo needs, but will have a much more natural looking photo.

Doing these couple of adjustments you sould see a much wider and healthier range in your Historgram to help you to visually see the where your photo is at. 

Now you can compare with where the histogram is after a few subtle tweaks:

After adjusting the histogram settings in lightroom for natural looking photos


Edit natural looking photos Method #3: Use Quick Develop

This time go to the library tab and use the Quick Develop feature in Lightroom.

This works great for a batch of images! Select all of the images in the batch and make quick changes to them all together. This sets a base for them all, then you can go back and do fine tuning to each individual photo later.

From Quick Develop, you want to click to buttons:

  • White balance set to automatic
  • Tone control set to automatic

This is most ideal if you are shooting in raw, becuase of the file type you will have the most information to work with. This is less effective with formats like JPEG.

Lightroom generally does a good job with just those two auto adjustments, but use your eye to further correct. Again this is a fast way to set a solid baseline to then fine tune. 

This is especially helpful if you need to edit a large amount of photos with a small amount of time and you are looking to maximise the time side of the editing process.

Use the quick develop setting in lightroom to quickly edit photos


Edit photos to look natural in Lightroom with these three easy methods!

Sometimes natural looking photos are nice to have, and knowing how to correct some elements to achieve this in Lightroom is super helpful!

Want to upskill your photography? Check out this comprehensive guide!

Which of these editing methods will you try THIS WEEK?

Comment below!

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