How to Edit Travel Photos in Lightroom

 Are you a travel blogger or influencer that wants cohesive photos? You NEED Lightroom. It's so easy to edit quickly and consistently to get a cohesive Instagram Feed or blog photos.

Ever wondered how to edit your travel photos? Here’s how to do it in Lightroom.

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Okay, I promise I’m not a camera snob. I think the best camera you have is the one you have on you when you’re traveling. This can be hard when traveling though. I know it’s a huge pain to lug a camera around, but I think it truly makes a difference in your photos.

My personal preference is to use a camera other than my phone since I have a lot more editing capabilities. There’s just a huge difference in quality from a phone and a camera. You can see an example of some photos I took below.

Once I get all the shots I want, I always edit them in Lightroom to make editing a breeze. Here’s how and why I use Lightroom.

Left: iPhone 7 — Right: Nikon D60

Both were edited in Lightroom.

I got my first camera when was 16 (that I still use today!), and have taken a number of different photography courses over the years. What really helped me become better at taking my travel photos was taking a 35mm dark room class.

I really had to understand manual mode, so it’s helped me understand the different functions of my DSLR camera. Understanding the different functions lets me get the right type of photo before I move on to another spot. Nothing is more disappointing than opening up Lightroom, and seeing a shot won’t work at all even with editing.

Why I Switched From Photoshop to Lightroom

Left: Before Editing — Right: After Editing

I think I started using Photoshop when I was in middle school or so. It was the first Adobe program that I learned how to use (self taught). I used it to create graphics for my Geocities site (lol) and also for creating digital art with my Wacom Tablet (short lived). So Photoshop was all I knew for years.

It wasn’t until after college that I actually started using Lightroom over Photoshop. This was after I had to take a mandatory digital photography course that had us use Photoshop! So why’d I switch?

1. Importing and Editing in Photoshop Takes Way Too Long

I realized that I was putting off editing all of the photos I was taking or just not taking them with my camera because I hated how long it took to edit in Photoshop. Why? Although you can edit photos with Photoshop, I don’t think Photoshop is 100% setup perfectly for mass editing.

With Lightroom, you can import your photos directly and then sort them by ratings. You don’t have to worry about looking for the photos you like and trying to figure out whether or not you edited your photo already.

2. Presets are a time saver

Another way I save a huge amount of time and keep my photo editing consistent is to use Presets. You can create your own or download pre-made ones.

3. You can view your Photos in different ways

If you need to look at a photo album as one large collection, there’s an easy to way to do this to get a better picture of everything. Just click into Library Grid to view all your photos at once. Then double-click to zoom into one photo.

 Are you a travel blogger or influencer that wants cohesive photos? You NEED Lightroom. It's so easy to edit quickly and consistently to get a cohesive Instagram Feed or blog photos.

Travel Photography Tips to Remember

1. Shoot Your Photos in RAW Mode

The first thing you want to do is to change your photo file setting on your camera to RAW instead of JPG. When you shoot in RAW, none of your photos will be compressed—meaning your photo doesn’t lose any of its info, and you’ll have more room to edit.

The other plus of RAW is that you aren’t constrained to an image size, and you’ll be able to print your photos to whatever size you like. I like to use Snapfish for prints. They usually have a ton of promos going on too.

2. Invest in larger memory cards

When you’re shooting in RAW, you’ll need to have a larger memory card than what’s typically in your camera kit. Try to shoot with a 64gb memory card and have a 32gb memory card as a backup.

3. Get the Best Photo Composition When You Shoot

One of the most important tips I’ve learned through my various photography classes is that you need to frame your photos properly and not to rely on cropping.


If you’re shooting film, there’s no crop function in the dark room. But if you’re editing a digital RAW file, you’re able to crop to an extent. Cropping your photo isn’t a magical fix to a bad photo, so make sure you frame it properly the first time.

4. Prioritize lighting

When you’re shooting, you also need to get the best lighting possible. Avoid taking photos in artificial lighting and take your travel photos in natural light instead.

Avoid taking photos when the sun is too bright since you’ll get an overexposed photo that’ll have less data (or photo) for you to edit. In contrast, not having enough light will cause your photos to look grainy with a lot of noise, making it harder to edit.

5. Take the Same Photo at Different Exposure Levels

One thing I like to do is take multiple photos of the same frame at different exposure levels. This ensures that I’m getting the best possible lighting when I go into Lightroom and edit.

If you’re shooting in lower light conditions, make sure you change your ISO level to something higher to reduce noise.

6. Backup Your Image Catalog in Lightroom

After you import your photos into Lightroom and begin editing, backup your Lightroom! This saves all your photos, so that you can delete them off your memory card.

If you save your photos in Adobe Cloud, you can edit your photos in the Lightroom app for your phone too.

How I Edit My Travel Photos

1. Photo Rating

Before I start editing, I go through all the photos I take and rate the ones that I think will work well for editing. I usually just rate them as a 5. Then I filter all the photos that have a 5 rating.

2. Crop & Rotate

If my photo is a little crooked, I’ll rotate it and crop very minimally. Like I mentioned above, you can’t rely too heavily on cropping a photo. Also, if you didn’t shoot in RAW, you’ll have a smaller photo size.

Make sure you keep the same dimensions when you crop otherwise your photos will end up being different ratios from one another.

3. Healing Brush

At times there will be little spots or things that I’d like to get rid of in my photos. You can use the Healing Brush to remove them by copying another section of your photo. It’s as simple as clicking on the spot you want to remove.

Left: Before Editing — Right: After Editing

4. Edit

I’ll adjust the different settings in the Light section first. Depending on the photo and my Preset, I won’t have to touch all of the options here.

Tone Curve
If you feel confident, you can adjust the Tone Curve instead of the Light section. This is a little trickier, but a good rule is to adjust the Darks and the Lights.

Depending on the exposure of your photo, you’ll want to adjust the color of it. It could be too red, too blue, etc.

In the Effects section, I typically only touch Clarity, so that I can get more details in my photos.

Or you can use a Lightroom Preset and edit accordingly.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how I edit my travel photos with a Preset.

Create Your Own Lightroom Preset

Want to have your own unique look for your travel blog or Instagram? You should make your own Lightroom Preset! Here’s how to make your own.

1. Adjust to your editing preferencs

2. Click on Presets

3. In the Presets panel, click the Plus Sign (+), then click Create Preset

4. Then Edit your photos using your own Preset

 Are you a travel blogger or influencer that wants cohesive photos? You NEED Lightroom. It's so easy to edit quickly and consistently to get a cohesive Instagram Feed or blog photos.

Author: Anna

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