Top Three Lightroom Customizations


As Lightroom has matured from a fledgling application for those willing to try something new, to being the most preferred application for photographers in image management and editing (see the poll I ran here), customizing your interface is something that I don’t see a lot of photographers doing.  Some call it vanity, others call it branding, but I just call it tweaking!  Regardless of your motivations, here are three areas where I don’t see a lot of people putting their own mark in Lightroom.

Since this is all about education, I’d hate for people to not be customizing Lightroom to their own personality simply because they don’t know how.  So, with that pretense, here are three ways you can customize Lightroom 4 (in no particular order)…

#1 – Customize your end panels – this is as simple as porting a small PNG or GIF file into your Lightroom Panel Endmarks Folder.  I created a small PNG file (roughly 150x90px), and made sure my background was transparent using Photoshop CS5, then saved it to the Panel End Marks Folder.  Keep in mind, that when you change this, the panel end mark will show up in two places:  at the end of both the left and right hand panels.  The file location will vary depending on your system

Mac users:  Library | Application Support | Adobe | Lightroom | Panel End Marks

Windows Users:  C:\Users\<Your Name>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Panel End Marks

Panel End Mark

#2 – Customize your identity plate – This is where the Adobe logo resides in the upper left hand corner.  I found that a PNG file 180×50 seems to work well.  I’ve inset my text and graphic 15 px from the left edge so it doesn’t go all the way out to the edge of Lightroom.  The 50px height also allows a logo of 40px with a 5px space at the top and bottom a little room to breathe…

Identity Plate

#3 – Watermarks – This is a point of contention for a lot of people as some tend to think that watermarks can “ruin” an otherwise good photograph.  Others like to add a watermark big and bold to prevent image theft when they post their work online.  Others still, will put something more subdued that is less interfering with the image, but can still indicate ownership.  (Just make sure you register your work with the Copyright office, otherwise it doesn’t really matter!)


I’ve gotten the best results by creating custom PNG files using the full instance of Photoshop (you don’t need CS6 – it can be any version of PS going all the way back as far as I can remember, which includes PS 7!).

eBooks on the iPad?

A few people have asked if I had plans to make the eBooks iPad-compatible. I hadn’t considered that before (the iPad prefers the epub format over PDF), but am willing to entertain the option, depending on interest (it’s a little pricier of a proposition, so the cost would have to be justifiable). So – you tell me…do you think it’s worth getting the ISBN, converting to ePUB and distributing through the iBookstore channels as well? Sound off in the weekend poll: Read more

Where do you listen?

For those that have been reading the blog for a while, you should know that I run a companion podcast.  It’s a lot of fun to produce, and I am looking forward to putting out a new show very soon (hint, early next week).  However, while I am out of town for a few days on a special photo shoot, I thought this would be a good time to get some idea of where people are listening most.  So, if you could, take a moment to let me know how you enjoy the show:

ETA:  Sorry all, the polling service starting spamming the blog with some pretty unrelated questions so it’s been deleted.  I was looking to see how many people listened via iTunes, via PLM, or direct download…thanks! 🙂

For those that do not listen to the show,  there are a few questions I would like to ask you too.  First off, why don’t you?  🙂  Seriously though – I realize that not everyone has the time to listen to podcasts, or the resources to afford things like iPods, Touches, and iPhones, and all that stuff.  So, for the non-listening audience (just blog readers), I am trying to come up with ideas for you too.  So, here’s a chance to tell me what you want! Sound off in the comments with your ideas too – things always change and it’s the reader and listener interest that keeps me in touch, so let me know what other types of material you would like to see!  Is it more contests?  More interviews?  Worksheets and practical exercises?  Workshops and seminars?  All are options (and anything else you have in mind).  I’ll check back in on Monday to see what everyone has to say.  Happy shooting and have a great weekend!