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How to Zoom in Lightroom

how to zoom in lightroom

When it comes to Adobe Lightroom, there is a wealth of complexity, even when it comes to simpler operations such as zooming in on an image. If you want to truly maximize your abilities and the efficiency of your post-wedding workflow, unraveling the deeper secrets of how to zoom in Lightroom is a necessity.

How to Zoom in Lightroom

Even if your wedding photo edits are taken care of by digital photography editing services, like ShootDotEdit, having knowledge of the features and functions of Lightroom is important. That is why we put together this quick list of 6 things you need to know about the Lightroom zoom tool.

engagement shoot waterfall

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Pattengale Photography

Why Mastering Zoom Matters

The post production process for wedding photos, for instance, can involve hundreds of shots, and each shot will require its fair share of zooming in and out in order to get it just right. We know that magnifying photographs involves a lot more than merely operating the sliding bar on a zoom tool, which is why we are going to delve into the finer points of operating the program’s more advanced zoom functions. For additional details on our top picks for photo edits that can transform your wedding photography, access our list here.

The Basics of Lightroom Zoom

At its most basic, zooming involves clicking anywhere on a photo to increase the magnification by a predetermined amount. That level of zoom is a default preset, the one you have most recently made use of, and will revert to the original zoom level by clicking again on the photo. There are also keyboard shortcuts for accessing the zoom controls and for zooming in/out incrementally if you want to make use of those instead.

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More Advanced Zoom Controls

When mastering how to zoom in Lightroom, there are some advanced controls you can take advantage of to increase your speed and efficiency. The first are a few methods for controlling the amount of magnification applied when zooming in on a photograph.

The Fit command expands the entire image to the bounds of your visible display box, making it as large as possible, but still giving you the ability to view the entirety of your image. The Fill command, on the other hand, allows you to section off a part of the image display box, making it as large as possible but keeping the image within the bounds of the selection.

You will know which area of the photo you have selected in fill mode thanks to a zoomed out miniature photo (thumbnail) off to the side of the image display area (in the navigation area). Keep in mind that what you see in your display area is but part of the entire image, and you will have to scroll up, down, left, or right to see more.

There is another zooming method to take note of as well and that is the Ratio. By default, Lightroom will show photos as 1:1, meaning one pixel of the image you have open will take up one pixel on the screen you are using to view it. That is not the only option, though, as you can select a range of ratios that will vary how zoomed in or out a pixel of your chosen image will appear.

Setting Defaults

Now, here is where learning how to zoom in Lightroom will benefit you when you are trying to make your editing more efficient. In general, Lightroom will remember the last zoom settings you used so the next time you zoom in or out, the program will revert to those settings. If you used the fill command and had your zoom set to 1:2, for example, Lightroom would remember that and apply it the next time you used the fill command.

zoom in lightroom

Image by Brian Hatton Photography

This is a method by which you can set a Default to get back to quickly when you want to examine something. You might have a preferred zoom for when you are viewing an image as a fit to screen, and a separate preference for the fill to screen. You can then switch between both quickly to look at a photo the way you want when you need. This is something you can do before you press the undo feature in Lightroom and decide to make changes to your wedding photos.

Using the Lock Zoom Position

When you are looking at separate images, let’s say 2 close-ups for example, you can use the Lock Zoom Position command to set both a zoom level and a position for the images in question. Then, when you switch between the two photos, you will immediately be taken to the location you want at the zoom you desire.

zoom lock lightroom settings

Image by Brian Hatton Photography

The benefit here is for comparison. You might have two similar images, and you want to ascertain if a detail in one looks better than the other, which lock zoom position makes much less tedious.

Zooming and Moving

Many Lightroom users will note that when you are zoomed on an image, it is more difficult to ascertain where you are in relation to the rest of that image. You might need to move around to a different part of the same photo, but zooming out and then zooming in again can be an inconvenience.

lightroom zoom

Image by Brian Hatton Photography

Knowing more about zooming in Lightroom is of great benefit here since all you will need to do is drag the white box on the image thumbnail to the position you want. This saves the time you would have spent returning to the full-sized image and trying to select a location with the zoom tool.

At first, learning how to zoom in Lightroom might not seem like a big deal. But getting a handle on the finer points of the process can improve your speed and accuracy and shave time from your post-wedding workflow. And there are several features of Lightroom you can learn more about to ensure you have a streamlined and fast workflow, including how to export photos from Lightroom and how to rotate a photo in the post production software.

In our Online Training: Advanced Lightroom Skillsets, workflow expert, Jared Platt, focuses on how to maximize Lightroom and its many features to assist you throughout your post-wedding workflow. Click the banner below to learn more from the Lightroom Guru himself!

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