Batch Process & Retouch Photos: 5 Ways in Lightroom
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Apply presets to multiple photos
  2. Sync settings across photos
  3. Use Auto Sync for real-time adjustments
  4. Batch crop and straighten photos
  5. Export multiple photos with different settings

Batch processing and retouching photos can be a tedious task, especially if you have hundreds, if not thousands, of images to edit. But don't fret! With Adobe Lightroom, you can streamline your photo editing workflow and save loads of time. This handy guide will walk you through five ways you can use Adobe Lightroom for photo retouching and batch processing, starting with applying presets to multiple photos. So grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and let's dive into the world of Adobe Lightroom.

Apply presets to multiple photos

Presets in Adobe Lightroom are a lifesaver when it comes to batch processing. They allow you to apply the same adjustments to multiple photos instantly, making your retouching process fast and consistent. Let's break it down:

Selecting the Right Preset

First things first, you need to select the right preset. Adobe Lightroom offers a variety of presets that you can choose from depending on your desired outcome. You can also create your own presets, for a more personalized touch. It's like making your own recipe for a perfect photo!

Applying Presets to Multiple Photos

  1. Select all the photos you want to edit in your library. You can do this by holding down the Shift key and clicking on the photos.
  2. With your photos selected, go to the Develop module. On the left side of the panel, you'll find the Presets section.
  3. Click on the desired preset and voila! Adobe Lightroom will apply it to all the selected photos.

Remember, the whole point of using presets is to make your Adobe Lightroom photo retouching and batch processing more efficient. So don’t hold back—experiment with different presets and see how they can transform your photos.

Modifying Applied Presets

What if you applied a preset and it didn't quite hit the mark? No worries—you can modify the settings after you've applied the preset. This allows you to tweak the look and feel of your photos even further. You can adjust exposure, contrast, saturation, and more, ensuring you get the final result you're aiming for.

Applying presets to multiple photos can significantly speed up your photo retouching process in Adobe Lightroom. By using presets, you can ensure consistency across your batch of photos and save time that you can use to focus on other creative tasks. So next time you're faced with a mountain of photos to edit, remember: presets are your best friends.

Sync settings across photos

Another powerful feature of Adobe Lightroom is its ability to sync settings across multiple photos. This is especially useful when you've spent a substantial amount of time fine-tuning a photo and want the same adjustments to be applied to other photos. Let's dive into how you can do this.

Perfecting Your Reference Photo

Before you can sync settings, you need to first perfect your reference photo. This is the image that you'll apply all your desired changes to. Adjust the exposure, contrast, color balance, and any other setting until you're satisfied with the result. This photo will serve as the blueprint for the rest of your batch.

Syncing Settings

  1. Once you're happy with your reference photo, select it first, then select the other photos you want to sync with by holding down the Shift key.
  2. Go to the Develop module and click on the "Sync" button on the bottom right.
  3. A dialog box will pop up, asking you which settings you want to sync. You can choose to sync all settings, or only specific ones depending on your needs.
  4. Click on "Synchronize" and Adobe Lightroom will apply your reference photo's settings to all the selected photos.

It's as simple as that! Syncing settings is a great way to ensure consistency across all your photos, especially when you're working with a batch of images shot under similar conditions. This Adobe Lightroom photo retouching and batch processing technique is sure to speed up your workflow and save you from the mundane task of manually editing each photo individually.

Resetting Synced Settings

Suppose you've synced your settings but realize you're not quite happy with the result. Adobe Lightroom has got you covered. You can reset the synced settings by selecting the photos and clicking on "Reset" in the Develop module. This will remove all adjustments, allowing you to start over or apply different settings.

There you have it, syncing settings across photos in Adobe Lightroom—a real game-changer for your batch processing workflow. Now you can apply the same adjustments to multiple photos with just a few clicks, leaving you more time to focus on capturing stunning images.

Use Auto Sync for real-time adjustments

Just when you thought Adobe Lightroom couldn't get any better, let's introduce you to another fantastic feature — Auto Sync. This handy tool lets you make real-time adjustments to multiple photos, all at once. And the best part? It's incredibly easy to use.

Understanding Auto Sync

In essence, Auto Sync is an extension of the Sync Settings feature we discussed earlier. However, instead of applying settings after the fact, Auto Sync allows you to edit and view the changes on all selected photos in real time. Imagine the time and effort you'll save with this Adobe Lightroom photo retouching and batch processing technique!

Enabling Auto Sync

  1. In the Develop module, select the photos you want to edit.
  2. Switch on Auto Sync by clicking the toggle switch next to the Sync button.
  3. Now, when you make adjustments to one photo, you'll see the changes reflected on all selected photos instantly.

And just like that, you've streamlined your editing process.

Turning Off Auto Sync

When you're done with your batch editing, don't forget to turn Auto Sync off. Leaving it on could lead to unintentional changes to other photos. Simply click the toggle switch again, and you're good to go.

So, there you have it — a clever way to speed up your editing workflow and maintain a consistent look across your photos. Auto Sync is a testament to Adobe Lightroom's commitment to making photo retouching and batch processing as efficient and effortless as possible.

Batch crop and straighten photos

Let's dive into another time-saving feature of Adobe Lightroom — batch cropping and straightening. If you've ever felt the tediousness of individually cropping each photo, you'll certainly appreciate this feature. It's a game-changer in the world of Adobe Lightroom photo retouching and batch processing.

Batch Cropping

Batch cropping allows you to apply the same crop size and ratio to multiple photos, which is perfect for creating a consistent look across your image set. Here's how to do it:

  1. Select the photos you want to crop in the Library module.
  2. Switch to the Develop module and adjust the crop on the first photo.
  3. Right-click on the photo, choose 'Settings', then 'Copy Settings'.
  4. Check 'Crop' and hit 'Copy'.
  5. Now, select the rest of the photos and right-click. Choose 'Settings', then 'Paste Settings'.

Voila! All your photos are now uniformly cropped.

Batch Straightening

Straightening photos one by one can be a chore. Luckily, Adobe Lightroom offers batch straightening to speed up the process:

  1. Select your photos in the Library module.
  2. Head over to the Develop module and straighten the first photo using the 'Angle' slider or the 'Auto' button under Transform.
  3. Right-click on the photo, select 'Settings', then 'Copy Settings'.
  4. Tick 'Crop' (this includes straightening) and click 'Copy'.
  5. Select the rest of the photos, right-click, choose 'Settings', then 'Paste Settings'.

And there you have it. Your photos are now perfectly straight and ready to impress.

By utilizing these Adobe Lightroom features, you can retouch and process multiple photos more efficiently. Remember, the aim is to create stunning visuals without spending hours on manual adjustments. So, why not let Adobe Lightroom do the heavy lifting for you?

Export multiple photos with different settings

Another fantastic feature of Adobe Lightroom is its ability to export multiple photos with different settings. This is incredibly handy when you need to prepare your photos for various platforms or printing sizes. Let's explore how you can save time and streamline your workflow using this feature.

Setting up Export Presets

Export presets are a lifesaver when you frequently export photos with the same settings. Here's how to create one:

  1. Select a photo and hit 'File', then 'Export'.
  2. Configure your desired export settings.
  3. At the bottom-left of the export window, you'll find the 'Add' button. Click on it.
  4. Name your preset and hit 'Create'. Your preset is now ready for use!

Now, whenever you need to export photos with these settings, simply select the preset. It's a breeze!

Exporting with Different Settings

What if you need to export photos with varying settings? That's where Adobe Lightroom's 'Export with Previous' comes in handy. Here's how:

  1. Export your first photo with your desired settings.
  2. For the next photo needing different settings, go to 'File', then 'Export with Previous'.
  3. Change the settings as needed and export.
  4. Repeat these steps for all photos requiring different settings.

And just like that, you've exported multiple photos with different settings. Efficient, isn't it?

By mastering these Adobe Lightroom photo retouching and batch processing features, you'll not only save precious time but also ensure your photos are exported perfectly for their intended use. So, why not give these a try on your next batch of photos?

If you enjoyed learning about batch processing and retouching photos in Lightroom, you might find the workshop 'How To Photograph & Retouch Bright Colours' by Laurence Philomene relevant and helpful. This workshop will teach you how to capture and retouch vibrant colors, further enhancing your photo editing skills and taking your photography to the next level.