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How to develop video in Lightroom Classic

Editing video can get pretty complicated, and working with color grading and the overall style is no easy task. While I’m primarily a still photographer, I often take some videos for Instagram or other social media usage, in addition to some client work.

So when it came to stylizing some quick videos, did I want to go through the process, clip-by-clip, in Premiere Pro? Or did I want to utilize a tool that I’ve used since day one of my photography?

Believe it or not, you can style video in Lightroom — and I mean beyond just the Quick Develop controls that you see in the Library panel. I first learned about this technique from Scott Kelby, when he came to Lansing, MI for a Lightroom workshop last year.

I wanted to work on a short video I captured for the 517 Coffee Company, also in Lansing — an 11-second video that just shows the coffee beans being spun around.

Getting started

To get started, import your video file into Lightroom Classic. Double-click the video file to open it in full view in the Library module. Out of the box, you can’t use the Develop panel on videos in Lightroom. Luckily, there’s a pretty simple workaround to make that work.

At the bottom of your video, you’ll see a small playback bar with two additional icons. Click the icon that looks like a rectangle. Then select Capture Frame. This will create a still photograph of where you are at in the video.

From here, you can go into your newly-created photograph and make the edits you wish in the Develop module. This means I can add adjustments like vignettes, saturation and more. I can even add a Lightroom preset, if I wish.

Applying your edits to the video

Once you’re done editing the photograph you’ve created from the video, go back to the Library module. Then right-click on the photograph and select Develop Settings > Copy Settings … You can also select Settings > Copy Settings … in the Lightroom menu bar. In the dialog box that appears, select which edits you’d like to bring over to the video, and click Copy.

Then go to your video, right-click and select Develop Settings > Paste Settings. Again, you can do this through the Lightroom menu bar too, by selecting Settings > Paste Settings. Just like that, the edits you made to your captured frame should now be on your video!

Making style edits to your video through Lightroom really couldn’t be any easier. If you know a few simple commands, you can make your videos shine! While it might not be as powerful as something like Premiere Pro, it certainly does the job for quick and dirty work, or some simple stock footage.

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