Video Editing in Adobe Lightroom… Quick and Easy!

December 29, 2015

You may be surprised to learn that it’s possible to edit video clips inside Lightroom.  Or perhaps you are aware that you can edit the basics like white balance, exposure, and contrast.  But did you know that you can also adjust the curves, hues, split toning, and even color match across multiple videos? Imagine the possibilities!  I love Instagram’s “Mayfair” preset as much as the next girl, but having the ability to easily get clean OR creative edits with my existing image system is pretty darn cool.

I edit everything from my iPhone clips to DSLR videos right inside of Lightroom.  However, it’s not as intuitive as editing a single image file.  You have to be a little sneaky and use this work around:


1.) Begin by importing your video.  I suggest applying a similar organizational stratety that you aleardy do with your photos.  For me this means using a star system, adding keywords, and keeping my files in date and month order.

2.) Next, decide if you would like to do any trimming to your video. Just like with single images, the editing (including trimming!) of a video file is completely non-destructive.  This means that as long as you keep your video file within the Lightroom catalogue you can always go back to your original full-length clip.  So don’t stress about trimming. In the Library module, simply click on the small gear icon on the bottom right hand side of the black control bar that is at the bottom of your clip.  Then move the handles on each end inwards to mark the start and stop of your clip.

Now, don’t go judging me by the stunning sidewalk/grass screenshots I am presenting…. this was just the last video clip I took and one I am currently editing :).

Screen Shot 2015-12-26 at 9.26.38 PM

3.) Next we will make our adjustments to exposure, white balance, hue, and more. To do this we will pull a single image from your clip, edit it, and then apply those changes to your entire clip.  So navigate to a part of your video that would be a logical place to base your edits on.  For me, that means I scroll to a where I see my subject so that I can make sure my edits look correct on my people. Then click on the rectangle icon on the bottom of the black control bar.  Choose “Capture Frame.” A single image file will pop up next to your video.

4.) Up until this point we have been in the “Library” module.  Now we will jump over to the Develop module (shortcut: just click “D” on your keyboard) and go ahead and edit the single image file as you normally would.  Note that not all of the editing features will transfer to your video! Here are the adjustments that you CAN make:

White Balance



White/Black Clipping

Tone Curve

HSL Panel

Split Toning

Process Version


Screen Shot 2015-12-26 at 9.41.28 PM

5.) Once the edits to your single image file are complete, jump back over to the “Library” module (shortcut: just click “G” for grid on your keyboard). With your image file highlighted, hit command and also highlight your video clip(s). Click the “Sync Settings” button on the bottom of your control, check which settings you would like to apply, and voila! Easy, peasy!

Screen Shot 2015-12-26 at 10.45.33 PM


For me, this is an easy method to get a clean edit on my videos.  I love that I can have the EXACT same look on my images as I do with my videos. And if I get a little too carried away with my editing, it’s all nondestructive so I can always revert back to my original file.


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  • Reply Sally Molhoek December 30, 2015 at 10:36 am

    THANK you! You’re a gem.

  • Reply Nisha Haq Photograph (@NishaHaqPhoto) January 10, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Great tutorial! thank you. handy little trick which I’ll be using a lot today. Always wondered how to get the videos to look similar to my photos. thanks :)

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