Modules in Lightroom
Lightroom has seven modules built into it, and each one has different features, different tools, and a different purpose. To give a sense of what Lightroom can do, and what parts of the program do each task, I outline the function and features of each module below. If you want to learn more about Lightroom you should check out the Adobe Lightroom page (this is an affiliate link).
This is the module where all of your photos are displayed and catalogued. You have different ways of displaying your images in this module to help you organize your library. Also, this is the section of the program where you will keyword, edit metadata, import, export, move and organize all of your images. If you know of Adobe Bridge, or the Photoshop Elements Organizer, the Library module in Lightroom serves the same function. However, Lightroom's interface and features are all designed to handle large volumes of large RAW images.
This module is the digital darkroom part of the program. This is where you edit your images. You have access to a number of tools in the develop module such as: crop, healing brush, adjustment brush, exposure, whites, blacks, highlights, shadows, tone curve, sharpening, noise reduction, lens corrections, white balance, color conversion, and many other tools as well as presets that will apply a number of edits automatically. This section of Lightroom is the same as Camera Raw in Photoshop, just with a different interface, plus it is linked to the library module for complete integration.
Many cameras today have built in GPS systems so that the camera can record the position you were at for every photo taken. The map module in Lightroom allows you to see and edit this metadata. You can add locations to images that weren't automatically tagged with coordinates, and you can also make changes to photos that already have information. There are also some great preset tools to help you manage locations and wether or not the information exports outside of the program. For example, you might want to prevent the program from tagging images you shot at home with location data so that your address isn't all over the place.
To be honest I have never used this section of Lightroom, because I've never had the urge to make a book. From what I understand though, you have a number of layout features, and the ability to add text on the page, or over images. By default, the book is made to printed at Blurb, but you can also create a PDF or JPEG version.
Lightroom has really nice slideshow features. You can create a custom layout with your own background if you'd like. There are also tools to allow you to add music and adjust the frame rate as well as fade effects. Then, you can export the slideshow in a number of video formats so that you can share it on the internet, or save it for further work.
The print module of Lightroom does just that: prints your images. Although, you do have a number of really nice options inside of Lightroom. First, there are a number of layout settings to help you get exactly the right print size you want with optional text or branding. There are also some great options for color management and print adjustments such as contrast and exposure. Then, once you get the perfect output, Lightroom allows you to save all of your settings as a "Saved Print" that way your results will be easily repeatable.
The web module in Lightroom is often misunderstood. This part of the program is designed to create a complete online gallery, not upload photos to the internet. If you just want to upload photos to various places on the internet you should use the tools in the Library module. The web module is designed to create complete internet galleries that you can upload onto a self-hosted website. If this is what you want to do then Lightroom's web will get the job done, but I don't thing it's the best option. To create a really nice website I would either suggest you use a professional service like Zenfolio, pay someone to do it for you, or, if you really want a DIY option, The Turning Gate makes some amazing website building plugins for Lightroom and WordPress.
That should give you an idea of the way Lightroom is organized, and some of what it can do. To be honest, most people are only going to use the Library and Develop modules with the occasional experimenting in other parts of the program (which is what I do). Those first to modules are the heart of the program, and that is where most of Lightroom's power is focused. The rest are nice great when needed, but they are designed for more specialized tasks that you don't do so often.
- Graceson Aufderheide