Saturday, October 31, 2009

Adobe Lightroom 2; 4 weeks later

I have used Lightroom for about 4 weeks now and I have grown to love it. This is the first time I have given serious thought to improving my workflow, thanks to Lightroom. What do I mean by workflow? In digital photography, some of us take lots of pictures. In a typical day's shooting, I would shoot about 500 pictures. It is not easy to sift through thousands of pictures after a trip. I have always kept everything I shoot, but since I started shooting in RAW, my hard disk is filling up very quickly and I have decided to sort out the rotten apples. Using Adobe Lightroom, I would "import" a folder that I want to sort. Lightroom makes it very easy for me to put a star rating on the pictures I want to keep. I can quickly sift through several rounds until I am happy with those I want to keep.

Next, I can quickly make slight adjustments to those that need a bit of tweaking to get it right, such as a bit of cropping or exposure adjustment, etc. I can even copy the adjustments made on one picture and apply it to any number of others. This is particularly useful when you need to adjust the white balance of pictures shot under artificial lighting.

Finally, when I have sorted out all the pictures I want to keep, and made adjustments to those that need correction, I can compress all the files to the size I want and "export" to my archive. At the same time, I would cherry pick those good enough to be placed in my gallery for public viewing.

Lightroom must have been designed by photographers because the thoughts that have gone into designing the software fits the needs of photographers very well. I am delighted by two things in particular: 1) if you shoot Jpeg and Raw at the same time and you import these into Lightroom, it automatically lets you edit in Raw. When you delete, you can delete both Jpeg and Raw at the same time; 2) when you have done all the preliminary work in Lightroom, you can still continue to do more fancy manipulations using Photoshop if you so desire.

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