Monday, August 22, 2011

Adobe Lightroom

The more I play with it the more I love Adobe Lightroom.  With almost ten years experience using Adobe Photoshop I have gained an extensive knowledge of the program, but after only about a year of working in Lightroom it has become my primary choice for photo editing.

If you're shooting in Camera Raw (which if you have a DSLR is a must) Lightroom is the best tool I can recommend for editing.  Not only does it provide an incredible amount of control over things like exposure, white balance, and color correction post shoot, it also has a whole suite of tools to adjust nearly every aspect of your photograph including preprogrammed settings to correct lens distortion.

I've even used Lightroom to enhance JPEG images taken with point and shoot cameras.  The sharpening and noise reduction features are much simpler (and in my opinion better) than Photoshop's.

The entire program is streamlined for photographers allowing you to work on entire sets of photographs at once.  In Photoshop every photograph you want to work on has to be opened up as its own file.  Lightroom keeps your entire photo shoot open (similar to iPhoto or Bridge) allowing you to seamlessly switch between images, compare shots, even apply effects across multiple photographs at once.

The interface does take a bit of getting used and creating catalogs was something completely new to me.  Once I got comfortable with it all and got my workflow down editing batches of photographs has gone from weeks work (in Photoshop) to days.

You can even tether your camera to the program allowing you to shoot and instantly record photographs to your library.  Once your done shooting it opens up in the library allowing you to pick out your best shots.  Then just click over to "Develop" for touch up and final editing.  From there your pictures can be exported to just about whatever format you need for print or digital with built in slideshow features and web galleries.

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