Out of curiosity, to those who own or bought Lightroom, what made you purchase it if you already have Photoshop?
I use the RAW editor in Photoshop to edit my pictures (it pops up when you choose photoshop to open a RAW file). I looked up the spec sheet on the B&H listing yesterday as I was tempted to buy it, but from what I read it sounded like the RAW editor in Photoshop does what Lightroom does and I already own it. The only thing I saw that Lightroom boasted was a file database of sorts. I assume that is similar to Adobe Bridge?
J Razz - Lightroom is my defacto ingest application. I use it before I even touch Photoshop.
I bring all still images in and create a catalog first. Then I decide which images get exported out as either DNG or PSD files. I've lately begun to use DNG file format and embed the raw file within it. The issue I have with Photoshop's RAW viewer is you can only view one image at a time. Lightroom creates a catalog of all images/video files. You pick and choose accordingly what you want in the catalog and not. I also like the ability to add meta tags, etc to each image as needed. The amount of video I'm shooting these days is smaller than still work so I'm finding Lightroom indispensable for working with the volume of stills I'm shooting.
I've transitioned over to audio slideshows for the doc type work I shoot and incorporate video if needed.
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What sold me on Lightroom was working with two photographers who used it regularly. The main thing I saw different was the ability to save templates which you can use as starting points when you are editing photographs rather than starting from scratch each time. The photographer who took http://www.projectjustice.org/GivetoLive/photos/these[/link] would take pictures and they would look like ordinary photographs. Then he put them into Lightroom and ran his recipe on them. It would boost the contrast, vignette the edges and do a couple of other things. It was like magic how after that, they looked like magazine glossies. Then a tweak or two and he would be done. You could do all these things in Photoshop, but you would have to start from scratch each time (at least as far as I know).
Also, there was the thing of being able to look at groups of pictures on a single screen, then go into any one of them that didn't match the others and tweak it a little. From the perspective of making a group of photos where they all look like they belong together, this is invaluable.
It differs from the Bridge in that you're working with virtual folders that do not affect the files on your drive. I can create a Collection Set of say, just headshots, and then subdivide that by names of individuals or specific photoshoots. None of this has anything to do with where the files are located on my computer or my external drive.
You can use keywords and star ratings if you want, just like in Bridge. But you can also form a Quick Collection of your picks and reject photos with the letters "B" and "X", respectively. You don't have to use a star ratring to seperate out your best shots.
It does have adjustment brushes like Camera Raw but I think it goes beyond them in some respects. There's one just for smoothing skin, another for teeth whitening which is also good for the eyes, and an iris enhancement brush as well. It also has the Dodge and Burn tools found in Camera Raw as well as spot removal.
The 64 bit version is very fast. I import all my raw photos through Lightroom and convert them to DNG. They're stored on a 1TB portable external drive. I can hardly tell the difference between having them on my computer and storing them externally, the program really does not slow down.
I use Lighrtroom for 90% of my editing and the rest gets done in Photoshop. I bought Lightroom first and used it with Photoshop Elements before upgrading to the full version. I use photoshop only when I have to do pretty deep editing or access some specific plug-ins that I can't integrate with Lightroom.
Bridge also has collections. Another feature I don't use much but really this is just because Bridge has some infuriating quirks to its interface, so I tend to try to get in and out of it with as little interaction as possible.
I assume that everything Lightroom does is nondestructive, like Camera Raw?
I work with others a lot. Are adjustments made in Lightroom editable if the next person is using Camera Raw?
Lightroom is totally nondestructive. Its default export to Photoshop is in TIFF format,which is how it gets transferred back to Lightroom when you finish editing-there is seamless integration between the two. All I have to do is save in Phototshop, close it, and it automatically appears in Lightroom as an edited TIFF.
I don't know about changing the adjustiments in Camera Raw, all I know is you can export from Lightroom in just about any format you wish. No matter how you export or edit, your original RAW files are untouched.
At some point you may want to run a trial. It won't disrupt anything you already have set up in Bridge.
If you want to do something similar in Photoshop, you can create an action and set it to a hotkey. Open an image you want to tweak, then open the actions palette (alt + F9). You may want to create a new set if you think you may use any of the existing default actions. With the little drop down menu (tiny triangle to the upper right of the palette) choose New Action. Assign it a hotkey with the Function Key menu (for example, F12), hit record and do all of the things you want to do to the image. If you're really confident, you can even save the image into a particular folder and move on to the next image before hitting the stop button, so that these actions will be recorded as well.
Then open all of the images into Photoshop and just tap your finger on the F12 key over and over again and watch the images change before your eyes (and disappear into the chosen folder).
Thanks guys. I don't really see a need for myself to buy Lightroom- I may give the trial a go as suggested, but everything I have read here makes me think that Photoshop works just fine for my needs (I don't like (read: I am too lazy) to catalogue).
Photoshope RAW editor does have a denoiser for color. If you bump it up to about 25 it does a great job.
Thanks for that. I wasn't really concerned about exporting images, just about working on the same RAW files with someone who uses Camera RAW instead of Lightroom. That is very likely to happen in my workplace. and it's very unlikely we'd buy a Lightroom license, let alone the four licenses we'd need to standardize the workplace. But if we hire a freelancer who uses Lightroom, or if I used it at home under my own license, then it's important to know that everything you do to the raw file can also be seen and adjusted by someone using Camera Raw.
Yes, the best way for me to find out is to try it at home some evening.
For many people, the question is...do I need Photoshop if I have Lightroom? Most image editing can be done non-destructively in LR.
Since LR was designed from the ground up as a tool for photographers, it is both very powerful and easier to use.
Bridge is nothing more than Windows Explorer with a nice interface. LR is a true database and makes storing 1,000's of images much more practical. PS is very powerful, and can do things that LR can't do...but if I was forced to choose between owning only PS or LR...I would keep LR.
The denoiser in Lightroom leaves it for dead, in my experience. I didn't mean to imply that Photoshop didn't have a denoiser, just that the one in Lightroom seems to produce better results (last time I compared them, anyway).
I've been using Lightroom since version 1, I also have Photoshop 5.5 which i use quite a bit as well. I have found lightroom to be the hardest program to describe to people, what it does and why they need it. Still not that sure why that is. If you are a photographer, you need lightroom. It makes you catalog your photos, albeit at your own pace. Since I'v had a digital camera for years now, they accumulate like flies, tens of thousands of them. Everyone will eventually have to catalog their stuff, but that's the boring part of lightroom. The non destructive aspect is tremendously freeing. I find myself cropping almost every image I shoot, or have shot in the past, I love to revisit old photos that were of little interest before and touch them up and crop them, make virtual copies coming up with 2 or 3 good images from one mediocre one. Pure, unadulterated FUN. Applying a white balance or anything else, for that matter, to a whole slew of images at once. Adobe really came up with a new way to touch up photos, the masking tools are so easy and accessible, pure brilliance. Too many things to rave about. I can now easily take 400 shots of my grandkids birthday party, pick out the 80 or so good ones, crop and retouch, have lightroom build a beautiful flash based web page for them and post it to my web site for my family and friends in the course of an hour, maybe two. And... if you do any kind of professional photo work, which is really what it was designed for, it's a no brainer. For viewing photos, there's nothing better, for friends or clients or for just me, the best. For checking focus, set your zoom level and go thru a boatload deleting the soft shots as you go. I could go on and on. The one caveat is that it's complex, not the retouching, that's easy and intuitive, but some of the other aspects of cataloging and collections are complex because they're really kind of different than anything else I'd ever used.
Well I got Lightroom yesterday and tweaked my first picture with it shortly after. Yes I'm hooked. The difference between what I started with and what I ended with on that picture is just stunning. I am looking at magazine photos now and saying to myself "so that's how they do it"!