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Lightroom Update

Wednesday 8 September 2010

Now that I have over 25,000 images in various Lightroom catalogues, I can perhaps give you a better perspective on how well it’s keeping up.

In a word – amazingly well! Sorry, that’s two words.

Every time I open and work with Lightroom (3.x especially) and push it a little further, I discover nuances in its work flow or tools that make life easier. I am working on a draft of an article describing my Lightroom workflow that, once finished, should help photographers to better understand how and why it is better option than Photoshop (CS or Elements), Picasa, etc.

16.000+ images in one catalogue does not slow it down at all. I do not use a desktop workstation – only a MacBook Pro laptop. To save hard drive space, only my catalogue is on the hard drive – my photos are on a portable (3.5″) 500 GB external USB hard drive which is literally plug-and-play.

For the first time, I have all of my images at my fingertips – anyone or group of which can be called up by keyword or text search in a matter of seconds!! Brilliant!

Some of these images are raw files, tiffs and jpgs made 8 years ago on an early 5MP digital camera. They have come alive in a far superior way and in far fewer key strokes than when I first processed them through Photoshop. It is like re-discovering old negs!

I have a number of different catalogues: a luxBorealis catalogue for my fine art and stock images and a catalogue for each of my clients.

So far, I am, at the touch of a few keys, producing web galleries, prints, slideshows, Flickr uploads and email-sized images. These processes have been customized by creating and tweaking  a number of presets – perhaps Lightroom’s single greatest feature. While I have found presets on the ‘net, they have been most helpful in providing a starting point for fine tuning according to my tastes. The bottom line is that once you have something you like – create a preset of it. Then, when you tweak it to make it even better, right-click and “Update with Current Settings”.

Enough for now. I don’t own shares in Lightroom, nor am I paid by Adobe or anyone else for saying this, but I can’t help thinking how much more productive I am now that I am using Lightroom for processing my images..

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