Photography Technology

Lightroom: Adobe’s Photo Workflow tool

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Recently, Apple came out with a photo workflow tool called Aperture. Sounds like a great tool, considering you have to buy a brand new computer just to use it.

Adobe also came out with the beta for its own photo workflow tool, aptly called Lightroom. Unlike Apple’s product, Lightroom runs on my laptop, though I debate the company’s use of ‘beta’ with the application: it is more than a little rough around the edges, and not all of the functionality is present. Still it is a wondrously fun tool to use.

To demonstrate how to use it, I imported several images from a single shoot of the Dillard Mill last Spring. These photos could have been particularly good, except that the time of day, and hence the lighting, was all wrong. I decided to see what I could do with the photo modification tools built into Lightroom, processing them more as a batch then the careful modifications I make with Photoshop. I then exported a Flash slideshow of the photos (HTML show). Note that I accidentally referred to Lightroom as Lightspeed a couple of times. Purely unintentional, the application is not that fast. At least, not on my laptop.

Lightroom does a really nice job of adjusting even completely lost photos, so that I could salvage at least 50% of the photos. The slideshow creation was very easy and even a little fun, and once it was ready, it was a simple matter to export it to my site, though where the files were placed tended to go wonky.

As with Aperture, Lightroom works with RAW images, which means you can work with the captured metadata, allowing modifications of exposure and white balance. Within the Developer section of the tool, you can continue to adjust the work, including luminance, color saturation, and brightness, contrast, and so on. It is the ability to quickly and easily work with RAW images that sells Aperture, and the same sells Lightroom. However, unlike Aperture, I don’t have to buy a new computer to be able to use it.

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