Last summer I made a post about Adobe’s new photographer’s photo processing tool, Lightroom. Since then Adobe has worked with photographers and the Lightroom user community to improve the tool and release subsequent versions for evaluation. As expected, Adobe made the announcement of the release of Lightroom 1.0 last week.
Why should anyone spend $199 ($299 after 4/30/2007) on this software? What I’ve found it Lightroom blurs the lines between RAW conversion and editing by building solid tools into a single streamlined work flow. The photographer is removed from thinking about the two things as distinct processes and instead is given the image as the primary focus and the methods of processing are made secondary. The bottom line for me is image post processing is faster and easier.
According to several things I’ve read, this product is designed to enable the photographer to spend more time behind the camera and less time in front of the computer. I’d certainly agree with that statement and that is one of the major factors in my decision to purchase this software.
I don’t need any more convincing on its value, but in case you want to hear it from someone other than me, here’s some excerpts from an interview with Scott Kelby President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
“…I think the controls for processing RAW photos are far superior in Lightroom than in Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop. (Lightroom has all the controls from Camera Raw plus a number of incredibly helpful features that even Photoshop CS3 still doesn’t have.)”
“Then there’s Camera Raw. It’s really great, but Lightroom has all the features of Adobe Camera Raw, and some features Camera Raw still doesn’t have, including some amazing interactive features that take Lightroom over the top.”
“So, it comes down to this: if Adobe designed a product from the ground up exclusively for Photographers, and it was created, moulded, and tweaked by pro photographers to address the work flow issues they face every day, and it’s faster, more customizable, and has more power (not to mention features that Photoshop CS3 still doesn’t have), why wouldn’t you use it instead? Now, Adobe probably isn’t thrilled to hear me saying this, but it’s their own fault. Surely, they realize Lightroom is better at managing, sorting, and displaying thousands of images? In fact, they are the one’s who let Lightroom’s Develop module have many more features than Adobe Camera Raw in CS3, so surely this didn’t catch them by surprise.”
“In my opinion, every part of Lightroom is better than it’s corresponding part in Photoshop. For example, Lightroom’s Print module blows away the printing features of Photoshop CS3. Blows them away—no contest. The Color Management is nearly invisible (which it should be), and you can’t compare the silent, highly limited features of the Bridge’s slideshow to Lightroom’s full featured Slideshow module. Plus, Lightroom’s Web module, with it’s slick built-in Flash and HTML templates and are a breeze to customize is leaps and bounds ahead of Photoshop’s Web Photo Gallery. I can’t explain what Adobe’s thinking, but I know what I’m thinking: I’ve pretty much stopped using the Bridge and Camera Raw for most of my photo management and Raw editing, and I recommend the same thing to my friends.”
Q: So what does Photoshop do better?
“For one thing, retouching: Lightroom doesn’t really have retouching tools so if you need to remove a wrinkle, make someone thinner, clone something, or any of a thousand other retouching tasks, you need Photoshop. Also, Lightroom doesn’t have layers (yikes!), so compositing (and many other tasks) still needs to be done in Photoshop. And you can’t make selections of any kind in Lightroom (double-yikes!). Lightroom doesn’t have filters—not a one (no Unsharp Mask, no Gaussian Blur, no nothin’). Plus there’s no Brush tool or brushes in Lightroom, or professional control over type, or Layer Styles, or guides, or a Pen tool, or blend modes, or Layer Masks, or Actions, or Extract, or Feathering, or a Gradient Tool, or Shapes, or Channels, or Lab Color Mode, or CMYK conversions, or …well…I could go on and on, but as you can see, these two programs really need each other big time.”
[tags]adobe, lightroom, photoshop, post processing, technique [/tags]