If Meng recommends it…

Meng writes:

“I don’t think I’m going to need iPhoto any more. I have fallen in love with Adobe LightRoom.

Joining the ranks of other DSLR snobs, I will henceforth shoot in RAW, not JPG. “

I have also been on a Lightroom tear for the last month or so. Few weeks ago I had a chance to really try it out during a trip, with a hundreds of [poor] pictures shot over a couple of days – and I have not been so impressed with photo software … ever.

Photoshop is awesome, of course, but it really does not do much for management of the photos. Adobe Bridge has been horrible for years, but I think its recent improvements (with Photoshop CS2) are negligible compared to Lightroom.
Adobe finally got the separation between shoots and collections which are obvious to photographers, but for some reason not to those who create photo management applications for them. Cannot wait until it is fully integrated into Adobe RAW/Photoshop and has more full-featured version control.  Ever since I started shooting RAW a year ago, I had problems with my old workflow and could not find a new one that worked. Lighroom finally lets me easily keep my initial files where they are, and create collections from each shoot that can be sent to family and friends, or merged into more specific  “portfolio” collections. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the 90GB or existing photos which are already stored according  to my old system…

Some of the nicer things about Lightroom compared to other systems:

  • implicit understanding RAW and non-destructive editing workflows
  • clean separation between shoots and post-shoot categorization
  • transparent file structure — no proprietary databases I can not synch between my many backup hard drives and machines, at least as far as files themselves are concerned (not sure about keyword and other info)
  • smart control for gauges, and still ability to just type in values everywhere
  • fast – even for RAW (especially for RAW!)
  • small touches that show understanding of the paranoid photographer’s mind. Such as the ability to immediately copy imported photos to another location as the import goes on. This creates a backup right away, even as files are been copied off the camera or memory card. Easy to do, but so many tools do not seem to get it…

A previous post on this site had a few comments about the different pieces of software I use. All of them have now been replaced with Lightroom.

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