To start off, I’ve got to give thanks to Monterey John for calling me up and giving me a walk-through of Lightroom. He was one of the brave souls who helped make Lightroom what it is today. He took time to do beta testing and he liked what he saw! He extolled the virtues of Lightroom so much that I had to give it a try! So …
About 35 days ago, I downloaded Adobe Lightroom. I want just to give my impression of the software. Firstly, this is not an in-depth review. If you want one of those, Michael Reichmann has done a fine job over at Luminous Landscape.
I’m coming from a Joe-everyday-average-user point of view. I will start off to say that the free download lasts 30 days and on day 28, I purchased the software. Adobe sells it for $199, however, you can find internet coupon codes that will allow you to get it for $30 less.
The software is very intuitive, as a matter of fact, I only looked at the documentation today for the first time. My favorite thing about Lightroom is the one-stop shopping aspect of the software. I can download, import, add keywords, rename, convert to DNG, and backup all at the same time as I’m importing my files!
Since I’ve been shooting a lot of basketball games, this comes in especially handy when I’m copying off 2,000 images from my card. Other cool things that I can do are select multiple pictures, make the same adjustments to them easily, create a slide show, print, etc.
One of my favorite things, especially with the basketball pictures, it to be able to create a web gallery and have Lightroom export it via FTP to my server. I use this all of the time. It saves me so much time and hassle. That, alone, is worth the price of admission!
Keywords and collections are how I keep track of things. Lightroom allows for hierarchical keywords. So, if I want to label a picture with the words: Animal, Cat, and Lion, if I have them in a hierarchy, then all I need do is to tag it with the word lion, and the other two are implied and will show up for in a search for cat or animal.
There’s just so much to be happy about in Lightroom. I really like everything about it. It’s greatly reduced my work flow and made it easier to get things out to the web, or the printer. It’s great!
There are a couple of little things needed that will probably come later:
1. The ability to synchronize libraries. For example, the only way to use the same library on your desktop and laptop are to have them on a common, non-networked drive. In other words, you’ll need a removable drive to go between your laptop and your desktop that has the library on it. Lightroom does not allow the library to be on a networked drive.
2. I would like the ability to easily reorganize keywords. Right now, the only way to move a keyword, and children, from one parent to another is to drag and drop; however, if your keyword list is very long, you can’t do it because the region doesn’t automatically scroll. I’d like to see right-click dialog that would allow you to select a new parent from a drop down. There’s already a right-click menu entry that allows you to create a child of the current keyword.
3. Adobe recommends 1 GB, I say 2 GB of RAM. You can use it at 1 GB, but it is pretty slow going. And don’t even think about firing up CS2 while Lightroom is running, or the other way around. You’ll be sitting there while your computer is busy swapping files in and out of memory!
Well, I’m no private detective, and this certainly wasn’t in-depth, but I just wanted to say that Adobe has done a fine job with this software and it’s worth the price. It won’t replace CS2/CS3 for the hard core processing, but for getting things organized and published quickly, I can’t imagine much better!
I use it pretty much every day and these are the only things that come to mind.
About the photo: I was in Savannah, GA, walking down Bay Street and saw this phone booth and the door just caught my eye! If you don’t know, Phillip Marlowe is a popular fictional detective.