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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Lightroom is a program designed for photographers and the way they work

Finally, if you like black-and-white, this is the place to make the change. In the Grayscale section, the photo changes to black-and-white, but now you can click and drag on a specific tone in the photo. Lightroom will lock onto the specific color underneath, and your movement of the cursor will lighten or darken that tone based on the color. This must be seen to be believed—it works so well and is so intuitive.

For Library and Develop alone, I think Lightroom is worth the price of $249 (the price has varied based on early special deals, but this should be the price for the future). The other three modules are less useful, but welcome bonuses. Print and Web are the best of the group. Print puts all of the important print controls into one place, the right panel, and offers unique printing capabilities with something called an Identity Plate.

Web offers two types of easy-to-set-up web galleries: a simple HTML grid of images that opens to a single larger image and a flash gallery that allows a slideshow of images. The templates on the left give great starting points for gallery design, while the right side offers specific controls for image number, size, background color and so forth.

The Slideshow module gives a simple PDF slideshow. It’s serviceable, but you can attach music to it only if played through Lightroom (and music use is very limited). That makes the stand-alone slideshow not all that useful because it can’t have any audio.

Lightroom is tightly integrated with Photoshop, too. Lightroom has no cloning tools, no adjustment layers or layer masks, so it’s really for overall controls. Photoshop allows for specific, localized adjustment of a photo that Lightroom can’t do. I like going back and forth between the programs for images that need extra control.

But alone, Lightroom is ideal for editing, organizing and processing RAW files. For many photographers, that may be all they need, and it’s in a package designed to work faster and easier than Photoshop. In addition, Lightroom is highly adapted for adjusting multiple images in
a hurry.

Is it for you? Maybe. It’s certainly worth a look from outdoor photographers who want a better, more photographic tool that allows them to concentrate more on photography than technology.


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