By Matt Kloskowski
Adobe recently made a big splash in the post-production area of digital photography with a new product designed to streamline the photo editing process. The product, Lightroom (currently in beta), offers photographers a new way to work with their digital photos. It’s clean, elegant, and fast—but most importantly, it’s a product that helps photographers spend less time sorting and refining photos and more time shooting them. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the top 10 reasons why I think Lightroom rocks.
Before we get started, you’ll probably want to know where to get Lightroom. It’s free beta software and you can download it at the Adobe Labs web site. Also, if you want to learn how to start using it, check out NAPP’s Lightroom Learning Center where you’ll find more than 20 free video tutorials, overviews, and interviews about Lightroom. Okay, now let’s find out why Lightroom rocks.
Lightroom Is Not Photoshop
This first point sounds weird because you already know that Lightroom isn’t Photoshop. However, many people have issues with the fact that Lightroom is different from Photoshop, and don’t think that another product is needed anyway. I see having an option other than Photoshop as a plus. Lightroom is a fresh start from Adobe. Here’s a quote from Michael Reichmann from The Luminous Landscape that says it best:
"Lightroom is an effort on Adobe’s part to break away from the Photoshop paradigm. As useful as it has been for the past almost two decades, Photoshop is not necessarily the best program for handling photographic raw files that one could invent, if it were to be invented today. Twenty years ago, when Photoshop was conceived, photography was about film and chemical darkrooms. The early users of Photoshop (notwithstanding its name) were graphic artists. It’s only been within the past 5–8 years that Photoshop has become the tool of choice for many photographers, and it’s only in the past few years, since Camera Raw and Bridge, that it has started to meet the needs of digital photographers."
Yes, Lightroom is not Photoshop, but it’s not supposed to be. That’s the beauty of it—it’s a software program made just for you (the photographer), not every other designer out there. Now, for any designers who may be reading this—sorry. I feel for you. However, if you have no interest in digital photography, it’s probably best to stop reading here, as Lightroom really wasn’t created with your type of audience in mind.