How Lightroom Changed Photography
For those wondering if there are editng options other than Photoshop, the simple answer is "Yes there are! Lightroom is an amazing tool and it has changed the lives of photographers. No longer are photographers building a relationship with their computer screen, spending hours editing one picture at a time using Photoshop, or losing an image due to lack of organization. I am so relieved to have stumbled across Lightroom. This software has given me my life back.
In you are a photographer, here are the top 5 reasons why you need Lightroom:
1. Lightroom is Simple to Use
I say this not because I have mastered all the features of Lightroom but because it is easy for any photographer at any level to follow. Lightroom is designed so you can see everything it has to offer, such as, the library module, the develop module, and so on. No more having to right click, go to a file, and search to try and find what you’re looking for because it is all laid out in a simple style.
One of the biggest attractions Lightroom brings is that it is nondestructive. Whatever point you are at in your workflow, you can ALWAYS go back to the original. Your originals are protected which is not the case with Photoshop. In Lightroom there is no more creating and managing a million different layers. Lightroom allows you to do all the same local adjustments without a single layer.
The image below illustrates how everything Lightroom has to offer is laid out in a simplistic way at the top of your screen.
2. Lightroom is Very Efficient
Have you ever spent hours staring at your computer screen editing, or spend three weeks on one session editing a single picture at a time? Me too! I was there once - but then I found Lightroom.
Lightroom is a creator and an organizer at the same time. Say goodbye to the days where you had to have multiple programs open to cull, organize, and edit your images. Lightroom does all of this in one software! This allows photographers to speed up their workflow and have more time and attention on other aspects of their business, all while still creating the beautiful images they are known for.
One feature of Lightroom is that it imports raw files. As seen in the picture below, you can import right from your SD card, select all of your RAW files, and import them into your library. For those photographers who like to stay super organized, you can even create catalogs to easily locate a specific session.
If you are a preset user, Lightroom even gives you the capability to apply your preset IMMEDIATELY upon import! Once again, Lightroom finds even the smallest ways to save photographers time.
3. Lightroom is a Great Organizational Tool
Once your images are imported, Lightroom allows you to cull in the same software - offering many different culling techniques to fit every photographer’s style. There are flags, the five star rating, and color labels. There is also a side by side comparison that I will discuss in more detail below.
The flags lets photographers cull their images by selecting the flag with no X through it as a keep, and selecting the flag with an X through it as a discard. You can then go over to where it says “filters off” and change the filter to say “flagged”. This is where you can see all the photos you have either rejected or kept.
The stars can be used to organize the pictures that you have kept. Lightroom allows users to organize and rank photos. This allows photographers to divide up their workload.
The color labels is another way to organize your photos. Lightroom changes the world of photography in that this software is made to suit any photographer. If you prefer the flags and stars Lightroom provides that for you. If you are a photographer who likes to visualize and use colors to change the border of the image, Lightroom has it for you!
Finally the side by side option allows photographers to quickly decide between two similar images without having to go back in and forth within the library.
Below are examples of what the rejected flag and the side by side comparison look like:
4. Using the Lightroom Develop Module
Lightroom’s develop module is where all the magic happens! In the develop module, Lightroom allows you to batch process images. To me, this is one of Lightroom’s best features. Being able to edit an entire session with one click is a game changer.
In this example I am using Pretty Preset’s Portrait Brush Collection. The “Basic” dropdown is laid out in a simplistic manner giving photographers everything they need to edit a photo right in front of them without layer masks, something unheard of in software before Lightroom. The develop module makes editing easy and quick with Lightroom’s intentional setup.
5. Lightroom is Made for Business
Not only has Lightroom made photo editing and organizing more efficient, it has also made it easier to improve your business. Lightroom offers slideshows, album templates, and exporting for web features that allow photographers to manage all aspects of their business in one software.
All in all, Lightroom is a photographer’s dream! It has changed the world of photography for the better. Lightroom has many capabilities that are now at the tip of our fingers. And the learning curve isn’t nearly as steep as Photoshop, making Lightroom easy and versatile to use for anyone that wants to get their life back from behind the computer screen. Lightroom gives photographers the ability to make many micro changes that save time and produce macro results.
Adobe created Lightroom to save photographers from countless hours of organizing, editing, and exporting. Lightroom has given me more time with my family and friends, while still getting beautiful images, but in half the time.
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Guest Post by Brooke Powell - Summer 2017 Scholarship Winner