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Lightroom: reasons why you use it now with or instead of PS, PSE

Alan G. , Jun 29, 2012; 11:49 a.m.

I have my lightroom software, and my college ID card, planning to register my academic version of lightroom. Rather than reading the blogs, articles, and manufacturer's hype, I want to really understand the 'real time' advantages of it. Up until now, I've used primarily PSE with an add-on noise reduction software (Neat Image) and photoessentials 3 from OnOne.

If you've been a strict PS or PSE user and now use lightroom instead or in addition to, what is the biggest benefit for you? Biggest deficit? I understand photographers use software for different purposes depending on their style, workflow, type of photography, and time management needs, but taking any of these into account, what makes you happy that you use lightroom.




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Dieter Schaefer , Jun 29, 2012; 12:27 p.m.

Test-drove LR4 (and every version before it) - but even after the price drop, the software isn't for me. Reasons why I don't use LR4: don't need the library function, don't like this catalog importing nonsense (which though faster is still taking up time), and like the ACR interface better. No benefit for me in using LR4.

LR4 has more of a "real-time disadvantage for me: the short but noticeable delay where a blurred image is displayed while browsing through images when LR reads and displays the embedded JPEG, and then renders a new one based on the LR4 settings - and instead of making a smooth transition, displays a blurry version instead. I have a very fast computer and graphics card - but when attempting to browse quickly through hundreds of images, this constant sharp-blur-sharp and the delays involved drive me bonkers. BreezeBrowser for the screening and CS6 for the processing for me; am working on including DxO into my workflow.

Travis McGee , Jun 29, 2012; 12:52 p.m.

On the other hand, I love Lightroom, although I wish it was as fast as Photoshop. That blurring Dieter mentioned is pretty annoying.

With Ps, you open an image, edit the actual pixels, save it, and move on to the next one.

With Lr, you can see all your images, work on a bunch at once if you like, save your edits in a catalog instead of in the actual pixels so it's non-destructive, and the tools are intended for photographers instead of graphics artists.

I do 99% of my work in Lr and only take an image into Ps to print (I think printing is better in Ps) or to make rare edits I can't do in Lr.

Your mileage may vary.

David Haas , Jun 29, 2012; 02:14 p.m.

Other than using it to archive older photos - I've never really gotten into Lightroom - in any version. And God knows - I've tried.


Richard - , Jun 29, 2012; 02:54 p.m.

I began to use v4 for the relatively easy access to chromatic aberration corrections available, I'm still not using it very much otherwise.

It has been a significant chore organizing my image library into a shape that i could effectively bring into the LR catalog in a more organized way. So far I tend to still prefer Bridge and PS.

I don't generate alot of images; I think LR is more effective when you have hundreds of images to deal with in a similar fashion over a short time span. Not my style.

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 29, 2012; 02:58 p.m.

Don't use it.
Don't even use Aperture.

Photoshop and Bridge do everything I need to do. Perhaps partly because I started using PS in version 2.5.

Stephen Penland , Jun 29, 2012; 03:15 p.m.

While I have tried Lightroom (and have LR 4), I've never found the advantage of trying to learn a new software system when Bridge and PS are working just fine for me. When I edit a photo, I always save it with a different name so that I don't lose the original pixels in the event I want to try a different approach to processing a particular photo. I imagine I'm losing disk space with this approach, but I've got lots of space to work with (and it's cheap).

Andrew Rodney , Jun 29, 2012; 04:47 p.m.

While I have tried Lightroom (and have LR 4), I've never found the advantage of trying to learn a new software system when Bridge and PS are working just fine for me.

Fine, but Bridge+ACR don’t do the same things as LR. Kind of like saying I have MS Word, I don’t need Indesign. And I understand that someone may only need Word and not InDesign but they are vastly different products that do different functions.

Stephen Penland , Jun 29, 2012; 05:07 p.m.

Andrew, note that I said Bridge and PS, not Bridge + ACR). I use Photoshop 5.1 (and Bridge that goes with it) to prepare a raw photo for digital display or for printing. How does Lightroom differ in that regard? Don't they both end up at essentially the same place, although via alternative processes? I don't think the OP was asking about (and I wasn't addressing) the difference between Bridge+ACR and Lightroom.

Rob Bernhard , Jun 29, 2012; 05:12 p.m.

I've been using LR since it was introduced. I rarely use Photoshop these days. LR does pretty much everything I want it to do. I don't use the Print or Web modules because I have established products/practices for that output already.

I never found LR difficult to use. Indeed it was (and is) quite intuitive. Non-destructive editing is fantastic as is the ability to save development tasks as templates, review development history, generate specific-sized JPG files from large groups of RAW images in 1 right-click, just to name a few. The development module has such a broad collection of tools, it fits my needs quite well.

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