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Lightroom VS Photoshop for editing your weddings

Kari Douma - Grand Rapids, Michigan , Apr 29, 2007; 03:08 p.m.

I just purchased Lightroom about 4 weeks ago. I hear so many good things about lightroom, and how it will save you time on your editing. So many photographers love it... but I haven't gotten there yet. I want to love it, but I have a few concerns. Maybe you can help me.

I shoot RAW, and edit my images in ACR in Photoshop CS2. Currently I edit the image by 5 staring the keepers in bridge, and In ACR I adjust WB, exposure, shadows, ect. Then I batch rename them in bridge and run them through the image processor. Then I have a few actions that I might run on some images. IT IS HERE THAT I BACK UP MY IMAGES. So, the majority of my editing is done before I back them up. This is where my images are proofed. When the customer orders an image, I go back to the original RAW file, and do the retouching. Here is where I take care of blemishes, skin softening, teeth whitening, eye enhancements, crop to exact size ordered, ect....

I tried to edit a wedding that I was a guest at (not the photographer) in Lightroom, and I ran across some issues. I don't think the actual processing time for me was any less (it was probably more because I am still learning the program) than for me to it in ACR.

So, here are my concerns with lightroom...

1. The information is not applied to the file until you export the image. Therefore I can not save my edits to the RAW file like I can with ACR and the xmp file. I like to have the RAW file, and the xmp file so I have all my edits on the back up DVD's. If I use lightroom, I would save an unedited RAW file, and the edited file as a tiff or psd or jpeg. I like having my edits already on the RAW file.

2. Maybe this is minor to some of you, but it is a big deal to me. BATCH RENUMBERING. I currently do batch renumbreing in Bridge AFTER I EDIT. The reason I do this, is sometimes when I am editing, I opt to toss out an image I was originally going to keep. I want to do it on my RAW files, because I frequently go back to them after someone orders an image. I want the RAW number to match my jpeg numbers, for easy finding of the image. I want this renumbered before I back up my images. I can batch renumber my RAW files in Lightroom, but they are like this -1, -2, instead of 001, 002. If I don't have the 00 infront of the numbers, the proofs get out of order in my proof books from my lab and my slide show. they will appear like this -1, -10, -101, - 11,..... -2, -20, -201, -21. I can add the 000 when I export, but I want it to match the RAW files. I tried renaming the files in Bridge after I made my edits in lightroom, and it messed everything up becasue it couldn't match the edits with the image number (because the image number was changed after the fact by a different program.)

3. I sync my cameras to time, but most of the time by my two cameras, + my assistants camera, there can be a difference of a minute or two between cameras. So, I hand drag a few key images in place before I batch rename them in Bridge. I tried to drag the thumbnails around in Lightroom, and I couldn't do it. Maybe there is a way, but I couldn't figure it out. They didn't drag into place like in Bridge.

So, to wrap it all up, her is the summery. I want to love bridge like I hear a lot of other photographers do. Here are the things I want bridge to do... and maybe it is possible to do if you tell me how. 1)Save a xmp file with the RAW file for backup 2)Batch Rename the RAW files with 3 or 4 diget numbers like 001, 002, 3)Drag thumbnails around before I batch Rename the files.

Should I just give up on lightroom? Or embrace it for what it is and change my habbits on my workflow?


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Ellis Vener , Apr 29, 2007; 03:26 p.m.

Lightroom does everything you are wanting to do, I think you jsut need a good guide.

1.) it wil lsave all of your edits, you just have to set up the preferences that way. I use the raw DNG format and the edits are saved i nthe same file "envelope" no more XMP side car files.

2.) I rename on import. I also add any "batch" keywords there too.

3.) Under Metadata in the LR menu bar, try using the "Edit Capture Time tool".

Start with the advice, podcasts and tutorials at http://www.lightroom-news.com and then proceed to "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book" by Martin Evening

Steve Dohring , Apr 29, 2007; 03:34 p.m.

The pupose of the XMP fils is to be nondestructive, you want the RAW edits embeded into the RAW file doesn't work like that. The xmp is with the RAW file like a second file.

Batch rename with a custome pr-fix and then the file number - should make matching easier.

After sorting by capture time, select user order and move images as you want.

I may have missed some of you points but a jpg file is very robust. I do all my basic RAW edits (tweaks) in lightrooom including the use of presets for BW converisons, sepia, etc. After all the edits are looking like I really wanted them out of the camera (ahemmm), cropped etc. I then batch them all to a large jpg.

Next I edit the jpgs in PS with actions, touch ups etc. They work much faster and can handle the editing just fine. Unless you are printing some monser size 40X60 print the integrity if jpg will be just fine for normal prints and albums. Seems like you are doing many multiple steps complicating your workflow.

Rob S - San Francisco Bay Area , Apr 29, 2007; 03:49 p.m.

Hi Kari,

1. Regarding the XMP file, you probably need to go into Preferences->FileManagement and check the box that says "Automatically write changes to XMP". Otherwise, I believe Lightroom just stores the metadata in it's central database. Once you do that, the metadata and develop settings are pretty much compatible with the new ACR 4 in CS3 Bridge. I actually go between the two depending on what stage of editing/processing I'm in.

2. You can completely customize the Batch Renaming feature. There's a drop down menu available when you first bring up the Rename dialogue. Clicking it brings up a customizable template where you can insert the filename, date, sequence numbers (with or w/o leading zeros, etc).

3. The dragging thumbnails has a wierd quirk to it... You must have the same "Shoot" (or folder where your images are located) selected in the left hand pane or Lightroom won't let you drag them around. But otherwise it works like you'd expect, and you can then choose sort by "User Order" or by date or filename, etc..

I still use Bridge/ACR, but Lightroom definately gets lots of use in the first stages of editing. Good Luck!

Pete S. , Apr 29, 2007; 08:23 p.m.

I'm haven't tried lightroom but looking at the info I can't figure out what you can you do with it that you can't do with a raw converter, like capture one for example (if you shoot raw)?

Kari Douma - Grand Rapids, Michigan , Apr 29, 2007; 08:34 p.m.

You guys are the best!!! Thank you soo much. I have been struggling with these three things. I have watched a lot of tutorials, but none that dealt with these things. I now have all three of these issues resolved! I guess I need more tutorials and books to keep learning. Thanks!

Michelle Amarante , Apr 29, 2007; 08:36 p.m.

Hi Kari,

I love LR....

My work flow is as follows.

1. Import to LR and external hard drive keeping the original file name. I sort the files by capture time especially if using more than one camera.

2. Burn a dvd of all originals.

3. Keepers get 1 star in LR...filter out all but the 1 stars.

4. WB, exposure, saturation, etc..... get done in LR.

5. Import finals to CS3 as PSDs in a sub folder called final selections. At this point as I'm going through them again, I may toss some that I thought I might keep initially.

6. Retouching, artistic manipulations done is cs3.

7. Batch rename to folder called Finals Renamed.

8. From there use an action in CS3 to create online proofs as jpgs. And work on finals to send out to lab for proofs. At this point I'll also burn another DVD or the finals, and copy the files to an external HD.

Kari Douma - Grand Rapids, Michigan , Apr 29, 2007; 09:35 p.m.

Thanks Michelle, I still have to play around with my workflow to get it right with lightroom. But, now that I have these issues worked out, I will work with it more.

john baxendell , Apr 30, 2007; 07:43 a.m.

I can recommend the video tutorial on Lightroom put together by Michael Reichmann and Jeff Schewe, which is available from Luminous Landscape. It lasts 4.5 hours and costs $15. Sometimes it is easier to watch someone do it rather than read about it in a book.

Kari Douma - Grand Rapids, Michigan , Apr 30, 2007; 07:49 a.m.

Thanks John, actually that is on my list to buy soon. I have to find the time.... hopefully this week I can start watching it.

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