I got a question the other day about what photo editing software I use. My answer was two-fold. In most instances I use Adobe Lightroom 3 (upgrading to 4 when I upgrade my computer). In all other cases (extreme edits), I use Adobe Photoshop CS5.
I’ve only been using Lightroom for about two years, but I have come to love this piece of software heaven. I’m not sure how I didn’t completely loose my mind editing 100’s of photos with only Photoshop. That was not enjoyable.
Reasons why I love Lightroom:
- I can easily apply batch edits to groups of photos (color correction, exposure correction, even a batch rotation/tilt, if needed). I no longer have to open up each image, one by one, performing the same edits or running the same actions to get one jpeg. I can zoom through the entire gallery spending less than 30 seconds on each image in most cases.
- I can pretty quickly rumage through a gallery and get rid of all the photos I want to reject. When I’m done with the rejection process, I hit one command and they’re gone from the gallery. I can even choose to delete them permanently from my hard drive—which is what I do. Some photographers keep the rejects, but I say, “What on Earth for?”
- I can easily catalog my photos with tags to make finding them in the future easier. This is especially helpful with my sports photos. Every image in which, say… “Kyanna Floyd” is the main subject, I tag that photo as such. Two years from now, I can run a filter for “Kyanna Floyd”, and I have instant access to every picture she was tagged in. I don’t have to browse through many, many folders looking for her face or jersey number. This is a time saver times a gazillion!
- In addition to the text tags for cataloging, I can use other rating systems to keep track of photos. There is a star-rating system and a color-coding system. Currently, I use the star-rating system to mark photos to apply my watermark to (left vs. right side of an image). Different colors indicate who I will share the photos with (ie. portfolio, clients, etc.) or what they will be used for (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.). I can also create an unlimited number of collections. This comes in handy with creating slide shows.
- If more extensive edits are needed, I can easily open the image up in Photoshop. When I save the work in Photoshop, the image is automatically and magically, I think, saved back to my Lightroom with all the changes made in Photoshop.
- I can create virtual copies of images if I want to apply different edits or different crops.
- I don’t use these features very often, but there are options for slideshows and for printing. It’s pretty easy to put together a collage on the fly.
- At ANY time, I can revert the image back to its original state—no matter what editing revisions I have made!
When I used to only use Photoshop to edit images, it would take me hours (HOURS) to get through a sporting event or wedding of 400 images. And, I didn’t really have the liberty to shoot images in RAW because that slowed the culling process down even more. I can now finish editing an event in a couple of hours or so (depending how much my computer wants to cooperate). I’m looking forward to a new system and Lightroom 4 to make my job even easier.
I’m pretty sure I’m not even scratching the surface as far as Lightroom’s capabilities. However, in my opinion, Abobe rocks the house as far as photo editing software goes. If you’re not using an Adobe product to edit your photos, you’re probably not producing the best work that you can OR the easiest way you can. (I’ve never used Photoshop Elements, but many tell me it is just as viable as a resource at PS itself. I would personally endorse it without ever having used it.)
? I have been told that Windows 7 will display RAW files in the Explorer screen. I don’t have that. 🙁 Yet.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co. in 2010 and I am one of the premier San Antonio wedding photographers who is available for local and destination weddings. In addition to wedding photography, I also specialize in high school seniors and family portraits in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. I am a professional photographer who enjoys documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I enjoy watching my daughter play softball, hiking, cycling and listening to Elvis!