Friday Fun | 5 reasons to try Lightroom

I have a confession to make. I’m a late-adopter.

No, I’m not on my way to the humane society to pick up an aging mutt. Limit one per household, please.

What I mean is, way back when everyone was giggling over their ever-expanding Facebook friends list, I was busy crafting lengthy emails, complete with carefully resized pictures from our last trip, addressed to the chosen group of family and friends I thought would care. And when everyone was panting heavily over the Twilight books, I was sitting in Burger King wondering why the heck there were vampires and werewolves on the happy meal toys.

So, I’m a little late to the Lightroom party. So late in fact, that at the last photographer’s workshop I attended, a gentleman in his late 70s turned around and nearly gasped his last breath to say, “You’re not using Lightroom?”

Gaah! So I caved. It helped that they have a free trial here, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying it when the trial is up and here are the reasons why:

1. Color & Light Management is incredibly easy. No layers. A slider here, a brush there and voila! It’s exactly how you pictured it before you botched the exposure.

Homeboy don't play Photoshop no more. Well, at least not as much. (click image to view larger)

2. Presets. They’re actions for Lightroom. Want it black and white? There are TWENTY-ONE different ways already built into the program for making an image monochrome. Want to get creative with the color? There are at least a dozen of those presets also. And that’s just what’s already installed. There are many friendly people on the interwebs offering a wide variety of presets to help create any number of custom looks. Google it. You’ll see.

3. Effects, Edges and Lens Corrections. Even if Lightroom didn’t have all the other cool stuff, I think I’d keep it simply for the fact that it makes rounded corners so dang easy. I don’t know why that process has vexed me for so long, but Lightroom read my mind. It said, “Bobbi, you want rounded corners? OK. Here are your rounded corners.” And thusly I was set free.

4. Organization. I currently use the PSE Organizer, but it has gotten on my last nerve. Sometimes I wonder if software makers install a code that causes their software act up the day after they release the newer version. It appears I’ve hit the magical limit for the PSE Organizer, which I loved, and can no longer make work without smoke pouring out of the machine. Or is it out of my ears? Either way, I don’t think Lightroom will be my sole organizing tool, but it doesn’t try my patience like PSE does so I’m happy for now.

5. It’s fast. There’s no waiting for all the layers to process like when using actions. Want to get a feel for something before you click the button? Hold the mouse over the preset and a little preview with the change will magically appear in the upper left column. Move the mouse away and go back to the original. Don’t you just love when a program includes things that you didn’t know you needed, but now you can’t live without?

There are certainly more than 5 things to appreciate about this program and at the same time, I’m not saying I don’t use PSE at all anymore. There are still a number of uses for that as well. I’m just saying I finally discovered what everyone else has been trying to tell me for a long time: Lightroom rocks harder than a Cheap Trick 8-Track.

If you use Lightroom, let me know in the comments what’s your favorite part and paste a link to one of your Lightroomed images. If you don’t use Lightroom yet, let me know if you decide to give it a whirl!

2 Replies to “Friday Fun | 5 reasons to try Lightroom”

    1. Hi RaeDi,
      Yes, I’ve been using Photoshop and/or Elements for years. There is a difference, so Lightroom does not completely eliminate the need for it. Lightroom (from what I can tell so far) is mostly for adjusting color and a light and some minor spot correction. There’s no cloning tool, no way to add text, no way to erase or select areas to completely change a background, etc. Lightroom is the pre-photoshop tool. Photoshop is the finisher. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions!

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