For the past few years, the photographic community has been moving from the older, more powerful, and regrettably more confusing, Photoshop®, to the streamlined and beautifully designed Lightroom®. Initially, this switch to Lightroom was fairly slow-paced. Recently, however it has gained great momentum. In fact, it would be safe to say that these days Lightroom is seen as one of the best image management, organization, editing and output application that a photographer can purchase.
For the more advanced and technical edits that your photos may need, Photoshop’s capabilities still vastly outweigh those of Lightroom. For this reason, it can still be useful to add Photoshop to your workflow during the actual editing phase of image management.
Now however, with the release of Lightroom 3.0, we are able to take our photos to the next level especially when it comes to the output and sharing side of digital photography. To me, the biggest change in the recent update of Lightroom has been that the folks at Adobe have made it MUCH easier to share and output our images to the general public, making it easier for an aspiring photographer to gain attention in the digital world. In Lightroom 3.0, this ability is found in the Library module, and as I mentioned earlier it actually facilitates the sharing of one’s images to numerous online photo sharing websites. Despite making the sharing process a lot easier, Lightroom out of the box is only able to submit your photos to a Flickr account. You might find this disheartening, but please be aware that additional plug-ins for submission to other popular photo sharing sites are available for free from Adobe’s website. Although it does take a little extra work, it is still quite easy for anyone to download, install and eventually upload their images to these other locations.
Another notable change that was made in Lightroom 3.0 was that of increased image quality and noise reduction. During the creation of Lightroom 3.0, Adobe decided to go in and rewrite much of the baseline code that has been standard since Lightroom 1.0. With these changes taking place, Lightroom was actually written with a completely overhauled RAW file conversion engine that has been much improved from that of previous versions.
With the changes taking place inside the foundation coding of Lightroom, Adobe also decided to rewrite some other things that will vastly improve performance. These changes are most visible when both catalogs and image files are large.
Another major change that has taken place to Lightroom is the re-design of the “Import” window. I won’t go into the specific details of the changes, but I will mention that the whole interface has been vastly improved. For example, the accidental mistake of trying to import photos that already exist in a Lightroom catalog has been virtually eliminated. Additional improvements to Lightroom include:
- Support for tethered shooting
- New “Lens Corrections” box
- New ability to “point edit” in the curves box
- Much improved noise reduction
- Catalog backup will now ask you when closing LR instead of opening it.
One last new and notable feature include new support for DSLR and point and shoot video. You are now able to play and sort your video files through Lightroom. This will allow a more seamless organization of your video files and eliminate the need for two separate editing programs for photos and videos.
Overall, Lightroom 3.0 provides many new updates that will make the whole experience of sorting, developing and outputting your images much, much easier.
Check it out by downloading the 30 day free trial from Adobe.