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Sunday, 30 July 2006

Lightroom [Spiny]

For the last few days, I've been playing around with the Windows beta of a new Adobe application - Lightroom.
In essence, Lightroom is an application that helps you manage your photographic workflow. You may ask what's the difference between something like this and Photoshop Elements?
Although Lightroom contains a library facility, some image adjustment features and exports to slideshows, it's not about consumer level features like quick fixes & redeye elimination. Lightroom is more about handling large numbers RAW images smoothly and providing adjustments that enthusiast or pro photographers will use. For example there's easy ways to copy settings that have been applied to one image and apply them to other images - a common scenario when dealing with a set of shots taken under the same conditions. For example a studio shoot. Theres also some rather nifty features which replicate the functionality of the Photoshop curves dialogue. A great deal of thought has been put into the user interface of this feature & makes more sense to than the standard curves dialogue.
There are a few holes in it, as you may expect from a beta application, notably support for Photoshop format files (PSD). Images edited with lightroom are exported to TIFF format files without layers. I'm sure support will be added in a future update.
Lightroom is definitely worth checking out though, if you shoot RAW.
There's a nice review of beta one here although since then, crop & rotate functionality has been incorporated as well as the release of the Windows version. There's also a podcast with interviews & a couple of video tutorials.

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