Adobe Lightroom Alternative

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Drake, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Drake

    Drake TPF Noob!

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    I've been testing Adobe Lightroom 2 for a while now and it's amazing. But the problem is that it costs about $300 where I live and it's much more than I can afford. If I could spend $300 on photography right now, it would be much wiser to get some nice photo equipment. That's why I'm asking you, if there are any free alternatives. By alternative I mean software that allows keeping my photos in some kind of a simple library (keywords etc. are not important for me, I am storing photos by dates and I'm fine with that) and applying non-destructive edits to my jpegs (no need for raw).

    I know Adobe Lightroom is probably the best software in this case, and I am not getting anything similar for free, so I am ready to use software with much narrower functionality. I just have no idea where to look for it.
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What are the features in lightroom that are most important to you? That should help some people make recommendations.
     
  3. Drake

    Drake TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your reply, I'll try to describe my workflow in LR. First, I import my photos (jpegs, no raw files) into the library, in a folder structure by month/date. I don't use any keywording, filtering features etc. All I do here is pick the right photos, delete the others. After that, I switch to develop module and edit. As for the tools I use here... Mostly the sliders in basic section - temp/tint, exposure, contrast, vibrance, and the detail section - sharpening (sometimes also NR, not that important for me though), also cropping, red eye correction tool and spot removal (this one comes in very handy, but I think I can live without it). After that I batch export the photos, some in high res, some in low res for emailing. And this would basically be it. I don't use the slideshow, print or web module at all. However I often come back to my photos and say "hold on, what if I change...", move some sliders around, crop in a different way. And that's why I love Lightroom so much, for the ability to come back later making some changes to the already retouched photos without any quality concerns. This is what I am looking after, an app that will allow me to come back and edit my photos, but not necessarily with so many features.
     
  4. chammer

    chammer TPF Noob!

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    i believe picasa from google will do some of this at the very least. i know it will import photos and such, but as i havent played with it in a long while im unsure what type of editing it allows, and whether or not its non-destructive editing like lightroom.

    being free, though, it wouldnt hurt to give it a quick try. at the very least i love its built in picture viewer over the default windows one. thats enough to warrant a download from me. :)
     
  5. Drake

    Drake TPF Noob!

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    Picasa does allow non-destructive edits, but the edits are too simple. There are almost no sliders, you can just sharpen or not etc. It's a bit too basic.
     
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I'm not aware of any freeware tools that do what Lightroom does. Photoshop, yes (Gimp)... but not Lightroom, certainly not to the degree that Lightroom does things.

    What I find interesting is that you don't consider processing software important kit for your photography. What good is an image if you can't process it, make it look the way you want, archive it and catalog it? To me it's not worth much... I value my processing software almost as much as I do my nicest lens.
     
  7. Drake

    Drake TPF Noob!

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    Well, I don't need a software anywhere near Lightroom, but Picasa is just not enough. As for software being important - for sure it is, but to some extent. My photo gear at the moment isn't worth much more than the $300 I'd spend on lightroom.
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know someone who uses a workflow between the raw processor that came with their DSLR, picasa, and gimp. Cost them zero cash. Of course the workflow is not as streamlined as the single lightroom package but that's the reason why Lightroom costs money.
     
  9. Drake

    Drake TPF Noob!

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    I guess you're right...
     
  10. pez

    pez No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I love Lightroom 3 beta. On the terrible day the beta runs out next month, I will somehow scrape up $300 to maintain my addiction. :confused:
     
  11. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I did some searching and find this. I may also give it a try and see how good it is.

    blueMarine - Home

    It is a open source application that available in Linux, Windows and Mac.
     
  12. BLD_007

    BLD_007 TPF Noob!

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    been using the trial version of LR2 for a year now. If I want to use it I just change my system clock back to last year =p

    but I'm using LR3 beta now for free and will probably buy it when it comes out.
     

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