Talk me into doubling-down on Lightroom

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Peeb, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Peeb

    Peeb Semi-automatic Mediocrity Generator Supporting Member

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    Downloaded Lightroom from creative cloud to try as I've heard so many good things.

    I don't need a photo organizer, and I already edit with Photoshop Elements 13. The program is so dissimilar from Elements that I'm finding the learning curve to be fairly steep.

    Do I need to spend a lot of time getting this mastered, or is Elements all I need?

    Thoughts from Lightroom veterans would be appreciated.


     
  2. dcbear78

    dcbear78 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lightroom is a different beast to elements. It does some of the same things, lots that elements can't and lots it can't do that elements can.

    If you are really only doing global adjustments with the odd local brush work Lightroom is great. And if you aren't using it for its cataloguing then you are missing out on a major strength of the program.

    It would be best to use it along side elements as each program has their own unique features.

    The Adobe CC package will give you both Lightroom and full Photoshop for a very reasonable price.
     
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  3. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Tough call.

    Do you plan to buy the standalone LR or start paying $10.00 per month till they raise the price? You do get PS for the subscription and that allows you to put Elements away.

    Do you shoot and edit raw files or are you using Elements (and LR) to process JPEGs?

    They're not an either/or choice. In many cases you need the functionality of both. Assume you shoot raw and use that 18-55mm Nikon zoom. You have a raw original that needs some CA correction and has an obstructing lamp post that you'd like to remove. You need both apps.

    Elements can't deal with the CA and LR can't remove the lamp post.

    Often LR will be able to do all the editing necessary for an image and you can rely on it to complete the entire job, but you'll still need Elements for the occasional lamp post type edit.

    If you're working with raw files Elements is deficient. It lacks critical features that eventually leave you screwed. The version of ACR in Elements is frustratingly crippled.

    Joe
     
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  4. Peeb

    Peeb Semi-automatic Mediocrity Generator Supporting Member

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    I currently 'own' PS Elements 13- not the monthly plan.

    Not a huge fan of the software subscription model, but that's the direction adobe is pushing. I shoot raw, so I can have the most data available, and the ability to white balance as needed.

    I guess since I have never owned the 'full' PS, I don't know what I don't have. Lots of provocative info in your post. Thanks!
     
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  5. Peeb

    Peeb Semi-automatic Mediocrity Generator Supporting Member

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    I've tried several things over the years for cataloguing photos, and at the end of the day I just gave up and made folders for years, and sub-folders for the dates of photo shoots.

    Having invested a considerable time into setting up this convention, I'm resistant to jumping ship and learning/implementing a new paradigm, but perhaps that's the medicine that needs to be taken?
     
  6. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    After a day-intensive with a mostly LR using photo-editor and reading (or starting to read) a book by David DuChemin (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321670094?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00), I have only just begun to see how powerful LR as an editor is.

    However, whereas PS is a very procedural editing process with layers, filters, etc (that is actually quite kind and understandable to beginners) sort of like chess, LR is more like an object oriented program (or the board game Go) and to be really good at it requires an amount of understanding of concepts and a vision for your final image that most beginners don't have.
    LR is easy to use at first but subtle manipulation of the relatively few tools (compared to PS) is much more difficult.
     
  7. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    I bought LR years ago. I also used PSE 8 and upgraded to 12.

    Due to LR's "confusing" workflow I tried to avoid it by using about anything else out there.
    The problem is the "better" free stuff out there is based on workflows, and was just as confusing.

    So from all the features I kept reading about LR compared to everything else I finally doubled down one weekend and decided to learn how to use it.

    After It finally made sense.
    And once you learn the file mgt / Collections of LR ... it just makes more sense too.

    FYI, you can still buy LR as a standalone buy once from Adobe. They just don't make it very apparent.

    One their main screen it's on the bottom (very bottom) right ==> Digital photography software | Download free Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC trial

    The teacher version is no longer standalone .. I'd have to buy CC but I get everything or pay full price for LR
     
  8. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you work from raw files and do so in order to have the most data available then Elements is not your friend. The crippled version of ACR lacks critical features: CA correction and the HSL panel to note some glaring problems.

    Furthermore, although the Elements ACR module will output a 16 bit RGB file, Elements can't edit it. You have to sample down to an 8 bit file for Elements editing tools to function. The gist of that is: to use Elements somewhat defeats the reason you're working from raw files. LR is certainly the obvious and easy solution then. Keep Elements around for the odd cloning job.

    Joe

    P.S. If you don't like the subscription program from Adobe, LR is still available standalone however Adobe has begun to add features to LR CC that are not being added to the standalone version (writing on that wall). There are also non-Adobe alternatives, both modestly priced and free, but it is a pain to find a non-Adobe solution that you like and that offers everything you need -- possible however.

    Edit: I've never tried one of these but there are 3rd party Elements "unlocking" additions. Here's the one I encounter the most: About Elements+
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
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  9. Peeb

    Peeb Semi-automatic Mediocrity Generator Supporting Member

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    Thanks! What about just going from PSE to full blown PS?
     
  10. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sure but that puts you back into the $10.00 monthly subscription and LR comes with PS so you'd have LR anyway. Likewise PS comes with LR so you'd have PS anyway. Makes Elements unnecessary. PS is a new learning curve but you'd have everything you need.

    Joe
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would consider simply purchasing a late version of Lightroom, one that will definitely handle the raw files your camera shoots, and learning how to use it. Lightroom is not all that difficult to use, and it works rapidly, and can handle files easily. I still use my own folders system with Lightroom--I just download "manually", and then point Lightroom to the folder I've downloaded and then command it to Import. This keeps my file storage and archiving system the same way it has always been...year, underscore, month, date, and a brief identifier.
     
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  12. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I am still using the stand-alone LR and my old CS4 and newer On1. It took me a bit to find how to best implement and use LR file management, but now it makes me cringe when someone starts looking for a photo with explorer or similar. The good thing with managing the photos with LR is you have a chance to use it very frequently and therefore can explore a bit more each time you use it. I especially like all the ways that batch actions can be applied and the virtual copy.
     
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