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Lightroom - the concepts by Art P Suwansang - part 1 of 1 2 3

Published 01/02/2009

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a program that influences and redefines the way we work with our images as photographers. Before the advent of such a program, most of us would store our images in various folders, in our hard drives, and use the operating system - Adobe Bridge - or another file browser to view our images. If we shoot RAW and want to process our images, then that is another story. We can use the proprietary software that came with the camera, or use Bridge, in conjunction with a plug-in known as Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) to read the RAW images.

Notice that our keyword here is 'plug-in,' which means ACR is not part of Bridge, but rather it is an add-on component. On the surface this might not seem like such a big issue. However, as the size of the digital RAW files keeps getting larger with every new camera release, and resolution increases, the abilities of add-on components to work efficiently, and effectively, slowly diminish. Hence the introduction of Lightroom, a digital imagery processing engine and a digital asset management program built into one. With Lightroom, we are now able to process our images, whether they are RAW, JPEGs, TIFF or PSD, right from within the program, which eliminates the use of plug-ins such as ACR or slow proprietary software.

Additionally, since it is also a Digital Asset Management (DAM) program, if set up properly, it can store and organise the digital images for you, which helps to eliminate loss and corruption of digital files. The benefit is faster image editing, quicker adjustments, and a highly organised library (database) of all your digital images.


On the surface if you are familiar with ACR then switching to Lightroom and using it to process your images should be a breeze. The more complicated part is how to set up your Lightroom properly and effectively. Adding to this confusion, there is no single way to set up Lightroom, there are multiple ways, depending upon your workflow. With that said, some of you might now wonder 'how should I set my LR up?' Well, it starts from understanding three new and different concepts that are the foundation of how LR functions.

Once these concepts are explained you should have a better idea of how to set up LR for your needs.

With this new program come new concepts that we need to learn, the good thing here is that once the concepts are grasped, it is not hard to understand the set-up. These concepts are Library, Catalog, and Collection; for some of us this might not be new, but for others this can be completely unfamiliar.


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1st Published 01/02/2009
last update 01/08/2018 14:48:24

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