The Develop module of Lightroom 2 brings me back to the traditional darkroom. Finally, I feel that photographers have a true digital darkroom that provides the total control of a darkroom plus a whole lot more. Based on Ansel Adams' classic books, The Negative and The Print, I believe this is the program that Adams would have felt at home with.

Develop is truly designed to be photographer-friendly. Adobe Photoshop (all versions) is designed for working with photographs, but not for photographers. You can always see that whenever you open the program. Develop is designed both for photographers and for working with photographs. This is evident when you start processing an image. In Photoshop, you have to open each control separately, and there is no easy flow among them. In Lightroom, all of your controls are readily accessible so that you can go through them as needed, quickly and efficiently. In addition, Lightroom 2 now offers true local corrections like Adams always used, and you don't need to learn layers or layer masks to use them!

Adobe Camera Raw (the RAW conversion program that is a companion to Photoshop) and Photoshop Lightroom have a lot in common. They both use the same underlying processing engine, and both have the same basic controls. Develop, though, goes much farther than Camera Raw in dealing with image processing, plus ...

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