From Darkroom to Lightroom, Second Edition 2
From Darkroom to Lightroom
Even though what Adobe is now calling Photoshop Lightroom is far from
complete at the time of this writing and will likely have “many” (Adobe’s word)
new and changed features by the time it is released, it can make a major change to
your workflow right now. And while it’s still in beta, it’s free. Given Beta 4 and its
incorporation of some of the technologies from Adobe’s recent Pixmantec
acquisition, some significant new features have been added to the program. Also,
the Windows version’s processing speed is now pretty much on a par with the Mac
Furthermore, although unfinished, the product is ever more productive. It will
already do quite a bit more than Camera Raw and performs its tasks at several
times the speed and with a lot more workflow efficiency.
Lightroom’s major competitor, Apple Aperture, does not have a Windows version,
and Lightroom is not the hardware hog Aperture is, either.
In this revised and updated Short Cut, I introduce you to the Lightroom (Beta 4)
workflow, its five modules, and its particular appeal to RAW shooters. This time, I
am doing my review on the Windows version of the program, but will report on the
few differences that are left between the versions for the two different platforms.
Some General Lightroom Observations
Before I get into details of how you work in Lightroom, I’d like to address some
general observations. I think you’ll get a better picture of the overall feel of
working in this very cool program.
What Makes Lightroom So Fast?
If you’re using the Macintosh version, what will strike you first about Lightroom is
how quickly you can page through images, examine at 1:1 for focus and blur, and
then instantly find what you’re looking for. When you make a change in an image,
there is no time-lapse. The first time I saw Lightroom demonstrated, I thought to
myself, “Oh, sure, and they’re running it on a $5,000 PC with four processors.”
Actually, all you need is a single G4 (or a Pentium 4 or Intel Duo Core for the
Windows version) and 750 MB of RAM. Of course, duo processors will give you
When the first edition of this Short Cut was written, Lightroom was in Beta 1. It is
now in Beta 4, which added a fifth module to the Windows version, the Web
module. You can now automatically create web galleries in Beta 4’s Windows
version as well.

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