When I started getting more serious about my photography, I decided to invest in photo editing software. Initially, I used a free software product that was very limited. When it was no longer being supported, I started researching other options. At that point, interest in expanding my photography skills led me to a more robust photo editing software system.
In 2018, I decided to subscribe to the Creative Cloud suite of products for a fee of $9.99 per month. I primarily use the Adobe Lightroom Classic application on a daily basis now for all my images. At this low monthly fee, I feel as though I am definitely getting my money’s worth. My knowledge of the software application continues to grow and I’m constantly experimenting with it and learning new features. I have worked through a couple of online classes specific to Lightroom since 2018. It’s been helpful to view several Lightroom tutorials presented by different professional photographers. I was able to observe their unique methods of importing, organizing, editing and exporting images and modify them to create my own individual workflow style.
The reasons I chose Lightroom are fairly straightforward. It was relatively easy to learn with the help of some very basic tutorials and is well-supported. It is defined as an image management tool more than strictly a photo editing tool such as Adobe Photoshop. And, Lightroom does not alter the original photograph when you start the editing process.
As a former librarian, I was drawn to the image management aspect of this software. It acts like a digital “library catalog” for photographs. Within Lightroom, images are imported, arranged into files and folders, and can be sorted and organized much like a traditional library catalog. Images can be tagged with keywords, flagged and given star ratings – rendering it a fantastic tool for organizing and retrieving photographs. Metadata is exported with each photograph as well. While the editing capabilities are not as robust as Photoshop, I have found them to be adequate for me at this point in my photographic journey.
The other nice feature of Lightroom is the way the software is set up to be “non-destructive” to the original photograph. When a photograph is imported into Lightroom and edited there, the original photograph remains untouched. Additionally, at any point in the editing, the image can always be reset back to the original exposure. From what I’ve read, this is not the case with Photoshop. I love that I can experiment with the extensive editing tools and, if I don’t care for the result, just reset it and start over. I house my original photographs on separate hard drives for back-up purposes and use one external drive specifically for my Lightroom imports.
Since Adobe Photoshop is included in my subscription, I am sure my curiosity will get the better of me and I will begin the process of learning how to use this application. I know many photographers use Lightroom in combination with Photoshop to enhance a particular photograph with some of the more powerful editing features of Photoshop. I can see myself moving in this direction eventually.
Since I’ve been stationary for so long due to the pandemic, I’ve started reviewing previous images from photography sessions at various locations throughout the past several years. Last winter, we spent some time in central California around the bay area and enjoyed a day trip to the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. I did an extensive blog post about this adventure last year. It was interesting to go back and revisit the 500+ images I shot from that day. In addition to the images I had edited for my previous blog post, I took a look at other photos I had bypassed for editing and re-imagined them. It was a great exercise and one I will continue doing when time allows. The photos in this posting from Point Lobos are some of the images that did not make the first cut. Not bad, eh??