I’ve been playing around with Aperture and Lightroom for some weeks now and I think I’m finally going to rely on Lightroom to handle my photo cataloging needs. The main reason is that it plays nicely with Photoshop and Adobe Camera RAW programs.
To get started with Lightroom, there are a number of online sources you should check out:
Adobe’s own Photoshop Lightroom Design Center is an excellent starting place to get up to speed on some of the features of Lightroom. Also take a look at their Video Workshop for a number of video tutorials. I’m not sure if all the videos are free-of-charge — some videos that Adobe links to require membership to some yearly club. I haven’t watched all the videos in the Video Workshop, but I’ve watched a number from the Design Center which required you to join a separate organization.
One of the best things about the Adobe line of products is the sheer number of 3rd party tools/addins. Some are worth their weight in GOLD! One of my favorites vendors is onOne Software. A major reason why they are one of my favorites is their free Lightroom presets. The collection has 85 presets that will allow you to experiment with different settings for your images. Jack Davis, the creator of these presets, also has an instructional video that will should the use of the presets — a must see.
After watching a number of the videos, I think my next step is to look at my workflow and see if I can improve it. I’m very seriously considering converting all my RAW pictures to DNG – an Open standard for RAW images put forth by Adobe. I do like the RAW format and the freedom it represents, but each camera manufacturer has their own format. This is troublesome as we are then dependent on the manufacturer staying in business, not modifying the file format, support the format for years, etc. Open standards help mitigate some of those risks. Especially important if you consider the length of time you will will be keeping your pictures. Realistically, it could be decades.