Friday 28 August 2009

Moving to Lightroom - Sorting the wheat from the chaff

Part of a series of posts detailing my slow move into the brave new world of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

I have my photos split between a working area, which holds the current month and a bit photos and an archive of everything else.
The archive is managed with iview, but the working area is managed by a whole mish-mash of tools including Downloader Pro, BreezeBrowser, Capture One, Photoshop, Qimage and a few custom tweaks and scripts.
The working area is where I will be concentrating on using Lightroom.

Once a month I move the previous months photos from working to archive, before I do that I do the following:
1. Delete all the pictures I don't want to keep 2. Add star ratings 3. Ensure all metadata is written to the files correctly

Item 1 was my first candidate for Lightroomification. At the moment it is a relativly simple process of opening each directory in Breezebrowser, running a slideshow (ctrl A, ctrl S), tagging each reject (up arrow), then selecting all rejects (f6) and pressing delete.

So is this any easier in Lightroom? In the Library module I an select the entire months images in one go...which is better. I can then run in "Lights out mode" (L,L) using the arrow keys to move through the images and flag the rejects (x to reject, U if you accidentally rejected something), then use the delete rejects option and you are done.

The big advantage of doing this in Lightroom is you get to see the post-processed images, rather than the jpeg preview you get on Breezebrowser, this can make a lot of difference. There is consequently a delay sometimes in building the previews but it doesn't seem particularly onerous & you don't have to wait for it to complete. I'm not sure what else Adobe do to the previews but they do look really good in LR for some reason.

The only option I really miss from my old way of doing things is a quick B&W view. In breezebrowser I can simply press ctrl+w and the image is displayed in black & white, pressing it again switches to colour. There doesn't seem to be an equivalent to this in Lightroom*.

So far it looks like a win for Lightroom.

*Oh hang on a sec - looks like pressing V does that...marvellous!

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