Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Let's Talk LightRoom2!



So I hope this is not going to shock any of my readers, but I have been having a not-so-secret passionate photo-editing affair with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 . I do some wedding editing on the side for a friend and I was so overwhelmed with the massive amount of images I had to process, I decided to listen to the good people at Flickr's Natural Light Child Photography and bite the bullet and get a copy. I also bought The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) by Scott Kelby because he taught me so much about Photoshop and Photoshop Elements over the years and I love how he gets right to the point.



I spent one evening reading the book and that week edited my first wedding. I must tell you that I HATED LR2 with a passion in the beginning. It is so different than Photoshop and I was resistant to change. I went on and on to my husband how the program was the worst editing program I had ever used. But I stuck with it and a few weddings later I was in love, not with editing weddings ;-), but using LR2 on my own images.



Sure, I knew LR2 was supposed to be great for photographers and I had heard it was easy to organize your images. And it uses the same CS4 ACR RAW processing (and in a more basic level PSE6 and PSE7). Plus you can run your .jpgs through the RAW processor and get great results. And I was amazed that you can go back and make changes to your RAW or .jpg edit at any time, because until you export your finished edit (which you can do at any time), all of the changes you made are there where you can see them. Unlike CS4 or PSE7, if you get bored editing, you can instantly turn off the program and not have to save ANYTHING, all of the changes on all of the images are there. I can't really explain how great that is, but if you can download a free 30 day trial from Adobe, then by all means do and play around with it.



OK, but it even gets better! I never realized that you can soften skin, pop eyes, and dodge and burn in LR2. I did all of the above (after basic color/contrast correction) on my little Imp above. I even removed a scratch or two from his face (boys always have scratches and dirt!). This edit took me a minute or less, it was that easy! No actions, presets, nothing. Just a few quick tweaks. And I feel this edit is completely comparable to what I would have done in CS4 or PSE6. Oh, on a side note, Imp still has a few of his baby curls. I had to photograph them before Daddy chops them off. Oh, and I used my Rebel XT and cheap Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens . I am thinking that my camera still takes pretty decent images, so I am going to hang on to it for a while longer.



So you might ask if I still use Photoshop. OH YES! I use it all of the time, but just on "special" edits where I want to use textures or perhaps pop the color a bit more or use one of my actions to get a special effect. I have had people ask me if I would buy CS4 or LR2 if I could only get one program. Well, if you are like me and processing 1,000's of images/month and are a complete photo-editing nerd AND/OR you have money to burn, I would suggest getting both programs. If you want to be a bit more frugal but process many images and still want to do textures and other cool effects you can't do in LR2, get LR2 and PSE7. If you just want to process images and aren't concerned about using textures and making scrapbooking patterns/brushes/ribbons/etc., then I would just get LR2 or PSE7. Truthfully, PSE7 is all you need to make great edits, and in many ways it is more powerful than LR2, so it is an excellent choice if you want to save the money and put that toward a new lens!

Did I mention you can also do amazing B&W conversions in LR2?

LR2 B&W edit

So I am thinking about branching out and start posting some LR2 tutorials and free presets (when I have the time!). Let me know if anyone out there is interested. I won't neglect my first love, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, but just add to the mix. I love all three programs.

72 comments:

  1. I just wanted to say, you are Awesome! Thanks for all of the PSE7 goodies. Do you have a defog action? How do you get your pictures so sharp and beautiful?

    Thanks again for all of the time you put into this site, I love it.

    Kristi

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just wanted to say that you are AWESOME! Thanks for all of the freebies, and info. you have on your site. Do you have a defog action?

    Kristi

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to hear your take on PSE 6 B/W Converstion?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your site and all your freebies. I would LOVE to see Lightroom tutorials on your site. I am dying to know how you edited the little boys eyes in lightroom. You did an amazing job editing that photo. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have lightroom 2 and I LOVE it! I haven't figured out how to dodge/burn, soften skin, and pop eyes in it though- could you show us? I have been doing all the color edits in lightroom and pulling into elements to do the skins softening/eyes/etc. I would LOVE help with this! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would LOVE some tutorials on Lightroom2, I just recently purchased it, and I am learning to like some of its features, but I still end up using my PS6...because I love what your actions do...so Yes please share some of your lightroom secrets :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am new to your blog and have just bought LR2 and still haven't quite learned it nor even ventured into it much but I would love tutorials and presets. Your awesome as it is so if you do that you'll be the totally boma-rama to me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i'm slightly addicted to LR2 at the moment as well, and i would LOVE to see what kind of awesome presets you come up with!
    not to mention tutorials on how you popped your little guy's eyes in that photo above! i've only used it for about a month and just to 'develop' the photo... i haven't done anything like eyes or dodging or burning yet.

    thanks again for all you do!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You may or may not know the answer to this - I have LR - but the educational version - do you know if LR2 upgrade will work?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh thank goodness I'm not the only one having that 'hate' LR2 feeling. I just purchased it about 2 months ago and having just gotten efficient enough in PS....LR2 threw me for a loop. I would LOVE any tutorials - anything that would help a newbie like me. PS: I also purchased Scott Kelbys LR2 for Photographers

    thank you so much for all your actions & tutorials - they have helped me tremendously :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I just (yesterday) ordered LR2. I would absolutely love some tutorials and presets! You are just golden. Thank you for everything you do!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I read your blog daily! Thank you so much for all the tutorials, actions, etc. that you offer! You are truly amazing! I just recently downloaded the trial version of LR 2 and love it! However, I cannot quite figure out the clone/heal process and I haven't even attempted the eyes! It would be awesome if you would post tutorials!!

    Thanks again,
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just want to say I use Aperture 2 which is LRS2's cousin and a truly amazing program!!! I am all for LR2 users but i wish that the Presets you create would work for Aperture 2 as well. Thank you for alllllll that you do!!!! You are a blessing to the post processing world!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm with the masses!! I think you rock! :)
    And tutorials why yes please! Thanks for all your freebies I use them daily!!
    :)rachel

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love, love, love LR2 and I have not even begun to scratch the surface on what it can do. I had a photog friend tell me I HAD to get it. I love all of the stuff you do and would be thrilled to see some LR2 tutorials and actions.

    Thanks for all of your time and effort

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think that would be SWEET!!! Just love your blog... Thanks for sharing the love..

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am IN LOVE with your blog! I stumbled upon it recently and have been hooked ever since. I have been taking portraits for profit as a SAHM for about 4 years, however, I am clueless about photoshop. I have been using an editing program that came with my camera. You have inspired me and I will be purchasing photoshop program asap. I just have no clue which one to choose!? Any suggestions for a newby? I am pretty computer literate and have been in the publishing business so I think I will catch on rather quickly. :) Donations to come your way soon!

    ReplyDelete
  18. lightroom presets? tutorials? yes yes yes!I love LR2 too. thanks for all you give and all your hard work. we really appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. LR2 Tutorials...heck yeah...that would be fabulous.

    You are a lifesaver!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tutorials and presets for Lightroom? That would be great!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've been wanting to learn how to use my Lightroom for more then showing clients a slide show for a long time! It would be wonderful if you had some LR2 tutorials!

    ReplyDelete
  22. thanks for all your tutorials & freebies!! your blog is awesome & such GREAT information! i would LOVE to have some tuts on LR2!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Rita, you rock! I LOVE LR2! Anything you have to share would be great!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your blog is awesome! It would be even more awesome is you added Lightroom tutorials and presets! I adore Lightroom!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thinking I'll bite the bullet and get LR2! Am definitely going to need the help with the tutorials and fun presets would just be an added bonus!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. i've been using lightroom for a few years now and love it, but i'd love to see tutorials from you. always good to get another perspective! thanks for all you do!

    ReplyDelete
  27. YES!! I love LR2 and CS4! But I am always looking for new presets for LR2

    OH, and about what camera to get ... I love my 50d ... I had a 20d first and LOVE BOTH!
    Anyway, the latest Consumer Reports rates all the SLR's ... it is a great article!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Yes, Yes Yes to LR2 tutorials and presets. I'd love to know how you softend teh skin and made eyes pop in LR2.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I just got LR2 and I'm in mega love! I love how fast I can go through my sessions, flag my keepers and "develop" them...wow!
    I had no idea you could soften or do anything that you mentioned though...REALLY?!?!?! Oh please, please...do tell! (I think I'm drooling...)
    You rock...really, really rock. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I just wanted to say your son is BEAUTIFUL (in a manly way). Lovely photo, and thanks for the info on Lightroom. I've wondered about that program.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Gosh, it's like you somehow always know what we want next! I just purchased LR 2 a few weeks ago and have been having so much fun using it. Some tutorials and presets would be AWESOME!! Thanks for all that you do!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yes please! I also just got started on LR2 this past week and bought the same book. Although I've not read it through in one night like you! Whew! But I like it so far. So yes, please count me in the audience that would love to see what you can add with regards to using LR2.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I just got LR2 myself in addition to PSE5. Love all your free actions for elements!! Awesome! I would also LOVE some tutorials for LR2 - I'm having a hard time getting consistent skin tones with it. Thank you SO MUCH for all you do!

    Angie

    ReplyDelete
  34. Imp is such a darling little guy! Great photos.

    Thank you for the info on LR2... I've wondered. I just read a Scott Kelby book and he mentioned it.

    ReplyDelete
  35. YES!!! Do post some LR tutorials and presets. I LOVE that program. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have a question - I have CS3 - I was thinking of upgrading to CS4 because I got the MkII and the CS3 doesn't RAW process the MKII...ssoooo would you buy Lightroom and keep my CS3 or upgrade to CS4. I have been leaning toward lightroom - I'm assuming it batch processes.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm with the folks that want you to write about LR2 - I love it, you love it - tell me what else I can do with it!

    ReplyDelete
  38. YES, YES, YES!!! I have LR2 and would love more tutuorials and presets for it. You're the best!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks everyone!!! I am completely convinced that the CoffeeShop is now going to include LR2 goodies. I really appreciate all of your input! I am so excited because I have so many new things I can post now. I am such a complete nerd and addicted to teaching you all to be one too!!!

    I am going to try to answer questions.

    Kristi, I don't have a defog action, but Erin does here: http://digitalphotographyformoms.net/free-actions/defog-free-action-pack/ . I either sharpen in Photoshop with the highpass filter (copy the background, highpass 6 or so, overlay blending mode, adjust opacity to taste).

    I don't think you can upgrade educational versions of photo-editing software, but I could be wrong.

    Amanda, I would buy LR2 or PSE7. PSE7 if you want to do textures and other arty things, but if you just want basic processing, LR2 if you can afford it.

    Dodson, I would buy LR2. I was using Photoshop 7 until recently and it was completely all I needed, but I only upgraded to CS4 because I went to Vista and PS7 was not working.

    Rita

    ReplyDelete
  40. I would love presets and tutorials for LR2...it is so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Yes and please on the LR2 tutorials and free presets. I have been kicking myself for buying LR2 and thinking what a total waste of money that it is but if you can change that then I would be so grateful!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. yes! I am soooo interested in tutorials and presets on lightroom! I have been seriously considering whether I needed it or not. If I can try it out with your help, it would be great! Thanks for all your cool stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have LR since the first Version, but I still only work on my pictures with Photoshop. I only use LR for downloading and organising, because I don´t know how to really work with it! So I really like to see tutorials about it on your great site!
    I really love to know how you popped your little guy's eyes so great! Thank you so much for your great and helpful stuff on your Site!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I have LR2 but I haven't been brave enough to really get into it. You're inspiring me to try! I would love tutorials and presets!

    ReplyDelete
  45. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - I'd love some tutorials/presets for LR2 - also my newest obsession!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love LR and would welcome anything you have to bring to the table on that.

    ReplyDelete
  47. You are just awesome and I love everything you do. I have Lightroom (not LR2) so will your future goodies for LR work on my program or only on LR2? TY4S

    ReplyDelete
  48. Wonderful! I have both CSE4 and LR2 - I have been using mainly CSE4 and the first time I used LR2 I didn't like it either. I guess I should get that Kelby book, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Oh how I hope you can help me with Lightroom! I am very slowly trying to learn it and can see the potential if I can get the hang of it.

    Would appreciate some beginner tutorials to help me be comfortable with it. Then you can move on to the harder things LOL

    ReplyDelete
  50. I also use LR2, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it...I only visit PSE & PSP when doing special edits too...
    nice to know I'm in good company!!

    looking forward to gleaning your LR2 knowledge!!
    thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thanks. Don't leave us PS users behind now:0) I want to make those amazing B&W is PS though. They are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Just want to add my vote to anything you do working in Aperture 2 as well. Using a Mac - I love Aperture 2 and think it does a great "Lightroom2" job. Organization, editing - I love it all and it saves all changes and edits in a smaller file than my PSE6 so takes up a lot less room. Thanks for all your tutorials - I am a newbie and love this site!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I would love to have your tutorials on LightRoom.

    Thank you for all the tutorials and free actions you have on your site. You're awesome!

    Marilyn

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am new to your site and I would love to see any tutorials or presets that you come up with for LR2. I have been using it for a while now and I have yet to figure out how to pop the eyes like you did in this post!

    Can't wait to see what you come up with *grin*!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I just love LR 2, and it is so easy to use. I'll love your presets. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Love your site.. love your actions. I vote yes for LR2 presets. =)

    ReplyDelete
  57. Love your site, and your generous offerings. I just acquired LR2 and am stumped, so I ordered the book you recommended. Please, do a tutorial on loading presets and how to use them!

    Thanks so much, Ingrid

    ReplyDelete
  58. YES, please do LR2 presets! I'm also in love and have so much fun (and spend WAY too much time) editing photos in LR2.

    Thanks for all you do and share!

    ReplyDelete
  59. YES, YES, YES, to the LR2 tutorials and presets!! I recently upgraded from PSE5 to 7 and LOVE it! I also have been trying out LR2, thanks to the 30 day free trial. It is very different from Photoshop, BUT I'm learning quickly.

    I want to say thank you for all you do for us!!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I discovered your site about a week ago and am loving it (don't remember how I found you). Since you asked, I love Lightroom 2 and would love to see some tutorials/ presets in the future (if you have the time). Thanks for the wonderful blog.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Yes, I would love to learn more about Lightroom 2. It is definitely very powerful, and yes, it almost completely edits a pictures. You can also build actions in LR.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Bring on the LR2 presets! Thats all I use for editing my photos. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hello Ya'll! I'm a texan too and love ur work. A friend who is a photographer too told me about ur site and the last few days I have enjoyed it much. Ur photography is wonderful and ur info is awsom so keep it up. I would like to comment on u wanting to upgrade ur camera body. I think ur camera is doing a fine job and doesn't need to b switched out. I just got a Canon Xs and love it. I firmly belive it is the lens that u need to invest in. I have worked with all kinds of camera cause I've worked for Josten's School Photography and now work for Lifetouch National school studio out of tyler and have found out that it is mixture of both camera, light, and software. U have all of those great items from what I c and ur work shows it. So I say keep using what u got. This is what we tell our new photographers every season. No one knows u just started taking pictures. Just go in and do what u were tought and get great pictures. I think this applies to our camera's too. For all the viewer knows u could have taken that with a point and shoot. All they see is an AWSOME PICTURE! And that is what matters. Best of wishes to u and I uses LR2 and look forward to ur tutorials.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I am a HUGE LR fan and would be really happy if you were to share your experiences & presets for LR. It has reduced my photo editing time tremendously allowing me to get more clients & less time editing.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I just got this programme, I am looking forward to trying out your tutorials

    ReplyDelete
  66. I love all of your tutorials, actions that you create! So, I can only image what you can rock out for LR! I'm looking forward to seeing more LR stuff! Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  67. I've been using LR2 for a while now. Struggling through on my own trying to learn it. I do a lot of boudoir portraits and love the skin softening tool. However, I'm a tecno, software dummy and can use all the help I can find. So I would be interested in following your blog for Lighroom info. Any actions you come up with would be a breath of fresh air for me. Could you make a "Little Perk" action for LR2? That is actually how I found you. Saw some awesome images by another local photographer and asked her how she got the colors to "Pop" like that. She sent me your blogs link and told me to look for "Perk" action. But now I see its for Photo Shop. Which I have but can't use. Way over my head. Thanks, Celeste

    ReplyDelete
  68. Hi there! Thanks for all the great freebies you have! I myself use lightroom and wouldnt mind more stuff for that. I just cant get the hang of CS3 yet and find it so much more confusing to use. But I also started with lightroom and learned in lightroom first. I am really trying to figure out your action for getting the pictures side by side in a post but havent yet figured it out... I love lightroom and wish there was those actions for lightroom!
    But thanks you rock!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Continued my search for LR2 presets. Not much out there for portraits. Lost for super edgy artsy stuff. But I need to streamline my workflow. Looking for "Perfect Portrait" type presets. Found Seim and downloaded some freebies from them. But the "Superhero" and "Power Portrait" presets don't work on my photos like they do on their preview video. I still have to do quite a bit of tweaking on all of my photos after using the two presets. They make the skin very orange/red/bright. I soooooo want to find a great preset or two for portraits (families, babies, kids, Seniors, boudoir etc...) I think a lot of us are using LR2 and could really appreciate some presets like what you offer for PSE. (Also I use a Mac. Did I read somewhere on here that your presets are only for download to PC's?) Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I would really appreciate a few storyboard presets for Lightroom 3 (or 2). Ideally a web diptych like you did for PS/PSE and also just some simple story boards. Thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I recently fell in love with Lightroom as well. I love the organization of things and the easy ways to tweak images. I am still learning it and would LOVE some tuturials on how to do things. One of my favorite features is the way you can simply scroll over a preset and know what the image would look like before you even apply. How awesome is that?! :) Thanks for all you do!

    ReplyDelete