Creeks, Streams & Rivers
I’ve just uploaded a revised and expanded gallery of photographs called Creeks, Streams and Rivers to my website. The photos are from many areas of Arizona and are selected from my library of film images taken over the last 30 years.
I processed the photographs from high resolution scans of the original medium format transparencies using the newest version of Lightroom. I am a newcomer to Lightroom and this is the first real work I’ve attempted in the program. My previous processing was handled in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop which I haven’t upgraded from version 4.
The thing that always holds me back from upgrading or switching is that I hate the process of learning new software. It is always frustrating to spend hours becoming familiar with new menus, panels and dialog boxes. Even though ACR and Lightroom are both Adobe programs, the workflow is quite different. I was used to working from Bridge to Camera Raw to Photoshop and saving different versions to folders all over my hard drives. With Lightroom, once files are imported into the catalog, everything stays inside the program.
Keywording in Lightroom
One of my biggest concerns is adding keywords to photographs before uploading to the website. Keywords are vital to making images accessible to a wide variety of photo buyers. The keywording process in Bridge is slow, clunky and often frustrating. In Lightroom, I was able to take the hierarchy I had developed, refine it and import it to Lightroom. While keywording will never be one of my favorite activities, at least it is more efficient In LR4.
Lightroom 4 Workflow
Of equal importance is developing a workflow to efficiently prepare digital photographs for uploading to the website. That mostly means adjusting the color and contrast to optimize the photo for reproduction. When I bought Lightroom I also bought one of those 650 page “complete guides”. I figured if I read it cover to cover, I’d be a Lightroom guru in no time. However, there is so much detail in the book that it is impossible to separate the trees from the forest. That book will be an invaluable resource when I get more familiar with Lightroom and need to understand a particular function in depth or need to sort out some obscure way of doing things.
What I really needed to get started was an “incomplete” guide that walked through a workflow with just enough underpinning so that I could understand the logic behind each function.The latest ebook from Craft & Vision, Dodge & Burn by Piet Van den Eynde, does just that. I wrote a review of Dodge & Burn when it first came out but now I have had a chance to apply his workflow in a real world situation. I have to say that formatting the twenty photographs in the Creeks, Streams and Rivers gallery went much faster than I expected.
I’d say that Dodge & Burn is a “just right” guide for the Lightroom beginner and for the seasoned user upgrading to the latest version.