I recently saw a blog post (from a totally unrelated industry) about one simple word – Why? The writer encouraged people to think about why we do things. It got me thinking about Lightroom. I teach it to so many people. I’m excited about it. I think using it over Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw (for photographers that is) is the right thing to do. But why? Could it be the fact that I had $200 bucks burning a hole in my jeans pocket? Probably not. After pondering away for hours (ok, 7 minutes), I did come up with one simple answer: it’s just easier. Truth be told, I was hoping for a more complicated answer. Then I started thinking about whether or not everything needs to be quantifiable and have a long drawn out answer. Is the answer “it’s just easier” enough? I don’t know exactly why, but LR is just so much easier for me to use then Bridge and Camera Raw ever felt. They worked, but it seemed like it was clunky. It felt like I was using tools that were created for the masses and not tools that were made for me. That’s where LR feels easier to me. It’s one program and it does a very finite number of things. I know that. I like the fact that I’ll eventually run out of choices in Lightroom and I’ll have to stop. It makes my photo processing much easier as a result.
You can kinda compare it to the iPhone. Is the iPhone revolutionary in what it does in any way, shape or form? Not one little bit. I was doing iPhone-like things on my phone 2-3 years ago. So why has it taken the country by storm? Compare this to Lightroom and why it has become the total buzz in the photography community. LR doesn’t really offer any new tools does it? Cataloging, Raw processing, printing, web galleries. We’ve been able to do the exact same stuff in Photoshop, Bridge, and Camera Raw for years. But it’s not always about what it does… it’s about how it does it.
So why do I use Lightroom? It’s just easier. I may not be able to expand on the why but what I do know are the results. I get more done with Lightroom then I ever did with Bridge and Camera Raw. I find my photos MUCH faster. I process my photos faster. It allows me to concentrate on the task at hand without getting caught up in several interfaces. This leaves me time to a) process more photos or, b) more importantly, spare time to do the other things I like to do. In the end, the “Why?” may not be that glamorous but hey, I gave it the old college try. That said, consider leaving a comment here about why you use Lightroom. Is it just the pretty interface or is there more? Trust me, I’d love to read what you have to say. It’ll help me a ton because when I’m standing in front of 400 people and they ask me “Why use Lightroom?”, telling them that it’s just easier doesn’t really cut it. Thanks.