Layers in (sorry WITH) Lightroom Follow Up :)

Hi all. I wanted to take a VERY quick moment to follow up to the onOne Perfect Layers post (and comments) from the other week (sorry, I was on vacation last week). Here’s the deal. I saw three types of comments. 1 and 2 below address them pretty quickly. Number 3 below is my main point because that’s the comment I saw the most. Here goes:

1) Layers “for”, Layers “in”, Layers “with”?
One word. Yup, one word did all of this. You got us on a technicality. Should it have been written “Layers With Lightroom”. Yes. It was a simple, unintended mistake. I’m sorry. Trust me, if I could go back and change things I would. Never in my wildest dreams did I think the controversy that started here, on Scott’s blog, NAPP forums would come from this one accidentally misused word. I also never thought some of the well respected sources in the LR industry would say the things that they’ve said about NAPP over this one little word, and our enthusiasm for a product that we honestly thought would help people. You know what really surprises me though? It’s why everyone is so irate that that this plug-in opens into it’s own window. Scott and I were talking about this one quite a bit, because people’s anger over Perfect Layers opening into it’s own window really caught us by surprise. It never crossed our mind that this would become an issue because all plug-ins (that modify photos like Nik, Topaz, onOne do) open exactly the way this one does. When you use a plug-in in Photoshop, does it open a new window or does it meld seamlessly with the interface? It opens a new window right? That’s why they’re plug-ins not plug-outs. They let us work in our program and launch it (from with “IN” the program) when we want. When you use any other plug-in around, in Lightroom, it opens a new window. That’s just the way plug-ins work for Lightroom. They all do, which is why we never thought we had to qualify this one with the proper word. By the way. I just did a Google search on press releases for various plug-ins for Lightroom. Do you know how many of them stated “in Lightroom” or “within Lightroom” somewhere while describing the plug-in? At least half of the ones I found. It’s just the way the industry has come to refer to plug-ins for Lightroom. Until now, it hasn’t been a problem but I can promise you this. The word “in” will now leave our vocabulary 🙂

2) But I already have Photoshop.
Then this product is not for you. I come in to contact with thousands of Lightroom users each year who came over from, say, iPhoto. They don’t have Photoshop, nor do they want it (see #3 below). This product is for them.

3) Why not Elements? It’s cheaper!
Here’s the thing. The people who tell me “I don’t want to go over to Photoshop” don’t use price as their big reason why. Instead, it’s the difficultly and learning curve associated with Photoshop and Elements. Elements is every bit as hard to use as Photoshop. It’s ridiculous that in this day and age, my mom (who is learning about photography) needs to go into a program as complicated as Elements or Photoshop to make a simple layer adjustment. There are thousands of features and tools she’ll never use, and all it does is confuse her to see them all. Elements is not a program that some one can just open up and start using. Perfect Layers is meant to bridge that gap. If you’re one of the people saying “But it doesn’t have near the amount of features that Elements or Photoshop do” then you’ve hit the nail on the head. It doesn’t. It’s not supposed to. The beauty of Perfect Layers is in it’s simplicity. I believe less is more in this case.

If you really want to know the sinister plot behind it all, it goes something like this. We’re hanging out with the guys from onOne one day and the topic came up. “Hey guys, here’s a cool idea. We meet people all the time that could benefit from layers in (sorry WITH) Lightroom. Adobe doesn’t seem to be doing it, so why don’t you give it a try?”. That’s it. No controversy. No lying, no deceit. There was no sinister “Ha Ha!!! We’re going to screw everyone now!!!” laugh the day it was released. Did I take part in being enthusiastic about it? Sure, but only because I genuinely believe that there’s a place for a product like this and I thought it was going to help people. And don’t forget, neither Scott or I told you to run out and buy this right now. All we said was, go try it. It’s free. Let the developers know what you think of it. That’s it.

In the end, I know the majority of you don’t believe I (or anyone I work with) did anything bad here. There were only about 40 comments for the whole thing. It may have blown up in a forum or blog post or two elsewhere, but it was the same sour people writing back and forth to each other about how deceptive we must be. But sometimes the squeaky wheel does get the oil. So… squeaky wheels… Stop! No need to question my (or anyone I work with) ethics. The idea and enthusiasm for Perfect Layers came from a good place. If we’re wrong about thinking it has a place, if onOne is wrong about how much they’re charging, the market will speak with their wallets. In the meantime, be nice 🙂

Thanks for reading.