Lightroom Q&A's

Q&A – Plug-in Follow Up

The other week I wrote about my all time favorite plug-in of 2009 and asked for your opinions as well. As I read through the comments I saw a lot of questions pop up so I figured I’d cover them today. Here goes:

Q. Lightroom has plug-ins? Did I miss this because I’m still on version 1?
A. Yup! And I gotta tell you. There is not an upgrade of software that I know of in our field that is a no-brainer more than Lightroom 2 over 1. So if you’re still holding out, get it! 🙂

Q. Matt, will you do a plug-in workflow video?
A. That’s actually a pretty good idea. Its not going to be revolutionary though. My plug-in workflow is simple. I process the photo in Lightroom, then I jump to Photoshop and do whatever edits I need to there, then I run whatever plug-in on the image, and finally save and jump back to Lightroom. I fit it in when I fit my Photoshop stuff in.

While I have a general order in which I do things (retouching first, and usually sharpening last), I’m not a real stickler for the order in which I do things. If I use, say Nik’s sharpening plug-in, and then decide I want to retouch more or convert to a black and white after, I’m cool with that. I’ve personally never seen it affect my photo negatively. All that said, it would be cool to see it all demonstrated so look for a video on the topic some time soon.

Q. I noticed most plug-ins have Lightroom versions and Photoshop versions. Which one do you use?A. I rarely (almost never) use the Lightroom version of a plug-in. Since all of my photos hit Photoshop at some point I find it easier to just do the plug-in stuff there.

Q. All plug-ins seem to have to work on an exported (JPG, PSD, or TIFF) version of the original raw file. Doesn’t that mean you lose the whole non-destructive-ness aspect of working in Lightroom?
A. Yep! And to the whole non-destructive thing I say Bah Humbug! 🙂
Actually, I’m not really a non-destructive purist so it doesn’t bother me to work on an exported copy. Check out a guest blog post I wrote a while back if you want to see my take on the whole non-destructive thing.

I hoped these Q&A’s helped clear a few things up. Feel free to drop a comment if you have any more questions and I’ll try to cover them in the upcoming video. Thanks!