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.



  1. DancingKim 12 May, 2011 at 01:47 Reply

    Hi, i’m a professional dancer. i would like to make a showreel with regard to my promotions. I also desire to use some animation. Can someone suggest me a superb animation studio, but certainly not very expensive? I’m here for 3 months for a tour.

  2. Raymond 10 February, 2009 at 18:31 Reply

    I started using Lightroom 2 (now 2.2) and my analogy at the time was that Lightroom was a surgeon’s scalpel compared to Photoshop’s very sharp knife when processing small and large amounts of RAW captures.

    After approx 3 months of daily use, I still stand behind that statement.


  3. Clint 26 December, 2008 at 02:41 Reply

    Can I also ask Why?

    i tried LR, it had good and bad points, but the bad weighed more than the good. yes its great for editing photos, very easy to do, but i dont like the catalogue. what happens if you copy those images to another computer? just copying the files from windows explorer to the other computer, not using export or anything from LR? any changes made to that photo are lost because all the changes are stored in the catalogue not the actual photo! so if you crop, adjust colour or exposure then copy the original file to another computer, or even just move the image to a different folder you’ve lost all changes.

    i do like certain aspects such as if you crop an image, adjust other aspects of the image such as exposure, then later on want to print the image, but print it at a different aspect ratio to that it was shot in, then the cropping may need to be changed, so usually i would need to go back to the start and crop it to suit the new aspect ratio then redo all the changes i later made to the image, but with LR you can just go in and change the crop. that point is brilliant, but again thats all saved in the catalogue so when you open the photo in any other application its just the original image unedited.

    i am saying this and asking why, because i may be wrong, there may be some other way of doing things, if so i would like to know about it.

  4. Ryan Thompson 9 June, 2008 at 23:36 Reply

    Easy seems to be the word that fits Lightroom best. But Organization is what Lightroom is all about. Also can’t over look the image editing that packs quite a punch for a photo organization tool, I frequently use the web galleries and it is a great convience to me that makes Lightroom well worth the money.

  5. Kane Lachlan 17 December, 2007 at 00:26 Reply

    I bought my first camera a few days ago. I have no idea what i am doing. My neighbor told me to check out the Education section in Podcasts. I watched a lot on photoshop and other photo editors. Then I found LR Killer Tips and it was really easy to follow and effective. So I guess I used LR because you told me to.

  6. Fred 2 December, 2007 at 12:02 Reply

    I’ve been trying Lightroom the last few days. Reading different resources on the web, even watching some tutorial videos. I find Lightroom doesn’t fit my needs. It’s possible I just don’t know how to use it though. I think it’s slow (I’m using a Quad 6600 processor) and I found adding keywords cumbersome. The develop module I rather like though. But for me, I think I’ll continue using Bridge and Camera RAW for my editing and iView for my cataloging. Unless anyone could point me in the right direction 😉


  7. Braintag 28 November, 2007 at 09:46 Reply

    Not sure if this will convince your audience:

    My mother in law (age 64, only started using a laptop because of ebay)

    She love taking digital pictures, but was always getting them messed up on her laptop using explorer, irfanview etc etc.

    She started using Lightroom 2 weeks ago and after 10 minutes of explanation she was able to create collections, slide shows, export pics of grandchildren for emails to friends.
    Isn’t one bit worried about messing up her original pictures anymore.

    Like someone wrote here ealier: its design makes it inviting to explore the options. For the first time she enjoys working with the pictures on a computer, instead of it giving her nightmares.


  8. Matt 27 November, 2007 at 18:00 Reply

    I have really only just started using lightroom and what first sparked my interest in it was the catalouging capability. I don’t have a massive HD and I also don’t own an external HD (yet) so space is always at a premium for me.

    I am extremely impressed with the fact that I am able to load my images into LR, convert them to DNG, sort, rename, add key words and copyright metadata then after backing up the DNG files onto DVD… take them off my HD and still be able to see the preview.

    The database catlouge is an huge leap forward in the way of doing business when it comes to catalouging images… a simply keyword with the number of the DVD it’s stored on helps easily find it without having to sift through what can be mountains of discs and files.

    Everything else for me is a bonus although I do have to admit that it makes the entire workflow so much easier than ever before. All of my basic editing and catlouging in one application then into PS for final tweaks and retouching.

    I have heard the phrase that LR is possibly a PS killer… but for me that’s not the case. More to the point, it has blown Bridge out of the equatation.

  9. chiel 26 November, 2007 at 18:27 Reply

    LR is not the realy a verry good program, becouse it does’nt work together with the bridge. It does not recognise the stars and lables i made on 60.000 (!) pictures! And when i want to open a picture into Photoshop, it first saves a psd(?) and then opens it inside PS. this realy eats up my memory on my harddisc. And for 800 pictures LR needs 600 mb for just the thumps. When you re-open a raw picture from the Apple finder it doesnot has the ajustments wich you made in LR….
    For a prof this is not realy handy…

    Thanks for al the tutorials by the way but also make one of these problems

  10. Thomas 26 November, 2007 at 12:29 Reply

    The top reasons to buy Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
    Extensive workflow support
    Transfer and work with large volumes of photographs with ease. Automated features help speed the downloading, importing, and renaming of files and let you easily apply global adjustments to photographs.
    ondestructive editing
    Enjoy robust support for more than 140 camera raw formats, and experiment with confidence. Adjustments you make to images in Lightroom won’t alter the original data, whether you’re working on a JPEG, TIFF, DNG, or camera raw file.
    Professional editing tools for making global adjustments
    Fine-tune your photographs with precise,
    easy-to-use tools for globally correcting white balance, exposure, tone curves, lens distortion, and color casts.
    Efficient image viewing, evaluation,
    and comparison
    Browse, evaluate, and select your images with efficient, flexible viewing and comparison tools.
    Elegant, uncluttered interface
    Ease the learning curve and be productive quickly. Task-oriented modules whisk you through typical workflow tasks by putting
    just the tools you need at your fingertips.
    ast, high-quality printing
    Quickly and visually format high-quality prints, whether working with one photo or 100, on one page or many. Recall your favorite layouts with saved presets and enjoy speedy output, even of large files.
    inely tuned black-and-white conversions
    Convert color images to black-and-white with precision. Familiar sliders allow you to control the contrast and detail based on the colors in the original photograph.
    Versatile client presentation capabilities
    Use simple yet powerful tools to present your images and get client approval in print, on the web, or in a slide show.
    Automatic tracking of image changes
    Always find the image state you need by keeping track of the changes you’ve made to images, including alternates, with the
    History panel.

  11. Adam B 26 November, 2007 at 05:33 Reply

    I don’t think that Lightroom offers an easy way of opening a RAW file as a smart object in Photoshop. If they fix this I’d use it 100% of the as it stands opening photos as smart objects is very useful to me and I don’t want to loose it.

  12. Thomas Thiger 25 November, 2007 at 15:53 Reply

    LR is great!

    I use LR 1.3 and I wonder if Scott`s book
    “The Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers”
    still is usable with ver.1.3.

    LR rocks and thanks for all the nice videos and presets!

  13. jason berge 24 November, 2007 at 21:10 Reply

    Hi Matt, great site, and on the whole I agree with everything you have said. I do however have a few helpful suggestions which come from using Lightroom, and have lead to us retiring it, but keeping an eye on it to see how it develops. Firstly, I run a small but growing studio, and as such employ a retoucher, and also do retouching myself. The current state of Lightroom’s organisational structure makes this problematic, especially when you take into account round tripping to external editors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great but you simply can’t have two or more people working on a job from start to finish simultaneously. So it really is a non starter in a commercial setting, we hope this will change in the near future (think Version Que). The second is the lack of CMYK support, another deal breaker for us as 100% of our work is offset printed, so needs to be converted in Photoshop as some point. As many others have said, the majority of what is done to images can be done in Lightroom, but then every image we send out has to go through Photoshop for that last step. We live in hope and anticipation of the day we can use Lightroom as our main tool, with others fulfilling specialist roles only.
    Jason Berge.

  14. John P 23 November, 2007 at 04:29 Reply

    I’m going to go against the flow. Please don’t hate me! I’ve had Bridge for awhile and gotten used to it. I have Portfolio for storing and tagging photos. LR doesn’t seem to add much *for me*. I do have LR and I’ve tried it for awhile, but it just doesn’t seem to offer much that I don’t already have. I’m primarily a photographer, btw. If I did not have Portfolio and if I were not accustomed to Bridge, I could see the attraction.

    Opening and editing a pic in PS from LR seems clunky to me. And the real problem for me is that the previews don’t seem to have accurate colors. When I work on a pic in LR and then open it for editing in PS, it invariably looks “off”. Now, based on all the positive comments I see here, maybe this is just a matter of user error and inexperience, but LR has not wowed me enough for me to routinely use it.

    Just my 2 cents’ worth.


  15. Bob K. 21 November, 2007 at 16:56 Reply

    Over the years I have bought about every photography program out there, and you are right – they all work – some of them even work very well. But now LR comes along, and it does so many things, and it does them all in one program.

    The name of the game (from my perspective) is taking the pictures, not computer programs, and LR enables me to catalog, process, develop, print, output, etc., in a fashion that is so intuitive that I am actually deleting other programs because it does so much.

    Why use Lightroom? Because it does so many things, and does them so well. From someone who would rather be taking pictures than trying to figure out the programs to process my images, this is one great program!

  16. Kurt Shoens 21 November, 2007 at 15:29 Reply

    Mike asked almost a week ago about the difference between DxO and Lightroom. I’ve got both. From a processing standpoint, DxO and Lightroom appear to address similar needs. DxO does automatic lens correction based on a database it has. I like using DxO to batch process a shoot to get reasonable and immediately-usable results, especially when many shots need correction for barrel distortion on the short end of my zoom.

    DxO has interactive editing as well, but it runs pretty slowly, even on recent, fast hardware. I like Lightroom much better for interactive work.

    DxO doesn’t include many other Lightroom features such as the library, slideshows, and printing.

    DxO has a simple integration with Lightroom (not as slick as Photoshop yet) that I use occasionally.

    Anyway, I would purchase Lightroom before DxO. I have Lightroom running always and DxO only occasionally. You can try both for 30 days and see what works best for you!

  17. Eduardo Mueses 21 November, 2007 at 10:34 Reply

    Ever since I started using LR my use of PS has been reduced to a mere 20%.

    I do must of my editing inside LR jumping into PS to do the things LR does not have as of yet (sharpening and pixel pushing).

    I also love the one-click level of playfulness that LR provides in the form of Virtual Copies and Develop Presets. I can now play What if with my pictures without worrying about damaging the originals.

    What more can you ask?
    Is it easier? once you learn it! Is it Fun? You-betcha’!!

  18. Jack Cascio 20 November, 2007 at 23:22 Reply

    I’m a sports photog for my own fledgling business as well as a group of small town newspapers. I often shoot 200-400 images a game/match. I have never been able to edit them prior to posting them on my website (just too much time involved). So what do I get? An overwhelming number of un cropped images that just can’t be zoomed in enough for a prospective client to view and then order. Just this past week I’ have been able to fairly quickly crop multitudes of images, (as well as additional editing), thus enabling viewers to get a pretty good look at the shot of their child). I do not yet know if it will effect my sales (I certainly hope so) but I’m much more enthusiastic with the new workflow. Just the ease of ‘key wording’ is so user friendly. I’m getting ready to up load my 1st LR produced images. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for your tutorials and ‘Killer Tips’. They are just so helpful to this idiot!!

  19. Toby Fairchild 20 November, 2007 at 13:45 Reply

    I think that Lighroom is a very necessary tool for photographers and a very good one at that. However, I see a lack of ‘love’ for the Adobe Bridge in general on these postings. I am not a photographer, but I totally see why someone with a photography-centric workflow would need this . On the other hand, someone with a graphic design workflown needs the bridge in a big way. In that world the bridge is king, not Lightroom. So, just understand that Lightroom is not a replacement for Bridge, although Bridge has some functionality that lightroom has gone way beyond, but there are a myriad of things that Bridge can do that Lightroom cannot…..an should not. Lightroom is a different and more specialized app than Bridge….for photographic workflows……not a bridge replacement for those who may need both.
    -Toby Fairchild
    Frederickburg, VA

  20. Richard S 20 November, 2007 at 13:29 Reply

    It is the first program that I feel comfortable using and can get the results that I want with it. The interface and workflow are both very logical and intuitive. It is a GREAT program.

  21. Angelique 20 November, 2007 at 03:44 Reply

    I just found your blog a few weeks ago when I was doing some research on Lightroom. I am a newbie to Lightroom..but I LOVE it. The funny thing is I just wrote an ‘opinion’ on my blog about Lightroom and really didn’t know how to sum it up and you just did. With Photoshop I felt I could do too much, which for me, seemed to disconnect me from my photo. I still consider myself a ‘student’ of photography (one day I may call myself a professional), since I only started a few years ago and have just switched from film to digital about a year ago. I say that because the switch to the digital process was challenging since the adjustments you can make with digital prints is quite a change from the darkroom. That’s why I like Lightroom, it easy and after I adjust my images, I still feel like I took the photo. Does that make any sense?

  22. Fakhra 19 November, 2007 at 14:55 Reply

    Great thought Matt. I really found Lightroom much easier to master eventhough I was using Photoshop for years now. The learning curve is faster if I may say. I’ve just ordered Kelby’s book “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers”.
    I have a question though since I’m a newbie; is there a way to export images from LR directly into PS?[maybe the answer is somewhere but I couldn’t find it 🙁 ]
    Thank you.

  23. Mark Robinson 19 November, 2007 at 11:34 Reply

    I’m not a photographer, just a simple comic illustrator, but I use Lightroom to manage my digital assets (reference photos, rough scans of material, panel composites, and final pages).

    I used to use Apple’s Aperture software, which seems to do pretty much everything Lightroom does and looks really pretty too. But I stopped.

    It’s not just about ‘easy’ for me. It’s about control. Lightroom’s interface and asset management leaves me in control (rather than Aperture’s take it or leave it approach). The files in Lightroom exist in file structures on my hard drive and move as I move them about. Aperture just moves references to the files, meaning if I want to find the file using Photoshops open command, all of my organization would just be wasted.

    Lightroom also allows image adjustment in ways that make sense to me as an artist. Aperture (and a few others) use terms and controls in the language of digital graphics; Adobe seems to think Artists of all stripes would rather use their own terminology for image control. I tend to agree.

    Maybe it’s just that I’ve used Photoshop for so long that Adobe interfaces are intuitive.

    Thanks for your site.

  24. Zac Grimaldo 19 November, 2007 at 01:10 Reply

    peace…that would have to be my word or reason… i know i have a backup of my images when i import them, i have them in a organizational system that i create and understand and peace, that at a drop of a hat, i can put my hands on a needed image or job.

    i just came back from a week long location job and we shot 10,275 images. they were downloaded, backed up and pretty much organized by each day. it was then that my client came to me the last day of shooting and said, “can we see a slideshow of the week, tonight after dinner? no problem, right? ” amazingly, i was able to pull together images from the week into a collection, tweak them a little and show a presentation after dinner…client = happy!

    as far as ps and lr, i use them together, daily, they work seamlessly…when asked what is the difference between the two in processing, i always say “what ps does one at a time, lr does all at once.”

    Main Entry: easy
    Part of Speech: adjective 1
    Definition: not difficult
    Synonyms: accessible, apparent, basic, cinch, clear, easily done, effortless, manageable, manifest, mere, no bother*, no problem*, no sweat*, no trouble*, not burdensome, obvious, painless, smooth, snap, straightforward, uncomplicated, undemanding, uninvolved, untroublesome, wieldy, yielding

  25. Glyn Dewis 18 November, 2007 at 17:24 Reply

    So why do I use Lightroom … quite simply because it works and it’s easy to use.

    Makes me wonder how much time I used to ‘waste’ before Lightroom came along. Thanks to this wonderful piece of kit and the way it partners with Photoshop, I’m editing karge numbers of photos in record time … an that makes me happy (and Mrs Dewis :o)

    Great site Matt … thanks for all your work here.

    All the best to you and yours,

    ps> Re the D3 … gotta get one. Did a Wedding Shoot this weekend with very little light at the venue … the D3’s high iso/low noise would have been well at home in such a situation.

  26. Jeroen Akershoek 17 November, 2007 at 06:05 Reply

    Why I use Lightroom?

    Because it lets me organize and process my photos in a simple and easy way!

    Although photoshop has a lot more features to offer, you have to look for those in different places and menus. It also makes it more complicated to work with.

    Lightroom on the other hand, offers me every option that I need at my fingertips! I use Photoshop only rarely.

    Regards, Jeroen

  27. bruce wulff 16 November, 2007 at 23:50 Reply

    I have had PHOTOSHOP CS3 for awhile now and have never used the camera raw function. Sure I have opened it up to look but I always use Lightroom. Things seem to be more intuitive and it makes more sense.
    I am glad that I bought it, and try to tell everyone I know about it.

  28. Ben Geldreich 16 November, 2007 at 18:48 Reply

    I use Lightroom quite simply because I feel like I am using one application for all my photography needs. ACR and Bridge combo is great but it’s a three step process. Catalog using Bridge, edit using ACR, then finally all final adjustments in Photoshop. To put it quite simply Lightroom is a one stop shop!


  29. Nick 16 November, 2007 at 16:13 Reply

    Hi Matt. I use LR for the reasons you state and simply because the Image is at the centre of the process not the periphery. The image is everything in LR and unlike PS I never feel the Image is being sidelined by the application. LR is a joy to use!

  30. pikkus 16 November, 2007 at 02:42 Reply

    Well, as you said, LR is faster, easier and such an eye-candy! Isn’t this enough? Plus, colour balancing is a piece of cake in Lightroom. A must-have for all the photographers. Once you go LR, you never go back!

  31. Ivan Makarov 16 November, 2007 at 02:31 Reply

    I use it for the same reasons you already mentioned, Matt. It’s much faster for me to import and organize photos this way, to convert RAW and two more features I wish Photoshop had – nondestructive cropping and white balance tool. I also like the ease of adding metadata, and the speed of browsing through my images.

    I still spend most of the time in Photoshop but I never go there without first going into Lightroom.

  32. Tim 16 November, 2007 at 01:46 Reply

    Why is LR easier? I don’t have to open Bridge to look at my images. Then open another program (Camera Raw) to make adjustments. Then PS to print the image. I can stay in LR doing all those things and the UI doesn’t change. LR allows me to quickly go thru the 190 pics I took of my friends hang gliding today and then email copies to them. Yup Easier.

  33. mattk 15 November, 2007 at 22:39 Reply

    Hey everyone. Glad to see you’re taking an interest in this one. I knew I wasn’t alone with the whole “its easier” thing. Now I’m going to tell my classes that and tell ’em that you guys told me to 🙂

    Richard – I’m with you on the D3. I want one BIG TIME! Going to have to wait though. Not sure I can part with that kind of $$

    Matt K

  34. Richard Whetton 15 November, 2007 at 22:13 Reply

    I Just like it! Thats worth the money!

    (Same excuse I’ll use for buying a D3 when realistically my photos won’t be any better)

  35. Chuck 15 November, 2007 at 21:49 Reply

    Two Words…It’s easy! I’ve been into photography and LR for about a year now. You’ve made both aspects that much easier.

  36. Katherine Mann 15 November, 2007 at 19:31 Reply

    The Print Module. No more struggle. It works. It looks like my screen (after calibration &c)

    The ease of organization. It really is terrific.

    The slideshows.

    Good basic web processing. So fast, so fine.

    These days my favourite Lr attribute is the colour module in Develop. Such power.

    All available in Ps, which is my old friend, but in Lr, for most photos, it’s easier.

  37. Allan Johns 15 November, 2007 at 19:14 Reply

    It just works!

    Its simple form and power put developing and outputting photographs firmly in the hands of the photographer.

    Who could ask for more?

  38. Anton P 15 November, 2007 at 19:08 Reply

    Yow Matt it’s so great that you enabled commenting!

    Well when I pooked around with Lightroom the first minutes, after doing the preference thing, came to Identity Plate Setup.. and I fell in love.

    I mean which program let’s you do that? How many times clients look over your shoulder? The slideshows, the custom branding, yes, the interface.
    In fullscreen, people have been asking me: “what is this?”
    Only this is worth the $200 bucks for me!

  39. juice 15 November, 2007 at 17:56 Reply

    I think you nailed it with ‘easy’. It makes sense, it does things the simple (ie uncomplicated, not dumb) way, it speeds things up.

    As a concept I’d say that’s considerably different to the iPhone though, which is just old tech dressed up as new to sell to fanboys. LR is a genuinely new product and workflow.

  40. Ed de Jong 15 November, 2007 at 17:16 Reply

    …As usual I hit ‘Submit comment’ to soon 🙁 So here’s the missing final paragraph of my earlier post…

    Matt, thanks for all the tips you published here over the last couple of months.
    You were a great help to overcome my initial mixed feelings about LR when I was still in the ‘I want RSP back NOW’ mood.


  41. Jim Greif 15 November, 2007 at 17:04 Reply

    The real question is not, Why use Lightroom? Any photographer who tries Lightroom will understand that in a few minutes. Lightroom is intuitive–everything flows the way a photographer would normally work. The more important question is, When are they going to make Photoshop even remotely as intuitive as Lightroom is?

    Lightroom works. It works well. And it’s intuitive. That’s why.


  42. Andy Berdan 15 November, 2007 at 16:48 Reply

    There’s a lot to be said for ‘easy’.

    Fully realized usability makes the difference between work and play. I’d much rather play with my photos than tear my hair out trying to get the effect, or even just find the image I want to tinker with. Of course, I’m not a professional photographer, but I think the mentality holds.

    I’m a video game programmer, and our company’s mantra is all about ease of use. I make tools for artists, who create assets in our games. One of the things I constantly ask myself is, “Is this feature going to improve their workflow?” If I can save the animators even a couple of seconds every time they change frames in an animation, this adds up to about a day’s worth of work saved in a month. If I had the team to be able to do that to every aspect of our art process, our art team would be unstoppable. And I’d have Lightroom for Games. 🙂

    That’s really the core of creative industries… Many people can see a picture in their head on how they want something to turn out, but it takes knowledge and skill to get that out of their skull and out into the real world. Having an easy and usable interface reduces the need for a large amount of skill, and cuts through the (literally) mind-numbing busywork that comes with struggling with a bad UI. Or even a mediocre one.

  43. Ed de Jong 15 November, 2007 at 16:26 Reply

    I fully agree with the ‘easier/move intuitive for a photographer’ statements. I’d love to see PS as an LR plugin ;-), but I must admit 90% of my production goes straight from LR to the DTP guys.
    My favorites are the little thingies to adjust curves and HSL direct in the image, athough I’d like an option to restrict the changes to certain areas instead of them being global, like dodge and burn in the darkroom.

    I’ve used PS since version 5 (1998 or so), I work exclusively in RAW since 2001 and have used ACR since the first version (the one you had to buy separately).
    I switched from ACR to Rawshooter Pro about 2 years ago basically for the same reason: easier, focussed on photographers and more intuitive. I hated it when Adobe bought the company and RSP was discontinued. But after geting used to it (and LR becoming more stable and solid over the past couple of months) I enjoy working with it for tethered shooting, image cataloging, ‘proof’ webgalleries and 80% of my postproduction.

  44. AlanI 15 November, 2007 at 15:35 Reply

    It’s interesting and possibly worth noting that most of the responses so far come as a result of trying/using Lightroom. My response is somewhat different in that I will jump straight back to the beginning and having not used LR. Like a good woman 🙂 or a car, the thing that first grabs your attention and the eye is ‘Appearance’. As applied to LR, the interface looked good and user friendly and invited me to explore further. What’s more, it didn’t look or give the appearance of being intimidating. This encouraged me to explore and get to know it better and now, after having used it from version 1.0 would never even consider using another application. Unfortunately for Adobe, quite the opposite can be said for Bridge (in my view at least) and although I have been using Photoshop for many more years than Lightroom, Bridge is something I just didn’t like from the start, was not encouraged to explore it further, and as a result is simply part of the Photoshop application that is wasted on me and that I have no use for.

  45. Patrick 15 November, 2007 at 15:12 Reply

    I agree with allot of the previous comments. For me, in addition to everything else that has been mentioned, I feel like I finally have a solution for the organization and tagging of my photos. A system that is stable, easy, works, and leaves me comfortable that I can do all of the work and never have to worry about doing it again. Tagging is the best thing ever for HUGE photo collections… Its my grandma’s birthday and I type in her name and get 80 years of pictures. I put together a photo book with the best images(slideshow or web gallery just as good) as I stared them and have a gift that she is so thrilled with, that my family won’t shut up about, and that people I don’t even know and that see it at her house are calling me the greatest grandson ever. The best part is that it was easy to do(after the daunting work that tagging is of course). The ability for spending time with family and friends and having a robust system that can handle them all is worth its weight in gold.

  46. marty 15 November, 2007 at 14:30 Reply

    i work with PS for years – love it – hate it. its great but sometimes complicated – especially in terms of “intelligent” batch jobs in digital image processing.

    recently i was asked by a non so computer sophisticated friend to help him setting up a good software solution for RAW CONVERSION, CATALOG, PRINT, SORTING, WEB-GALERIE-CREATION

    i love my nikon CNX – its very “analog” output… its great new technology…

    but after looking deep in LR i have to admit that it is one great piece of software, which makes things so much easier and faster. i will get LR myself. abd of course keep CS3 and CNX for special stuff… but my every day work will bee LR from now on.

    by the way: matt, your killer tips helped me a lot in first understanding some things in LR. thanks for your great work ! ! almost forgot: i just used your VINTAGE NEW YORK setting… looks great for stylish desaturated portraits. thank U!

  47. A guy with an hobby 15 November, 2007 at 14:05 Reply

    Why do I use an Entry Level DSLR, an old custom-made AMD PC, a Spyder Express, the Gimp, panotools and Hugin rather than an Hasselblad, an 8-core Mac Pro, a Spyder Pro, a Pro Printer, Lightroom + the whole CS3 suite + the whole Corel suite…. ?

    I don’t know.
    Maybe i just like it.


    But I’m pretty sure that if I can save some money, after a good lens I’ll buy a Lightroom license.
    Give it layers/masks and a good distorsion correction (like PTLens) and it kills the market.


  48. Mel Lammers 15 November, 2007 at 13:59 Reply

    Matt, I think your audiences will like the answer “it is just easier.” I know I do and have been using PS since 7 (3 computers ago). PS3 has lots of good stuff and is easier than PS2, but LR is easier yet. Occasionally I jump into PS but normally, I can do everything I want in LR and easily find photos when I want them.
    It is easier. Let us know what your audiences tell you.

  49. Christophe Boudier 15 November, 2007 at 13:56 Reply

    Matt said :
    “Then I started thinking about whether or not everything needs to be quantifiable and have a long drawn out answer.”

    A. Einstein said :
    “Not everything that count can be counted, and not everything that can be counted count”


  50. Sean 15 November, 2007 at 13:28 Reply

    When it comes to the digital workflow process, it does 80% of what I need to do, in 20% of the time. I can then spend 80% of my time focusing on fine tuning and perfecting my best images.

  51. Don M. 15 November, 2007 at 13:19 Reply

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Being able to convert to dng, organize, process, create high res files, export to CD and web in one fell swoop can’t be beat. I think in terms of a photographer’s work flow, LR is as a MUST HAVE application as Photoshop is. You just gotta have it.

  52. skipc 15 November, 2007 at 12:47 Reply

    1. Pleasing, easy to navigate, all-in-one interface. Love it!
    2. Manage all my digital assets with metadata tags. No more complex parent child filing systems.
    3. RAW processing, with easy handoff to CS3 for local and specialty edits.

    I now process 100% of my images through Lightroom. best…skip

  53. Thomas Schreiber 15 November, 2007 at 12:39 Reply

    One word: Convenience! LR is like a photoalbum that doesn’t get bigger or bulkier as you add pictures to it. Generel overall picturecorrection (WB, exposure, vibrance, BW convertion etc.) gets done in seconds.

    One other thing that is extremely important to my in LR is that you dont have to go to 12.5%, 25%, 50% or 100% to get even edges on your pictures. If you zoom to 33% or 66% in CS3 the edges are jagged and pixelated. In LR it’s just “one size fits all” :o) I’ll never use BR, and unfortunately most CS3 books uses a rather huge amount of pages on BR.

    Thank you
    Thomas Schreiber

  54. Streetdog 15 November, 2007 at 12:16 Reply

    I’ve been using Capture One for almost 2 years and Photoshop for almost 15 (God, i’m really getting old…). I had some trouble going from C1 to LR because the LR interface looked a bit ‘unprofessional’ at first glance. Then, for no special reason i got used to it. Adobe products are just like that, they feel… hmmm… how can i put it?… they feel just right. Maybe our brains are formated to the Adobe way of thinking after years of using their products, or maybe Adobe takes the time and effort to realize what users really need. Anyway, after you start using LR you’ll have a hard time using any other raw converter.
    One other thing Adobe’s great at is the sense of community. When i realized i wanted to use LR i could find dozens of videos, tips, tutorials, etc. In a couple of days i was working like a pro (i like to think i was. Ehehe). This website was a valuable resource to learn LR and even now i keep getting the RSS feeds through igoogle, it’s the first thing i check in the morning and the last i check in the night.
    I never had the chance to thank you for all the stuff and information you put online. Thanks a lot. It’s people like you that make the community evolve and Adobe should be thankful for your effort.

  55. Kim 15 November, 2007 at 11:57 Reply

    I’m a season graphic designer and a newbie photographer. I love LR. As a newbie, I can get great post processing with 2 sliders. To do the same in Photoshop would take me a few filters and a couple of adjustment layers to reproduce it.

    I also use it for the organization. All my photos are in one place and I can scroll through easily and look at them.

    I love the quick collection. I can make slideshows in a snap for clients, family, whoever… catered just to them.

    And so many of my non-techie family have trouble opening my photos I just make a .pdf from the slideshow and nobody has any trouble.

    It is just plain easy. And with my day, I need something that’s easy and fast.

  56. Mike 15 November, 2007 at 11:44 Reply

    I have the CS3 suite, but do not have LIghtroom. I’ve read alot about it and would like to get it to complete the suite. On the other hand, my wife, who also does post processing, wants to get a product called DXO, which on the surface, looks like it does what Lightroom can do in terms of post processing. Is Lightroom that much superior to DXO>


  57. Michael Sage 15 November, 2007 at 11:43 Reply

    The reason I use Lightroom is to organize my library. I like the idea of going to one place to find my images and then have the many options that Lightroom has for develop & output. Like you said Matt; “It’s just easier”.

  58. Brian 15 November, 2007 at 11:32 Reply

    I was thinking about a comment I read in a photoshop book awhile ago and it said something to the effect of “Photoshop is really a plug-in for Camera Raw”. We all know that Photoshop has many more features than most photographers use/need for digital photography, so maybe LR is the long term platform for Digital Photography and the portions of PS that we need for digital imaging will become another module in LR.

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