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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Thinking about incorporating Lightroom 4
Dylan Brown, Photographer
Helena | MT | USA | Posted: 1:36 AM on 01.24.13
->> Hello fellow photographers.

I recently purchased a new iMac. This is an update from my tiny MacBook ... okay, a huge update!!

Here's the deal, I am highly accustomed to working with the Bridge/Photoshop work flow, mainly because that's how we do it at work, but also that's just how I've always done it.

Here's how I do it. I have my "Pictures" folder, then "Personal," "Newspaper" and "Contract." Then I break it down by date and assignment. Let's just say, my file management works for me, but no, I can't search my entire database by keywords.

After a little research, and purchasing Photoshop CS6 for my new iMac, I also decided to buy Lightroom.

I have always avoided applications that force you to import items. I've always preferred simply being able to see what's already there, organized or not.

Okay, well, all I can find online is, "Lightroom is great." "It's the best application for photographers." "It simplifies things." Etc.

Well, I would say I'm computer savvy, but I get the feeling Lightroom is ass backwards.

I've looked around for tutorials about setting it up and they just toss me through all the step by steps of importing from a card, batch writing metadata, etc.

What I'm looking for is, what about importing images that are already on the hard drive, already organized in RAWS and EDITS. I just want to import my whole library and be able to navigate it easily. Do I really have to create a bunch of new folders? It's my sense that by doing that, Lightroom is just copying and pasting the images into folders it can read.

Maybe I just need to ignore this whole Lightroom biz and stick to what's intuitive - Bridge.

Do you guys have any advice? Is there a site out there that lays out the organization of Lightroom? Catalogs, folders, subfolders, etc.

Thanks for any help/direction.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 2:56 AM on 01.24.13
->> Lightroom is a database. A database that ignores the underlying file structure. I was a comp sci major, so I am quite well versed in computer tech, but the power of Lightroom comes from it's ability not only to organize, but also it's ability to retrieve and export.

You can simply point LR at the top of your directory structure and it will import all photos and videos it sees. With the RAWs it will pull in all EXIF data as well. Want to find all shots you took in 2008 with a Nikon D200 and 80-200 lens? No problem, it can do that in 10 seconds. BUT, from there it will let you manipulate them, sort them, make a slide show, print them, FTP them, email them, and upload them to your webpage. All from inside lightroom.

Fundamentally, where people tend to go sideways with Lightroom, is they want to "organize" their photos outside of the program, rather than letting the program do what it does best. I organize my disk by Client and subject. Generally with a master folder called Lightroom, and then underneath I have the client (College/HS, etc.) and then under than whatever sport. Under those sports I have something like SchoolX_v_SchoolY_Dec2011. That's as far as I go. I do everything else in LR.

For instance, you can build metadata presets and attach that metadata on import. Locations, team names, captions, copyright info, etc. And you can also have develop presets. So that if you consistently shoot in a particular venue with a particular camera, you can save the common changes you make to exposure, noise reduction, color shift, crop ratios, etc., and automatically attach those to the images as they are imported. These are non-destructive changes so they can be removed without harm. I have a preset built for my basketball venue that lets me shoot my RAWs, and with a single click, prep them for submission, and then FTP them right from Lightroom.

It's an exceptionally powerful tool *IF* you learn to use it, and let it do what it's good at. If you're going to fight it, stay with Bridge.
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Steve Violette, Photographer
Gulf Breeze | FL | USA | Posted: 9:33 AM on 01.24.13
->> to understand Lightroom capabilities, the best thing you can do is read the blog and website for Julieanne Kost of Adobe - she covers all these subjects and has a training video on changing from Bridge to Lightroom and demonstrates the advantages.

I made the switch when lightroom first came out and have never looked back

http://www.jkost.com/lightroom.html

http://blogs.adobe.com/jkost/

http://tv.adobe.com/show/the-complete-picture-with-julieanne-kost/

Here is the video on Bridge or Lightroom....which is best
http://tv.adobe.com/watch/the-complete-picture-with-julieanne-kost/should-i.../

good luck
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 10:34 AM on 01.24.13
->> "Fundamentally, where people tend to go sideways with Lightroom, is they want to "organize" their photos outside of the program, rather than letting the program do what it does best."

That's the key ... once your images have been imported into Lr ... NEVER move, rename or otherwise make any changes to the files outside of Lr ... for if you do, Lr has no way of recognizing or understanding those changes and will lose reference to the files and folders you changed.

One other point ... with Lr, when you "import" images that are already saved to your drive, you are not actually moving or changing the image file location for any of your images ... all images in the Lr data base are referenced to their existing location.

If you are just starting out ... make sure to use a parent folder for your entire archive ... this can come in handy if or when you find the need to move your archive to another computer or drive ... simply pointing Lr to that parent folder will update the links to all the images contained within ... much easier than updating individually ...

I also concur that Kost's video tutorials are a great starting point for getting up to speed with Lr.
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Dylan Brown, Photographer
Helena | MT | USA | Posted: 12:29 PM on 01.24.13
->> After I posted my thread last night, I ran across this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Lightroom-Digital-Photographers-Voices/dp/0...+4

I'm currently downloading it.
Anyone read it? Seems pretty straight forward -- and he doesn't seem to get into the technical language (which I'll admit I get completely lost).

Anyway, I understand what you guys are saying:
1. Lightroom is the master organizer, once you go Lightroom, you never go back.
2. It's a one stop application - importing, organizing, editing, exporting, etc.

Okay, that's all fine and dandy, but what about going on the road. Doing shoots on location with a laptop and external harddrive? As I said above, I have recently bought a new iMac which prompted all this new program talk, but I still have my laptop for road trips.

I may bring my external on trips, I may not. It seems to me I need to download LR on my laptop too and then transfer the files to the harddrive later, but what about the catalog data? Can I just transfer that over too? Or should I just always travel with my external and use that for both computers?

How do you guys go about it?

Thanks!
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 12:47 PM on 01.24.13
->> Working on the road with your laptop and than consolidating your shoot(s) with your desktop upon your return is quite easy ...

Work as you normally would on location ... saving your files like you always have ... then when you return you can export all your Lr work from the laptop as a "Catalog" ... then import that Catalog to your Lr Desktop Library ... this will carry over all the necessary data Lr uses ... Develop settings, ratings, labels, virtual copies etc. Then all your hard work on the road is now part of your complete catalog on your home base.

Keep in mind, when you save over or transfer your images to their final resting place at home ... you may have to point Lr to this new location so the files can be referenced to their new location.

I create a new catalog each time I go on location. Perform all the work necessary. Upon my return to the office, I transfer the image files to the external drive of choice using the same file/folder method I had on the laptop ... export a catalog of the files in question from the laptop ... import from catalog to Lr on the desktop ... point the parent folder for that shoot which re-links the images ... and you are good to go with all your work intact. Once the new desktop catalog and images have been backed up ... I delete the images and catalog from the laptop.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 12:50 PM on 01.24.13
->> Dylan,

As a sportsshooter, I usually have my laptop with me. Somtimes I have an external drive. Here's what I do:

1. Dump my RAW files to a folder that would match what I would do at home.

2. Open LR on the laptop and do all the things I would normally do.

3. Do "Export as catalog". This saves the RAW files and all changes made to them in a format that LR understands.

4. When I get home, I attach the external to my desktop machine (iMac), open LR, and say import catalog. I then point it to the catalog I created on the external drive. It brings in all the RAWs, all my edits, all my metadata, everything. Piece of cake and I do it all the time.

I bought 4 seats of LR because I wanted it at the house, the office, on the laptop and I wanted a floater. However, after looking into it further, I think one seat of LR allows you to install on a desktop AND a laptop for purposes such as you are describing.
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Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 12:51 PM on 01.24.13
->> My 2cts....figure out what you want it to do.

For me, I feel LR is the better option for editing a bunch of files...ie a whole assignment...or wedding.

PS is best for editing a single image or selected images as you dont have to fool around with the importing. So for sports n such, I use a PM and PS workflow. For weddings, portraits, and corp assignments not on deadline, I do all (most) of the editing in LR4.

I personally dont need/want to use the whole cataloging database system LR affords at all. I just don't need it.

And yes, I have on my laptop as well as desktop fwiw. Again, depends on what you are using LR to do. Its very possible you might want to use LR mostly for one task on your laptop, and another on the desktop. Advantage there is using the same program keeps all your edits when you import them to your main unit.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 1:14 PM on 01.24.13
->> Brad,

Not sure if you're aware of this or your workflow has no need for it, but I do my metadata work in PM, then do an export of my selects to LR. LR then imports ONLY my selects, applies my global settings (contrast, exposure, noise reduction) on import, and I then deliver just those selects from there via FTP, or dump into my dropbox for my client(s).

It's pretty fast and gives great results. When used this way, you aren't really using the LR database to do anything, just using it as a batch editor.
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Dylan Brown, Photographer
Helena | MT | USA | Posted: 1:51 PM on 01.24.13
->> Okay, sounds like all of you are well versed in LR and more!!

After downloading and reading the first couple pages of Kolby's book, "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers," I will highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!!

http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Lightroom-Digital-Photographers-Voices/dp/0...+4

He has great humor and simplifies it for even the thick skulled people like myself.

Thanks you guys for all the insight and I'll be sure to fill you in on how my work flow changes.

For now: Office (Newspaper) work flow will stay the same -- Bridge to Photoshop. It's journalism, typically all we need are 1-3 photos, unless it's a bigger story -- features, sporting events, etc.

For my personal setup -- commercial, adventure, etc. -- Lightroom and Photoshop.

I'm excited to dive into this program, plus seems like Photoshelter has an app for it! Sweet!!
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Dylan Brown, Photographer
Helena | MT | USA | Posted: 2:16 PM on 01.24.13
->> Ooops, correction, "Kelby's book ... "
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Daniel Malmberg, Photographer, Photo Editor
Huskvarna | Sweden | Sweden | Posted: 7:41 PM on 01.24.13
->> +1 For how Perrone works!

I am working just the same way.
And it saves me time, and helps me organize my photos in the same time.
Most of the times there is no need to edit the photos outside of LR, and the few times that is needed, it´s really simple and fast to open it from inside LR to PS, and get the PS edited file back in to LR.
To me this way of working has been a really big time saver.
And i have really not seen anybody showing me a quicker way to work yet.

If anybody reading this is going to SSA X, i can show how i do it for you there.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 8:07 PM on 01.24.13
->> I too use PM like Perrone. For database I use Cumulus.

I use Lightroom for batch editing
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Dylan Brown, Photographer
Helena | MT | USA | Posted: 6:37 PM on 01.25.13
->> Daniel, I am!! I'd love for you to show me your work flow.
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Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 9:53 PM on 01.25.13
->> Thanks Perrone, I also do all the meta work in PM. But I really dont care for LR's global fixes. I NEVER apply anything upon import. I use NR almost never, so again, I'd only apply it to specific images were needed. Exposure tweeks, just dont fit into my idea of "global" adjustments. Particularly since LR's auto exposure is so awful. So on deadline, I can hit E, which opens in PS, tweek, save and close pretty darned quick...but with the advantage of having exactly the tweek I want for each image rather than a general fix. Even on my weddings, I just havent seen "global" adjustment that I'd ever consider applying to "every" image on import. I have my workflow kind of down to a science. Typical wedding for me is 2-3 hrs to the proofing output stage in LR. Culled first in PM of course.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 11:15 PM on 01.25.13
->> Cool Brad. Sounds like you've gotten what you need! Consider yourself fortunate that you don't need to do NR.

I don't do any "auto-correct" stuff in LR. I do use my presets to adjust for white balance, NR, and other things since I am in gyms that are ISO 3200/6400 much of the time. I need to submit 10-20 images no more than 20 minutes post-game and don't have the time to do individual tweaks per image in something like PS. That's why I do quick and dirty batch work on site, then submit more finished work later in the evening for photo galleries and the like. I've found the school appreciates getting images that are less noisy and that works out well for me.

In any event, the critical point is that people examine their workflow, find what works for them, and really master it. Under the gun, it can make all the difference. I found that doing everything in LR was really too slow for my needs on post-game deadline which is why I started working with PM, and why I started developing presets. There are many ways to get the job done though. :)
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Thread Title: Thinking about incorporating Lightroom 4
Thread Started By: Dylan Brown
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