Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Introduction

October 30, 2008 | | Comments 24

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Application IconAdobe Photoshop Lightroom takes some of the best features from many other programs and combines them together to streamline a photographer’s workflow. Photoshop Lightroom is a powerful image management tool with additional capabilities, but its primary function is image tracking.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s image cataloging system is over-kill for most “point and shoot” photographers. Programs like iPhoto, Picassa, or Adobe Photoshop Elements are more appropriate tools for photo enthusiasts. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is designed for professional photographers, and serious hobbyists, who need an image management system that is capable of tracking thousands of images and multiple hard drives.

My Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Catalog helps me keep track of my forty-thousand digital images and I need a powerful image management system that can help me search through a terabyte’s worth of digital images. Fortunately, finding the right image for a particular project in a timely manner is easy for me thanks to Photoshop Lightroom’s organizational tools and features. I would go crazy hunting through folder after folder of digital images if I did not have a searchable database that indexes all of my photography!

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom works great for “lone-wolf” professionals, like me, and for serious amateurs. It is an indispensable tool for “single employee businesses.” Although Photoshop Lightroom is a professional-grade application, it is not necessarily the ideal image management solution for large photography studios and businesses that employ multiple photographers. Sadly, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is not a “network-ready” application and the core Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Catalog file can only be opened by one computer at a time. This limitation on the software’s capabilities make it a poor choice for busy photography studios and news-reporting organizations. Photoshop Lightroom might be a useful tool for each individual photographer in a large organization but its lack of network features limits its utility as an indexing tool for the entire studio’s photo history.

Although it is one of its best features, there is more to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom than just a searchable image database system; Lightroom is also a powerful tool for digital image enhancement. Photoshop Lightroom does not have all of the features of the Adobe Photoshop CS5 product, but it is a much faster image enhancement system. Unlike the Adobe Photoshop CS5 program, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is always a “non-destructive” image enhancer. In the wrong hands, Photoshop CS5 can be used to destroy a digital image, but with Photoshop Lightroom you cannot do any harm to your images. Everything that Photoshop Lightroom changes is reversible and none of the alterations that this program makes are permanent so it will never damage or degrade your files, which opens up the door to creativity. Photographers can experiment in Photoshop Lightroom without any fear since every change can be “undone” at anytime.

Finally, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a workflow tool that makes printing and sharing easy. Lightroom includes a slideshow utility, an ink-jet printer control module, and the ability to create web pages and galleries. It also makes posting images to social networking sites like Flickr or Facebook totally painless. Many photographers use Photoshop Lightroom to organize their files and to simplify their output routines. For some photographers, the image enhancement phase requires the use of additional software, but Photoshop Lightroom still shines as a front door organizer and as a back-end print and web management utility.

The “secret beauty” of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is in its automation. Power Photoshop Lightroom users learn to create “templates” and “presets” within this program to automate repetitive tasks, making it easy to organize, enhance, and share an image with the world in seconds. Mastering Adobe Photoshop Lightroom means capitalizing on every possible time-saving feature.

Photoshop Lightroom is fun, efficient, powerful, and creative. This program is a huge help for thousands of serious digital photographers, but learning this software is not easy without expert guidance. Please consult Our Photoshop Lightroom Tutorials Roadmap for a step-by-step guide as you are learning this software and consider attending one of our Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workshops and Seminars. Enjoy!

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About the Author: David Marx is a digital photography instructor whose engaging teaching style inspires photographers of all skill levels. David is an Adobe Certified Lightroom Expert. To learn more about David's Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software training seminars and digital photography field workshops please visit or follow David Marx on Google+.