A New Version of the Editing Room
A while ago I downloaded an Adobe Lightroom trial. Yeah, I know how strange this sounds coming from someone who has previously railed against the post-production obsession that has pervaded photography culture over the last decade or so. The only reason I even considered it was because I have had some issues with chromatic aberration that Paint Shop Pro doesn’t address all that well with its corrector. Ironically, I didn’t deal with that during my trial period.
Now that the trial is over, I figured I’d share my thoughts on Lightroom. Given that I didn’t use all 30 days of the trial, I acknowledge that my overall impression is tempered by my lack of experience with the program. It was okay. I had a bit of a learning curve to deal with just in terms of navigation. I was a bit let down by the brightness/contrast controls, as it wasn’t always enough (especially on very underexposed photos I wanted to lighten up to show more redeeming factors). The histogram control didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but I still managed to get decent results. My efforts with individual color control also fell flat for me, but I was probably expecting far more drastic changes than what I got. I also wasn’t especially thrilled about the various view and zoom options. Zoom is very limited, and I like to go individual pixel level. That’s what I’m most comfortable with, considering that most of my early graphics work involved fixing corrupted JPEG files. With all that said, I did figure out some of the brush tools, though, and that was a pleasant surprise. If I can’t find something like that on Paint Shop Pro, I’m willing to plunk down the money for Lightroom (once I have the money, that is). It’s the most powerful control I could find in the program, and it worked well when I used it.
With all that said, I’m not sure if I’d spend any more time in the editing room if I went balls to the wall with Lightroom. Even with new programs at my disposal I’m not huge on editing. I very rarely enjoy it and still feel like a fraud when I do it. I feel like even slight saturation changes affect this form of art and time travel. So you may see more edited photos in the future, but they will never surpass the number of photos that are camera-only.