Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 has arrived

Screenshot Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0
Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0
Copyright © 2007 by Mark Zanzig/zettpress

So, the new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 is finally shipping. Yesterday I received the software in the mail, and I had to immediately install it on my work PC (the one I have with me when I am at a photo shooting). What can I tell you? It’s simply great – a fantastic piece of software. Kudos to Adobe’s developer team for this product.

But first things first -

What is Photoshop Lightroom, and how is it typically being used?

Basically, it is a picture management suite married with a basic, yet powerful, photo editor. It helps you organizing your digital photo workflow to be as efficient as possible. First you “import” the images to the Lightroom database (well, you do not import the images, rather their metadata). At this point you can already apply certain additional metadata, e.g. keywords. Then you rate each image (using stars or flags), apply a filter to those pictures you want to put your focus on. The next step is to correct each image.

Very convenient is the fact that the original is not going to be touched or altered. Adobe calls this nondestructive editing – the software remembers your correction values and applies these values to a picture once you decide to “export” it. Even then you basically save a copy of the (altered) image instead of altering the original. As you can imagine, this is perfect when shooting RAW files instead of JPEGs. Another convenience is that you now can apply the correction settings from another photo to the current photo, very handy when it comes to a large number of photos shot under the same lighting conditions.

When everything is done, you can export the images for a slideshow, for print, or for the web. You can always watermark images, batch rename, or batch resize them.

How easy to use is Lightroom 1.0, really?

Actually, it is surprisingly easy to use. If you know Adobe Photoshop already, then many controls will look familiar to you. If you had a glimpse at Photoshop CS3 and the Bridge software that comes with it, then it is even easier for you to find your way around. Installation under Windows XP was quick and easy, and the 80 page booklet provides sufficient information for the beginner. While the booklet can not compete with the Photoshop manual, it does help you to understand how the software works and what the intentions of the product team were.

What’s missing?

There are a few things that I am missing (or haven’t been able to figure out how to do):

  1. A statistic of the assigned star ratings and/or colour labels. Bridge does this quite nicely.
  2. An easy way to alter meta data for each image (especially IPTC tags come to my mind). Again, Bridge does a good job here. I see now that the metadata can be altered easily on the right panel, under Metadata. :-)
  3. The integration of my older Photoshop version (7.0.1) did not work. Lightroom refused to find the software. I agree, it is an old version, yet I would expect to be able to use it.
  4. The Lightroom Help (F1) results in an error message. This is apparently a language conflict as the error message mentions a file in the German language folder despite being an English only software.

That were my first findings. I will toy around with the software a bit longer to really get the workflow into my head (difficult, I know), but I can only encourage you to try the software yourself. Adobe offers a free 30 day trial on their site. Chances are high that you will like it.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (Official Page)

P.S.: Please note that I am not affiliated with or sponsored by Adobe, and I paid the full price for the product with no discount whatsoever.

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