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Can't come to grips with Lightroom!

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17 Apr 2013 - 8:36 AM

On the recommendation of a friend I recently installed Lightroom 3 onto my computer but just can't get to grips with it. I do have the manual as well! I find the uploading and storing of my pictures somewhat complicated, all photos seem to go into one big database. Much prefer the way iPhoto does it by date from where I can move to designated folders, so have uninstalled it again! Also there seemed to be very little editing that I can't do in iPhoto.

Just a comment................

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17 Apr 2013 - 8:36 AM

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cats_123 e2 Member 103956 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland24 Constructive Critique Points
17 Apr 2013 - 9:11 AM

I've never used iphoto, so can't compare, but in my LR4 Library, the images are, in the main, catalogued as they are on my Hard Drive (mine are stored by `category' and then by `date'....where I've isolated shots for say producing a book or print run, then I create `Collections' which are essentially copies of the originals, but the beauty is you can have multiple `variants' of the same shot stored in LR without affecting the original files (e.g. a simple set might be colour/duo tone/mono/High Contrast - one image 4 variations).

LR5.5 is in beta at the moment but it seems to provide some worthwhile improvements. SmileSmile

Once you've got past the initial uploads, importing images is very straightforward....you just have to remember to tell it where to find the image. For new shots, I use a card reader and then tell LR where to store the images on my HD....I then use Picasa on my HD as my Library. Just remember if you move an image on your HD you have to tell LR where it's moved to Smile

Last Modified By cats_123 at 17 Apr 2013 - 9:15 AM
mikehit e2 Member 45758 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
17 Apr 2013 - 9:21 AM

When you import you can instruct LR how to file it - I set mine to create a folder on my HDD with the date of the photo (taken from the exif data) and file it there. So if my card has 10 photos from 15-Apr and 10 photos taken on 16-Apr it creates a folder 2013-04-15 and a folder 2013-04-16 and copies the relevant photos in each one. It then creates thumbnails in the catalog for all 20.You can set these preferences on the right hand side of the Import screen.

However, you choose to do this, it is the catalog thumbnails that are in one massive database (not the photos themselves) and when you point to a particular date folder that acts like a sort of filter through which you see only the photos in that folder.

17 Apr 2013 - 9:30 AM

Ah, Ok chaps. Thanks for the info. Maybe at 74 I'm a bit slow to come to terms with a new systemSad

termite53 e2 Member 1termite53 vcard United Kingdom
17 Apr 2013 - 10:03 AM

If it's any help,a guy called Scott Kelby has published books on Lightroom, written in everyday language which may be useful to you. My son has a copy and I also bought his book on Photoshop 6....and only being 10 years behind you, I know where you are coming from...lol....Hope this helps

HowieR  3 United Kingdom3 Constructive Critique Points
17 Apr 2013 - 10:23 AM

I also have got myself a bit muddled on the organisation of Folders/ Imports. But I agree that, once imported, creating Collections is the best way way forward for handling your images.
I do think that its well worth persevering as the Lightroom editing capabilities are very powerful. I move on to Photoshop far less frequently now than when I used Aperture.

And I d also echo the Scott Kelby recommendation

17 Apr 2013 - 11:15 AM

Thanks for all the comments - I'll give it another try shortly and see what happens.


Gaucho e2 Member 122042 forum postsGaucho vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
17 Apr 2013 - 11:27 AM

And something you guys haven't mentioned is keywording which is crucial if you want to find your images easily.

Railcam  7447 forum posts Scotland
17 Apr 2013 - 12:01 PM

I am 68 and managed to learn most of the Lightroom tricks by watching the Julieanne Kost tutorials. She explains it well as you watch and if you don't understand a point, just go back and watch it again. It is not a steep learning curve, more of a long one. Once you get to grips with it you will wonder how you managed without Lightroom.
Good luck


lemmy  61672 forum posts United Kingdom
17 Apr 2013 - 12:30 PM

The main thing is to understand that it is a database. That is the key to using and understanding it.

As an example, make a smart collection with the criterion 'created between' and enter two dates of your choice. Click on that collection and up will come all pictures taken between those dates. If you add more pictures taken in that period, they will automatically appear in that collection. No need to make folders with dates at all. You can have as many smart collection as you wish with almost any criteria.

Once understood, it would be impossible to go back to old ways. There aren't many things I'd say revolutionized my work flow but LR did. I can find anything any time with hardly any effort at all and alter it in any way I wish wioth no danger of ever not being able to go back to my original file - because LR never touches it.

The only thing I'd say is that, while it works with JPG, it is really designed to work with RAW, where you retain all the off sensor information rather than discard much of it.

JackAllTog e2 Member 53469 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 9:58 AM

Quote: Thanks for all the comments - I'll give it another try shortly and see what happens.


It took me about 3 weeks to start using it in a way i understood it - initially it frustrated the hell out of me after photoshop elements 10 and i posted a similar topic.

Now i look at my photography as "sets" of photographs rather than individual photos. and then elevate some for further processing which can partially be done in LR itself or opended in Elements or Photoshop.
I love Bulk processing some sets with actions like lens correction, white balance etc.
Also i think the noise reduction (LR4) is amazing, and like its vignette and export options to finish of the photo.

Now i can't do with out it.

18 Apr 2013 - 7:37 PM

Thanks again guys. Once I get my "new" computer I'll reinstall LR3 and give it another go and have a bit more patience this time!Wink

Gaucho e2 Member 122042 forum postsGaucho vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 9:05 PM

Probably a good idea to learn with LR3 as you have it, but be aware that LR4 is streaks ahead, so upgrade when you're happy.

JJGEE  96097 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 9:43 PM

Quote: It took me about 3 weeks to start using it in a way i understood it

Good for you Wink
Been using it for 7 years now and only just beginning to understand it ! !

Last Modified By JJGEE at 18 Apr 2013 - 9:44 PM
JackAllTog e2 Member 53469 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 10:14 PM

Wink and thanks JJGEE, you speeded me up with your encouragement Smile

I just learnt that 0 unselects any stars and can be done in the develop module - loads more to do tonight but way quicker than elements.

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