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Tuesday, 11 June 2013


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Done! Thanks for the heads-up!

That's quite a large bathroom in your house. Wish I had multiple stalls to choose from each morning!

The answer is a resounding "yes!"

Given that you're already living with ACR, I think the transition to LR won't be nearly as taxing as you anticipate. More to the point though, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to see how many of your needs it covers. Give it a whirl (they still offer a trial period, so you can do it without laying cash on the barrelhead) and let us know what you think. My guess is that you'll like it.

Mike -
If you’re like me and always behind in updating your computer’s operating system, remember Mac users need a computer running OS X 10.7 or higher to run the new Lightroom 5 (unlike Lightroom 4 which will run on 10.6).

[I'm not like you...in this respect at least. I always run the very latest OS. --Mike]

LR5 was released Monday (6/10). It's a glorious, intelligent evolutionary step in the product's lineage.

"Do I need to try LR?" Uh, lemme see, I want to reply as graciously as possible. YES, MIKE, YOU NEED TO TRY IT. How's that? You'll awake like Rip Van Winkle to find yourself suddenly in the 21st century of image post-processing and cataloging work models. Download the trial. Today. (You don't need no stinkin' discs any more, Mike. That version of license validation is long over.)

But a warning: it's highly unlikely that you'll not want to buy it and live in it.

It surprises me that you don't already use LR, Mike, if only because it's an editor that seems to have been designed by digital-savvy former film photographers for their own use. It's got one foot in the old days and one foot in the new days. Which I think is why it suits me so well. (I don't feel it's in any way hindered by the analog paradigm, either.)

I think it would be well worth an hour or or two of your time. It shouldn't take more time than that to download, install, and poke around enough to see if you're compatible with each other. It will nondestructively import all or part of your photo library, based on folders, and editing is nondestructive.

A few examples off the top of my head: It speaks stops (and 1/3 stops). The UI is based on a light table, except it's like having a library of a million different light tables (or those sleeves that hold slides) at your fingertips. With several ways to sort, rate, stack, highlight and hide the slides.

The local adjustments panel is something most people who've dodged and burned in the darkroom would grasp pretty quickly, except it's more versatile (e.g. you can undo/change individual adjustments, and you can adjust a variety of qualities this way, and as spot tweaks or as grad filters (it's also less versatile--you can't make custom masks, or use your hands)).


The one thing I liked about Lightromm when I first used it was how easy it was to learn.

Maybe you can use the power of the press (You are a big time blogger, right?) and get Adobe to send you a copy for evaluation.

You look kinda skinny in that self portrait . . .

Bean field coat +1
NEX ±0
New LR -Yawn
Cut off top of hair -1
Cut off bottom of jacket -1/2
Cut off right elbow - 1/2
Crack in mirror as pirate scar, +1



"I really do cobble TOP together from an 11x11' room in a small ranch house in the wilds of Wisconsin."

That's what I like about TOP, to answer your question from the other day. Thanks for the help!

Not that I begrudge you bigger, nicer digs, or assistants or guest columnists or reposts from other sources or possible changes in format or a house band, etc. My point is that TOP is a personal take on photography, and a personal take that happens to be seasoned, sophisticated, rational, catholic, enlightened, and open to--even solicitous of--dialog.

TOP is like a great radio show with a DJ who really knows his stuff backwards and forwards, but is also open minded and aware of his limitations and still learning. It's also clearly a labor of love, which actually may be the most important quality.

I know this is an unspecific, not a very helpful kind of feedback, but the fact is that, nearly everything that you, Mike, have done with it seems to come from the right place, and generally works for me, and I'm not inclined to interfere. Also, it's a blog--an ongoing performance in a medium that's pretty nimble and rather collaborative (depending on how the blogger runs things); it seems to me that the suggestion box is always available if I ever feel really compelled to make a suggestion.

Thanks and best of luck!

Do you need to try Lightroom? If the tools you have are insufficient, then YES. Otherwise, no. Unless to scratch the itch of curiosity.
Lightroom is a well made tool and, like all good tools, it will fit some and not others. So, if you have found the tool that fits you well, chances are that Lightroom will be, at best, a curiosity.
Happy reorganizing!

Lightroom is the best value for money tool that allows you to organise, develop, print and publish in several ways.
Each upgrade it just gets better.
Compared to the 800 it is peanuts with caviar.


I download those LR updates, and then burn the .exe. to a CD/DVD before installing it. I like having backups, too.


Is that a funhouse mirror, or are you actually getting slimmer?


Adobe has a free trial of LR 5 here: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom.html. I've been using it a bit, and i like it a lot. Good organization for import and enough manipulation for my photo needs (as a daily Photoshop user for design).

Mike, I am in the same boat - owning CS6 but not wanting to go to "CC". Could you ask the readership for some concise appraisal of the benefits/detriments of going form CS6 to Lightroom 5?

Yes they do have a new LR 5. And if you bought LR 4 with an educational discount, like I did, you have two choices: either buy an upgrade licence (it is 50% off the full price, but no educational discount), or buy a new full licence, this time with the educational discount (50% off the full price). Damn. It means that students and teachers have an initial advantage on the first purchase, but then they have to pay the full upgrade cost as everyone else.

I've already commented on LR, but this older post at LuLa by Charles Cramer (familiar guy here) reinforces another comment about LR's link to the film days, wrapped in modern guise.


LR 5 is even better, adding more features that formerly required Photoshop.

Mike, I do believe the staff is shrinking. Good for you!

I work primarily in LR, yet I do spend some time with photoshop/bridge/camera raw for assignments when its required. I use the latter about 1% of the time when it's absolutely necessary otherwise. The other 99% of my work I can accomplish in LR. LR's layout is much more intuitive, and most dodging and burning is handled well with the brush tools. I only go into PS if I need to do some serious masking, healing, cloning and the like. You should definitely give it a go.

I know I already took my bite at the apple with this, but Ken and especially robert put it so much better. This isn't just "new software." This is software built for a user that approaches photography and post-processing like you already do. Get the trial already!

And Roberto... just be glad Adobe still structures it this way: In my 13 years of using professional software, I've never known of any company that not only offers an educational discount but also an educational upgrade. I'm sure it exists or once did, but I never encountered it, and I only left higher ed 6 years ago. But Adobe is rare these days in allowing educational customers to upgrade to a commercial copy at the normal upgrade price. Take the money and run. Plenty of companies have stopped allowing this (including, I think, Adobe, on other products and pre-CC). As a once-student that has been riding upgrade prices on all of his software since buying the academic versions, I can tell you: it is great to be able to make that jump to commercial software without first having to make an initial purchase at commercial prices. With Lightroom, it isn't even an issue: the software is cheap already. But just be glad that when you make this upgrade, you're securing your ability to get upgrade pricing for the future... it is a useful spot to be in. Stop looking a gift horse in the mouth.

If Adobe was concerned about keeping their non-institutional customers they might offer a discount upgrade to LR5 for CS6 owners - or lose them to Aperture (like me) or Capture One or another competitor!

I really didn't want to get involved in this conversation, but since this is the second time it's coming up in two days, I'll throw in.

You know my work, Mike. It's pretty much what you'd call straight photography. Every single single picture on my website has been processed in Lightroom, and with the exception of film scans that I spotted in PS because at the time, the PS healing tool was more efficient than the one in LR, nothing has gone through PS.

Although I've been keeping up with PS, updating every other version, all my work is done in LR. I've been a full time LR user since the first beta in 2006, and with the incremental improvements in each LR version, CS5 is probably the last version of PS that I'll ever buy. I bought it when it was released, and I've launched it only once.

That's just my experience. Take it from where it comes.

A vertical picture while holding the camera horizontally--interesting...

"Do I need to try LR?"


You should definitely give LR a go. Coming from ACR the transition will be fairly easy too. If you can't do it in LR, there are a wealth of plugins and external editors to call upon, but I suspect that will be an infrequent occurrence.

I find that LR covers virtually all my needs. Unlike "pixel-pushing" editors, LR is very photography-centric in its tools and interface; it feels like a continuation of what I do with the camera in a way that PS, GIMP, et al. never have. I especially enjoy LR with the VSCO film presets: LR is powerful enough now that effects which previously would have required a plugin can be implemented using LR's non-destructive controls, and learning to manipulate their effects builds on the same knowledge as using LR itself.

I must say, though, that I do miss some of the unique tools from LightZone. I'm happy to see that it's being revived as an open source project, but I would really love to see LZ's best tools implemented as a plugin for LR — LZ's tools atop LR's raw conversion would be a great combination!

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