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As a photographer and as a teacher, I'm often asked this question. "So hey Chris, what's Lightroom all about?" Well, here's my response. At its core, Lightroom is about creating, compelling photographs. It's about photography. It's about the art and craft of photography. It's a tool designed to help photographers to be more effective, more efficient, and ultimately more creative. Well, at its core at least in my opinion, Lightroom is the professional photographer's tool for processing, organizing, and outputting your photographs.
Now sometimes when I describe Lightroom as professional, some people are a little thrown off and they say "well, what I if I'm an amateur or a hobbyist or an enthusiast?" And I say, well, I'm using this term professional to say that Lightroom is a good tool. It's rock-solid. It's strong. Now there are other tools out there for processing your photographs. They are just not as good. And so while I use that term professional, I'm not using it in a sense of being limiting. Rather I'm using this in the sense of saying, hey, this tool is good.
And if I had a bit more time, I might get into this whole idea that Lightroom is built-in a pretty unique way. It's simple. It's elegant, and it's a workflow application. And the way that I mean that, that we're able to process and organize and output our photographs, is because Lightroom is built-in a modular fashion. In other words, they're these different modules. In each of the different modules we can do different things. And while each module is distinct, it's also interconnected. And then if I had a bit more time, I might go onto describe the modules.
You know one of the first modules that you discover in Lightroom is the Library module. And this is where all of the organizational work takes place. In other words, this is where you can determine is the image a keeper or not. You could add a star rating, a label or a flag. You can also add keywords and do a number of other things as well. Now the next module that we're going to encounter is the Develop module. This is where the image develops. It emerges. It comes to life. This is really where the art and craft of photography takes place. This is the fun module, right, because here we're really starting to work on the image itself.
Another module that you will encounter in Lightroom is the Sideshow module. Now to be honest this particular module in previous versions of Lightroom wasn't really used very much, because it had some limitations. Well, here is the good news. Those limitations have been removed in particular in regards to exporting the slideshows. And new to Lightroom 3 is the ability to export your slideshows as movies. We'll talk a little bit more about that one later. Another module is the Print module.
You may be thinking, "okay, big deal. I can print my photos." Well, we can do much more than that. We can create layouts that are either effective or practical or creative. For example, you could create a layout, or you print one image on one piece of paper, but print it in a bunch of different sizes. You can create a contact sheet, or you could create some really creative layouts here. So in other words, a Print mdule is both functional and creative. The last module that you will encounter is the Web module. And this is the one that helps us tap into the Web where we can create a gallery, whether in HTML or in Flash, and then seamlessly upload those images and get those online.
All right, so back to the question, what is Lightroom and what's it all about? Well, at its core it's about creating compelling photographs. It's a tool for photographers. And it's designed to help photographers be a little bit more organized and also process their images a little bit more effectively and creatively. And then finally output their images in a number of different ways, whether in a video format or in a print or to get those images online.
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