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Join photographer and author Chris Orwig in Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module, as he explores the interface of this popular image-management program and shows how to use its Library module to organize and manage a photo library. The course covers importing both still images and video; shooting in tethered-capture mode; organizing and rating images with flags, stars, labels, and location tags; and working with collections. The course also details how to export, email, and share photos, and introduces the Lightroom 4 video-editing features, as well as its ability to work together with the full editing power of Photoshop. Exercise files are included with the course.
In order to talk about how Lightroom fits into this whole concept of the photographic workflow, I've created this slide here, which in my mind is a bit of a visualization of the photographer's workflow, from capture, over here on the left, all the way to importing our images and storing them on hard drives, to different forms of output on the far right. And we have different tools that we can use in order to go through this photographic workflow. Now, the trick of course is, is to have a tool which helps us all the way from capture to output, and Lightroom is one of those tools which helps us connect this workflow.
Rather than having to hop and skip or break up our workflow, it's kind of a one-stop shop. It allows us to create a workflow which is fluid and cohesive. Yet, before we get to that, I want to step back for a moment and talk a little bit about how Lightroom fits into this whole idea of these other tools. In the beginning we had Photoshop of course, and Photoshop was amazing and it was all that we used. Then all of a sudden Bridge came along, and Bridge and Photoshop were connected. They were becoming these two tools that we used together.
We started to create the sense of workflow, where we started in Bridge, selected a photograph, and then opened it in Photoshop. Then all of a sudden Bridge got better, with the introduction of Adobe Camera RAW. Here we could make these global corrections, we could start off in Camera RAW and then we could finish our photographs in Photoshop. But then, as things progressed, Lightroom came onto the scene. And initially it was a little bit confusing, or even now for you it may be confusing. Let's say you're coming from that background of using Bridge and Photoshop, well, how does Lightroom fit into this equation? Where does Lightroom go? Well, really Lightroom was created in a sense to replace Bridge and Camera RAW.
It does what Bridge and Camera RAW can do, but it does even more. Now, notice that I'm not saying that Lightroom was designed to replace Photoshop, not at all. Lightroom and Photoshop are really interconnected, that's why I have this little bit of an overlap here. The official name of Lightroom, you know what it is, right, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Lightroom is part of the Photoshop family. And what's happened is as Lightroom has gained a little bit of traction and as people have realized the power of this tool, how it helps us out with our workflow, from capture, all the way to output, people are using it more and more and they're using Photoshop less and less.
Because in a sense it's a condensed version, it's a tool which allows us to be more effective and creative, and I'll talk a little bit more about that in a second. Now, I also should point out that we're not completely getting rid of Photoshop. In my own professional photographic workflow, I always start with Lightroom; I work on my images there. Yet, if a photograph is going to be a on a cover of a magazine, or if it's going to be printed in an important way, I finish that photograph over here in Photoshop. So I still am using these two tools together in really incredible ways.
Now, what about Bridge and Adobe Camera RAW? Well, there still are times and places when this tool is effective and it's helpful. There are times when you don't want to have, let's say, some photographs in your Lightroom catalogue for some reason, you can use Bridge as kind of a window to browse your photographs or to access other file formats that you can't import into Lightroom. So in a sense I want to create this diagram just to highlight this idea that while Lightroom allows us to have this really strong workflow, this isn't a tool that lives by itself, rather it's part of a suite or a family of other tools that we can use in order to effectively process and work on and output our photographs.
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