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Any conversation about Adobe Camera Raw or about RAW processing in general, really wouldn't be complete without at least mentioning Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and that's what I want to do here. But first what we need to do is step back for a second and think about our workflow, all the way from capturing images, to working on them, to output. Now, here in the middle space we really work on Lightroom, Bridge, and Photoshop, and what we have to start to think about is how do we work with these tools together? Occasionally people will say, hey Chris, I discovered Adobe Camera Raw, it's amazing, I'm never going to use Photoshop again.
That's definitely not the right approach. Rather what we want to do is think of these two programs as separate applications and somehow there is overlap and we thus work with them together. Perhaps a better approach would be to say, hey, I'm going to do a lot of my work in Adobe Camera Raw, I'm going to do all my global corrections, and then some of my fine tuning I'll do in Adobe Camera Raw, but all of the sweet stuff, all of the precise stuff, all of the really exact work, well, that's going to all take place inside of Photoshop. This is a really valid, and effective, and good, and strong workflow.
Well, then what happens when we bring Lightroom into the equation, again, I get questions. Chris, should I use Camera Raw? Should I use Photoshop? Should I use Lightroom? And my answer is, you should use all three, because each of these different programs have strengths. First what I want to do is take a look at comparing Bridge and Lightroom. And I want to do so simply by comparing the basic controls. On the left we have Adobe Camera Raw; on the right we have Lightroom. Well, if you compare these controls or sliders, you'll notice they're exactly the same; Temperature and Tint, Temperature and Tint, Exposure, Exposure, and all the way down the list.
And for that matter the RAW Engine that's actually working or processing the files is identical. Well, why then would you want to use one tool versus another? Well, one of the things that's good about Lightroom is it's a professional level, really strong and effective tool. In other words, there are some more features, there are more shortcuts, there's more efficiency, there's better output. So what Adobe Camera Raw is, which is really good, Lightroom is even better, and a lot of times when people discover this, they then swing their approach. So they work in Bridge when needed, but then they spend a lot of time in Lightroom, and for that matter they start to spend even more time in Lightroom and perhaps less inside of Bridge and Camera Raw.
And for some people this is really an effective approach, because what Lightroom allows you to do is to really keep track of your photographs and also process them in a pretty unique and powerful way. Now, that being said, this isn't the only way to work on your images and of course Lightroom cost extra money, right, and so some people stick with working with Camera Raw and Photoshop, because Camera Raw comes with Photoshop. Now, whatever your own workflow practice, just keep that in mind and keep in mind that it is also an incredibly valid way to work using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop.
Yet, if you're feeling like, hey, now I've learned Adobe Camera Raw, now I want to take this to the next level. Well, perhaps the next step for you is to dig into Lightroom. And if you're interested in Lightroom, I've created a number of different training titles on that topic so you can go ahead and check those out to see if Lightroom might be right for you. Well, whatever your decision, there's one thing that I think is incredibly important in regards to workflow. I think in order to have a good workflow, it doesn't necessarily matter what software you use, but what does matter is, does my digital photographic workflow increase my passion? Does it expand my creativity? Does it enliven my vision? Because I believe wholeheartedly that, as Marc Riboud once said, Photography is about savoring life at 1/100th of a second.
So therefore, as you step back for a moment and evaluate your own photographic workflow, say, hey, is it hitting these spots, is it increasing my passion, or is it bogging me down? Is it helping me to be more creative or is it a little bit stifling? Is it helping me to set my sights higher or lower? So then after answering those questions, you can then go back to your software applications and say, okay, well, what software tools do I really need in order to take my overall photographic workflow to the next level? And in closing, however you decide, I hope that your decision leads you to being a more effective photographer and also to getting even more out of life.
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