Tuesday, August 10, 2010

After the Shot

So Now What?
So we've spent some time talking about ways to get to know your camera, how to improve upon your photography skills, and even touched on a few post processing topics (see "Tips and Tricks" posts to review).  You've put that information to good use and just spent a fun filled day with your camera capturing image after image of your favorite subject. You now have 400+ images on your memory card, you're sitting in front of your computer about to upload your treasure and you suddenly think, "You know, I really like this photography thing, but there must be a better way to manage all of these pictures".
Congratulations! The first step to any recovery is to recognize that you have a problem.  You've just come to the realization that Windows Explorer and Windows Photo Viewer (or Mac equivalents) are NOT long term solutions to managing your valuable photo treasures.  You just took over 400 photographs in one day.  How are you going to find that 1 special image three years from now?  Remember that cute picture of the kitten sleeping on Uncle Arnie's bald head?  Yeah, where'd you put that? What day was it again? And what about the sensor dust spots? Windows Explorer and/or Photo Viewer aren't going to help you there.  And then, to top it all off, you just took the most AMAZING, once in a lifetime shot that's going to finally bring you fame and fortune... but it's a little dark... maybe a little skewed too... and it would have been even better if that little old lady with the walker hadn't raced into the edge of your frame... if only....

Lightroom to the Rescue
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3Yep, "if only".  If you can relate to any of the above, it's time for you to consider Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.  I've mentioned this amazing application on the blog before and I'll continue singing it's praises to anyone willing to listen.  If you're an Apple fan and saying, "Yeah, but what about Aperture?", my answer is "I don't know".  See, I'm a PC.  Aperture is only for Mac.  Even if it was available for PC, having had a taste of Lightroom, there's no way I could even consider moving.  I did try Microsoft's Expression Media for a while, but in truth, that's really a different animal.  It does a decent job with "asset management" or helping to manage your library, but it doesn't come close to providing you the development tools available in Lightroom.

Alright Already!
OK. Time to get off my soapbox.  I guess what I'm trying to convey is that if you know you're hooked on this "photography thing" like me - even if it's just shooting the kids with a point and shoot - I would STRONGLY urge you to consider making Lightroom your next photography related purchase.  Like we discussed in the post about buying a tripod, there are some areas where you just shouldn't "skimp" and this is another one of those areas.  Lightroom will help you keep track of your images via it's Library module, allow you to fix problems or enhance photos in the Development module, help you build powerful presentation tools in the Slideshow and Web modules, and give you incredible control over printing your masterpieces in the Print module.
In the coming weeks we will be reviewing some of the incredible functionality found within Lightroom and how you can use it to make your photography life "after the shot" so much easier and much more complete.

Until next time, keep clickn'


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