Tips & Tricks from the Pros: #3 – Adobe Lightroom 2

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Adobe Lightroom 2

People are constantly asking me why I like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom  Version 2.  And, while there are many reasons, I want to point out just 2  right now that will pique your interest.

Reason #1 (and this is probably my favourite feature)
I always shoot in RAW, and I don’t like having dozens of versions of the same file. Lightroom allows me to work on my RAW image, and print it non destructively. I don’t have to process out a tiff, or jpg, bring it into photoshop and resize it. All of my settings are controlled in Lightroom, and all of my printer profiles are managed through the lightroom printing engine.

Have you ever wanted to print contact sheets? Well, with Lightroom, all you have to do is select the files you want to print, select your page settings, and you can make customized contact sheets. If you want to add your logo to the bottom of a print you can do that too.  If you download Timothy Armes popular plugins for Lightroom, you can add your watermark to all of your images, and process them out for proof printing to a lab. Check out LR2/Mogrify on Timothy’s site as well as his blog plugin for Lightroom – it’s awesome! Once you get the hang of using Lightroom’s print module, you’ll soon discover it is like having a full featured RIP.

Reason #2 (for me this is a biggie)
I shoot weddings during the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons. And for years I’d been looking for a great way to show my clients their images online in galleries, and allow them and their guests to purchase prints directly through a shopping cart. Lightroom’s Web Module is amazing and can allow you to create a full -featured photographic website in minutes. Once again – I never have to create another set of files for web upload – this is handled by the built-in FTP in Lightroom.

I also stumbled upon a free (yes,  I said Free) web module for Lightroom  that allows you to create a full featured website, using Flash, and have separate galleries, and a built-in shopping cart  that works with Paypal and Google. The module is called  LRG 4, and can be downloaded here.  Please make sure you join the user forum and read the manual as –  and I stress this – there is a LOT of material to learn, and you’ll need to devote some time to it. My first gallery took me over 8 hours in total before I had it working properly. But once you learn it, you don’t forget – and it becomes a breeze. Remember to save your web templates on the sidebar on the left hand side of the web module once you have it looking the way you want it.  Here is a recent gallery created with LRG 3 and, even though it asks for a password, I’ve not enabled it – just click on the left side bar to open the menu, and it will work.

Stay tuned, as I’m thinking of Teaching an introductory class at Vistek on Lightroom Version 2.  If you’re interested in taking the class leave us a message here to let us know.