Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My 10 Favorite Things About Lightroom 2.0 - For The Portrait/Wedding Photographer

Good Morning Everybody,
I've spent most of the last 12 hours checking out the brand new Lightroom 2.0 and I'm stoked. There are about a gazillion new features to talk about in the new version, but I have selected my 10 very best favorites for us Wedding/Portrait shooters. Hit the "Read More..." link below to get the whole story.

1. The Retouch Brush - localized Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Clarity, Sharpening and custom toning. Worth the price of admission alone! HOT!! HOT!! HOT!!

2. Sync on localized corrections. The beta didn't have it, but boy, am I glad to see it in the final release. It's way cool to see the localized corrections show up on a similar series of portraits or wedding shots. - HOT!! HOT!!

3. Clone Tool - Now I don't have to take the time to pop over to Photoshop as often. LR 1.4 got us to about second base with our images before needing to head to Photoshop. LR2 gets us pretty much to 3rd base. Hot!!

4. Skin Softening - Buried under the Retouch Tool drop down menu, but still offers a quick touch up on faces. - Pretty Hot!

5. New Vignette Tool - Just adds a nice finishing touch to the image. The new controls are just what the doctor ordered - again, perfect for the wedding/portrait guys and gals. Pretty Hot!

6. Open image as Smart Object in Photoshop - Now we have all the versatility of smart objects easily available to all of our Lightroom 2.0 images. This feature is a nice bit of grease to the axles for our workflow. Pretty Hot!

7. Lightroom 2.0 continues to limit you to two external editors. It's now possible to add External Editor Presets that sort of, kind of, give you access to more than two.

8. Camera Profiles - for instance, Canon users will be able to choose profiles that emulate Pictures Styles such as: Standard, Landscape, Neutral, Portrait and Faithful. When installed, the new profiles will appear in Lightroom's Camera Calibration.

9. Graduated Filter - very cool for scenic and outdoor bridals. It kind of gets you the same results as the old Cokin graduated filters - Lots of different setting choices give you lots of different possibilities.

10. Auto Tone works much better than in Lightroom 1.0 (where I didn't think it worked at all.) I've tried it on LR 2.0 and it is much improved and should provide a good starting point for us wedding shooters with hundreds of images.

So what's my greatest disappointment with Lightroom 2.0 - NO NETWORK SUPPORT!!!. In today's studio work-flow, this is a GLARINGLY large error of omission. Syncing up catalogue is clunky and should not be necessary.

Nearly all professional studios operate in a networked situation and LR2's lack of network support nearly neuters it's effectiveness where there is more than one digital technician working on images.

Come on Adobe - you have hit it nearly out of the park with Lightroom 2.0, don't let the network stumble muddy the waters. Remember Nike's mantra - Just do it!!! - and then to my mind it's nearly perfect.

Ranting aside, do I like Lightroom 2.0? Other than the networking issue - "Happy Days Are Here Again!" - Yep, I love it! Deciding to spend $99 to upgrade is a "no brainer." The new feature set is easily worth every penny.


  1. I understand the frustrations about no networking capability. We have a number of studio computers that all need access to our image archives. Might I ask what catalog / archiving software you're using? We've been using iView Media Pro for a number of years.

  2. Totally agree, Lightroom 2.0 is awesome for us wedding shooters. I have been doing a whole series of videos at and I just can't get enough of it. I love the skin softening / negative clarity adjustments. Allows you to do some awesome stuff.

  3. Okay David, your excitement just cost me the big bucks. I did have a coupon code for 15% off so I have finally purchased LR 2. How about a hint which functions to learn first???

  4. Thank you for a nice and comprehensive list, it made me order the new version right away, so now I am just waiting for the delivery guy (always nice with a box sometimes).

  5. Hi David, I have been thinking of using Lightroom to lighten up my workload. Your comment regarding your greatest disappointment, had me second guessing my first thoughts. To be able to access network drives is not an option for me. It's a requirement. So instead of just disregarding the idea, I downloaded the trial version to see if I could map the network drive to my next available drive designation and this seems to give me all the access I need.
    Maybe there is more to your disapointment than I'm seeing, but it good enough for may needs.


  6. David McLaughlin, I believe the network issue he's talking about is the ability for 2 or more operators to work on the same catalog at the same time not the ability to access a network drive.