Man, "tons" of good stuff today, so let me get right to it.
Really Good News - You know, I was pretty bummed when Lightroom 2.0 came out and was not "network ready" - I've already gripped about it here as have so many others. Here is a simple, almost elegant work around - which works for LR 2.0 and LR 1.41 as well. Hit the "Read More..." link below to see the utterly SUPER COOL solution for Lightroom's network dilemma.
What's the main problem?? It's that Lightroom needs to see it's LRCAT file on a local drive. Ahhh, but do source images need to be on a local drive? Well, the answer is a big fat NO!!!
Park your images on your server or wherever you want on your network now create your LRCAT file on your local computer - remember, I create a new LRCAT file for each job because of the number of images we shoot on a typical job. Lightroom bogs down at about 20-30,000 images so it only makes sense for me to create a new LRCAT file for each big event right away - life is just simpler that way.
Now hit Import from the Library module and just point Lightroom to those images anywhere on your network, and presto, they will populate quite readily on your Lightroom screen - pretty cool! Now work your Lightroom magic on all those images and you are good to go.
Guess what, You can even hit Cntrl-E and Lightroom will find the source image anywhere on the network and pop it right into Photoshop for you, saving the source image right back on your network drive and updating the preview image in your local LRCAT file on the local computer.
Wait, it gets better. Now you want one of your studio employees to work on the order too. Big Problem, the LRCAT file is on your local computer. Actually it's no problem, just park a copy of your local LRCAT file on his/her local computer and they will be good to go to continue working on the order. Just be sure all the local copies of the LRCAT files are all synced up with the most recent save of the LRCAT file.
I actually think this works like a charm and takes the sting out of Lightroom 2.0's "Not Network Ready" flaw. As I said, we work with about 3000-4000 images on a job. Our LRCAT file is about 1 gig big meaning it's not a monstrous file transfer to make the workflow scenario work out. You could even set up you LRCAT file on say a small 4 gig thumb-drive and shuttle it around to each workstation as needed. Give it a try, it's a piece of cake.
Almost Good News - I been hanging with Lightroom 2.0 pretty heavily these last couple of weeks and learning many of it's "ins and outs." There is one feature that is particularly intriguing to me and that's the Auto Tone feature. There were many recent posts claiming that the "Auto Tone" feature works much better that in LR 1.0. Frankly, I didn't think it worked at all in the first version.
That said, I have been giving it a try in LR2, and have to say that I'm "moderately" impressed with the results. Why moderately, because on some images where the background goes dark, like a reception candid, it tends to "blow out" the main subject. If the illumination is fairly consistent though, Auto Tone does do a respectable job (although I still think it "gooses" brightness just a bit too much) I can see it as a big time-saver for our wedding workflow.
That brings me to another point - wouldn't it be cool if Lightroom would let you dial back a bit of the brightness or exposure in the scene after running Auto Tone. I know I can sync similar images, but what I want to do is dial back Brightness say -30 on each Auto Toned image. In other words, I want a customizable Auto Tone feature. Anyone at Adobe listening???
I'm sure Adobe has the defaults built in, I just want to fine tune these defaults to my liking when Auto Tone runs. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make it work any other way, how about sharing it with me and our readers.