Friday, July 20, 2007
New Breed Photo Software
Breaking from the traditional menu-intensive approach to photo workflow, these apps are designed from the ground up for the needs of digital photographers
Neither Aperture nor Lightroom is intended to completely replace your other photo software. Indeed, these apps are limited in scope. Notably missing is the ability to work with Layers; for creative work beyond the captured image, like compositing, you'll need to switch to another program. Instead, both Lightroom and Aperture are focused to do the core tasks of importing, organizing, correcting and outputting your images extremely well and efficiently.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Designed to complement and be used in tandem with Photoshop, Lightroom is a powerful tool for editing nondestructively and managing a library of images, with some added bonuses. Lightroom divides your workflow into five easy-to-use modules: Library, Develop, Print, Slideshow and Web.
Library. This is the place to store and organize your images. As folders or images are imported into Library, they can be put into Collections or viewed all at once. Each image can have organizational data attached, such as the keywords and file names that you create, as well as the metadata from your camera.
Images can be put in a temporary Quick Collection so you can sort through them and add them to existing Collections if you want. To move photos around within Library, simply click and drag a thumbnail into the appropriate folder or Collection listed on the left panel. To move them into Photoshop, right click on an image and select Edit in Adobe Photoshop. If you want to tag and sort images by their quality, they can be color-coded, rated from one to five stars or flagged as Pick or Reject.
When doing searches, you can find photos based on the folder or Collection name, keywords, metadata or the capture date. Related images can be grouped into stacks, represented by a thumbnail image and a number icon in the corner of the thumbnail that specifies the number of photos in the stack.
Develop. The real tour de force of Lightroom is the Develop module, with nondestructive editing of JPG, TIFF, PNG, DNG and RAW files. Everything done to your images is only a metadata edit. The actual pixels aren't changed or altered in any way. All the settings are exported and applied to the image when opened in Photoshop where they can be adjusted further ad nauseam.
Right-panel controls include White Balance, Tone, Color, Brightness and Contrast, Hue, Saturation, Luminance, Sharpening, Noise Reduction and Lens Corrections (Chromatic Aberration and Lens Vignetting). Images can be cropped and cleared of red eye, as well as imperfections and dust spots with the Spot Healing/Cloning tool. There's also a Targeted Adjustment tool that lets you click directly on an image to adjust specific tones and colors.
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