Lightroom For JPEGs

I have an avid photographer friend with tons of experience who refuses to shoot RAW. I, on the other hand, swear by them. And since I started using Lightroom as my image management and RAW processing software, I’ve become an even bigger fan of RAW. Heck, Lightroom might be part of the reason I’m such a believer in shooting RAW. Well now, just recently I did the unthinkable—and something I can honestly say I had never done before: I accidentally shot JPEGs. (I’d let the friend in question use the camera, and voila, he switched it to JPEG and I didn’t think to switch it back.) It was only in the Lightroom processing that I realized, hey, wait a minute, these are JPEGs! I panicked. But in fact since I’d done most of what I’d planned to do in camera, it will all work out in the end. I also discovered this: Lightroom is an excellent platform for not only organizing, browsing and managing JPEG files, and it’s great for editing them too. Many of those same RAW adjustments can be easily made to JPEGs in Lightroom—just without the extremes of adjustability. It led me to this realization: Lightroom works great for JPEG files too. I’m now going to start advocating for those of you who insist on shooting JPEGs to consider switching to Lightroom for the bulk of your image management and editing workflow. Here’s a great discussion of JPEG-specific Lightroom issues in the Adobe forums.

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