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Author Topic: What Finally Convinced Me to Stick With Lightroom (For Now)  (Read 3949 times)
JimAscher
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« on: May 12, 2011, 03:56:03 PM »
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What it really comes down to -- is its pretty face!  Having recently upgraded my Silver Efex Pro Version One to its wonderfully new-featured Version Two, and relying as previously on QTR for my black-and-white printing, I awoke in the middle of the night and asked myself:  Why do I need to continue with the frustrations of dealing with the integrated Library/Develop Lightroom system -- liking the Develop module but hating its Library component -- which represented to me the horse-and-carriage marriage analogy of one not being able to exist without the other (from a popular song that some of us older members might remember)?  Why not ditch the whole thing and go the arguably much simpler route of a work flow consisting of Windows Explorer (or its equivalent), ACR (via Photoshop ES5 or Elements), SEP2 and QTR?  A hell-of-a-lot simpler, what?  I even, the next morning (figuratively), looked into and tried the Windows Explorer relative equivalents of Bridge and IMatch.  But you know what?  In the end I've decided to return to the "much prettier face" of the Lightroom workspace and give our marriage another chance.  I'll meet her (the Library module) halfway -- if only she'd be a bit more accommodating.  All those marriage manuals I've invested in HAVE to ultimately provide some useful guidance (to supplant the great advice I've already received to date in this forum).  For those of you with even a remaining scintilla of human compassion, please continue to wish me well.       
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2011, 04:08:37 PM »
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Odd, because I find LR's library module to be the best part of it. It has vastly simplified my dealings with the 12,000+ photos I have and saved me endless hours and hassles. The print module, on the other hand.....don't get me started!
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2011, 04:39:28 PM »
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As another stubborn, die-hard, set-in-my-ways old geezer I say give the girl another chance!

I, too, have fought the Lightroom Database approach with tooth and nail, but I'm finally coming around to the idea that it may well be worth getting rid of some of my old habits to have a smoother workflow.

I love the Develop module, even with occasional side trips to CS5, but the real kicker for me is the Print module. Nevermore will I print from Photoshop directly! Lightroom presets alone have saved me a huge pile of wasted paper.

And as for B&W, I find the Advanced B&W mode on my Epson 3800, with Eric Chan's ABW profiles, to give me much better results than I could get with QTR on my old 2200.

Many happy anniversaries!

Eric
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 08:36:43 PM »
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Jim, I would love to know exactly what you're trying to do in the Library module that is causing all this grief.  What is your typical file management workflow?  What do you normally do in windows explorer or Bridge that you're having trouble doing in Lightroom?
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JimAscher
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2011, 12:03:10 AM »
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Jim, I would love to know exactly what you're trying to do in the Library module that is causing all this grief.  What is your typical file management workflow?  What do you normally do in windows explorer or Bridge that you're having trouble doing in Lightroom?

My primary problem (as previously reported in another thread of mine) has been -- and STILL is - with Importing and Exporting.  As such, as part of my above announced "reconciliation," I intend to fore-go ANY further use of those functions, other than the initial import of my captures.  I need to be able to have my final edits ensconced firmly on my hard-drive so as to be able to have QTR access them for printing.  In my LR Develop module editing (frequently going to and from either Photoshop or Silver Efex Pro) I export them to my hard drive (renaming them along the way) for this QTR printing access.  But the catch for me is most often (as also occurred again today) importing them back into the Lightroom folder from whence they came.  I've tried the importing back into the current folder command, the synchronize command, as well as numerous other workarounds my brain could conceive of attempting.  The end result has almost inevitably been the screwing up (corrupting?) of my initial LR folder, with the files I desired to import frequently disappearing along the way.  Windows Explorer I find is so much easier and certain.  You probably will have some difficulty in understanding what is actually going on (and wrong) in my processing.  Unfortunately, you really have to BE THERE!  (Not that you'd really want to -- unless you're a bit kinky.)  I know, thousands of others in this forum love this product for its apparently fabulous cataloging capabilities -- and I respect and envy them for that.  I truly wish I could become a full--fledged member of their flock.  But some of us are just not born apparently with the innate attributes required.  I will just have to resign and content myself with nibbling somewhat around the edges, taking such sustenance as I can.       
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jaapb
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2011, 03:42:29 AM »
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My primary problem (as previously reported in another thread of mine) has been -- and STILL is - with Importing and Exporting       

Jim,

Maybe it is better to use Publish to harddisk instead of exporting. You keep your originals and the published files in their respective location, any change in the originals can be propagated to the published files by doing republish. No need to re-import to keep them in sync. Just a thought.

Jaap
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Hans Kruse
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2011, 04:56:13 AM »
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When you work from Lightroom with external applications it works best if you make sure that the external application will procude a file that is automatically imported into Lightroom. The NIK software suite does this. Photoshop does this and many other apps have plugins to Lightroom that does this. So there should be no need to import into Lightroom.
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JimAscher
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2011, 10:33:38 AM »
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Jim,

Maybe it is better to use Publish to harddisk instead of exporting. You keep your originals and the published files in their respective location, any change in the originals can be propagated to the published files by doing republish. No need to re-import to keep them in sync. Just a thought.

Jaap

Jaap:  I hadn't considered (or even knew much about) the Publish to hard disk option.  I played around with it a bit, and it might very well serve my needs (and reduce my difficulties and frustration).  Many thanks, Jim
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2011, 10:44:51 AM »
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I'm at a loss to see why Publish was recommended to you! My view - you should ignore it.

Try this. For a week or two, don't use Windows Explorer or Bridge for anything. Force yourself to do all file and folder activity in LR, and ask about the specific things that trouble you.

John
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2011, 11:00:30 AM »
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I'm at a loss to see why Publish was recommended to you! My view - you should ignore it.

Try this. For a week or two, don't use Windows Explorer or Bridge for anything. Force yourself to do all file and folder activity in LR, and ask about the specific things that trouble you.

John

John:  That's essentially what I've been doing for weeks (or months!) now, on a very slow (for me) learning curve.  But I definitely will keep at it.  Thanks.  Jim
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2011, 11:06:35 AM »
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The other thought I would put past you is to think about what Lightroom calls "importing". While I understand why they chose the word, in my view it's a bit misleading because your pictures don't become part of Lightroom or really go inside it. Instead a better choice would have been "registering" because the importing process is one where you register files in Lightroom, like recording widgets in an inventory system. Sooner or later one of these pennies will drop!
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2011, 11:20:34 AM »
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Yes - the term "Importing" causes a l;ot of confusion for new users.  When I introduce folk to LR I always say to read "Importing" as "Referencing"!
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JimAscher
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2011, 11:41:21 AM »
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John and Roger:  Your clarifications regarding "Importing" are usefully "re-registered" with me, to my additional enlightenment.  I use the term "re-registered" as my wife is (among other things) a data base programmer, and I do have some cognizance of what it is Lightroom does in its cataloging.  But I think that therein lie the "opportunities" for error.  You wouldn't care to know the struggles my wife goes through in sorting out the continuing bugs that crop up in the Washington State Department of Health data base.  She is (strangely) rather unsympathetic to my struggles with Lightroom.  Thanks again. Jim         
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2011, 12:47:05 PM »
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Jim,

Perhaps an idea: Define in Preferences an external editor pointing to QTRgui.exe

Make sure QTRgui "drag-drop auto print" is not ticked.

Select an image in LR, right mouse click and in menu select the external editor option you just created.
It should launch QTRgui and load the image.
Note that when you export a a file you can also select a post process, if you select QTRgui as the post process it will open qtrgui and load the image.
Also when export you can select same folder and add to catalog and add to stack.
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2011, 03:51:29 PM »
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Jim,

Perhaps an idea: Define in Preferences an external editor pointing to QTRgui.exe

Make sure QTRgui "drag-drop auto print" is not ticked.

Select an image in LR, right mouse click and in menu select the external editor option you just created.
It should launch QTRgui and load the image.
Note that when you export a a file you can also select a post process, if you select QTRgui as the post process it will open qtrgui and load the image.
Also when export you can select same folder and add to catalog and add to stack.


Intriguing additional idea(s).  Very worth consideration (and trying out). Thanks.
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2011, 04:40:57 PM »
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OK!  In trying to clarify further the nature of (and possible reason) for my difficulties, I have run a few tests as triggered in my mind by the various useful comments and suggestions I've received above.

I took a tif image I wanted to edit further.  I first passed it along from the Lightroom Develop module to my Silver Efex Pro external editor.  I modified it there then saved it within SEP.  Going back to my LR Library, I noted it had been added to its original folder as an edit.

I did the same thing exactly in Photoshop ES5 with the same result, except it was tagged as edit2.

Going into my hard drive (My Pictures). both new edits were in fact there, meaning I could access either one of them for printing with QTR.  So far, so good. (I recognized I could have changed their names within Lightroom for more descriptive ones, if I later chose.)

Then, I went back into Lightroom, took the initial tif photo I'd started my experiment with -- and edited it further within the LR Develop module.  While the history of these additional edits was recorded, the resulting further-edited image did not gain an additional edit tag, nor did it manifest itself in the My Pictures folder on my hard drive.  I now believe (yet again) that I would need to EXPORT that LR-edited photo to have it "register" correctly in my LR folder and find its way to my hard drive.  Am I correct in this assumption?  It makes me question whether the Publish-To-Hard-Drive is not actually the best route to take in such examples as this.   
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Jim Ascher

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Mac Mahon
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2011, 05:24:32 PM »
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Jim
You've got it!

Silver Efex and Photoshop convert and re-save as new files (actually the conversion to tiff is made by LR in passing the files to SEP or PS).  You can never back up from any of the changes you made in the SEP plug-in or in PS, because the changes are locked in when the edited file is returned to LR.

By contrast, LR's develop module is deliberately non-destructive.  For many of us that is its strength! We can back out of foolish edit choices!
You won't find the edited file in your directory because the edits are saved in an xml 'sidecar' or 'recipe', to be applied to the original file for the purpose of display, further editing, or printing from within LR.

If you want to work on the LR edited version in another application which is not accessed as a plug-in, QTR for example, you need to save a version that has the LR edits permanently applied just as they were by SEP or PS.  That's achieved by means of 'exporting' a copy in tiff or jpeg from LR.  (I too am not sure that the terminology of 'import' and 'export' is very useful - but its the concept that's important)

Think of SEP or PS as saving (destructively) automatically, but LR saving destructively only on your active command. 

Cheers

Tim

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JimAscher
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2011, 06:22:13 PM »
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Thanks, Tim.  My way is clear.  I KNEW I'd have to "export" at some stage of working within Lightroom.  The new insight from all this for me is that I'd don't have to RE-IMPORT the exported photo.  Right?

« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 08:16:39 PM by JimAscher » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2011, 07:25:13 PM »
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By contrast, LR's develop module is deliberately non-destructive.  For many of us that is its strength! We can back out of foolish edit choices!
You won't find the edited file in your directory because the edits are saved in an xml 'sidecar' or 'recipe', to be applied to the original file for the purpose of display, further editing, or printing from within LR.
I don't know if Adobe uses the XML format or not but the file extension is 'xmp' not 'xml'  Additionally, you might not see this file in Windows Explorer as I believe you have to have 'hidden' files shown.  It is only the date stamp on the XMP file that changes as you modify an image, the underlying RAW file retains the date stamp from when you imported it into LR.  The only way to get around this AFAIK is to convert to DNG format when you import and the changes you make in LR become part of the DNG file.  However, I don't think this helps you out in terms of QTR printing as you still have to convert and export.
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2011, 01:16:16 PM »
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Jim,

I'm glad to hear that you're sticking with it, marriage counseling notwithstanding. The more I use Lightroom the more I like it. I think of "importing" as simply adding an additional record to my image database file. As pointed out in this thread many programs like Photoshop do that automatically when you click on save. Photomatix and the Nik suite are other examples.

Some don't. But you can manually navigate to those files and import them. The only exception would be files in a format that Lightroom does not support. An example would be Unified Color's "bef" format used for their HDR Express. But when you finishing processing images in those other formats you could always save them as 16-bit tiffs and import those suppported format files to your Lightroom library.

Stick with it and good luck,

Stan
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