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Author Topic: Lightroom / Elements / CS5  (Read 5984 times)
TinFoilSkin
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« on: January 07, 2012, 10:01:48 AM »
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Hi everyone.

I recently tried a demo of Lightroom 3 and really like it. I currently only have photoshop Elements 10 which is dissapointing for its lack of 16 bit image handling. I was just wondering, do any of you here process any photos start to finish with just Lightroom, without even using Photoshop?

It seems to me I could probably get away with using Lightroom for the major tonal changes in 16bit, then open in Elements, if necessary, convert to 8 bit and finish it off. That way I don't mess up the sky or other subtle tones editing them as 8 bit in Elements.

Just now I edited a photo start to finish in Lightroom, without even needing to use Elements. I don't know if this would be the case for every image though.

I can get Lightroom for about 60 with the education discount, but CS5 would still be 160ish. A huge saving, but still a bit much for my budget at present.

Thoughts?
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degrub
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 10:10:52 AM »
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My experience - better than 90% i can do in LR. IMO, LR is a way to organize your images, with some of the more useful image processing features added in.

BTW, Adobe has changed their upgrade pricing model (search the forum) and you might want to wait until CS6 which i hear is not too far off before you put down the cash. Check it out - there are several ways to work the cost. Then again, if Elements does all you need.....

Frank
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luxborealis
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 05:05:57 PM »
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I've been working with LR for a number of years and am teaching it as a course twice a year at a local college. I also wrote the Lightroom Visual Guide available online. Needless to say, I'm an advocate of doing as much as possible from using LR's 16-bit pipeline which means about 95% of my nature and outdoor images never see PS. I work from input through cataloguing, developing and process sharpening right through to finished fine art prints only in LR. Am I hand-cuffing myself to only one app - no way. I used PS for even longer than LR and PS still has its place, but is no longer required for most of my work.

However, I still prefer PS "Transform" for perspective correction (buildings, etc.). Even though LR has Lens Corrections, I don't like separate Vertical and Horizontal changes when in Transform I can do them both at once. As well, in PS I can extend the Canvas so as not "lose" parts that may end up off-canvas due to Transform. PS is also helpful for more significant Clone Stamping and Healing. The only other processing plugin I use is Photomatix Pro for HDR work.

So far, I have not needed PS (or any other plugin) for sharpening or for B&W. I don't think I'm blind to their potential, I'd rather keep pushing LR's envelope until it can;t do what I need it to. Many photographers are also using PS to create Layer masks for "burning and dodging" and selective sharpening which I have also completely migrated from PS to LR for. Each time I use a graduated mask or an adjustment brush (including for selective sharpening), it's like adding a layer that can be manipulated (erased, added to, etc.) ad infinitum. That being said, I am very much a "straight" photographer and do not, for e.g. drop in skies or so massive healing. Nor do I work for an agency or studio that may have requirements beyond LR capabilities.

Having virtual copies and non-destructive cropping are two of LR's greatest strengths along with its Print module which allows me to prepare a photograph once and print to many sizes without having to resize each time. As well, with printing templates, I can now print high quality fine art prints at the push of a button - LR takes care of the automation by storing all the necessary options (printer settings, paper profile, sharpening, margins, etc.) for each print as a Template.

One question, though:  I'm not sure what you mean by:
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It seems to me I could probably get away with using Lightroom for the major tonal changes in 16bit, then open in Elements, if necessary, convert to 8 bit and finish it off.
Whether "finishing it off"means fine prints to any size or outputting jpegs, LR is still the way to go. Team up LR's "Export" with Tim Armes' LR/Mogrify 2 (the Photographers Toolbox) and you have a beautiful way to present images. And with Jeffrey Friedl's "Export to Flickr" plugin (amongst many others) you have photo site uploads taken care of too. If web output to your own site is important and LR doesn't do what you want, consider solutions from The Turning Gate and the Photographers Toolbox that integrate beautifully with LR's Web module.

Is LR perfect? No, not at all, but for 75% of what I do, it exceeds my requirements and for another 20% of my work it meets my expectations. Depending on the photography you do, it might just be as helpful for you, too.
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Terry McDonald
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TinFoilSkin
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2012, 08:32:50 PM »
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Thanks degrub and luxborealis. Luxborealis, thank you very much in particular for that very detailed reply! Certainly now I am getting a better understanding of LR. I will continue to use it as a trial untill my 30 days are up.

I too am more of a 'straight' photographer (I'd rather use graduated ND filters in the field than mess about with merging exposures for example)

By 'Finishing' off in Elements I really mean just having that bigger viewing space to do final checks and also to use unsharp mask; havent got the hang of the LR sharpening yet...seems I can't quite get what I want from it; probably just using it wrong.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply, it is very much appreciated.



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degrub
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2012, 08:49:07 PM »
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Real World Image Sharpening - Fraser and Schewe will help you on sharpening.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 03:39:46 AM »
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You really ought to download the new LR4 beta version and play with it.

With softproofing and other several other goodies it looks like being an almost one stop shop for serious photographers.

Regards

Tony Jay
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feethea
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 04:57:55 AM »
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I'm with Tony re using LR4Beta - it is a big improvement on previous versions.

I'm also with Luxborealis re is there a real need for PS, other than the rare use of layers, for the vast majority of work a photographer will do to an image using LR? Simply, no!

Barry
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famalam
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2012, 06:24:40 PM »
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You'll outgrow everything eventually, but CS5 will take longer. But it cataloguing and management are more your key need, you'd be better off with LR
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 07:30:54 PM »
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If you are printing then with LR4 the process is MUCH easier and intuitive than in PS5.
Soft-proofing is the clincher.

Possibly PS6 will change their soft-proofing and printing but PS5 is a pain in the butt here.
PS is important for my workflow since I use both the HDR, focus stacking, panoramic stitching, and other tools in PS so I am not indiscriminately bagging PS.

Nonetheless I stand by my previous post that LR4 will be even more indispensible to serious photographers than LR3.
One simply cannot ignore the combination of tools and possibilities presented in LR4.
Most people dont mention the digital asset management capabilities of LR either.
The develop module has been substantially re-engineered - it is early days for me to comment but it does appear that even better results can be had than with LR3. Remember the significant improvement between LR2 and LR3 with the develop module?

Yes, one can accumulate several different software packages that will equal the functionality of LR4, but why bother when there is one exceptionally integrated package in LR4.


My $0.02 worth

Regards

Tony Jay
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