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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Tutorial - Part II - Lightroom Workflow

Part I - Index and Introduction
Part III - Organizing the Library


Lightroom forces a kind of rigid workflow to the user. Lightroom's user interface reflects the Lightroom workflow very clearly. As you can see in the following picture, Lightroom's user interface is made up of modules, each of which is dedicated to a different phase of the workflow.

Lightroom User Interface - Library Module
Every modules organizes and segregates the features that Lightroom offers to the user. The available modules are:
  • Library: this module is used to organize the photographic library.
  • Develop: this module is used to develop the files. Develop is Lightroom's jargon for editing, with a clear reference to the good ol' darkroom days.
  • Slideshow: this module is used to create slideshows.
  • Print: this module is used to manage print jobs.
  • Web: this module is used to create web sites.

Whether this organization is good for you, I cannot tell. I suspect there's no right or wrong, here, it just depends on how you're used to work. As far as it concerns myself, it fits very cleanly on what I am used to:
  • I start in the Library module either choosing existing photos, importing new ones or shooting tethered.
  • I use the Develop module to apply the corrections I want.
  • Sometimes I use the Print module to print the images I'm interested in.
  • Far less often I end up in the Slideshow or Web modules to generate a slideshow, a video or a small web site.
Although I like this scheme, it seem to be a source of major complaint amongst Lightroom detractors. The big drawback when compared to other tools, according to many reviewers, is the inability of using a function of one module when you're into another. Well, that's not an issue for me, either. Remember that Lightroom modules are just an user interface organization criterions. Instead of cluttering the UI pushing too many functions (or palettes) in the same window, they're organized in modules (different windows) that you can switch to when needed. Moreover, the keyboard shortcuts, as well as the menu, are global: if you're using a module and select a function of another one, Lightroom will instantly change module while processing your request. Since Lightroom performance is very good, you won't notice a big delay (unless you're loading an image for the first time in your working session). Nevertheless, I recognize that the ability of editing an image in whichever phase of the workflow (something that Aperture allows) may be convenient in some situations.

Lightroom Windows

The structure of the Lightroom user interface is common to all modules and is shown in the following image.

Lightroom Window Structure

The window is made up of the following:
  • A title bar, on the uppermost part of the window.
  • A viewer bar, on the lowermost part of the window.
  • Two palettes, on the left and right sides of the window.
  • A working area, the innermost part of the window.
  • A toolbar, just below the working area.

The Title and the Viewer Bar
The upper part of the window, the title bar, provides the controls that let the user switch between modules. As you can see in the picture, on the right side of the title bar, a control is provided for each of the modules: Library, Develop, Slideshow, Print and Web.

Lightroom Title Bar

The lower part of the window it's a handy viewer that lets you quickly sweep through the thumbnails of the photos in your current folder (or collection), select a new image to work upon, apply a saved filter to the current selection (using the controls on its right side), jump to the most recent sources you visited (using the menu that appear clicking on the image title) and manage the views on the Lightroom windows (using the windows controls marked with 1 and 2).

Lightroom Viewer Bar

The palettes on the left and right sides of the Lightroom window host panels. A panel encapsulates a set of related controls and can be collapsed and expanded, to take better advantage of the limited available space. The panel that appear in the palettes depend on the module that is selected. In the screenshot shown in the following picture, you can se a palette with the Navigator panel expanded and all of the remaining ones collapsed.

A Lightroom Palette With Some Panels
The Working Area and the Toolbar
The working area is the central part of the Lightroom window and its contents depend on the currently selected module. Some modules, such as the Library, allow for multiple working area views, and the user can switch between them and customize them using the control provided in the working area toolbar.

Lighroom Working Area and Toolbar

In the previous screenshot, the grid view for the working area of the Library module is shown.

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1 comment:

Captivate Training Tutorials said...

Light room tutorial is amazing. That's really a new tutorial for me. I think these features would be helpful to design something new into the images.