Thursday, May 31, 2007
Lightroom Lights Up
After a lengthy public beta and considerable time and thought in development, Adobe Lightroom arrives. Will the application become your ultimate workflow tool?
The Lightroom Preferences
General Panel. Of prime importance when first setting up Lightroom is how to set up your Library handling in the General preferences panel. Since Lightroom 1.0 was stripped of “Photo Binders” and there's no easy way to sync a laptop to a main workstation, users need to think things through. Yes, the lack of any ability to synchronize between computers is a major shortcoming and one that I find personally galling because this critical functionality was repeatedly promised but has failed to materialize for version 1.0. So we'll just have to wait for a later version to make this possible (we've been promised again and, personally, I believe them). So if you need to be able to move images and libraries around between computers, you should dedicate an external hard drive for both your images as well as the location where your Lightroom database will live.
You can set Lightroom to automatically prompt you for the location of your main Lightroom database every time you launch Lightroom. By default, it will identify where it was upon last launch and from here you can select alternative databases or create a new one. This is more than a bit “south of optimal,” but it's the reality we face. The Lightroom product manager and engineers agreed that the basics of database security and user data safety came before additional functionality, so it will take additional time before we can move and sync machines easily.
Note that when running Lightroom, you also can set a user option of when and how to back up your main Lightroom database. Ideally, you should do this on a regular basis and take steps to copy the backups to alternative media and locations or arrange to have the backups backed up.
External Editors Panel. Aside from choosing the File Formats, Color Space, Bit Depth and whether or not to use Compression, this preference is straightforward. And while the most recent version of Photoshop installed on your machine will be the default editor of choice, you can choose to select an alternative non-Adobe editor.
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