Like any new application, Lightroom 1.0 is going through the “introduction” phase, and there are some misunderstandings about what it can and cannot do.
Here is my ever-growing list:
1. Can’t Support Multiple Libraries
Wrong. If you set your Lightroom Preferences properly as shown here…
…on application start-up, you can choose which Library to open from the dialog box shown here.
Why have multiple Libraries, especially if you can only open one at a time? I’m hearing photographers give different reasons for this. Some feel it’s not a good idea to put all your eggs into one basket. Others carry laptops on shoots and create smaller, “in-the-field” Libraries. I suspect–and hope!– future versions of Lightroom will allow us to combine and update databases in one Library with the database of another, and to open new libraries from within the application itself.
2. Can’t Sharpen Adequately for Quality Printing
Wrong. This misconception is based on a misunderstanding of how Lightroom sharpens in the Print module. As you see here, it appears that you have only three choices for sharpening an image file before it goes to print:
In fact, there are almost infinite sharpening choices. This is because Lighroom’s sharpening is relative, based on the set resolution and pixel dimension. Look for more Lightroom sharpening options and improvements in the future, however, even now print sharpening in Lightroom isn’t as inadequate as some people claim.
3. Can’t do DAM
Kind of Right. Kind of Wrong. There is no question Lightroom’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) capabilities need improvement. However, there is a still a lot of positive things that aren’t well documented. For example, the other day I helped a studio photographer find a way to separate images taken on the same day with multiple camera models. (All the images from the day were “dumped” into Lightroom, but the photographer needed them separated by camera model.)
It seemed easy at first: In the Library module select the Metadata Browser pane and select the camera of choice.
However, the same camera model was used on other days so all the images from that camera were selected, not only the ones from the day’s shoot. The solution: Hold down the command key and click on other criteria, in this case the days date in the Folder pane. Now the search includes both the camera and date criteria. You can keep clicking (while holding the command key) through as much criteria as you want.
4. Can Replace Adobe Bridge
Wrong. Early on, I was one of the ones saying Lightroom would replace Adobe Bridge. In fact, I’m not so sure now. I actually find Lightroom and Bridge to work nicely together. There are times when I don’t want to import an entire folder of images. I browse using Bridge and drag and drop my images into Lightroom and work on them that way.
5. Can Replace Adobe Photoshop
Wrong. Can you say Adjustment Layers, Type tool, Masks, Awesome filters and plug-ings, and so on? Not likely.
6. Can’t Compete with Aperture
Ok, I just threw this one in for fun. But on the Windows side of things, Lightroom can’t compete with Aperture… because there is NO Aperture.