Lightroom has a new “feature” in release 1.3 that I’ve not yet heard anyone mention: When you ship your image over to Photoshop to do the things that Lightroom can’t, then bring the image back into Lightroom, it’s no longer two or three stops brighter than it was before it left. Once I realized that all I had to do to make it match the previous adjustment of the RAW image was to drag the Brightness slider to the left while watching the thumbnail in the film strip. BTW, if you’re going to make a Develop module adjustment to an image you want to compare with another, the Before and After view doesn’t help much. You only see the difference in how the same image looked before you adjusted it. So what you have to do is simply make the images in the Filmstrip large enough so that you can get a better idea of how the match looks. You won’t need to match up images for the same reason, but you may still want to do that if you’ve made adjustments in Photoshop or LightZone or whatever that you want to compare to the original.
There’s another “new” development in Lightroom 1.3. I have “new” in quotes because it’s been lingering in the background for a while now, but there are actually downloadable “next-gen” Web gallery templates that you can try. Actually, my first attempt to do that wasn’t very successful and there are some fairly interesting installation considerations. Those who understand XHTML and CSS programming, at this stage, will likely have the best luck. But even if you know nothing, taking a look at the samples and the claims can get you pretty excited. Most of the new galleries are stated to only run in Lightroom version 1.3. Still, they do seem to load and run faster, as claimed. So I’m sure it won’t be long. The prospects look or sound downright exciting. The designs are very clean and professional but some also promise to allow you to make it possible to let the gallery’s viewers make comments on the individual images and that allow for a PayPal sale of your images.
The big buzz is about Slimbox galleries, downloadable from http://theturninggate.net/blog/adobe-lightroom-slimbox-template.
You might also want to take a look at this link: http://www.lightroomgalleries.com/. There are several of the new galleries that you can download and try. My favorite, so far, is a gallery called the Airtight AutoViewer that just slowly moves a “filmstrip” from left to right, showing a feature-size image of each of the shots in your gallery. This gallery seems to work right off, in Windows XP, at least. I’ve placed a screenshot of AutoViewer immediately below. Note how clearly you can see the descriptive caption for the image and it’s number in the slideshow. So you’ll have no problem communicating with your audience about which images they prefer and the changes they may want to make.