Concentrating on the Image

by Michael Clark

In my last newsletter (Winter 2007) I wrote an editorial on "Getting back to Photography". After three or more years of trying to stay on top of the latest workflows, new software releases and digital techniques I feel like I can finally concentrate on photography again and I consider Lightroom to be a big part of that feeling.

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The reason I bring up the feeling of getting back to photography is that the photo industry has been in a huge upheaval as both photographers and clients get educated about the whole digital process. I've talked with quite a few of my colleagues who feel the same way - that we have finally gotten to the place where editing our images and processing them isn't as slow or as painful as it has been in the past. Most, if not all of those photographers I've heard this from have embraced Lightroom as their image editing and RAW processing tool of choice.

I think as photographers we have been yearning for software like Lightroom which is a streamlined application tailored to our specific needs. It speeds up the entire workflow so that we can spend more time behind the camera instead of in front of the computer - or at least that is the hope. As I write this I have three stock shoots that I have been waiting to process for the last two weeks but my assignment and work load hasn't allowed me to get to them yet. Nonetheless, just knowing that the process of editing and working up those images is a relatively quick affair makes the job an enjoyable experience instead of a chore.

In my last blog post about the Targeted Adjustment Tools, I wrote about how those tools allow us to concentrate on the image and not struggle with the user interface. I also wrote about this in the Lightroom vs. Aperture comparison article (in the user interface section) and this week as I have been working up images I've found my conclusions reinforced. It is such a huge pleasure to be able to concentrate on the images again as it was with film, and not having to constantly deal with a complex workflow anymore.

I'm not saying Lightroom is perfect, there is much that can be improved but Lightroom allows us to concentrate on our images so we can worry about how good our images really are, not how we are going deal with them. It might sound like a small issue to write about but I can finally start to see the light at the other end of the "digital" tunnel. And that is a very good thing.

That's it for this Monday. I look forward to hearing you comments...

Adios, Michael Clark


2007-03-21 22:28:29
I wholeheartedly agree that Lightroom has sped up my workflow, but, unfortunately, with a not-so-brand-new computer, editing pictures in Lightroom still takes a while. I guess I'll have to wait for a new computer to be able to go completely back to "concentrating on the images."