Lightroom Newbie Seeks Sanity Help

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by littlefish, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. littlefish

    littlefish Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 22, 2011
    Glos., UK
    I used to have a Canon 20D and still use a Canon S90. My old workflow was BreezeSys Downloader Pro > BreezeBrowser Pro > DxO > sometimes PhotoShop CS4. I love DxO but it does not support my new Panasonic G3 and lenses and probably won't for months to come. Meanwhile I'm taking lots of piccies I want to process and thought I'd try to simplify things. So...

    I now have Lightroom 3.5 RC installed and am ploughing through Scott Kelby's book LR3 for Digital Photographers. I have to confess that I'm getting lost in the settings and am not achieving results as I could in DxO.

    Does anyone have any recommendations of a book / site / DVD that can help an experienced techie but LR newbie, please?
  2. Gwendal

    Gwendal Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 6, 2010
    I went through the Classroom in a Book - a bit boring but really worthwhile in the end, I find the most difficult part with Lightroom is to get used to the workflow it imposes on you - but once you are, it is incredibly efficient...
  3. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2010
    Do you have any specific questions about Lightroom?
    I'm fairly new to it (9 months) but it came pretty easily to me (though I have used Photoshop for many, many years). I'd be glad to offer suggestions/help if you are looking for anything specific.
  4. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    Sorry, I can't give you a recommendation for a book/site/dvd, but hang in there. As Gwendal says, the biggest hurdle is getting used to the LR workflow. I was a PS7 user for about 9 years before switching completely to LR3. I did it the hard way, just sat down and crunched on it until it worked for me (no books or any other instruction and no going back to PS). The learning curve was steep in the beginning, but then it levels off fast. :)
  5. littlefish

    littlefish Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 22, 2011
    Glos., UK
    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll finish Kelby's book then look out Adobe's official guide.

    Thank you so much for the quick response and offer of help. It's not anything specific with LR rather something of a workflow culture shock. I'm a long time PhotoShop user but coming from an IT background have always organised my image files manually with a directory / file naming convention.

    I'm still going through the pain of having to organise my files the Adobe way (why do my images look like they've been adjusted during import? how do I remove images from the catalog that I've deleted from the hard drive? why doesn't LR automatically import files from the directory I've told it to watch?). I'm not looking for answers to these questions as I'm sure I'll find them with a little RTFMing and finishing Kelby's book.

    Thanks, it is reassuring to know that LR can be a difficult program to learn. I was beginning to wonder if I was being dense. I'll just put my head down and get on with it. :smile:
  6. Gwendal

    Gwendal Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 6, 2010
    Exacty same here - but frankly, once you start having thousands of images, being able to organize collections, rate, tag, sort all you want etc is invaluable. Also recently discovered that online services like Flickr and SmugMug let you download tags and comments back to Lightroom, useful for instance when others comment on your photos....
  7. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    The real trick to learning Lightroom is to think of it as a DAM first (digital asset management) and a raw processor second. Once images have been imported to Lightroom you should use Lightroom to manage them. If you want to delete images then do it through Lightroom which will give you the option to remove from the catalogue or delete from disk.

    Having said that, any images you've already deleted from disk, just select the thumbnail in the grid view, right click and remove from the catalogue. If it's a folder of images you can do that From the folder tree on the left.

    I still copy and organize my images manually before importing to Lightroom and just have LR reference them without moving them. But once they're in LR I use LR to do all the file management from then on.

    The reason it looks like LR is making adjustments when it imports image is because it is. It can't read the proprietary Canon/Panasonic metatags and so LR has it's own set of processing and default settings. You can play and adjust these to get an import you're happy with. Start with the different "looks" available in the calibration section of the develop tab (down the bottom on the right). See if you prefer one of the other import presets or you can make your own.

  8. the_traveler

    the_traveler Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 12, 2011
    Columbia, MD
    Real Name:
    Lew Lorton
    IMO, the best thing you can do before uploading images is to create a keyword hierarchy of your own.

    It isn't difficult and there are lots of tutorials around.

    It will simplify keywording immensely and keep the links to your pix in some sort of an orderly structure
  9. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010

    I can't say I am an expert but I have been using Lightroom for almost 2 years now. Best thing ever! I too started reading Scott Kelby's book on Lightroom and I actually learned a lot from it. It does take a while to set everything up but once is a setup, everything else is a breeze.

    My current workflow:
    1. Import photos as DNG into specific folders.
    2. Run by all the photos, and press X only any bad photos. Press Ctrl Del, and this will remove all those unwanted photos from Lightroom and your harddisk.
    3. Edit in lightroom or photoshop.
    4. Export photos as jpeg -> this will be stored in a processed folder within the parent folder.

    Hope this helps.