Photography Notes

Trying Out Adobe Lightroom 4


My photography tends to be seasonal. When the garden is in full bloom I'm eager to capture the details of each blossom through the lens. But when it's cold and dreary I'm less likely to grab the camera and go exploring my corner of the world.


I also deal with the problem that plagues most avid photographers who shoot digital images. File after file of photos build up on my computer getting harder to sort, search and enjoy. It's a lot like those heaping boxes full of photos I had in my youth (back in the days of film, prints & slides). Well actually, it's quite a bit worse. Clutter happens when you don't have to keep buying film and you can shoot 700 photos in an afternoon.


It looks like Adobe Lightroom 4 is going to change things in a big way for me. Lightroom lets me organize and easily access all of my images. It also lets me quickly fine tune exposure, color and cropping while leaving my original digital image file intact. And it makes everything I do with photos so much faster and more efficient. I can't believe I've never tired Lightroom before.


Lightroom is going to be a huge help with my work, but it is also encouraging me to have fun with utterly pointless photographic play time. Here's an example.


After finishing my last garden shoot I was sitting on the porch, sipping tea – pointing the camera here and there and clicking for no other reason except that digital film is cheap.


Look! It's a dormant winter garden, water barrel and a shed!




But later, with just a few seconds of tweaking dials in Lightroom it is a nostalgic look at a corner of rural Appalachia.




And look! It's a bunch of rusting binder clips holding our vegetable netting to an overhead wire.




And look, it's my favorite old oak tree!




And some other trees!




And more trees!




And iris foliage!




None of these photos are all that special, but I like them. They are the kind of photos I like to keep in the family photo box.


Without Lightroom I probably would not have done anything with these images. The time spent to process them and organize them would have been too much. And the extra work of resizing then and uploading them to In Bloom This Week would just never have happened. With Lightroom, though, I can process the images in a flash, select a handful that fit with a story, and have everything processed and uploaded without it being a big production.


Digital cameras gave me the photographic equivalent of free film. Lightroom is giving me something that's a lot like having my own person speedy processing lab and a personal organizer too. This is going to be fun!