I have Lightroom. Do I need Photoshop?

I have been meaning to write a post on this topic.  However, I noticed today that my colleague Gene McCullagh has just written about this over on his blog, Lightroom Secrets.   I agree with Gene that Lightroom will serve most photographers needs most  of the time (and some photographers, all the time).   My advice to serious amateurs and pro’s is to learn Lightroom very well, and only then,  if you find you need more sophisticated pixel-editing tools, consider Photoshop (or even PS Elements) for just those advanced needs. I believe that today, with Lightroom so well established and powerful, educational programs that start photographers out in Photoshop rather than Lightroom are doing them a real disservice.  I hope that programs […more]


Understanding Resolution

Two factors determine how big your image will be when displayed — the size of your image in pixels, and how many pixels are displayed per inch, which is referred to as resolution. Both of the example images below have 6 pixels (3×2):  the first is displayed at  1 pixel per inch, and the second is displayed at 2 pixels per inch. 3 pixels x 2 pixels at 1 pixel per inch When you prepare your images for print, you specify  what resolution your images will print at.   If you have a 6 megapixel camera (i.e. 6 million pixel camera), your image is approximately 3,000 pixels wide by 2,000 pixels high  (3,000 x 2,000 = 6 million).      If you […more]


An Easier Way to Get Your Color in Lightroom

You are designing a slideshow, and you want the background color to be a particular color from one of your images.  Or, you are designing a web gallery, and you want the background color to be the color on your website, or some other cool color you have found.  The question is, how do you find out what that color is, and tell Lightroom to use it?   A while back I wrote a post on using Photoshop to identify the color, and then specifying this color in Lightroom.   It turns out though, that there is an easier way — you can do it all within Lightroom.  This is why I love Lightroom more every day — it just continues to […more]


Working on Two or More Computers with One Lightroom Catalog

If you regularly work on two or more computers and carrying an external hard drive is not a problem, then consider putting your images and your Lightroom catalog on the external drive, so that you can move easily between the two. If your catalog is currently on your internal hard drive, you will need to move it to the external drive: In LR, go to Edit (Lightroom on a Mac) > Catalog Settings, and on the General Tab note the location of your catalog. In Finder or Windows Explorer/My Computer, move this catalog folder to your external drive. Now all you have to do is to tell LR to launch this catalog when it starts: With your external drive plugged […more]


Virtual Copies in Lightroom

I wrote a post recently about making snapshots while you work  so that you can explore different versions of your image — for example, a black and white and a color version —  with the goal of having just one version in the end. If you want to end up with two or more versions — to export to share with others, or to use in the output modules, you can do so with virtual copies.  Simply right click on your image and select “Create Virtual Copy”.   You’ll see in Library Grid view or in your filmstrip that you now have two copies, and that the second one has a bent page corner symbol, indicating that it is a virtual […more]


How to Move Your Lightroom Catalog

I have written about moving your Lightroom work from your laptop to your desktop (or any two computers) here. This involves exporting your work on the laptop as a catalog, then importing it into your desktop catalog. Sometimes though you may want to simply move your catalog. Mine was initially on an external hard drive; I then decided to move it to my internal C: drive because it would read and write faster. The first step in doing this is finding out where it is stored currently. In Lightroom go to Edit>Catalog Settings on the PC, or Lightroom>Catalog Settings on the Mac. In the General Tab, the location of your catalog is shown. Click on the Show button to open […more]

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