I have been an Adobe Photoshop user for a long time. Some of the things that can be done with photographs by this piece of kit are amazing. I also have been using Lightroom since its first release, in 2007 I think. Initially I used Lightroom for its cataloguing capabilities to help me keep track of things. I was never really impressed by its photo adjustment/manipulation capabilities as it was, in my view, only Adobe Camera Raw in new clothes. So I didn’t bother with upgrading to LR2 when that came along.
Then came LR3 which was a bit of a leap forward in the processing department and since I was upgrading Photoshop to CS5 it seemed like a good idea to upgrade to LR3 too.
Now along comes LR4 which I see as another big improvement. Whereas Lightroom was very much the junior partner in my workflow and was only used for initial adjustments before handing off to Photoshop I now find I can do far more of my post in LR4. That’s not to say that my copy of Photoshop has become redundant, far from it, I still find it a very familiar and comfortable working environment.
I also like the addition of a Book module inside LR4 as I can now do everything in one program rather than using Blurb’s BookSmart program and handing images from one application to the other, and back again if further adjustments are needed.
Of lesser importance (to me) is the inclusion of a map module that allows images to be dragged and dropped onto a map so you can see where the photos were shot. It also puts the GPS data into the file’s metadata automatically when you drop it onto the map.
Adobe has dropped support for Windows XP with this release of Lightroom and while it still has a 32 bit version for Windows I wouldn’t be surprised if before too long there was only support for 64 bit machines.
I am not a professional photographer and I use the software that I do because I enjoy the process of going from a RAW exposure taken in the field to the finished item be that a print or book or just for the web. So I would never recommend software to anyone, it’s all a matter of personal preference. There are masses of demonstration videos out there showing off the capability of this software or that so it is easy to find software to suit everyone’s needs.