Monday, January 31, 2011

Adobe Lightroom 3 Experiment

I recently asked around in search of finding the perfect image editing/storage software.  I noticed my files getting a little hefty for iPhoto, and decided to download a trial version of Aperture 3.  My first impression was that it was simply iPhoto on steroids and lacked some basic functionality I wanted.  Also, my research showed that the file organization methods employed by Aperture create a web of files on the computer and make it difficult to switch to another program in the future (possibly an attempt by Apple to keep customers from switching).  I also read that this type of file organization could weigh heavy on your computer, causing it to run slowly.

So, I posted on several forums looking for advice, and was led to this little gem in the Adobe lineup.  It's called Lightroom, and it is currently on it's 3rd edition.  I decided to give it a try before I purchased it, so I downloaded the free trial and gave it a whirl.  I quickly noticed that it was not as intuitive as Aperture or iPhoto, but that it was much more robust and offered a much more comprehensive editing experience.  I still haven't quite figured out the storage aspect, but that's simply due to a lack of research and learning on my part.

Anyhow, I tested the program on a photo I recently took on my D90 equipped with the 18-105mm stock lens.  I thought the photo looked pretty good straight out of the camera, but was VERY impressed at what Lightroom 3 added to the photo.

Take a look...

This is the original file in RAW format.

This is the file after a few slight modifications in Adobe Lightroom 3.

I attempted to use the content-aware fill to get rid of the telephone pole, but to no avail.  I'll have to work on that later.  For now, I think Lightroom is the frontrunner as far as software is concerned...