What do you wish you knew when you were getting started with Lightroom?

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I'm working on the getting started information for beginners, and perhaps you can help me... it's a little while since I was a beginner!

Stretch your mind way back... when you first got your hands on Lightroom, what did you want to know?

For example, did you need to know how to import existing photos or just new ones? Were you worried about renaming at that stage? What about adding metadata?

And then what did you want to do when you first got your photos into Lightroom? Were you interested in rating the photos, or did you go straight to Develop and play with them?

Did you bother to play with slideshows and prints to start with? Did you try to export?

If you could roll back time and give yourself some tips, what would you tell yourself? What do you wish you knew?

Thanks!
 
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That's an excellent point NewCardo! Of course, if you knew you were going to transition to a new program, you could go through and assign a keyword for each collection at that time, but that would be a bit of a job.
 

Gisele

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I'm about to make the move from PSE (I have all versions 9-11) to LR5 on my Mac. I'm scared! My biggest concerns are creating a maintainable workflow and understanding tagging. I don't want to get too deep into it and realize my basic setup/workflow/organization is not ideal and have to re-do 30,000 files

I thought I was pretty organized in PSE. I have categories, sub-categories and keyword tags. Every photo has at least one of those things.

Now I'm concerned (see http://www.lightroomqueen.com/community/showthread.php?19489-PSE10-to-LR5-Catalog-Questions ) about whether my categories should really be keywords in PSE before I begin using LR.

Also, I'd love to know the basic settings changes I should make right from the start (like use PSE Editor to edit, show Parent folder, etc.).

Any help is appreciated.
 
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Just a quick thank you to everyone who contributes to this thread. The result was this free Quick Start guide... http://www.lightroomqueen.com/free-downloads/quickstart/lr5/

I hope I've got most of the things you wanted to know when you got started, so it'll help other newer users. Please do share it around with any newbies you know!
 

Rormeister

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I'm a lucky guy, I just joined today and because of 'Queen' Victoria's generosity and talent, I have already benefited from my membership. Where was LR5 when I started shooting in the early 70's? The biggest challenge for me in adopting LR we getting a handle on how to properly construct my Keyword architecture. After several days I finally settled on 8 major categories and a maximum of 4 sub categories. My only wish was that LR had an Eyedropper for grabbing keywords from one image and then allowing you to paint the results on other images. Thank you Victoria for your support of the LR community!
 
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That's great news Rormeister. Welcome aboard!
 
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Follow up on a question from Franz (some time back)
grabbing keywords from one image and then allowing you to paint the results on other images.

This may work-
In Library view- Select the image with the wanted keywords, In the 'Keywording' Panel- drag mouse across keywords to highlight them, Press CTRL+C,
In Library view- Have visible all the images that you will add the keywords to.
Click on the 'Spray Paint Can' icon, Select 'Keywords' from the drop-down box
Click the mouse cursor on the panel- 'Enter keywords to paint onto photos here', Press CTRL+V
Paint all the images with copied keywords.!

Instructions look complicated, but it is simply a "Copy and Paste" process common to most software and does not involve any typing apart from the Copy/Paste keyboard shortcuts.
 
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john74

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What impresses me most about Lightroom is the concept of having a workflow tool that can handle just about everything in a complete package.
 

I Simonius

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the thing that baffled me then and still does is auto import

I will post elsewhere for responses/answers

;)
 

wireless200

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What impresses me most about Lightroom is the concept of having a workflow tool that can handle just about everything in a complete package.

Personally I would rather use Photoshop alone but because of the nice LR workflow and cataloging I use it in conjunction. If PS had basically the Library module I probably wouldn't use LR at all. Not a big deal but PS does everything LR does and more so why work outside PS with a separate package. Not to mention I like the way plugins such as NIK work in PS by creating layers rather than more photos in the LR library.

-David
 

jgreenwa

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Victoria,
I see that you already have a lot of extensive and well written replies from more knowledgable people than myself. For me the biggest confusion in the beginning (and still I must admit I am not totally clear on this) is about what data is stored where. For example, exactly what information is kept with the DNG file and which information in the catalog... and most importantly, what information is not in the intersection of these two sets of information. I think most people might not care about this but it would have helped me to know from the beginning more about the data structure.
 
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Well the good news is that's covered in detail in my book, although not in the quick start guide.
 

ClickCardo

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Well the good news is that's covered in detail in my book, although not in the quick start guide.
Victoria, I just re-read the the Proprietary JPG vs RAW section and still am not sure. Doesn't everything only stay in the catalog while your working on your pics until you Save The Metadata back to the actual DNG file and vice-versa just like with a RAW file? Could you please clear this up.
 
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Hi NewCardo. Have a read of the XMP section in the Catalogs chapter too - it applies to all file types. The short answer is yes, you're correct.
 

jgreenwa

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Doesn't everything only stay in the catalog while your working on your pics until you Save The Metadata back to the actual DNG file

I hear over and over that you don't "save" your work in LR. Now I am intrigued.

Have a read of the XMP section in the Catalogs chapter too - it applies to all file types.

I need to get a hold of your book! Which one is it? (I see that you have more than one on your website).
 
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You do! Here you go: http://www.lightroomqueen.com/books/adobe-lightroom-5-missing-faq/ (and there's a discount code in my signature ;) )

Regarding Save, there are a couple of things involve. New users are using the word 'save' to apply their changes to the image - we'd use Export. But it's also possible to save some of the metadata back to the files in a format called XMP, in addition to it being stored in the catalog. That's what NewCardo was referring to.
 

Mike-Photos

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Hi Victoria
You are really amazing and dedicated!
I'd like to make a suggestion about how Adobe could improve the difficulties with importing images, and I'd like to know what you think.

I've helped quite a few people get up and running with Lightroom. Almost all of them are moving from other processing software, many of them from Photoshop. They have different levels of skill.

Most of these new people want to firstly just get on with it and process photos. Many are not yet convinced they will remain with Lightroom, others see it as another processing tool to use alongside LR, at least initially.

The point is that they are just not interested in using the catalog. That may change over time, of course.

And so, they have to learn how to import, probably without renaming, certainly without copying, and initially at least, with no metadata. They have to set the XMP to write externally. Then, once they have exported, they have to delete photos from the catalog. Etc., etc., there is a lot to learn, and for many, it's an unnecessary pain. I know two people who had no intention whatsoever of ever using the catalog and just gave up on LR because of these additional steps.

So, my suggestion is that Adobe has a non-catalog mode. In this mode, you can browse folders, open photos, and "export" them. Once you close LR, the photos are not in LR anymore. If you want to continue working on the photos, you browse again. The browser could detect XMP files and show the user which photos are already modified.

I think a system like this will help new users to learn and evaluate LR far quicker. The Develop module is the key module, and you want to get into it straight away and just start processing. Once you are happy with the Develop module, you then want to start looking at what else the system has to offer.

In summary, just from reading this thread it's obvious the catalog presents many difficulties to new users. The Develop module is a joy to use compared to any other software. Why can't new users just get into Develop quickly? And, for those users who don't want a DAM environment, why can't they just bypass it?

Mike
 
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I've heard a number of people ask the same, but a lot of LR's features depend on its database. Adobe do offer Bridge as a browser with ACR as the Develop module, for those who are really averse to cataloguing.
 
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So, my suggestion is that Adobe has a non-catalog mode. In this mode, you can browse folders, open photos, and "export" them. Once you close LR, the photos are not in LR anymore. If you want to continue working on the photos, you browse again. The browser could detect XMP files and show the user which photos are already modified.
Your suggestion is not novel Mike.
Every now-and-then on different forums the same suggestion is made.
However, Adobe already has exactly what you describe - Adobe Camera Raw/Bridge.

If you really want a workflow like what you describe use ACR/Bridge.
Some people really don't understand the paradigm in which Lightroom operates.
The Library module and the catalog are absolutely central and fundamental to how Lightroom functions - remove this and there is no Lightroom - it is as simple as that.

Tony Jay
 
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I agree with you Tony, I for one use Lightroom mainly because I can get rid of using and managing .xmp files. I have and use PS CS6 and use it for doing things I cannot do easily in LR. The previous version of Photoshop I had was PS CS when I first started shooting RAW with my cameras. The last version of ACR I used was V 2.4. When I was unable to update ACR in PS CS for V. 2.4, I utilized other raw processing software. When Lightroom was introduced I adopted it from the third beta release, and have moved through from Version 1 to 5.
 

Mike-Photos

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Tony, Denis
I don't agree with you:
1) Why must I pay the premium price of Photoshop when I want a lower level of functionality in Lightroom? I essentially have to pay much more money to get lesser functionality?
2) The LR Develop module is far easier to use than ACR. Again, I have to spend more money to get less.
 
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I agree, I have used Lightroom from its inception and upgraded to each version. I have only upgraded Photoshop once from PS CS to PS CS6 (ignored CS2 to CS 5.)

While you need to import your photos(register) into the catalog to be able to work with them there is no need to use any other functions in the Library Module. The Catalog does not contain copies of your images, they can remain in the folders of your file system. If you take a look at the video on the Lightroom Catalog a the link below you will get a full appreciation of how it works. Its from an earlier version of Lightroom but the concept is the same in the latest version of Lightroom.

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/george-jardine-on-lightroom/the-lightroom-catalog/

Now Adobe is providing Lightroom free to PS CC users/subscribers maybe they are preparing to abandon the need to provide updates to ACR since the functions are available in Lightroom.

Tony, Denis
I don't agree with you:
1) Why must I pay the premium price of Photoshop when I want a lower level of functionality in Lightroom? I essentially have to pay much more money to get lesser functionality?
2) The LR Develop module is far easier to use than ACR. Again, I have to spend more money to get less.
 
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Mike, you have my sympathy with regard to the financial argument, however the bottom line is that Adobe is not going to make ACR/Bridge available as a standalone.

I would encourage you instead to embrace the paradigm in which Lightroom operates - a massive proportion of both professional and amateur photographers have, in fact, done this. Nearly all of those have never looked back.

Tony Jay
 

Mike-Photos

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Mike, you have my sympathy with regard to the financial argument, however the bottom line is that Adobe is not going to make ACR/Bridge available as a standalone.

I would encourage you instead to embrace the paradigm in which Lightroom operates - a massive proportion of both professional and amateur photographers have, in fact, done this. Nearly all of those have never looked back.

Tony Jay

Hi Tony
I'm very happy with LR, as are most of the people I have introduced to it. I was simply replying to Victoria's thread, which is heavily weighted in terms of library / catalog issues for new users, put together with my experience trying to get new users up and running quickly in LR.
Mike
 
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