Streamline Your Workflow – Getting the Most out of LR

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There are so many ways to use editing programs together. My most common method (which has become a habit) is to do general tweaking on a whole batch of photos in LR before heading over to PS to edit the final cuts one-by-one. What started as a pretty quick procedure turned into a long, drawn out night after night of editing sessions when I fell in love with certain actions and started feeling that I needed to ‘actionize’ every single image in a session.

So once in a while, I reassess the way I’m doing things to see what I can do to be more efficient. One of the things I’ve done in the past is go back to LR and harness it’s efficient, streamlined and beautiful simplicity. After all, LR was created specifically to give photographers a more practical solution for an efficient, effortless workflow from import to export.

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of Lightroom instead of relying too heavily on PS for those everyday shots.

1. Sharpening – One of the things I’ve always hated about LR is it’s incompetent sharpening capabilities. I really love using smart sharpen or sharpening actions in PS to get ultra crisp edges and detail. The little slider in LR simply doesn’t cut it. If you want to sharpen things up, try the clarity slider. Sliding it a bit to the right will do the trick. And if you have a face in the photo which isn’t treated nicely by bumping up the clarity, I would use the adjustment brush to paint a lower clarity just on the skin.

2. Brush your hair – I love the adjustment brush. It’s one of those little-known tools when you first discover LR which has a huge amount of power. For example in this photo on the left, I used a sharpening brush on the eyes, a low clarity brush to smooth the skin and a high contrast brush on the hair. You could us the brush to brighten catchlights for juicy eyes, brighten teeth, enhance hair lights or brighten dark under eye circles. You can do so much more with the adjustment brush than you might think.

3. Customise presets – one size rarely fits all when it comes to presets. They’re an amazing starting point. An excellent diving board to get you going but you really must tweak them for each photo individually. And this can be done in a matter of seconds versus the 10-20 minutes it can take me to complete just one photo in PS. Use the adjustment brush to dodge and burn or enhance the brightness on a photo in isolated areas.

What about you? Do you have to re-vamp your workflow once in a while too? I’m sure I’m not the only one! What do you do to get the most out of LR?

Read more from our Post Production category

Elizabeth Halford is a Hampshire Photographer and keeps a rockin' photography blog where she writes about photography and business in "real.plain.english".

  • Im still in-between using LightRoom and Aperture,
    I absolutely love LR’s brushes! and it seems to run a lot faster then Aperture.
    Although aperture has bought in adjustment brushes in it latest version.
    Now its herder then ever to chose between the two!

  • Lightroom 3 (currently still publicly available beta) has much better sharpening and noise-reduction abilities than LR2. And that’s a good thing. 🙂

  • I still use mostly photoshop, but I am discovering LightRoom little by little. However, if I use lightroom I still have to tweak things in photoshop. Does everyone have to use a second post processing program or once you learn lightroom well enough is that all you use? I find it very time consuming to do so much editing using multiple programs.

    My Photography Blog

    My Other Blog

  • I still use mostly photoshop, but I am discovering LightRoom little by little. However, if I use lightroom I still have to tweak things in photoshop. Does everyone have to use a second post processing program or once you learn lightroom well enough is that all you use? I find it very time consuming to do so much editing using multiple programs.

    My Photography Blog

    My Other Blog

  • i actually did a blog post yesterday on why i’m using lightroom now (versus aperture). i’m finding i have to go in to photoshop less and less, really just for major touchups or more involved creative effects. basic touchup, clarity, sharpening, and skin softening all look pretty good staying right in lightroom (3 beta). as for the presets, that definitely saves a lot of time, too, but i find that i rarely just hit a preset and move on…they serve more as a starting point for a look, and then i only have to do minor adjustments to get what i’m looking for. presets are great, but no two images are the same, basically.

  • Nice Articley, good tips.

    (It should be understood that my photography is focust on motorsports and I can take 2500+ shots in a weekend. So my workflow is disinctly different from a portrait photogrpaher who may take 50-100 images in a session. However, comment may be transferable.)

    The most efficient tools for streaming workflow in LR are the “ranking” and “filter” tools and a critical eye. I have found that I just kept too many marginal shots thinking that I can “fix” them in LR or PS. And then spent hours working on these photos only to get a photo that looks like it was PSd.

    If you critically rank your photos and only “keep” the top 10% (maybe 20%) in your workflow, you will find you spend much less time tweaking your photos, because they don’t really need a lot of tweaking. Its the old 80/20 Rule. You spend 80 % tweaking the marginal photos and 20% tweaking the best shots. So stop tweaking the 80%.

    I go through and rank my photos 1 to 5 (I use 1 as best 5 as worst). Then I delete all 4s and 5s (no need to waste the storage space). 3s are my buffer from mistakenly deleting a usable image though I rarely go back and look at my 3s unless I have a need for a specific subject from that event. I then go through my 1s and 2s again and typically move marginal 1s to a 2. Occasionally, I will move a 2 to a 1. From then on I am working only on my 1s. This takes me from 2500 images to 250 images. ( For the portrait photographer it could take you from 100 images to 10 images).

    I do 99% of my post process workflow in LR.

    Happy Shooting!

  • Jen at Cabin Fever… Hello! Please accept what I hope is constructive commentary for you and others…

    A question you have to answer for yourself is “do I want to be a photographer?” or “do I want to be a graphic artist?” I think a lot of people are confusing the two.

    If you are using PS or LR to correct major problems with your photography then IMHO you are using LR and PS improperly and you need to focus more on your photography skills and correctly capture the image exposure and composition in the camera. (a little tweaking is different than major adjustments).

    If however, you are properly capturing the image exposure and composition in your camera and are using PS to enhance an artistic expression of the image, then IMHO you are using PS properly.

    You have a great photography blog with great images, but focusing on better control of over the light quality and exposure with flash, diffusion, reflection, etc in the camera (which is what photography is all about) will produce much more natural and pleasing photos than trying to correct a poorly exposed photo in PS. With a properly exposed photo you won’t have to “correct” it in PS.

    LR (especially LR3) should be more than sufficient to “tweak” fine adjustments of a photograph and perform some “artistic enhancements”. LR can even perform major exposure adjustments if necessary. PS should be reserved for the major “artistic manipulations”. There should be no need to PS every image you publish, unless of course you are a PS illustrator 🙂

  • @ Jen at Cabin Fever

    The asnwer to your question depends on what you’re trying to get out of the photo. Sometimes I can get away with LR adjustments only based my desired final image. However, other times it’s a must to head over to Photoshop. I still find the intergration pretty seamless and LR is adept at handling all of my photos. But, keep in mind, this is not all that different that going from Camera RAW (which can be used for jpegs, too) into PS.

    Also, lot’s of photogs also use various plug-ins for either LR or PS which increases the amount you need to know.

    You need to take a critical eye to your image and ask yourself what needs to be fixed? What needs to be adjusted? What look am I going for? Can LR do all of these? If so, then stay in LR. If not, then you need to make the trek over to PS.

    Cheers!

    DC

  • Lon

    JohnK, I like your ranking system and use something very similar myself in Bridge – I go through a group of RAW files, using the star ratings – as I go through I’ll permanently delete the non-keepers, then once everything is rated I’ll go through the 1 and 2 star ones and eliminate what I can (I keep some of them if its something vaguely unique, even if there are technical problems). Once I know what to keep and have rated them I’ll tag them with some basic keywords, then look through the 4 and 5 star shots to decide what I’d like to spend time post-processing and label those “to do”. At that point I batch convert everything to JPG and delete all but the “to-do” RAW files. I’m sure LR could accomodate my methodology, especially since I think it retains star ratings and keywords from bridge, I just haven’t been able to figure it out yet.

  • John Strickland

    One thing I do wish I could see is what professionals pictures look like straight out of the camera.
    That way when I see what comes out of my camera I know it can eventually look like the pictures I see on this site. After a lot of work that is.

  • Matt

    I too use a download and review methodology in LR – except I use the star system reversed to others here (5 being best) and also add Keywords. It really does save time down the track. Then I work on the images according to what the end purpose is in Lightroom. This usually does the trick for 90% of the shots I choose to work on – then I use Gimp for anything further as a final step if needed.

    The final step is using LR to export the images at the size and pixel density required for the display.

    I wish I made more use of the category/collection methodology too, but old habits die hard…

  • I use Lightroom as my Library because it’s nice and easy to view, find, and rank. I also find some things really easy to do in few seconds. These are minor tweaks like removing a spot from sensor, quick exposure adjustments if I want to or not. Even if I feel the photo looks okay, I still touch the exposure slider simply because it takes 2 sends to move it and make sure my eye is feeling it.

    I also heavily use the feature to export to Photomatix. Once I have the image from Photomatix, I go into Photoshop and don’t spend any time in lightroom.

    There are photoshop tweaks that don’t turn a photograph into a graphic design project. There is a lot of great things one can do within photoshop that do take a little time and understanding, but the payoff is awesome! You can really come away with a shot that is your own.

    If everyone simply took perfect pictures in camera as the perfect photographer, you would have a sterile environment – In my opinion. Chromasia has insanely detailed photoshop tutorials for photogrpahers and the images are amazing works of art when finished.

  • Lightroom is an amazing tool. I discover new things about it every day. I urge photographers to download the LR3 trial (expires at the end of the month).

    I couldn’t manage without it, and I only really use 2 out of the 5 modules! (library and develop).

    It’s worth going through the tutorials on this and other sites. Bit by bit you will pick up new tips, and over time it will improve and speed up your workflow massively.

    There are too many features to pick out a favourite. I love the ranking and sorting capabilities in the library. Also, the syncing function in Develop helps hugely. The adjustment brush, grad filter, presets, etc etc. The sharpening and especially noise reduction functions in LR3 are fantastic, and a big improvement over LR2.

  • Mike Fewster

    I have problems with workflow. I usually begin by cropping shots (not generally the final crop) And adjusting levels. These just have to be done on individual photos. I always understood that sharpening should be the last part of the editing process. All of this makes batch processing difficult and I tend to have to do each shot individually. Just what processes can be done to a batch to speed things up?

  • gtpete

    who needs LR or PS especially if your equipment is Nikon?
    Capture NX for sorting & rating and basic adjustments such as exposure, contrast, shadows etc…then the top raters that do actually need serious fixing or some form of artistic manipulation is done in Capture NX2.
    But I echo JonhK’s comments of first capturing the image as best as you can ensuring all the elements that make a great shot are there.
    less time editing = more time shooting!

  • I agree with the above comment.

    I shoot Nikon, then into View NX to sort and pre edit, then if required into Capture NX2 for final polish!!!

  • gtpete

    now that i think about it there seems to be a huge bias towards all Adobe editing software on most forums.
    Hey DPS editors how about some tutorials & tips for users of Nikon Capture NX2.?
    Perhaps we are too much of a minority to bother!

  • Mike Fewster

    Re the recent couple of Nikon posts. I am sure that the Nikon View and Capure prigrams work fine. But this isn’t just confined to Nikon. Most cameras I have owned come with similar proprietary programs. In my experience, the programs designed by Adobe just do it better. Further, as this is a general site, I’d expect that the emphasis was on programs that worked across brands, especially as the Adopbe programs are the industry standards. If you want focussed discussion on Nikon products (and that’s fine) the place to look for it is in the dedicated Nikon forums.

  • gtpete

    @Mike fewster, I appreciate your comments, however, it is perhaps indisputable that Canon & Nikon are the 2 top selling DSLR camera brands & by that fact alone there would be a significant number of Nikon owners who do prefer Nikon’s own editing software. In my experience & many others that use capture NX 2 it does do a far better job of producing true to life images. This is no sur[rise as it has been designed around NIkon’s NEF file format. My own tests when compared to LR or PS have proven this time & time again.

    My point here is not to defend or promote Capture NX2 but, to simply point out to the editors of this fine website that there just may be a significant minority of DPS readers that are missing out on tips & tutorials because almost all information available here is based on Adobe products.
    enough said!

    Peter

  • I love LR…. I use LR to go thru and adjust a little here and there… and then I move over to PS to batch process my border…. then I move to my watermark program to apply my water mark and resize as needed… in all its a very streamlined process for me… that goes fast and so far is so good… =) I am however… all about learning more about LR.. so thank you for the tips and tricks!!! There is still so much I have yet to learn on LR….

  • Truthfully…shooting with my Hasselblad was much easier than any digital camera, you made a test shot on Polaroid film, adjusted for the film speed and took the photo. Got the proofs back, picked the best shots had the “Lab” do any minor color adjustment and cropping and had the lab do the final print, Life was simpler. Digital has been great and bad. Worked myself out of 2 very well paying jobs due to digital. but getting back to the work-flow process. If you shoot it right in the first place there will be minimal tweaking in any program you use. LR has made it go faster due to it’s ranking and flagging system, awesome when you shoot about 2000 images at a wedding (2 shooters). I’m a Nikon user and have used capture for small jobs but not large ones, old habits of PS and LR for big jobs. It’s a matter of what your comfortable using and how quickly you can get the job done.

  • I agree with all of you guys, who intend to use or not for LR/PS, and thanks to the author of this article who make it debatable so that we know a little comparison to other software available . First thing first I have just started using LR and it is a great software, easy to use for basic things and I intend to make the perfect picture. LR provides lesser options to the photographer so that the picture does not come up as photo art.
    Please provide some LR tutor link if any of you have, that will be great.

  • Being a Canon shooter I find that I can read all I like about DPP elsewhere, I don’t find it versatile enough or robust enough for my needs, regardless of whether the RAW conversion is better and LR, once I got used to it, fits my style really well. I don’t know about the Nikon software, but I seem to remember when I bought my Canon that you had to pay extra for the Nikon stuff? I may well be wrong, I really have no experience of it.

    I also think JohnK’s comments are very interesting and share his views on the intruiging differences between graphic artists and photographers – I’m not sure where “creative exposure” ends and where it becomes “creating images”, but I note that many users on networking sites like Flickr seem much more interested in the latter…I’ll get round to a blog post about this some time.

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, I just tend to use whatever suits me best and I rarely, if ever export to PS because 1) I find it so difficult to use, and 2) I like taking photos rather than fiddling with software.

  • I’ve never thought about using it for adding contrast like that. Totally rad. Great idea.

  • The adjustment brush is really amazing, i never thought of its immense potential. the lady photography which you have tweaked looks glossy. the skin tone color and the hair color are well enriched with the tool. i would like to try the next time with the shoot. thank you for you tips

Some Older Comments

  • chroma key July 2, 2010 11:00 pm

    The adjustment brush is really amazing, i never thought of its immense potential. the lady photography which you have tweaked looks glossy. the skin tone color and the hair color are well enriched with the tool. i would like to try the next time with the shoot. thank you for you tips

  • Denver Photographer June 23, 2010 12:54 pm

    I've never thought about using it for adding contrast like that. Totally rad. Great idea.

  • Shotslot June 22, 2010 09:01 pm

    Being a Canon shooter I find that I can read all I like about DPP elsewhere, I don't find it versatile enough or robust enough for my needs, regardless of whether the RAW conversion is better and LR, once I got used to it, fits my style really well. I don't know about the Nikon software, but I seem to remember when I bought my Canon that you had to pay extra for the Nikon stuff? I may well be wrong, I really have no experience of it.

    I also think JohnK's comments are very interesting and share his views on the intruiging differences between graphic artists and photographers - I'm not sure where "creative exposure" ends and where it becomes "creating images", but I note that many users on networking sites like Flickr seem much more interested in the latter...I'll get round to a blog post about this some time.

    Anyway, for what it's worth, I just tend to use whatever suits me best and I rarely, if ever export to PS because 1) I find it so difficult to use, and 2) I like taking photos rather than fiddling with software.

  • Mahesh Garg June 22, 2010 12:08 am

    I agree with all of you guys, who intend to use or not for LR/PS, and thanks to the author of this article who make it debatable so that we know a little comparison to other software available . First thing first I have just started using LR and it is a great software, easy to use for basic things and I intend to make the perfect picture. LR provides lesser options to the photographer so that the picture does not come up as photo art.
    Please provide some LR tutor link if any of you have, that will be great.

  • jean dendel June 11, 2010 11:14 pm

    Truthfully...shooting with my Hasselblad was much easier than any digital camera, you made a test shot on Polaroid film, adjusted for the film speed and took the photo. Got the proofs back, picked the best shots had the "Lab" do any minor color adjustment and cropping and had the lab do the final print, Life was simpler. Digital has been great and bad. Worked myself out of 2 very well paying jobs due to digital. but getting back to the work-flow process. If you shoot it right in the first place there will be minimal tweaking in any program you use. LR has made it go faster due to it's ranking and flagging system, awesome when you shoot about 2000 images at a wedding (2 shooters). I'm a Nikon user and have used capture for small jobs but not large ones, old habits of PS and LR for big jobs. It's a matter of what your comfortable using and how quickly you can get the job done.

  • Jess June 11, 2010 12:31 pm

    I love LR.... I use LR to go thru and adjust a little here and there... and then I move over to PS to batch process my border.... then I move to my watermark program to apply my water mark and resize as needed... in all its a very streamlined process for me... that goes fast and so far is so good... =) I am however... all about learning more about LR.. so thank you for the tips and tricks!!! There is still so much I have yet to learn on LR....

  • gtpete June 9, 2010 07:07 pm

    @Mike fewster, I appreciate your comments, however, it is perhaps indisputable that Canon & Nikon are the 2 top selling DSLR camera brands & by that fact alone there would be a significant number of Nikon owners who do prefer Nikon's own editing software. In my experience & many others that use capture NX 2 it does do a far better job of producing true to life images. This is no sur[rise as it has been designed around NIkon's NEF file format. My own tests when compared to LR or PS have proven this time & time again.

    My point here is not to defend or promote Capture NX2 but, to simply point out to the editors of this fine website that there just may be a significant minority of DPS readers that are missing out on tips & tutorials because almost all information available here is based on Adobe products.
    enough said!

    Peter

  • Mike Fewster June 9, 2010 05:52 pm

    Re the recent couple of Nikon posts. I am sure that the Nikon View and Capure prigrams work fine. But this isn't just confined to Nikon. Most cameras I have owned come with similar proprietary programs. In my experience, the programs designed by Adobe just do it better. Further, as this is a general site, I'd expect that the emphasis was on programs that worked across brands, especially as the Adopbe programs are the industry standards. If you want focussed discussion on Nikon products (and that's fine) the place to look for it is in the dedicated Nikon forums.

  • gtpete June 9, 2010 04:50 pm

    now that i think about it there seems to be a huge bias towards all Adobe editing software on most forums.
    Hey DPS editors how about some tutorials & tips for users of Nikon Capture NX2.?
    Perhaps we are too much of a minority to bother!

  • Portrait photography June 9, 2010 09:15 am

    I agree with the above comment.

    I shoot Nikon, then into View NX to sort and pre edit, then if required into Capture NX2 for final polish!!!

  • gtpete June 6, 2010 04:06 pm

    who needs LR or PS especially if your equipment is Nikon?
    Capture NX for sorting & rating and basic adjustments such as exposure, contrast, shadows etc...then the top raters that do actually need serious fixing or some form of artistic manipulation is done in Capture NX2.
    But I echo JonhK's comments of first capturing the image as best as you can ensuring all the elements that make a great shot are there.
    less time editing = more time shooting!

  • Mike Fewster June 4, 2010 08:29 am

    I have problems with workflow. I usually begin by cropping shots (not generally the final crop) And adjusting levels. These just have to be done on individual photos. I always understood that sharpening should be the last part of the editing process. All of this makes batch processing difficult and I tend to have to do each shot individually. Just what processes can be done to a batch to speed things up?

  • Brian June 4, 2010 04:44 am

    Lightroom is an amazing tool. I discover new things about it every day. I urge photographers to download the LR3 trial (expires at the end of the month).

    I couldn't manage without it, and I only really use 2 out of the 5 modules! (library and develop).

    It's worth going through the tutorials on this and other sites. Bit by bit you will pick up new tips, and over time it will improve and speed up your workflow massively.

    There are too many features to pick out a favourite. I love the ranking and sorting capabilities in the library. Also, the syncing function in Develop helps hugely. The adjustment brush, grad filter, presets, etc etc. The sharpening and especially noise reduction functions in LR3 are fantastic, and a big improvement over LR2.

  • scott webb June 1, 2010 09:42 pm

    I use Lightroom as my Library because it's nice and easy to view, find, and rank. I also find some things really easy to do in few seconds. These are minor tweaks like removing a spot from sensor, quick exposure adjustments if I want to or not. Even if I feel the photo looks okay, I still touch the exposure slider simply because it takes 2 sends to move it and make sure my eye is feeling it.

    I also heavily use the feature to export to Photomatix. Once I have the image from Photomatix, I go into Photoshop and don't spend any time in lightroom.

    There are photoshop tweaks that don't turn a photograph into a graphic design project. There is a lot of great things one can do within photoshop that do take a little time and understanding, but the payoff is awesome! You can really come away with a shot that is your own.

    If everyone simply took perfect pictures in camera as the perfect photographer, you would have a sterile environment - In my opinion. Chromasia has insanely detailed photoshop tutorials for photogrpahers and the images are amazing works of art when finished.

  • Matt May 25, 2010 03:16 pm

    I too use a download and review methodology in LR - except I use the star system reversed to others here (5 being best) and also add Keywords. It really does save time down the track. Then I work on the images according to what the end purpose is in Lightroom. This usually does the trick for 90% of the shots I choose to work on - then I use Gimp for anything further as a final step if needed.

    The final step is using LR to export the images at the size and pixel density required for the display.

    I wish I made more use of the category/collection methodology too, but old habits die hard...

  • John Strickland May 22, 2010 08:44 am

    One thing I do wish I could see is what professionals pictures look like straight out of the camera.
    That way when I see what comes out of my camera I know it can eventually look like the pictures I see on this site. After a lot of work that is.

  • Lon May 22, 2010 05:44 am

    JohnK, I like your ranking system and use something very similar myself in Bridge - I go through a group of RAW files, using the star ratings - as I go through I'll permanently delete the non-keepers, then once everything is rated I'll go through the 1 and 2 star ones and eliminate what I can (I keep some of them if its something vaguely unique, even if there are technical problems). Once I know what to keep and have rated them I'll tag them with some basic keywords, then look through the 4 and 5 star shots to decide what I'd like to spend time post-processing and label those "to do". At that point I batch convert everything to JPG and delete all but the "to-do" RAW files. I'm sure LR could accomodate my methodology, especially since I think it retains star ratings and keywords from bridge, I just haven't been able to figure it out yet.

  • darren_c May 22, 2010 02:50 am

    @ Jen at Cabin Fever

    The asnwer to your question depends on what you're trying to get out of the photo. Sometimes I can get away with LR adjustments only based my desired final image. However, other times it's a must to head over to Photoshop. I still find the intergration pretty seamless and LR is adept at handling all of my photos. But, keep in mind, this is not all that different that going from Camera RAW (which can be used for jpegs, too) into PS.

    Also, lot's of photogs also use various plug-ins for either LR or PS which increases the amount you need to know.

    You need to take a critical eye to your image and ask yourself what needs to be fixed? What needs to be adjusted? What look am I going for? Can LR do all of these? If so, then stay in LR. If not, then you need to make the trek over to PS.

    Cheers!

    DC

  • JohnK May 22, 2010 02:39 am

    Jen at Cabin Fever... Hello! Please accept what I hope is constructive commentary for you and others...

    A question you have to answer for yourself is "do I want to be a photographer?" or "do I want to be a graphic artist?" I think a lot of people are confusing the two.

    If you are using PS or LR to correct major problems with your photography then IMHO you are using LR and PS improperly and you need to focus more on your photography skills and correctly capture the image exposure and composition in the camera. (a little tweaking is different than major adjustments).

    If however, you are properly capturing the image exposure and composition in your camera and are using PS to enhance an artistic expression of the image, then IMHO you are using PS properly.

    You have a great photography blog with great images, but focusing on better control of over the light quality and exposure with flash, diffusion, reflection, etc in the camera (which is what photography is all about) will produce much more natural and pleasing photos than trying to correct a poorly exposed photo in PS. With a properly exposed photo you won't have to "correct" it in PS.

    LR (especially LR3) should be more than sufficient to "tweak" fine adjustments of a photograph and perform some "artistic enhancements". LR can even perform major exposure adjustments if necessary. PS should be reserved for the major "artistic manipulations". There should be no need to PS every image you publish, unless of course you are a PS illustrator :-)

  • JohnK May 22, 2010 02:03 am

    Nice Articley, good tips.

    (It should be understood that my photography is focust on motorsports and I can take 2500+ shots in a weekend. So my workflow is disinctly different from a portrait photogrpaher who may take 50-100 images in a session. However, comment may be transferable.)

    The most efficient tools for streaming workflow in LR are the "ranking" and "filter" tools and a critical eye. I have found that I just kept too many marginal shots thinking that I can "fix" them in LR or PS. And then spent hours working on these photos only to get a photo that looks like it was PSd.

    If you critically rank your photos and only "keep" the top 10% (maybe 20%) in your workflow, you will find you spend much less time tweaking your photos, because they don't really need a lot of tweaking. Its the old 80/20 Rule. You spend 80 % tweaking the marginal photos and 20% tweaking the best shots. So stop tweaking the 80%.

    I go through and rank my photos 1 to 5 (I use 1 as best 5 as worst). Then I delete all 4s and 5s (no need to waste the storage space). 3s are my buffer from mistakenly deleting a usable image though I rarely go back and look at my 3s unless I have a need for a specific subject from that event. I then go through my 1s and 2s again and typically move marginal 1s to a 2. Occasionally, I will move a 2 to a 1. From then on I am working only on my 1s. This takes me from 2500 images to 250 images. ( For the portrait photographer it could take you from 100 images to 10 images).

    I do 99% of my post process workflow in LR.

    Happy Shooting!

  • david May 22, 2010 01:40 am

    i actually did a blog post yesterday on why i'm using lightroom now (versus aperture). i'm finding i have to go in to photoshop less and less, really just for major touchups or more involved creative effects. basic touchup, clarity, sharpening, and skin softening all look pretty good staying right in lightroom (3 beta). as for the presets, that definitely saves a lot of time, too, but i find that i rarely just hit a preset and move on...they serve more as a starting point for a look, and then i only have to do minor adjustments to get what i'm looking for. presets are great, but no two images are the same, basically.

  • Jen at Cabin Fever May 22, 2010 01:30 am

    I still use mostly photoshop, but I am discovering LightRoom little by little. However, if I use lightroom I still have to tweak things in photoshop. Does everyone have to use a second post processing program or once you learn lightroom well enough is that all you use? I find it very time consuming to do so much editing using multiple programs.

    My Photography Blog

    My Other Blog

  • Jen at Cabin Fever May 22, 2010 01:30 am

    I still use mostly photoshop, but I am discovering LightRoom little by little. However, if I use lightroom I still have to tweak things in photoshop. Does everyone have to use a second post processing program or once you learn lightroom well enough is that all you use? I find it very time consuming to do so much editing using multiple programs.

    My Photography Blog

    My Other Blog

  • Duluk May 22, 2010 01:11 am

    Lightroom 3 (currently still publicly available beta) has much better sharpening and noise-reduction abilities than LR2. And that's a good thing. :)

  • Patrick Skotniczny May 22, 2010 12:33 am

    Im still in-between using LightRoom and Aperture,
    I absolutely love LR's brushes! and it seems to run a lot faster then Aperture.
    Although aperture has bought in adjustment brushes in it latest version.
    Now its herder then ever to chose between the two!

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