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08-22-2014, 08:06 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistlefoot Quote
you will always require lightroom as most of the benefits of organizing through Lightroom are proprietary
That is easily addressed by how your folders are set up. The big gotcha with Lightroom is that non-destructive editing comes at the cost of being bound to the product. Oops!


Steve

08-22-2014, 08:48 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That is easily addressed by how your folders are set up. The big gotcha with Lightroom is that non-destructive editing comes at the cost of being bound to the product. Oops!


Steve
I guess I'm an anomaly. I have used Photoshop since it was Photoshop 7, no CS, no CC etc. I got serious about my photography in 2008 with the purchase of a K10 and I shot RAW from day one, PP my images in CS3. Apparently I'm a slave to DNG and PSD formats and my cold shriveled heart belongs to Adobe.

I think the only time I ever shoot JPEG is when I do Santa shoots and they are printing the images right there for customers. THAT'S actually quite a challenge, trying to replicate in camera what I would normally do in ACR and PS....lol
08-22-2014, 02:11 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The big gotcha with Lightroom is that non-destructive editing comes at the cost of being bound to the product
I assume you mean you are bound to Lightroom because you can't view your edits in other programs until you export the image, but that's only a problem if you need to reverse some of your edits. Even that's not a big problem with the kind of whole-image editing that gets done in Lightroom. If you make too many cumulative edits that turn your image into mud, you just click on Reset and start over. Unlike editing a small portion of the image in a program like PhotoShop, where there is far more time invested and starting again at square one would throw away all of your work prior to deciding you don't like the way the image looks. I'm not a big fan of keeping several snapshots of edited images, and then picking the effect you like best, but if that is your preferred workflow, you can make virtual copies in Lightroom. Not as handy as making snapshots in PSP, from what I remember, but still feasible without a lot of extra work.
08-22-2014, 02:56 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
I assume you mean you are bound to Lightroom because you can't view your edits in other programs until you export the image
I meant what I said. The non-destructive editing is a great thing (duh) and one of the strong points of the product and also one of my favorite features. The rub comes if you decide to move away from Lightroom sometime in the future. The original files are still there (cool!), but the steps to recreate the desired image for export (say at a higher resolution or different file format) are tucked away somewhere in the Lightroom catalog database. The database itself is not proprietary, but the meanings of the fields is not published. The same is true for the XMP sidecar files that can be optionally generated.

This issue is probably not insurmountable, but it is something that I think about every time I consider moving to a different product. I am a huge Lightroom fan and believe that is the best general tool for photo post-processing out and image management out there. If, in the future, a clearly superior product is available, I will be looking at a potentially huge migration problem due to the tens of thousands of images currently under Lightrooms care. Hopefully by that time, the new product will have a competent migration utility to lessen the pain


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08-22-2014, 10:02 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
a potentially huge migration problem
Maybe not so bad. Even if a good migration tool isn't developed, you can do a batch export to JPEGs for archiving, and if you decide to revisit and reprocess your images more than a year or two down the road, you probably want to do things differently the second time around, especially with the creative possibilities provided by a "clearly superior product." So you go back to your original RAW files. If a customer needs a copy of a finished image, retrieve the JPEG you archived. Either way, the creative work between downloading the RAW file from the camera and showing a finished image, doesn't need to be perfectly recreated. In fact, you will do better work the second time, if you aren't a slave to what you did the first time.

It's a bit off topic, but the same thing applies to business documents. Basically, as long as the document can be altered, it doesn't have to be archived. And once money changes hands, the document should be locked down, so it can't be changed again.
08-22-2014, 11:16 PM   #21
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Lightroom changed my life.
It was the missing piece of my professional workflow.
Sad it took as long as it did for me to use it.

08-23-2014, 02:52 AM   #22
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Lightroom is fine. You don't have to upgrade till you feel like you need to -- I probably won't upgrade Lightroom 5 for another couple of years, even if they come out with a new version. I think Adobe would love to make people upgrade for minimally improved features -- hence their Creative Cloud subscription. If you don't need all of that stuff and wouldn't upgrade frequently, then Lightroom and maybe a version of Elements is the better way to go.
08-23-2014, 07:02 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
You don't have to upgrade till you feel like you need to
Yep! The only real reasons to upgrade are an irresistible feature or for camera support. Even then Lightroom is a bargain. I am so glad that Adobe continues to sell it as a standalone product. If it was part of Creative Cloud, I don't know that I would use it.


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08-23-2014, 08:41 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Hopefully by that time, the new product will have a competent migration utility to lessen the pain
I would think that any competitive product that intended to pull users away from LR would have to have a good migration path. Nobody is going to leave if they have to re-edit 10's of thousands of images.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The original files are still there (cool!), but the steps to recreate the desired image for export (say at a higher resolution or different file format) are tucked away somewhere in the Lightroom catalog database.
I believe the editing steps are also saved in the DNG file if using that format, so if the catalog were lost or corrupted the information would still be there. This assumes you either have the setting to write that info back to the file automatically set to on or do it yourself manually.

Of course that does not help in migrating to a different program unless that program can read the information from the DNG. But the DNG format is supposedly published so it should be possible to do so if a competitor wanted to.
08-23-2014, 10:30 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I believe the editing steps are also saved in the DNG file if using that format, so if the catalog were lost or corrupted the information would still be there. This assumes you either have the setting to write that info back to the file automatically set to on or do it yourself manually.
You have to enable the setting or <control>-s to make it happen manually. A side effect is that the date/time stamp on the file reflects that edit and the file itself is no longer a virgin original. I don't know what happens if the DNG is write-protected*. If using a PEF file, Lightroom will generate a "side-car" XMP file in addition to the entries in the catalog database file (actually SQLite format). The side-car files can be quite useful because they may be edited separately and then resync'ed to the Lightroom database. The common case is a raw file that has been sent to a service bureau along with its side-car and the service bureau does additional edits as part of their work. They will then send their copy of the XMP back for you to sync back in.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
But the DNG format is supposedly published so it should be possible to do so if a competitor wanted to.
DNG is a published and open standard, but the meaning of the Lightroom XMP tags and their values within the file is not published. Still, though, where there is a will there is a way. I will admit to not having explored the options for migrating to a competing tool and as a result am unware whether any vendor has gone through the trouble to make it easy. I did a quick Google search but was not able to find anything.


Steve

* Write protecting original RAW files is a common practice to help avoid editing or overwriting an original file.

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-23-2014 at 10:36 PM.
08-24-2014, 08:00 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Still, though, where there is a will there is a way.
This might be of interest: Importing Lightroom Development | darktable Not sure if development work has continued though. I tested Linux some time back and decided I preferred the Windows environment so I'm not up on the latest work. But the article implies that importing LR edits to another program is possible and at least to some extent is already being done.
I am quite happy with Lightroom at the moment but also paranoid enough to want to know if there is an exit strategy if needed. Looks like there could be if needed badly enough.

QuoteQuote:
But if you rely on Lightroom for organization, keep in mind you will always require lightroom as most of the benefits of organizing through Lightroom are proprietary.
That does not have to be true. While some of the LR organization features such as smart collections, collections and perhaps the hierarchical keyword structure would be difficult to transfer, other features would be easy to move. Regular keywords can be written out to the DNG or .XMP files and imported to a new program. And with a little work the collections could be duplicated by using unique keywords and re-creating the collections in the new program by selecting on those unique keywords.

But the most important thing is to have your image files saved in an organized fashion without reference to anything but the file system. Use whatever system makes sense for you and your images but have a system. All my images are organized by: year>day. So there is a folder called 2014 and within that a folder for each day that I took pictures. The folders are automatically created by Lightroom on import so no extra work is involved. But at the very least, if LR stopped functioning tomorrow, I would have an organized system of locating images based on date taken.


08-24-2014, 08:07 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
But the most important thing is to have your image files saved in an organized fashion without reference to anything but the file system. Use whatever system makes sense for you and your images but have a system. All my images are organized by: year>day. So there is a folder called 2014 and within that a folder for each day that I took pictures. The folders are automatically created by Lightroom on import so no extra work is involved. But at the very least, if LR stopped functioning tomorrow, I would have an organized system of locating images based on date taken.
This is my practice as well.

Steve

---------- Post added 08-24-14 at 08:13 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
This might be of interest: Importing Lightroom Development | darktable
BTW...Thank you for sharing this link. It nicely sums up the migration concerns and uncertainties for conversion. It is nice to know that darktable has a conversion plug-in.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-24-2014 at 08:15 AM.
08-24-2014, 01:54 PM   #28
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Thanks to reading the various posts here I have better organized my LR4 files.
08-24-2014, 02:04 PM   #29
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Given time the benefits of LR will I believe become apparent and enhance your joy of photography even further.
08-24-2014, 02:09 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrangeKx Quote
Thanks to reading the various posts here I have better organized my LR4 files.
I hope you did that from within LR and not from the file system. LR does not like it when you move files without telling it!

Set your import preset up to do the save to disk in the organization you choose. Then you just import, no worries about things being in the wrong place.
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