I had been minding my own business at a trade show and was simply looking forward to watching various presentations. 5 minutes after saying hello to Adobe, I was on the demonstrating Lightroom.

I don’t like to waste time looking for pictures. I want to be taking them, or working on them, using or admiring them – anything other than trying to find where the damn things have gone.

So before I used Lightroom, I was well-known in the iView MediaPro and Extensis Portfolio communities. Cataloguing programs and digital asset management came naturally to someone whose background was in accounting and then financial IT consulting which was all about categorising and quickly finding answers from large masses of data. So once I had moved from film to digital and began accumulating many thousands of pictures, I had naturally applied those skills and that experience to organising my photographic workflow.

This business background distinguishes my approach to Lightroom from other authors who approached digital photography from careers as graphic artists or photographers and who see Lightroom more from a Photoshop perspective. Although I had been using Photoshop long before Lightroom, since about 1990, I try to show Lightroom as an entirely different kind of tool – one that is as much about managing your work as it is about processing pictures. I think that’s a more balanced approach.

One way

I have little patience with bland tutorials that tell people things are “easy” when they’re not. Lightroom is not a difficult program, but proficiency demands of the user a little effort and self-discipline, and a bit of clear thinking. Unlike Photoshop, there is usually one right way to do something in Lightroom – that’s its point.