I don’t like to waste any time looking for pictures. I want to be taking them, working on them, using or admiring them – anything other than spending time trying to find them.
Long before Lightroom, I used cataloguing programs and was well-known in the iView MediaPro and Extensis Portfolio communities, two of the best-known DAM programs at the start of the century.
Cataloguing and digital asset management had also come quite naturally to someone whose career had been first in accounting and then in financial IT consulting. I was accustomed to categorising and quickly finding answers from large masses of data. So once my photography had moved from film to digital and I began accumulating many thousands of pictures, I had naturally applied those skills and experience to organising my own photography.
This business background distinguishes my approach to Lightroom from other authors and teachers who approached digital photography from careers as graphic artists or photographers and who see Lightroom more from a Photoshop perspective. I had been using Photoshop since about 1990, yet I saw Lightroom as an entirely different kind of tool – as much about managing your work as it is about adjusting pictures.
One right way
I admit to having little patience with bland tutorials that tell people things are easy when they’re not, and even less when bad practice hides behind “your mileage may vary” or “it works for me”. Lightroom is not a difficult program, but proficiency demands the user applies a little effort, a little discipline, and a dose of clear thinking. And unlike Photoshop, in Lightroom there is usually only a single right way to do something – that’s its point.