I don’t like to waste time looking for pictures. I want to be taking them, working on them, using or admiring them – anything other than spending time finding where they’ve disappeared.
So long before I used Lightroom, I used cataloguing programs and was well-known in the iView MediaPro and Extensis Portfolio communities.
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 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 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 the user applies a little effort and sometimes discipline, and clear thinking. Unlike Photoshop, in Lightroom there is usually only a single right way to do something – that’s its point.