Photoshop provides an often-bewildering range of ways to achieve the same end result – almost 20 methods to make pictures black and white, for example. Newer, better techniques have to co-exist with those they have replaced, or with methods designed for other tasks but which can be adapted to  other uses. This accumulation of history makes it hard to choose which technique is best, and proponents of poor methods can gladly hide behind a smokescreen of platitudes such as “your mileage may vary”, “whatever works for you”, “different strokes for different folks”.

Lightroom is not Photoshop – it is designed for a more narrowly-defined range of tasks. There is often only one right way to do something. When it does offer more than one route – for instance, 3 ways to make pictures B&W – it’s not hard to identify the right way.

These articles are opinion pieces, and I phrase them a little controversially to shake you out of a Photoshop mindset. I hope they help you see for yourself the best way to work.

Moving from Aperture to Lightroom

overview-aperture-20110302Moving your workflow from Aperture to Lightroom is not difficult, and it doesn't mean losing all the keywords and other metadata you've entered in Aperture. It just requires a little bit of thought and care. Where do you begin?

10 tips for new users

It was interesting to read Scott Kelby’s 10 Things I Would Tell New Lightroom Users and I was a little surprised to see how many of his points would also be on my list. I’d say items 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 are good, 10 is dubious and I’m with David Marx’s demolition of point 9.

Scott’s post was actually . . .

Keywording – a 3 phase approach

Without being too fancy about it, my goal is “the maximum number of relevant keywords in the time I think it’s worth spending” – which is intentionally a pretty elastic phrase – and I’ll do it in 3 passes.

More than one catalogue?

Until you really know what you're doing, you should only use one Lightroom catalogue. But even then, why fragment control of your workflow?

Using more than one catalogue

There are ways to use more than one catalogue, but each has disadvantages. First be sure you know what you're doing.

The 20 minute wow

What Lightroom features do you show a group of photographers - including existing Lightroom users - when you're allowed just 20 minutes?

Workflow smart collections

This is a technique for managing your workflow with a system of smart collections (sample catalogue included)

Panel end markers

Lightroom’s panel end decorations - so frequently derided as a waste of programming time - can be made to serve more than their trivial decorative purpose

Essential keyboard shortcuts

One trick to working at speed with Lightroom is to know a few essential keyboard shortcuts. But a command that’s essential to one user is something that another person might never require!

Luckily Lightroom’s menus show the keyboard shortcuts so you can memorize those you need most, but here is my suggestion for those most worth learning. I don’t aim to . . .