Lightroom Repaired

One of several reasons why I haven’t posted much here in the last couple of weeks is the problems I’ve had with Lightroom 2.0.  Having been preaching for some time that Lightroom was the best thing for photographers since Linda’s unsliced wholemeal bread (I taught her breadmaking shortly after we were married, and who would ever want to eat sliced white again)  I was keen to install Lightroom 2.0 when it came out (even though unlike the original it did cost me real money. But along with a considerable proportion of other adopters, I found that 2.0 turned importing a day’s pictures from being soemthing that happened while you had a quick meal into an overnight job.

I searched the web for answers – and none of the advice I found helped at all, though it probably was a good idea to update my video drivers. Even posted on the Lightroom forum, though only got sympathy rather than answers.

It was frustrating as well as time-consuming. Installing 2.1 seemed to have broken my previous 1.4 installation (despite assuarances it wouldn’t) so reverting to  the older version wasn’t a straightforward option. And once the images had been imported, there were some exciting new tools, especially a great way to dodge and burn selective areas, removing one of the main reasons for needing to export images to Photoshop.

Today I found, downloaded and installed the release candidate for Lightroom 2.1  and I’m pleased to say it seems to have sorted that problem at least. From the release notes it looks as if what was happening was that 2.0 was trying to write to my second monitor, and this computer only has one connected. RC 2.1 does seem to offer a blisteringly fast import of files, although the writing of standard previews that occurs following this is still perhaps a little slower than with 1.4.

So if you’ve also had problems with LR2.0, it’s worthgiving RC 2.1 a try. If 2.0 is working fine already for you it would probably make sense to wait until there is an official 2.1

And if there are any photographers still wondering if Lightroom is worth using, I’d suggest you take a look (Aperture is another possibility for Mac users.)  If you shoot RAW it’s a great piece of software, doing all you need for most pictures from camera to client (there is still the occasional image – now well under 1% – where I need to use Photoshop as well.) If you only shoot jpeg, you should know by now you are missing out on what digital can offer you, although on those few occasions when I have shot jpegs – mainly by accident – – Lightroom has also proved its worth.

It isn’t cheap software, but much more reasonably priced than Photoshop itself – and this in itself may be doing Adobe some good. I’ve yet to meet a photographer with a pirated version of Lightroom, though dodgy versions of Photoshop seem widespread. You can download a trial version of Lightroom, identical to the full version except that it will stop working after 30 days, as well as get more information, from Adobe.

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