Select your language
  • Deutsch

    Sämtliche Inhalte auf der CPN-Website sind auf Englisch verfügbar. Einige Inhalte, wie z. B. Produktbeschreibungen, aktuelle Produkteinführungen und einige technische Artikel, sind ebenfalls auf Deutsch, Spanisch, Französisch, Italienisch und Niederländisch erhältlich. Wählen Sie in der Liste oben Ihre Sprache aus, damit sämtliche darin verfügbaren Inhalte automatisch entsprechend Ihrer Wahl dargestellt werden. Ansonsten wird als Standardsprache Englisch verwendet.

  • English

    All content published on the CPN website is available in English. Some content – such as product descriptions, recent product launches and some technical articles – is also available in German, Spanish, French, Italian and Dutch. Choose your language from the list above and all content that is available in your language will automatically be displayed in your language, otherwise the default language will be English.

  • Español

    Todo el contenido publicado en la página web de CPN está disponible en inglés. Parte del contenido –como descripciones de producto, lanzamientos recientes de productos y algunos artículos técnicos– también están disponibles en alemán, español, francés, italiano e holandés. Elija su idioma en la lista anterior y todo el contenido que esté disponible en su idioma aparecerá automáticamente en ese idioma, o , si no, en el idioma predeterminado que es el inglés.

  • Français

    Tout le contenu publié sur le site Web de CPN existe en anglais. Une partie du contenu (comme les descriptions de produit, les lancements récents de produit et certains articles techniques) est également publié en allemand, en espagnol, en français, en italien et en néerlandais. Choisissez la langue dans la liste ci-dessus, et tout le contenu offert dans votre langue s’affiche automatiquement ; par défaut, le reste s’affiche en anglais.

  • Italiano

    Tutti i contenuti pubblicati sul sito CPN sono disponibili in inglese. Alcuni contenuti come descrizioni di prodotto, lanci di prodotti recenti e alcuni articoli tecnici sono disponibili anche in tedesco, spagnolo, francese, italiano e olandese. Seleziona la lingua dall'elenco in alto e automaticamente si visualizzeranno tutti i contenuti disponibili in quella lingua; diversamente la lingua di default sarà l’inglese.

  • Nederlands

    Alle inhoud die op de CPN-website wordt gepubliceerd, is beschikbaar in het Engels. Bepaalde inhoud, zoals productbeschrijvingen, onlangs gelanceerde producten en sommige technische artikelen, zijn ook beschikbaar in het Duits, Spaans, Frans, Italiaans en Nederlands. Kies de taal uit bovenstaande lijst, waarna alle inhoud die beschikbaar is in de gewenste taal, automatisch in die taal wordt weergegeven. Anders is Engels de standaardtaal.

Technical

October 2008

In part 1 of this new series about Photoshop Lightroom 2 we’ll take a general overview of the package and examine some of its most useful new features. However, before we explore the image management treasures to be found in Lightroom 2 let’s take a step back and look at the package in context alongside its Adobe siblings – the pro-orientated Photoshop CS and the consumer-biased Photoshop Elements.

Both of these packages are just out in updated versions in the shape of Elements 7 and CS4 - so does Lightroom 2 fall between two stools or does it stand out in its own right as a useful resource for photographers? This overview will help you decide if Lightroom 2 is suitable for your image editing and organisational needs or whether you’ll be better off with one of the other Photoshop variants.

© George Cairns

Lightroom 2 combines the organisational skills of the consumer-focused Photoshop Elements with the professional RAW editing powers of Photoshop CS, as well as having a few unique organisational and image editing tricks of its own.

So how does Lightroom 2 compare to its cousins? For starters, Lightroom 2’s price falls between that of Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop Elements, indicating that its functionality falls somewhere between the other two packages. Elements, the most affordable member of the Photoshop family, excels at letting you organise your photos by adding keyword tags and placing them in catalogues and albums, but it lacks many of the high-end RAW editing tools boasted by Photoshop CS4. Lightroom is a fusion of its two Photoshop siblings, but it offers unique and effective ways to organise and process your images to produce professional-looking results.

This article is designed to give you a taster of what Lightroom 2 has to offer, but for a full feast you can download the fully functional trial version by clicking here. You can then explore the features and tools mentioned here in more detail.

Asset management

One of the biggest challenges digital photographers face is organising their ever-growing collection of images. You may be more interested in processing your shot’s colours and tones than adding keywords to them, which makes it much more difficult to find specific photos at a later date. Searching for a certain shot in a collection of folders and sub-folders can feel like you’re hunting for a fossil buried under layers of earth!

© George Cairns

Lightroom 2 is split into five distinct modules that are designed to help you organise and process your ever-growing collection of digital photos. Here we're tweaking colour and tone in the Develop module.

One of the main strengths of Lightroom 2 is its ability to take the tedium out of asset management. It provides easy ways to add keywords to multiple files as you import them from a memory card, as well as boasting a new and very handy Keyword Suggestion tool that lets you assign common keywords to individual images in a click (which saves you the hassle of tedious typing). We’ll look at these asset management functions in much more detail in part two of this series on Lightroom 2.

Another problem you face when dealing with thousands of files is the fact that they could be spread across a variety of folders and sub-folders on your computer. Lightroom 2 allows you to gather all of your stray shots into its catalogue, regardless of their location, and organise them in a variety of helpful ways. You can create themed collections, or even get the package to set up a smart collection that will automatically collect files that meet specific criteria (more of that in part 2). The latest version of Lightroom can even manage files that are stored on external drives, which solves the common (and inevitable) problem of your computer running out of storage space.

Library module

Like Elements (with its distinctive Organize, Fix, Create and Share compartments) Lightroom is broken up into five modules – Library, Develop, Slideshow, Print, and Web. The Library module enables you to import photos from any location into Lightroom’s Catalogue and create Collections that help you to organise your shots in useful ways.

Lightroom 2’s new Library Filter enables you to search for specific files using a variety of criteria (like keywords, ratings or even shots captured using specific cameras or lenses for example!) We’ll put this valuable new asset management resource through its paces in part 2 to demonstrate how efficient Lightroom 2 is at finding files fast.

In the Library module you can view thumbnails of your imported shots or see them at full size using the Loupe view to help you spot problems like artifacts and soft focus. If a particular image takes your fancy you can give it a star rating (just like you can in Elements), or simply flag the shot as one to keep or reject. If you have a couple of monitors attached to your computer you can use the new multiple monitor feature to pop the grid view on one screen and the Loupe view on another – you can then organise on one screen and edit on the other.

Unlike Elements' ‘Organiser’ Lightroom 2’s Library module enables you to indulge in some quick photo fixing without having to go to another module. The Quick Develop pane allows you to correct common problems like incorrect white balance, tweak under or over-exposed tones using a histogram as a handy reference point, and boost colour saturation without leaving the Library Module, so you can combine organising and photo fixing in a single interface. This is a great way of streamlining your image processing workflow.

© George Cairns

The Library module enables you to gather files from multiple sources and place them in coherent collections. You can assign keywords, ratings and flags to shots and then search for photos with specific attributes using the new Library Filter.

Develop module

The Library module’s Quick Develop pane can do a decent job of making common global adjustments like adjusting contrast, but for tackling a shot’s specific problems you’ll need to take it into the Develop module. At first glance the Develop module’s image adjustment sliders look similar to those in Photoshop CS’s Adobe Camera RAW editor and indeed they are.

Controls to adjust attributes like Exposure, Clarity and Vibrance are all present and correct. As with the RAW editor all the changes you make to your source files are non-destructive, enabling you to undo your changes at any time. You can now stack the edited image with the original (as you can with the Organiser in Photoshop Elements).

The Develop module in Lightroom 2 has been redesigned to make it more ergonomic. Common image adjustment tools (like Red Eye removal) are now located just below the histogram and above the Exposure and Colour correction sliders. This subtle but useful redesign saves you valuable editing time, as all the tools are more close to hand.

As well as the usual image editing tools, like Recovery and Fill Light, Lightroom 2 boasts a powerful (and unique) new tool that enables you to make local adjustments to RAW files. The selective Adjustment Brush kicks sand in the face of the tool in CS’s RAW editor as you can use it to make brush-based tonal, colour and even sharpness adjustments to your RAW files.

© George Cairns

The Develop module has some sophisticated tools to help you perform global and localised photo fixes. All the edits you make are non-destructive so the original source file is always accessible. The versatile new selective Adjustments Brush is one of the best reasons to upgrade to Lightroom 2.

If you need to dodge or burn a RAW file in CS or Elements you need to open it in the standard editor and sacrifice its RAW status, making it more prone to gaining unwanted artifacts like grain or compression related artifacts. Lightroom 2’s selective Adjustment Brush enables you to target specific areas and change attributes, like brush size and softness, to produce accurate tonal or colour adjustments. We’ll put the amazing Adjustment Brush through its paces in part 3 of our Lightroom 2 examination, but I must point out that, in my opinion, its welcome presence makes Lightroom 2 a must have!

As well as providing typical tools like Red Eye reduction and Retouch (for removing spots and blemishes) the Develop module also contains a new Graduated filter tool that enables you to use gradients to change attributes like Exposure and Vibrance.

Slideshow

Once you’ve organised your shots with keywords, ratings or flags and then made tonal or colour adjustments you can then share your spruced up photos using the other modules contained in Lightroom 2. The Slideshow module allows you to turn a series of shots into a self-contained PDF file that you can e-mail to your friends or business clients. You can use a variety of tools to add borders and text to each slide and add transitions that mix from one image to the next. We’ll demonstrate this module’s capabilities in much more detail in part 3 of this series.

© George Cairns

You can present your perfectly processed pictures as a slideshow, complete with borders, transition mixes, text, and music. You can also share the slideshow as a self-contained Adobe PDF via e-mail.

© George Cairns

The Print module enables you to output your shots as specifically sized single prints, contact sheets or even picture packages on a single sheet, as well as enabling you to colour manage your prints.

Print

By clicking on the Print module you can use the Layout Engine to create a variety of different page set-ups. The new Picture Package template enables you to print multiple copies of your edited image onto a single sheet. You can also print images at a specific dimension (like 5x7 inches for example) by clicking on the relevant size option in the Cells pane.


Web

© George Cairns

Produce attractive interactive web galleries that showcase your shots without requiring HTML coding skills or knowledge of Flash. You can jump to the Develop module in the middle of your web gallery creation to boost a specific shot's colours and then pop back to the Web module to continue producing your online portfolio.

Thanks to the Web module you don't need to have web design skills to produce an attractive web gallery that showcases your edited images. You can browse through a variety of flash-based or HTML templates and drop your shots into them. You can then personalise your gallery and let Lightroom generate all the source files you’ll need to place it online.

If you’re a serious photographer and need a digital darkroom that provides you with powerful RAW tonal and colour correction tools (as well as the ability to target and edit specific areas in a shot) then Lightroom 2 will certainly meet your needs. It can happily hold its own when compared to Photoshop CS’s RAW editor too. Photoshop CS contains features that are probably superfluous to the needs of a photographer (for example, the graphic designer-centric Type or Custom Shape tools) and you may never use some of the more expensive package’s commands and tools. Lightroom 2 is a more streamlined package than CS3 and it has all the tools that you'll need to tackle typical image processing and organising challenges.

© George Cairns

Lightroom 2 is a one-stop shop, enabling you to access, edit and share your assets quickly and effectively for a reasonable price. It has all of the photo fixing tools that you'd expect from a high-end digital darkroom so that you can coax striking results from your RAW files.

When it comes to asset management Lightroom 2’s Library module is much more efficient and easier to use than CS4’s equivalent organisational tool - Adobe Bridge. Indeed given Lightroom 2’s mid-range price you may consider buying it to manage your assets while using Photoshop CS to edit them. Lightroom 2 has a useful Edit in Adobe Photoshop CS4 link that allows you to open your Lightroom files as Smart Objects or even merge them to Panoramas or HDR files in CS. Adobe recognises the strengths of a Lightroom and CS4 combination and offers a discount on Lightroom 2 if you buy it with a copy of CS4.

In this overview of Lightroom 2 and its new features we’ve dipped our toes in the water. In Part two we’ll dive deeper to explore Lightroom 2’s asset management tools in more detail, before examining its sophisticated RAW photo-fixing tools and image export options in part three.