I’m one of those people who will run something in to the ground before I buy a replacement, a new version, or upgrade. I just need to get every ounce of life out of my stuff, especially big ticket items, you know? For this reason I was putting up with an ancient laptop that was slowly dying for much longer than I should have. So, as a super early birthday/Christmas gift, John got me a brand new laptop and gave it to me this month. He also bought me Adobe Lightroom 5 to go on said laptop for all my photo editing needs (I was also running an embarrassingly old version of Photoshop on my old laptop (version 7, if you must know)).
So for the past few weeks I have been loving my spiffy new laptop and this wonderful photo editing software. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on all it is capable of but I definitely have some favorite features so far. I’m sure I will write additional reviews on the more in depth capabilities of Lightroom 5, but here are my initial top 5 favorite things about it.
You can’t really endorse any technology these days if you aren’t a supported user. Adobe has fantastic user support that makes me feel like no question is stupid and that learning the solutions are accessible and not all that complicated. The Lightroom Help website is particularly useful but the Lightroom channel on Adobe TV is the best source of support. They have hands on, extremely comprehensive how-to videos on pretty much every topic. Loving this!
2) The History List
I love the undo button in all computer programs but when you’re photo editing sometimes you realize you made a mistake five steps ago. The History List in Lightroom allows you to see everything you’ve done to manipulate your photo, in order of when you did it. You can then, at any point, click on an action and Lightroom will revert you back to what the image looked like at that step.
3) Side by Side Editing
I am loving the split screen capability in Lightroom that compares the before and after of your images as you edit them. I don’t work like this all the time but it’s great for editing slight nuances in a photo.
I have found that no matter how good photo editing software is, a blurry photo is a blurry photo. That said, the Sharpening tool in Lightroom stands apart for me because of the Noise Reduction slider that pairs with it. For example – have you ever noticed when you try to sharpen a a blurry image it starts to look grainy or pixelated? That’s called “noise.” As you can see, the photo below is still pretty blurry (because I was super far away at a concert) but the lines look pretty smooth after I sharpened it because of the noise reduction tools.
5) Advanced Healing Brush
This might be my favorite feature of them all. The Advanced Healing Brush in Lightroom allows you to easily remove imperfections that may show up in your pictures. Prior versions of Lightroom, and most of the Adobe catalog of photo editing software, used to only allow for “spot removal” with a circular brush. This tool now allows for non-circular editing which is so much more diverse. See my photo below that captured a plane’s exhaust trail. I used the Advanced Healing Tool to select the oddly shaped area then told it what to replicate to replace the space with (another similar gradient of sky colors).
Stay tuned for more reviews and features as I delve deeper into the world of Lightroom 5!
(Product reviews are never sponsored; they are just my musings on products I’ve tried and want to share with you.)