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  • Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

    I'm trying to absorb as much as possible off of you people so I can get a solid workflow going.

    Currently I use Lightroom(3) as a photomanagment program where I do a ghetto color correction job, adjust exposure, play with curves, and then I edit in photoshop as a smart object.

    My ultimate goal is to have the knowledge and skill to be able to produce Vogue worthy retouches.

    Should I even touch Lightroom?

  • #2
    Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

    What a great question, I'll be interested in the responses. I also much prefer LR for everything in regards to processing all my initial files.
    It might very well be a case of what you get used to.
    I used to use the RC but once I switched to LR I only every use the RC for the occasional one of because of convience.

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    • #3
      Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

      If the question is, should you use a raw converter to do as much work as possible before resorting to Photoshop, the answer is yes (and we can get into reasons why). If the question is, should you process the raw data in ACR or LR, the answer is, the two are the same in terms of the processing engine and about 98% of the options and controls, both versions being on parity. In fact you can move from LR to ACR and back if you so desire again assuming the two are on the same version parity. There are some workflow advantages LR has over ACR such as unlimited history, Virtual Copies etc. But in terms of image processing, they are the same. At least in terms of the Develop module and ACR.

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      • #4
        Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

        After watching some retouching, I think I'll be doing the actual work in ACR while using LR as a management program. It seems as though ACR is slightly more complete for retouching than LR is.

        Also, how can I open photos from LR directly into ACR?

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        • #5
          Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

          Originally posted by ir0nma1den View Post
          After watching some retouching, I think I'll be doing the actual work in ACR while using LR as a management program. It seems as though ACR is slightly more complete for retouching than LR is.
          Also, how can I open photos from LR directly into ACR?
          When LR and ACR are on version parity (example LR4 and ACR7) the processing is identical. In fact you can move from LR to ACR and back. If anything, LR offers more options outside the processing in terms of an unlimited history (ACR has none) and the ability to build iterations using Virtual Copies.

          You can’t open directly from LR to ACR. When you use the Edit in Photoshop command, LR instructs ACR to render the data (again assuming the two are within version parity). But if you edit in LR, the metadata instructions are saved and ACR can see them. So all you’d have to do is use the Photoshop Open command, select the raw and ACR will ‘open’ it and you’ll see the same appearance you saw in LR. Edit away. Those new edits are saved as XMP metadata that LR will now recognize.

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          • #6
            Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

            I am just wondering what circimstances I would need to be switch between both, except maybe a special or loved preset.

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            • #7
              Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

              Originally posted by Matilda View Post
              I am just wondering what circumstances I would need to be switch between both, except maybe a special or loved preset.
              From ACR to LR? You wouldn't need to. The only reason you might is needing to work on the raw files on a machine that doesn't have LR (or passing it on to someone else) or if your exporting from LR as a smart object in PS which would give you the ability to then open and edit the raw file within photoshop through ACR without having to return to LR. ACR is important when moving a raw file from LR to Photoshop through the "Edit In" dialog because ACR does the conversion of the RAW when bring it into photoshop.Otherwise LR has to render it creating a tiff first and then opening the tiff into photoshop.

              If you are using LR as your main Raw editor and as an important part of your workflow then there is no real reason to leave LR for ACR except to know you can because they are the same editing engines (as long as you both software up to date).

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              • #8
                Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

                Originally posted by Matilda View Post
                I am just wondering what circimstances I would need to be switch between both, except maybe a special or loved preset.
                About the only time would be using the raw as a smart object. It might start in LR and end up as a SO, then if you wish to re-edit, that SO would make a call to ACR.

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                • #9
                  Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

                  Originally posted by ir0nma1den View Post
                  My ultimate goal is to have the knowledge and skill to be able to produce Vogue worthy retouches.

                  Should I even touch Lightroom?
                  If you want to do Vogue-worthy retouches you need Photoshop and some really good teaching videos. Lightroom is not going to get you there.

                  Save that money and buy Natalia Taffarel's DVD or some other top-grade retouching DVD with the money you'd otherwise spend on Lightroom. The Adobe Camera Raw module that's included with Photoshop will do anything core to retouching that Lightroom can do except file management. You can do file management on-disk yourself.
                  Last edited by RobertAsh; 07-02-2012, 06:49 PM.
                  Robert Ash - Website: www.RobertAsh.com | Facebook photo page| Twitter: @RobertAshPhoto

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                  • #10
                    Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

                    As a working photographer (for 30 years using PS since 1991) I have never seen any reason to puchase LR. I agree with Robert - spend the money on something else.

                    LR is essentially DAM software with adjust facilities built in. I use Photo Mechanic for asset management and ACR for RAW processing. My clients are happy, and I'm happy because there's a few hundred dollars in my pocket that otherwise wouldn't be there.

                    But if you don't already have a DAM system in operation, LR is as good as any (IMHO).

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                    • #11
                      Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

                      Originally posted by RobertAsh View Post
                      If you want to do Vogue-worthy retouches you need Photoshop and some really good teaching videos. Lightroom is not going to get you there.

                      Save that money and buy Natalia Taffarel's DVD or some other top-grade retouching DVD with the money you'd otherwise spend on Lightroom. The Adobe Camera Raw module that's included with Photoshop will do anything core to retouching that Lightroom can do except file management. You can do file management on-disk yourself.
                      Already bought Taffarel's dvd, about half way through it. That's why I brought this question up since she mentioned that she uses ACR since it is (or was) more complete. If a pro does it, why wouldn't I?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

                        We did a show where Chris Tarantino (a Vogue retoucher) does a beauty retouch using Lightroom. But even he had to bail to Photoshop about halfway through.
                        Learn by teaching
                        Take responsibility for learning

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                        • #13
                          Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

                          All anyone is saying is that when it comes to processing raw in ACR or LR there is no real difference, it's not less or more complete then the other if your using the latest versions (I saw Natalia DVD, i remember the scene but not the context it shouldn't be taken to suggest that one is inferior to the other) . LR just has the addition of asset management, which is great if you need it. If my workflow was different and was only working on one or two images at a time then for each project then i probably would just use ACR as the asset management would be as essential, but that doesn't change how either works. It has to do with your workflow requirements and what your use to, but there is nothing that keeps either from being used for high end work.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

                            Originally posted by andrewrodney View Post
                            If anything, LR offers more options outside the processing in terms of an unlimited history (ACR has none) and the ability to build iterations using Virtual Copies.
                            I know it is not the same as LR and Virtual Copies, but ACR does have Snapshots which can be used in a similar way. The Snapshots are stored in the xmp file and can be retrieved very easily.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Using Lightroom instead of the RAW converter

                              Originally posted by ir0nma1den View Post
                              Already bought Taffarel's dvd, about half way through it. That's why I brought this question up since she mentioned that she uses ACR since it is (or was) more complete. If a pro does it, why wouldn't I?
                              Makes sense Another good DVD source is this forum, as Doug points out. Or http://DigitalPhotoshopRetouching.com if you haven't seen their other ones. Or the DVDs on Slickforce.com.

                              That said, Lightroom has dropped in price by half. It's now $150 down from $300. And it does make organizing files easier that ACR does, as well as adding some nifty features like virtual copies, collections and adjust updates for many images at once. The unlimited history mentioned above also comes in handy at times.

                              One important caution about virtual copies, by the way -- if you update the underlying PDF/TIFF file in Photoshop then all the virtual copies Lightroom get adjusted the same way. I wish there was a switch to turn off that characteristic. But for just experimenting around quickly in Lightroom they can be pretty useful.

                              Also, for me, I find myself with a fair number of hybrid files (or 'Franken-files' I guess ) that have partial Lightroom and partial Photoshop adjustments. It takes forethought and discipline (or rework) to avoid that situation on important files. You also need to think about how you want to print them (I do as much print as possible from Photoshop, not Lightroom).

                              If you're a beginner retoucher your money is better spent on training materials. If you're where you want to be then Lightroom or some other file management software could be useful, especially at the current lower price point.
                              Last edited by RobertAsh; 07-04-2012, 08:38 AM.
                              Robert Ash - Website: www.RobertAsh.com | Facebook photo page| Twitter: @RobertAshPhoto

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