Fear and loathing in Adobe…

It feels as if it has been an age since I posted anything to this WordPress blog. I guess it has been seeing how I usually post every week and yet have only posted twice since 18 March (some 25 days ago). But it’s not my fault….really. Events have conspired against me. Truly. My little side job requires that I finish off the bits and pieces I have before I take my work back to my client in about 10 days. The daughter and her emergency appendectomy. Waiting for the new photo-editing software to arrive. Waiting to find the courage to install said software. Yep. Courage to install software. Sounds pretty lame doesn’t it? Well suck on this for a minute before I explain…


I have discussed this before, but it begs for repeating: I’m afraid of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Elements. Believe me…no one is more surprised than I. I’ve always been one to jump head-first into new software. Always anxious to grab it by the neck and throttle it for all it’s worth. But for some reason I have been experiencing this incredible sense of trepidation when it comes to both Lightroom and Elements.

I’ve been using other photo editing software in the likes of Phase One’s Capture One 4 which I received for free with the purchase of a high end media card. It really is a nice bit of software: resource light, intuitive (for the most part), covers the basics well, and has an user’s guide one could read in an hour on a Sunday afternoon. Lightroom? The first hint it might be a powerful programme is one looks at the retail price of USD300. The second hint is the pdf of the user’s guide, which weighs in at 175 pages. The third hint can be found at the Adobe website, where one can find what seems like a million or more web pages dedicated just to using Lightroom. Yet, why should this cause me any hesitancy? I’ve used other applications that have large user’s guides and the like, but for whatever reason, this is different.


And then there is Elements! At least Lightroom only took a minute or two to install on the new iMac. Elements took something akin to ten minutes! And talk about intimidating! Over 300 pages can be found stuffed into the user’s guide. THREE HUNDRED! And, of course, there are tonnes of pages dedicated to Elements on the Adobe site, etc.

In a way I think part of the problem is that I don’t even know where to begin. Sure, one can open the user’s guide pdf and start plowing through, but that is, unfortunately, boring. Capture One 4 was so light and basic in comparison that it was difficult to go wrong. And even though one can fix “wrong” with Lightroom or Elements, it just feels far more intimidating to begin with.

Regardless, I finally took the plunge and installed both applications to the new iMac. I also took the liberty of watching a fistful of introductory videos on the Adobe site in relation to Lightroom. Just the first few so that I would have a clearer idea of how to import, catalogue, and develop pictures so that I could clear my camera’s media card and get some shit uploaded to Flickr.


So my first experience with Lightroom went reasonably well. Everything imported just fine. I was able to make the changes I wished without too much difficulty or fussing about. I was even able to make use of the Graduated Filter feature without much difficulty….at least on two images. A third one never worked correctly and so I abandoned the effect. Oh well. On the whole I will consider this to have been a reasonable success what with me just dabbing my toes into the waters of Lightroom. So to speak.


But now comes the really hard part…integrating pictures into Elements and getting creative!

I’m so fucked.

10 thoughts on “Fear and loathing in Adobe…

  1. Photoshop is really another beast, everything can see overwhelming, but there is always hope. I got a book for photoshop CS3 and it’s really helpful, but then I also took a course in Digital photography which gave a good intro to the program. One suggestion: Apply what you read in the manual, thats the only way it will stick. Goodluck! and nice photos!

  2. Hey, I’m getting impatient. I’m waiting for the techie you to figure out lightroom and then blog about it. So how do you make the graduated filter work? I gave up.

  3. Events conspire? Really? 😛

    These are beautiful pics. Yes, I agree with Kym, hurry up and figure out LR and blog about it. I am having a time trying to figure it out as well. 😉

  4. From my very limited experience (and not completely successful mind you) with the graduated filter thingy, I think it’s important to remember that it acts just like a regular graduated filter: the filter filters less at one end and filters the most at the other.

    Or better put (or so I hope), the white line where you started dragging the filter is beginning (darkest) part of the filter, where the white line at the other edge is where the filter effect fades to nothing. Or so I think…

    How helpful is that, eh?

  5. buzzybeegirl: I’m just happy they bother to have a user’s guide. I hate looking up things via Help and online alone. A user’s guide is always helpful, but it does seem rather crazed.

  6. I was scared of Lightroom to start off with, now you can’t keep me away from it. I am not the person to sit down and read a manual, how are you supposed to absorb 300 pages of boring tech talk. I found this series of tutorials helpful. They speak in plain english which is always a bonus.

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