I have 2 workshops starting soon through the EWC community education program. The first of the 2 is Digital Photography where you learn to use the manual settings of your camera, some tips to modify light, and we also cover some compositional elements to frame up the perfect photo. This class runs for 3 monday nights starting September 8th.
The other workshop is Enhancing Your Photographs, where we will do that and so much more with an amazing adobe program that isn't as complicated to use as photoshop (or as expensive). So if you love photography and take tons of photos this class could be beneficial for you, and I am going to take this opportunity to tell you a little about some of the features of lightroom.
To start you can catalouge your photos in the library module. This is amazing because you can find the photo you are looking for in seconds instead of searching through piles of folders. Example: Your daughter is getting married and you want to put together some photos of her growing up, this birthday, this vacation, this first day of school, ect. In the folder set up you have to remember what year that photo was shot, then find the right month, and hopefully if your memory is correct after an hour or more of searching you have located the photo of her 6th birthday with cake all over her face. In the lightroom set up, as long as you have key worded your photos, all you have to do is search for the right words and that photo comes right up.
Now, that function alone is a reason to use lightroom, but there is much more. From there we move into the develop module where you have the opportunity to nondestructively edit your photos. In photoshop you have tools and subsets of tools with 6 different options specific to that tool on top of layers and blend modes to work with, photoshop is a deep program and not really for everybody. Photoshop is more well known so everybody wants to learn it because they want to change photos, add some creativity. If you don't need to retouch a photo at a pixel level for 10 hours to prep it for a magazine or something else intense, you probably don't need photoshop. Unless you just want to learn it for fun. Lightroom is an amazing place to start and if it ends up not being enough and you need more, then go for photoshop. I use both, but I wouldn't ever want to go back to life without lightroom.
You have an endless amount of presets that come with lightroom, you click the one you like and it makes all the changes to the photo for you. 15 seconds to search through the presents and find the one you like as opposed to hours in photoshop making adjustments. When the presents in lightroom get old you can search online for more unique ones that people have designed and made available to download, and many are free. There is also the whole other side of lightroom that you make adjustments on your own instead of using a present, still very time friendly compared to photoshop and much easier to understand and use.
The version of lightroom at the school doesn't have the map or book function so I will just tell you a little about the book and move on. The Book module allows you to use your photos to create a layout for a book, choose paper type, size, format, hard or soft cover, dust jacket and so on, then hit a button and it automatically sends it to blurb.com to be printed and shipped to you. Coffee table book of your vacation, wedding, birthday, kids, or just of flowers or sunsets that you have shot. Possibilities are endless.
We will touch on the slideshow module and how quick and easy it is to create a beautiful slideshow of your images that can be saved and used to email, load to Facebook or whatever it is you may do. I create a slideshow at the end of every semester I teach to show all the students hard work over the course of the class.
Lastly, we will go over the print module where you can set up photos to print to your printer. The possibilities here are pretty endless too, restricted only by the size of the paper. Do you want an 8x10 to print? Maybe two 5x7's of the same image? Different images? Wallets? Some artistic overlay of two or three photos? Save your print set up as a file and take it to the business center to print? Or a friends house?
I can't stress enough how much I love lightroom and how necessary it is to someone who loves photography. As a professional, my job is made much easier with the cataloguing function alone.