New Editing Software For Dye Sublimation: Lightroom, Part I

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By Steve Spence   There is a new sheriff in town when it comes to software for handling bitmaps (photographs). It is made by Adobe but doesn’t have the complexity or price tag of most other Adobe software and that’s good for us!   The latest version is Version 5 and it is super. It is a standalone product and costs just about $150 from Amazon. The software has a number of functions but the one we will talk about here is its ability to catalog and keep track of your photos. The problem with most photo catalog programs is they require you to keep your photos in a certain file and if you want to keep them in multiple places or files, it confuses the software and eats up tons of memory making multiple copies.   Not so with Lightroom. You can store your images anywhere you want on your computer. Keep some pics on C drive and some on D. Lightroom doesn’t care. Store them in multiple folders – Lightroom doesn’t care. What’s even better, you can store multiple copies of an image in multiple collections and Lightroom will not only keep track of them, but will do it without having to actually make multiple copies!   This program doesn’t work like any other program you have ever used so it takes a little getting used to. Fortunately, there are lots of YouTube educational clips to help us out.   Think of it this way: Lightroom doesn’t actually store anything. It just keeps track of where you have images stored, then allows you to catalog them, make virtual copies of them, even alter them and it keeps track of all of that and more.   For instance, if you make an adjustment in the brightness of a photograph in Lightroom, it will keep track of both the original image and the changed image and it does it without making a copy of the image (that’s really important when you are storing tons of 50 megabyte images). It just stores the changes and then applies them to the original when you call up that image! You can keep track of an image with an endless number of changes or versions, different lighting adjustments, resolutions or even vignettes without changing the original image.   Want to create collections of images and still store your images in job folders? No problem. Want to store logos with jobs but also have them available for other applications? No problem (so long as they are bitmaps). Long story short? If you work with or store a lot of bitmaps, you need to check out Lightroom, Version 5. It has changed my world. Check out my other blogs for other features about Lightroom.