14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
I have had a DSLR for about two years and had never really done photography before. I started off thinking processing software was unnecessary and I would be happy with my shots straight out of the camera. I then decided that even the best shots can be improved with a little contrast and sharpening so I tried to get to grips with free software like GIMP. I found it all a bit much to cope with - I wanted simple powerful editing without the need to add layers and spend 30 minutes on each photo. I decided to try Photoshop Elements 9 which I did like but it still seemed a little too convuluted for what I wanted to do. I discovered the raw section of Elements and really liked the simple sliders - they made everything so much easier.
I eventually bought Lightroom as I had read that the raw editing was very good and had many more options that the Elements plug-in. I was not disappointed, it is an absolute dream to edit photos now. It is all non-destructive so you can edit away without fear of altering the originals. Want to try a different edit? You just make a 'virtual copy' and try it in black and white, make another copy and try a cross-processed look. All these copies can then be kept together and the best thing is the copies are just the saved settings, they are not a whole photo so you are not eating up drive space by making them.
My favourite mode is 'lights out', just press 'L' and all the panels dim so you can focus on the photo. Press it again and everything but the picture is completely blacked out. There are also lots of ways to sort and mark your shots and you can do batch exports etc. As other reviewers have said, it is worth getting a book or two because there are no instructions. Learning all the keyboard shortcuts is a huge bonus!
I don't think I will ever change from Lightroom, it is everything I ever wanted in processing software. Very simple and intuitive but with a lot of power under the hood.