Often we only think about the creation and processing of our photographs. This is fine if we just have a manageable few images. Once the photo collection grows we need to find a way to organize all these images. This is as old as photography but instead of folders and boxes we now need to organize our image assets in digital form. It is one of these ironies that we have our images in a form that could survive eternity without any quality degradation (even improve through new advanced software technology) yet our image were never more fragile than today. There are some aspects that can make it a challenge:
• Data loss (we talk about backup in our Library book)
• Finding the images (same as in the past: where is the box with image X?)
• How future proof are the different image formats?
For quite some years there were Digital Asset Management software solutions (called DAM) in the market to organize your images. The problem was that they were kind of strong on the organization aspect but did not help much with the processing of our images. Without some processing we often cannot even tell which are our keeper photos. Most of us photographers want this to be one tool because we think visually and not so much like bookkeepers. Apple Aperture and Adobe Lightroom were the first applications that integrated both aspects into a single software package.
Lightroom implemented a module approach that allowed having a Library module (DAM) and a Develop module (using the Adobe Camera Raw engine). Today Camera Raw and Lightroom are the most used raw converters (RC) in the market. While Aperture is a very nice application with lots of followers we prefer Lightroom because it is supported for Macs and PCs (although we are mainly Mac users but many of our readers use Windows). Lightroom also seems to us to be a more open platform and with better Photoshop integration. With Lightroom we finally can organize our images and process them at the same time.
Learn more about Lightroom from our e-books: