Since Lightroom offers non4 destructive editing, you can experiment with these sliders, safe in the knowledge that you’re not doing any lasting harm to your precious photos.
As with Aperture and iPhoto, Lightroom is a non-destructive editing app. This means the adjustments you make to an image are saved not over the image file itself, but as a companion file that lives in the Catalog. The changes aren’t applied until a new image is exported, leaving the original intact. The program may be geared toward processing the raw files generated by high-end compacts, compact system cameras or DSLRs, but it’s quite happy editing your JPEGs, and the keywording, colour-coding and location features that help to organise your photo library still work perfectly.
Importance of importing
The first thing you need to do is to import some pictures. An import button lives at the bottom-left of the Library module, which is open when you first run the app. You can set Lightroom to open the import window when a camera memory card is detected, or you can point it to a card or hard drive folder manually.
Importing gives you four options: Copy as DNG, Copy, Move or Add. The first two copy image files to a new location and add them to your Catalog, with the former converting raw files to Adobe’s open Digital Negative raw image format. Move moves the files to a new location, removing them from their original home, while Add simply adds them to the Catalog without changing the originals’ location – useful for images already stored on an external hard drive.
On import, you can check a box to create Smart Previews. These allow you to keep editing your files without the originals present, but generating them takes a long time if you’re working with a lot of photos, even on an SSD. Creating Smart Previews for 1,200 or so raw files added 750MB to our Catalog, but that’s a lot less than the 30GB the originals took up.
Once imported, it’s on to the Develop module. You can switch between modules at the top-right of the interface, and it’s the modular nature that marks Lightroom’s biggest difference from Aperture. While Apple’s app lets you edit the thumbnail in its
The maximum zoom provided in Develop is 11:1; but of course you won’t often need to zoom in quite so far!