I am Rod Wynne-Powell, and this is my way to pass on snippets either of a technical nature, or related to what I am currently doing or hope to be doing in the near future.

A third-person description follows:
Professional photographer, Lightroom and Photoshop Workflow trainer, Consultant, digital image retoucher, author, and tech-editor for Martin Evening's many 'Photoshop for Photographers' books.

For over twenty years, Rod has had a client list of large and small companies, which reads like the ‘who’s who’ of the imaging, advertising and software industries. He has a background in Commercial/Industrial Photography, was Sales Manager for a leading London-based colour laboratory and has trained many digital photographers on a one-to-one basis, in the UK and Europe.
Still a pre-release tester for Adobe in the US, for Photoshop, he is also very much involved in the taking of a wide range of photographs, as can be seen in the galleries.

See his broad range of training and creative services, available NOW. Take advantage of them and ensure an unfair advantage over your competitors…

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Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The Lightroom Message

Twice in the last three weeks, I have had the enjoyable but nevertheless daunting and somewhat humbling experience of talking to two groups of expert photographers about Lightroom. The first was to a group of Wildlife photographers, the second, just yesterday a group of photographers possibly best described as photojournalists.

In both instances these were not hosted by me; I was invited to offer my services – in the first mine host was Chris Gomersall, and the latter, Adam Woolfitt.

I enjoy these encounters, because faced with a group of mixed and varied experience and prior knowledge of the program, I am challenged, and I learn from the sessions, which helps me to feed back what I find to the program developers at Adobe. Also, since I operate a one-man-band, it gives me welcome social interaction.

I strongly feel that with digital SLRs pervading a large proportion of professional photographers' working lives, and the cameras yielding ever larger initial raw files, this program is supplanting Photoshop for many people. Effectively, it has usurped the place Photoshop held in my heart for so many years, so I now feel very evangelistic on its behalf. Quite early on in my acquaintance with Lightroom I put across my view that the biggest competitor was not as the Press would have you believe, Aperture, but Adobe Bridge – I still hold this view.

Recently, Adobe have laid off many staff across the globe, and put this down to a disappointing take up of Creative Suite 4 due to the financial situation worldwide. I think it goes deeper than this, and would cite the withdrawal from major shows, and the high price set outside the US. To consider the UK version as 'localised' and suggest this is 'International English', yet pay no heed to actual 'English' spelling has been considered insulting to many, especially when software can now be distributed electronically worldwide this does not endear Adobe to its target audience. Another factor is the system of Activation is so draconian it hits the legal users of its software as hard as the cheats.

When you can therefore use a less than up to date version of Photoshop to do all you need beyond what Lightroom offers, there is a less pressing need to upgrade when you set the cost of Lightroom against that of the upgrade to Photoshop. I think Photoshop has now undoubtedly become more of a tool for Retouchers and Designers, and in these two Groups it is only the Retouchers who see the real need for the new features, and they are the smaller of the two. And I count myself a member of that group.

Very little explanation of Lightroom is offered by Adobe, partly because it sells itself, so it is often left to those selling the product, and I think in many instances some of its virtues are overstated, in particular its role as a Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool. Various web-based resources provide sound information, but the audience here is already fairly well-informed but small in number, so less-informed comment in magazines tends to prevail, and increasingly the writers are very aware of the effect negative comments will have upon their advertising revenue, so are less objective, apart from not really using the software on a daily basis.

I hope in my small way that I am helping to take up the slack and getting Lightroom's virtues and architecture better understood by today's digital photographers.

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