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Shooting is only half the battle
Capturing images with your camera is only the first half of photography today. The second half, and equally as important stage, is editing and post processing your images. All images from modern cameras need some level of edits or tweaks in post processing to have them reach their full potential. When I am talking about post processing, I am keeping most of the original structure and content of the photo intact. I am not referring to major edits like replacing people, structures, backgrounds etc. that would require Photoshop. Edits like that are beyond the scope of this article.
Selecting your tools
I use Adobe Lightroom CC Classic as my digital darkroom for processing all my edits. Lightroom is the most popular tool in the industry but there are competitors like Capture One and Luminaire that are trying to take market share from Adobe. I have used Lightroom since version 4 in 2013. I upgraded to v5 and v6 and stayed on v6 as I did not want to move to a subscription license. Ultimately I caved last year, and upgraded to v9 that I am on today.
As the industry leader in post processing, Adobe Lightroom has a large following and is a strong tool for managing, organizing, and editing all of your photos. I spend a lot of time in Lightroom. It is easily my most used application at home and I custom built my most recent computer to focus just on Lightroom performance. Overall I am happy with what it provides. There could definitely be some improvements, especially when it comes to speed, but it gets the job done for me and helps support my workflow.
Adobe Lightroom is powerful but with a steep learning curve
Adobe Lightroom is an incredibly complex piece of software with a very steep learning curve. I consider myself to be pretty advance when it comes to technology and applications but it has taken a lot of time to get comfortable in Lightroom. Even with this investment, I still find myself learning something new almost every week. At times I feel like I am only just scratching the surface of what can be done with Lightroom!
I encourage you to pickup some book and sit down and make a commitment of time and energy in learning Lightroom (or the tool of your choice). As a photographer today you have to be well versed in both capturing and editing photos in today’s digital world!
Next Tip: Photography Tip: #4 Use an Online Publishing Platform like SmugMug to Share Your Photos