Friday, November 19, 2010
Hello, hello. Looks like I managed to squeeze in one more post this week afterall. Congrats! This is Lower Yosemite Falls, in Yosemite National Park. I had mentioned in the last picture I posted from Yosemite that some bad weather rolled in while we were there, and this was the result. This was the day that we were going to spend driving across the park to the eastern entrance, and also do some hiking here and there. But, it was raining pretty steadily, and they ended up closing the road through the park anyway. So, blah. Gave us an excuse to take the rental car back to the airport early and avoid an extra-day charge. But, it at least made the waterfalls look nice.
Today’s picture is actually interesting for another reason though. Or I suppose I should say, “today’s picture is actually interesting though.” Why’s that, you ask? (Hahaha, who am I kidding, you asking that would imply that you’re reading this, but I know better.) Well, it’s because, a few days ago, I downloaded a trial copy of Adobe Lightroom, and I’m putting it through its paces. Normally, I do all of my image management and touching up using Picasa, the free tool from Google. It’s… not great. But it’s fast, and it gets the job done. It only has a few tools to choose from, but if you know how to use them, it’s actually surprisingly powerful. But, there are definitely limits to what it can do, and often it’s clear that I’m using it in ways that it wasn’t really intended, so it can feel like a giant hackjob at times. Thus, the Lightroom trial.
After a few days, I’ve got mixed feelings about it. On the surface, it seems extremely powerful and slick. But, after using it for a little while, I’ve realized that even with all of the crazy fancy tools, I haven’t really found myself able to do much that I couldn’t do before. I mean, sure, there are tools that Picasa flat-out doesn’t have, light noise-reduction. And the tools definitely allow finer-grained control of exposure and color. But it’s an incremental improvement at best, not a night-and-day difference like I would hope for (and expect, based on the price.) Also, it’s SO EFFING SLOW! It’s amazingly unresponsive. Using it feels like I’m riding a tricycle on the freeway. Granted, a large part of the problem is that I’m using fairly dated hardware. But, even on my crusty old desktop PC, Picasa runs like a champ. Performance and the responsiveness of the UI is one thing I may not be able to get over.
Oh, right, I think I forgot to mention this part: today’s picture is the first picture that I edited purely in Lightroom. Actually, not quite true. It’s the second. But it’s the first one I’m posting here.
I’m going to keep using Lightroom, as it’s entirely possible that I’m not giving it a fair shake, because the controls are clearly not what I’m used to. (I’ve been using Picasa for YEARS – literally! – so I’ve gotten embarrassingly proficient with it.) I mean, I’ve got 30 days of free trial, I may as well use them. But I’ve got a feeling I’m going to run back to Picasa with open arms and tears streaming down my cheeks at the end of this crazy experiment. We’ll see.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/4.5, ISO 400. Focal length: 11mm.