Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lightroom for the Wedding

I purchased Adobe Photoshop Lightroom on Monday night. I figured this might be a good time to try it out because I just shot a wedding on Sunday that I mentioned in a previous post.

One of the issues with this wedding was the very low light level. I was using some fill flash but I ended up with some blown highlights for the before-wedding portraits. I imported my 999 images into Apple's Aperture first but I was a little disappointed in the blown highlights. Because of this and my interest in Lightroom, I decided to put it to the test.

I imported the same 999 images into Lightroom to see what it could do. I was immediately surprised to see how much better Lightroom deals with blown highlights. To be fair, Adobe Camera Raw has always had about the best ability to recover blown highlights and since Lightroom is based on this same engine, it does a great job. Also, Pentax K10D support is not finalized in Mac OS X and so these results could change when Mac OS X 10.4.9 comes out.

I was very happy with the results from Lightroom. For this job, I am going to use Lightroom for the conversions. From some reviews I have read, it seems that Lightroom tends to not have as much saturation in its RAW conversions as compared to other RAW converters including Aperture. This is just the ticket for wedding pictures. You do not want oversaturated pictures of people. They are not flattering. This is akin to using Kodak Portra NC film for weddings while Fujifilm Velvia might be a better choice for nature.

I think this lower saturation helps the look of the images in a wedding setting but I may not like it as much for nature. I have not had a chance to try it for nature shots just yet. I still love Aperture and will not be deserting it for some time. We shall see which one wins out. My feeling is that this will be a case where I will use both applications for different purposes.

I will have some more information regarding the Pentax K10D RAW files in Aperture and Lightroom once Mac OS X 10.4.9 is released which should provide full support for Pentax K10D and K100D RAW files.

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