Lightroom catalogue - love it or hate it?

Started Dec 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 5,854
Re: A (light hearted) summary

Jack Hogan wrote:

Dave Stott wrote:

The “nevers” seem to fall into three camps.

There are those who have thought it through carefully and, because, for example, they wish to use a different RAW converter, do not get the benefits from Lightroom’s DAM and workflow.

Perhaps also because some of these people realize that they already have a fast background-indexing image database function built into their operating system and see no need to duplicate it - see top right below for instance (Windows. Mac has similar functionality)

Windows search can find virtually instantly images by tags, keywords, camera parameters or whatever

I use Windows Search very extensively, but it doesn't have the search capability for images that Lightroom does. I find Lightroom far superior for searching my photos.

There are those who simply don’t like the data base paradigm, don’t like the feel that Lightroom is in control, and want to manage folders directly.

By duplicating the database and staying within LR's walled garden

LR's "walled garden" is simply the subset of our file structure that contains images, structured exactly as the underlying folder structure. It excludes folders that don't contain images - like Windows, or Program Files - but why on earth would I want to include them in my view of images?

they also realize that, aside from losing flexibility...

No, I gain flexibility!

...they are giving up ease of retrieving, ingesting and working on their images at different stages on different computers (say a main machine and a traveling laptop with limited internet access).

Not for me. Lightroom is my photographic work bench. Any other programs I use are launched from Lightroom. That is not losing flexibility, it's graining it. As for use on multiple machines: easy. I can take part of my catalogue (or all of it if I really wanted) on my laptop when travelling.

Then there are those who just don’t understand what is going on.

So imho the DAM is not the main reason why most LR users chose it as their raw converter. They mostly chose it because it simplifies things by hiding the more complex stuff under the hood.

That may be so for some users, but alas not for me. As a researcher in IT and telecoms all my working life I well understand the nasty complex stuff and don't need it hidden.  Lightroom provides me with an optimum view of my images.

And if that entails duplicate databases and loss of flexibility, so be it.

I'm afaid that statement doesn't correspond to the way I see things.

The “reluctant acceptors” are a mixed bunch who worry about being reliant on a catalogue, worry about being Adobe dependent, can see how the catalogue and workflow (especially with pixel editing plug-ins) could be better, and so on.


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