Originally Posted by mfharper
Light room has cut my post processing time by about 1/3. I'm using it for import, file management, and most of the basic adjustments that I used to use photoshop for. That being said, I still could not get by without photoshop. Some things just need to be done on multiple layers, in different color spaces, with paths, ect. ect. So I guess my answer is neither is "Best", but they sure work well togeather.
I'm trying to get used to using LR for everything at the beginning of post processing but I'm not so sure about the import and file management aspect. I still find it far faster for me to do this outside of LR.
Typically what I do is...
-make the folder named (yyyymmdd-Model Name) and located as I prefer (on a seperate USB connected hard drive...dedicated to the raw dump of the images) and then copy the files from the card to this location.
-using a free program I found I rename the images from the standards set by the camera to the folder name with the image numeric value. This is blazing fast even for massive dumps.
-then using either Irfanview or FastStone Viewer (both free viewers) I'll do a preliminary cull (really bad exposure, big motion blurring, blinks by the model, etc.) I already know that I'm *not* going to keep these...why let LR import them to only delete them later?
It's at this point I crank up LR to do a translate to .dng and import from location. However I'm considering on getting the standalone .dng convertor and seeing if this is any faster. LR still seems to be slow on this and I typically let it do this overnight while I sleep.
Of course the problems I am having could well be because of the age of my computer. I know already that it's problematic as I was one of the users who had the 'no virtual copy' problem when I moved from 1.4 to 2.* This was due to the AMD cpu I have in this box. Luckily there was a fix generated but soon enough I know that I *will have to* move up to a new computer. I'm sure that a newer and more powerful set will allow me to let LR do all the import and file management quicker than it is right now. But I won't know until I do the move. And with the economy being as it is (I'm in Mining Engineering) I'm giving serious doubts to laying out any cash at the moment.
Anyway, once these initial steps are done LR does do a reasonable job of what it was meant to do...emulate the wet darkroom. The guys at Adobe meant this program to be focused for the photographer and so the tools we have in this program are specific. The one big tool that PS has...cloning...was not included and whatever tool they included in the latest version of LR is minimal. Then again, how many 'wet' photographers had some sort of tool or technique to 'easily' clone their images on the printed photo paper?
Adobe, themselves, will even admit that PS was meant for the Graphics industry and so there's much in that program that is of little if any relevance to the photographer (...begs the question why they continued with the name Photoshop when the 'Photo' part is not the greater part of what PS does?). The purpose of developing LR was, as I said above, to pull out and enhance the tools that were primarily meant for photographers. I even thought, at the announcement of LR that it would be a PS Lite with less 'graphics'. You can imagine the disappointment many of us felt when we realized that cloning, multiple layers/channnels, actions and plugins were not part of it. There's been some work done to make allowances for these but still there's much that can *not* be done in LR and require the user to migrate the image to PS to do further work.
Realistically speaking most (if not all) that LR does can be done by PS. Then why not just go with PS to do your photo work? Well, you can...it was so before LR and will continue to be now with LR in the mix. It's just not 'elegant' or intuative...ergo the appearance of LR.
Now you could also look at this as Adobe's reaction and countermeasure to Apple's Aperture. Let's face it, Adobe is in the business of making money (as witnessed by the cost of PS and such) and so to not lose their market share LR was produced. Had they really been on the ball LR would have taken the lead instead of lagging behind Aperture at the beginning. You could also look at the fact that LR is meant to run with PS as another marketing/sales ploy of making the end user pay more for 2 programs (I'm one of those endusers). Could I have just stayed with PS? Of course I could but the fact that the basic tools I need for post processing my raw files and managing the files are there in the one 'simpler' program is the reason I am paying for both programs.
Of course these 2 reasons are fodder for 'conspiracy theories'.
So, 'best' is relative to the end user. Some will only need LR, some will only want PS and some will cough up the cash for both LR and PS knowing that each in conjunction enhance the abilities and experience of the photographer. No matter what though you *will* still be spending far more time on the computer than you may like...unless you can convince someone else to be your 'techie' and your only responsibility is to go out and shoot.