As a blogger, occasionally we were being asked on the photo editing tool we used for food/travel photos taken. While some bloggers use Photoshop to edit their photos, we prefer another product from Adobe - Lightroom. We have been using it for years and below are just few advantages from blogger point of view.
1. Support multiple RAW formats
Lightroom is able to read, preview and import RAW files from different camera brands (e.g. .orf from Olympus, .rw2 from Lumix, etc).
2. Convert RAW into DNG format
DNG (Digital Negative) is Adobe's open standard raw file format allowing faster preview in Lightroom and slightly smaller file size compared to camera's proprietary raw format. You can convert your raw files to DNG format without losing any detail.
3. Using database known as catalog
Lightroom has its own database created by no one but you during first run. It is a single file containing all your photo information and edit history.
4. Import photos into folder by date
The app is able to detect photo capture date and copy/move them into folders with name in date format.
5. Ability to filter photos previously imported
This is pretty convenience especially if you are importing photos from the same SD card after snapping more photos without deleting previous one in SD card.
6. Works with multiple computer
You can simply copy-and-paste catalog into another computer and begin working in the new environment.
7. Works with NAS
To date, we have 100K photos with occupying 1TB of hard disk space. Our practice is to get a 2-bay Network-Attached Storage (NAS), a 3TB SATA HDD, an Ethernet router and a mapped network drive in Windows 10 to work with our photos.
8. Support both Windows and Mac
It happened to us. First, we used Lightroom on a Macbook Pro due to its excellent display. Due to CPU limitation, I moved to Windows with better hardware specification. Only two things we need to do: 1) Copy catalog, 2) Change photo path.
9. Ability to auto backup catalog
You can schedule catalog backup from everytime LR exits, to once a month.
10. Designed for camera in mind
Support multiple camera profiles such as Canon, Nikon, Lumix, Olympus, Fujifilm and so on. Imported raw files may look dull and you can adjust the color tone by going to Develop > Camera Calibration > Profile.
11. Side-by-side Photo Comparison
Most of us take more than one photo for each scene and will eliminate those blurry/out-of-focus photos. Lightroom provides side-by-side comparison at 100% zoom.
12. Easy photo pick and reject
For those unwanted photos due to whatever reasons, you can simply reject them by typing "x" on your keyboard and they will be marked as "rejected". At the end of the day, you can just physically delete them by using CTRL+Backspace to save some space.
13. Metadata Manipulation
Lightroom provides more metadata a camera can provide. After importing photos, we usually will enter more information such as Copyright, Copyright Status, Creator, Title, Caption, Sublocation, City, State/Province, Country, and ISO Country Code into the photos.
14. Geo-tagging using map
Trust us, even with a camera with GPS feature, the coordinate tagged is usually inaccurate and the best way to adjust it is to use online map in Lightroom, search for exact location, select all related photos, right-click on map and
15. Adjust exposure, white balance, clarity, and etc easily
The options are available in right panel, allowing you to adjust the settings while observing changes on your photos.
16. Create virtual copy of a photo without physically duplicate the photo
If you have one nice photo and you would like to use it for two purposes - one as wallpaper at 19:10 ratio and one for Instagram at 1:1 ratio, you can just create a virtual copy of the same photo. Each copy has their own development setting.
17. Unlimited undo and reset
Not happy with your edit? Similar to Photoshop, you can undo changes you made multiple times and even reset your photo to original look.
18. Useful clone tool
Strong wind on the beach exposing your bald forehead? Ugly cable hanging on the beautiful blue sky? You can use the Clone tool to "copy" your hair to bald area or remove cable by copying blue sky.
19. Categorize photos into collections and collection sets
After deleting rejected photos, next step is to move them into a collection. For example, you may create a "San Francisco" collection for photos taken in San Francisco but before that, you may also need to create a collection set containing multiple collection, such as "California" > "San Francisco".
20. Apply keywords to your photos
Just like social media, you can apply keywords to your photo. For example, a pizza taken in Pizza Hut, Penang may have "pizza", "penang", "pizza hut" as keywords
21. Ability to filter photos based on text, attribute and metadata
Handy when you have hundred of photos in a folder and wish to filter some of them (e.g. hide JPG format, hide low rating photos, etc).
22. Batch edit capture time
We always forgot to calibrate our camera time when we travel to another country with different time zone and regret it later. LR provides a convenience way to shift time zone at once.
23. Print multiple photos into single image
We usually use "Print" feature to combine our photos into one or to create attractive cover photo for Facebook.
24. Watermark your photos
In the world of plagiarism, watermarking your photo is important. You can enter copyright text in specific region on your photo before exporting.
25. Myriad of filter preset online
Prefer black-and-white/sepia feel? Wanna have vignette effect? LR has few filter presets pre-installed and you can always search online for more of it, both free and paid.
26. Ability to use external plugins for post-processing
A plugin we use is LR/Mogrify 2 - a plugin with the ability to use image as watermark.
27. Ability to save Export preset
Each time you export one or more photos, you can save your export settings as a new preset. For example, you may need a preset with higher image resolution for wallpapers, and another preset with watermark if you intend to upload your photos to social media.
28. Publish to Facebook/Flickr from Lightroom
Allow you to upload photos to Facebook personal profile.
29. Export as an HTML page
Owning a website? You can export your photos as a static HTML page with thumbnail images and LR will do the coding for you.
30. One time payment
While most newer apps are moving to bloodsucking subscription-base (e.g. $xx per month), you can still purchase Lightroom 6 as individual license just like good-o-day. A copy of Lightroom 6 is priced at USD$149 for new user.