Software Safari 

While my friends regale me with stories of African safaris and incredible wildlife encounters, I somehow got myself mired in the mucky world of learning software. How did this happen?

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When I’m not on a software safari, I like to be on a mountain safari. The views are definitely better on the latter!

Once upon a time I decided to kick up my photography a notch by moving to better photo processing software. It seemed like a courageous step at the time to move up from iPhoto.

Back then my choice came down to Apple’s Aperture or Adobe’s Lightroom. I knew the popular choice was Lightroom so of course I picked the other one.

I was not being entirely contrarian – I have had great success with Apple programs in the past. This time I picked the wrong horse as Apple abandoned Aperture leaving me hanging in software purgatory.

I had gotten the hang of navigating around my little corner of Aperture and managed to get what I wanted out of the photos most of the time. It may not have been genius and certainly not the quickest, but it was comfortable – like a good old cotton shirt.

After much dithering and delaying, I finally downloaded Lightroom. I hate being wrong but there was no way around this one. I may have been the last Aperture holdout on the continent.

It is possible there are certain parts of my photography where I am graceful and fast like a gazelle. When it comes to learning software, I am more like a Clydesdale stumbling around a computer store, relearning what little I thot I knew.

This morning I am faced with a miazma of tutorial videos on vaguely familiar topics. I’ve watched a few, got intimidated and don’t really know where to go next after several warnings about starting right or it could be trouble down the road. I think I may move directly to trouble and save a few steps.

To add chaos to confusion, I also accidentally got PhotoShop with Lightroom which brings another set of problems. The largest is likely that I can’t tell people anymore that I don’t have PhotoShop. Not that I have any intention of learning how to use an even more complicated program!

Some day I will happily look back at this time and likely be amused at the fuss. Meanwhile I think I’ll go for nap. Maybe if I put the video on under my pillow, I’ll absorb the key points while asleep.

These software safaris aren’t all what they advertise!

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A hawk rises up against the setting sun, heading off into the unknown. A great metaphor.

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Latest Comments

  1. Judy says:

    I just wanted to weigh in that I love Photoshop. Luckily I bought the program very shortly after buying my first DSLR which was the original digital Rebel many moons ago. It didn’t take long for me to move from feeling that digital software was some kind of cheat to realizing that digital capture and a digital darkroom do go hand in hand. While Photoshop ,or any other photo manipulation software, should never be used solely as a rescue effort for sloppy photographic technique; it is wonderful to be able to realize a vision of what you want something to look like. I was overwhelmed at first because I could see what the tools did but didn’t get how to combine them usefully. So I viewed many online tutorials because I found seeing how someone went from Capture A to End Result B showed what the tools were really for. And, yes the program has things I have never used, and may never use, but I still like having the capability. Plus, it turns out I like compositing. It really depends on what you think you want to do with your images, what software you might choose.

    Because, I plan to upgrade my full sensor camera, I acquired Lightroom (for DNG conversion) since CS5 won’t read the new Raw files and I was unsure if I could upgrade Photoshop without upgrading my whole suite or get involved with the cloud thing which I am not keen on. Could be Photoshop is the devil I know because I was alarmed when Lightroom wanted to take control of my files and folders. I did end up upgrading PS to CS6 by itself so am set with regard to Raw viewing of my future camera. I do intend to learn Lightroom as I would feel remiss if I didn’t.

    So, my problem at present isn’t with the complexity of Photoshop or that it might be bigger than my needs, but rather with the changes in the way the software is purchased and the prospect of being forced to pay monthly forever rather than owning the program. But, yeah, it is true that I never expected to spend more time sitting at a computer than being in the field when I first began digital photography. My eyesight was getting poorer and I just wanted to buy a camera that would focus in dim light as my film camera would not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Good for you to get to that point with PhotoShop. I envy you.

      It’s funny how software has changed so much and changed the way we work. The computer has become a major part of what we do. Who knows what lies ahead for all of us?

      For now it’s back to learning Lightroom for me.

      Like

      • Judy says:

        It is true. Sometime I wonder what Audubon might think of our digital captures of the same birds he so meticulously preserved for us through his artwork. I am not sure that technology holds as much tremendous change in the next generation as it has in our parents generation. We expect so much already because of what we have seen; can we possibly be surprised by what will come? Meanwhile…I’ll be exploring Lightroom as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. MJF Images says:

    Don’t get me started on Photoshop, ugh I really don’t want to learn that program beyond the basics. Love the hawk shot!

    Like

  3. Steve Gingold says:

    The way you feel about software is how I felt in the darkroom. I much prefer the digital darkroom and, time-wise, so much more efficient. Time invested now allows for reliable repeatability down the road.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      My extremely limited exposure to the darkroom in high school would more than reaffirm that! I’ll have to just keep reminding myself about the time investment now – good perspective.

      Like

  4. Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat says:

    I had Lightroom installed for 2 years before I even tried to use it. I was so intimidated by all that was involved. But once I finally decided it was something I HAD to do, I sat down, went through dozens of tutorials and went to work. I’ve never looked back. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way eventually. Good luck.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Thanks for the best wishes. I’m sure it will work out. I have a hard time resisting complaining now and then with an added bonus of a blog post idea. Tutorials here I come …

      Like

  5. Cindy says:

    Hang in there, you’ll get the feel of it (eventually)…. And my African safaris are about to come to an end, at least for the time being. I’m returning to Scotland in about two weeks.

    Like

  6. Phil Lanoue says:

    I’m an ok enough photographer but sadly not very much of a computer tech. I have a 200 year old copy of photoshop that the guy that built my 100 year old desktop computer put on there for free. I really should join the 20th, wait, guess it’s the 21st century now and upgrade.
    Ah, but then that means research and tutorials and actual steps taken toward learning something new.
    Uh boy, I’m developing a twitch just thinking about it.

    Like

  7. Garden Walk Garden Talk says:

    I have both, and have since Photoshop came out way way back. I started using it for architectural presentation, not photography. Honestly, Lightroom is all you need unless you are doing graphics also. Photoshop does have powerful tools for photography, but likely you will never learn many of them, most don’t. I post too frequently and care little for making my best images, yet should take the time. I do know how to use the advanced features, like channels etc., but it takes more time. You are going to enjoy using Lightroom and I bet you start doing some cool things with Photoshop. I have had Apple products almost from the beginning too, but never got Aperture since I started with Photoshop first. You did not say what tutorials you are using, but you should try KelbyOne for the best tutorials in both apps.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Thanks for all that info. I have heard so many good things about Lightroom that it should be a good move. Sounds like you know a lot about both programs – good for you to take the time to learn.

      I was just viewing the Adobe tutorials but I’ll check you the one you suggested.

      Like

      • Garden Walk Garden Talk says:

        It costs $$$ for those tutorials, but they are the best in my opinion.I think they have a trial you can take for a month and you can view quite a bit in one months time. I just love Photoshop and Lightroom CC and so will you. Much I knew long before doing the tutorials, but even having a lot of experience, I still learned things I did not know for photography.

        Like

  8. Alison says:

    I agree. I am sure that a software safari isn’t nearly as much fun as a photo safari, but just hang in there. A clever guy like you is bound to get it sooner or later!

    Like

  9. My Heartsong says:

    I still have Lightroom 3 and can only use part of it because my computer has only 1 MB of ram(I think that’s what you call it.)My other program is Paintshop Photo Pro.Have you ever noticed how pudgy some photographers are, myself included? Too much time at the computer screen. Was going to upgrade but spending some money on a quick trip to David Thompson country instead.

    Like

  10. Vicki says:

    I’m still using iPhoto because……to be honest, I want to be a good photographer, not a good photo editor.
    But secondly is the fact that I have such poor eyesight (even with glasses), I can’t really tell much difference. Anyway my dry-eye condition is made much worse if I spend too long on the computer.

    I’d much rather be outdoors seeing the real thing (Nature) too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      That eyesight issue must be a tough one to deal with all the time. I’d rather be a good photographer seeing the real thing as well. Maybe someday the software won’t be so important.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Suze says:

    I bought lightroom a few days after I got my first DSLR (back in 2012). I love it. A friend’s parents sell Adobe programs, I got CS2 Extended for free (lucky? They happened to know I was interested in it back then) but haven’t used it much as Lightroom is way less complicated. For the little retouching I do Lightroom is simply perfect.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Another LR endorsement. Excellent. I hope to be on the other side of this endorsing it soon. You really did get a software bonanza. But it’s funny how the less complicated draws us in.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Gunta says:

    Sympathies, but I think you’ll be happy with the switch once you get past the learning curve!

    Like

  13. anotherday2paradise says:

    Oh, it all sounds so complicated, Lyle. Wonderful hawk image! 🙂

    Like

  14. Dalo 2013 says:

    Great shot ~and so much better to be out in the wild instead of toying with software, I agree. I took the LightRoom route early on and love it. My older sister took the Aperture route, which I have enjoyed recently for the “I told you so…” feelings siblings enjoy so much. I’ve ventured into Photoshop in the past, but for non-photographic reasons, LR is all I’ve ever needed ~ powerful software.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I wish I was on the other side of this choice but such is life. I would be giving it to my sibling too in the same circumstances. Glad to hear of another LR endorsement. At least I’m pretty confident of this decision.

      Like

      • Dalo 2013 says:

        If you are a reader, Scott Kelby’s book on LR I thought was very good and is how I learned (and it was relatively painless). A class/tutor I would imagine to be perfect, but that was not an option for me out here. LR is the right choice 🙂

        Like

  15. whichwaynow101 says:

    I did a Photoshop course and it all made sense at the time. But I keep defaulting to the simple photo editor that came with the laptop.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lavinia Ross says:

    I’m on Linux and using the Gimp editor for the little bit of editing I do. Software is always an adventure….

    Beautiful photos of the world’s creatures through your lens, Lyle, as always. The software is just the icing on the cake. 🙂

    Like

  17. Scott Marshall says:

    I have tried to move across to Lightroom several times but cant purge my Photoshop workflow. So I use Lightroom as catlog and organisational tool – but mainly I use Photoshop RAW editor which is effectively a simpler lightroom – I prefer to crop and repair in Photoshop but it is really where we are comfortable – we are constantly told Lightroom is faster and will save you time it just wasn’t around when I started. I feel for you having to start again but I am sure you will adapt quickly.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      It’s funny how we become such creatures of habit. Despite the hassle it’s probably good for me to learn another program. So far there have been a surprising number of things that look familiar or I have been able to figure out easily. The problem comes when there’s one little thing you can’t figure out that stops everything in its tracks. I plan to just add new photos into Lightroom and force the issue. Should be fun:)

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Girl Gone Expat says:

    I hear you! I am still on iPhoto. I have considered going to lightroom or photoshop, but I am still not sure if is going to bring me more pain than pleasure…
    I love the expression of the coyote by the way, seems like he is out on a mission!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      That coyote is definitely on a mission. I was quite excited to get a shot from the front.

      The pain/pleasure quotient – that’s exactly the secret. I’m hoping the pain now translates into pleasure down the road AND it’s all worth it. With Aperture it was so here we go …

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Dina says:

    Truly wonderful shots!

    Like

  20. Dick Trew says:

    “Software purgatory”captures the essence of part of my own journey–you said it so well! Thanks. Personally,it conjures up the ancient Greek Sisyphus and his task. The end appeared in sight, all strength was focused on it and yet… and yet… not quite enough. Let’s give it another try. Maybe this time…

    Like

  21. Susan Portnoy says:

    If you need any help let me know… I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lightroom. 🙂

    Like

  22. Victor Rakmil says:

    Great shots. Welcome to creative cloud. There are a lot of tutorials on the web.

    Like

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