Not surprisingly, I love Lightroom. I've used it since the first public beta and haven't put it down since. It's the best workflow tool for professional and amateur photographers alike. Period.
So, on this, my maiden post, I thought I'd briefly share the top 5 reasons why I (and you should if you don't already) use Lightroom. I look forward to future posts where I can continue to share my knowledge and passion about Lightroom and photography.
Reasons to Use Lightroom
Reason 1: The Adjustment Brush
This is my single favorite feature. If you aren't familiar with it, it allows you to apply affects (exposure, clarity, color, etc.) to just parts of the image. It was new in version 2 and is, by itself, worth every penny they charge for Lightroom. In version 1 I would open nearly 50% of my final photos to apply local sharpening and other adjustments. With the addition of the adjustment brush that number shrunk to 5-10%.
Reason 2: Adobe Makes It
I know that this reason has nothing to do with specific features. It deserves to be near the top, though. There are folks out there that don't like Adobe, but I'm not one. I like Adobe's products. All of them. Adobe makes solid tools and hasn't let me down in the 10 years I've been using them. I have confidence that mastering their tools will pay off in the long run as they continue to release new versions that make it worth sticking around for. (Note: I'm not employed by Adobe or paid for how I feel.)
Reason 3: Input
I'll be the first to admit that getting used to how Lightroom handles files can be tough to grasp initially (the fact that it points to files anywhere on your computer, but keeps track of edits, etc. in a database inside Lightroom takes a bit to get used to). As I've come to have a firm grasp on it, though, I love it. The balance between storing photos where I want them, but with the ability to pull them all together in the Library module just seems right to me. I also like the new Import dialog in Lightroom 3 Beta. It's a major improvement (especially for new users).
Reason 4: Output
The ability to easily output to web galleries, easily print and (as of LR 3 Beta) natively export to Flickr is huge for me. Combining all of these directly into the tool in a way that makes sense saves me a LOT of time.
Reason 5: It's 64-bit
This last one may not mean much for some. For those that have larger amounts of memory, though (typically more than 4GB), this is huge. Having an available 64-bit version allows much better performance when editing large photos (or when keeping Photoshop and other applications open at the same time).
So, there it is. My list. It almost hurts to leave it at 5 - there are so many other reasons. If I list them all here, though, you'd stop reading and then leave and then I wouldn't be invited back. Trust me - it's best that I stop.
You don't have to stop, though. What are some of the reasons you use Lightroom?