Get the most out of your digital workflow: Introducing new Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop courses at the CTSP.

Article by Sandy Maytham-Bailey, and originally appeared on The Cape Town School of Photography’s blog.

Adobe Lightroom 5 is the key to a successful workflow process.

The skeptic in me immediately wants to retort that any application worth its weight in cyber gigs is going to state this claim, so why should Lightroom be any different? But Lightroom has moved far beyond the basic adjustments like white balance, dust spot removal and presets. The question is, have you? Editing features in Lightroom are exceptional but even more astounding is that the editing features are only one small part of this finely crafted photo-application. The word to use here is WORKFLOW. The real world, the world of thousands of generated image files, impatient clients, your desire to express your creativity, the clutter of sharing platforms, the loss and corruption of precious digital memories, hell, just finding that one image in the mess of folders and subfolders, by date and then by some other folder name that now makes no sense whatsoever, is a nightmare.

Interestingly, on the Adobe accreditation website, where one would go to in order to write the Adobe Certified Expert exam, the very first exam topic is “Understanding Lightroom and the Digital Photography Workflow”. No doubt you as a photographer have often been asked, “Do you use Lightroom or Photoshop”, as if your software application of choice is indicative of your photo editing prowess. What application you use and how well you use it, however, is a measure of your workflow process. Herein lies to true genius of Lightroom and the Lightroom Photoshop integration or ‘round trip workflow’ as Adobe calls it.

Before you rush out and buy either (or both) Lightroom or Photoshop, here’s what we suggest you do, and this may just change your overall experience with photography for the better.

Firstly, consider your current workflow process. More or less how many images are you taking? Do you save your images in bespoke folders? Do you store your images all in one place (hard drive or external)? Do you make backup copies? Can you easily find images or do you have to rely on your memory?

Next ask: To what extent are you editing images or experimenting with techniques? How are your sharing or publishing your images? Are you mass processing images for clients? How important is it to copyright or watermark your images?

Finally, consider your editing environment and your workstation (hardware). Are you printing from home? Do you calibrate your screen or edit in different lighting conditions? What can you afford in terms of software?

Considering the costs of Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, you need to be quite sure of your workflow requirements and what you want out of your photography in the long term. The two programs complement each other yet each has significant advantages over the other. The trick is knowing what your requirements are.

And that’s where we come in. The Cape Town School of Photography is running both Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CS6 courses. The courses are structured to give you a sound understanding of the basics of each of the programmes and to help you set up or improve your workflow process.

Next course dates are:

  • Lightroom 5: 5 Aug – 19 Aug, three 3-hour sessions completed over 3 weeks, cost R1900. More information.
  • Photoshop CS6: 13 Aug – 10 Sep, five 3-hour sessions completed over 5 weeks, cost R2250. More information.

Contact The Cape Town School of Photography for more details, or to register for a course.