New Tools for Lightroom

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As I have said before in my blogs, I am a huge fan of Lightroom because of the speed and ease with which it allows you to edit your images, converting them from RAW files. I find that in the majority of cases I can get at least 80% of the way to my final image by just using the tools Lightroom provides. It’s then a case of exporting these images to Photoshop for some final “pixel polishing”.

Well this all changed at weekend when I decided to invest in some of the Nik software packages. To be honest, it was the free copy of Viveza 2.0 that came with my recently purchased ColorMunki that convinced me to try Nik’s Black and White conversion software. When I downloaded this for Photoshop (and by the way I was very impressed by the package) I noticed they had a Lightroom version and that I could buy all their packages for use in Lightroom at about half the price of Photoshop.

Over the weekend I took the plunge and purchased the Lightroom collection of Nik plug-ins. As soon as I started to use these I found that I was able to produce higher quality, finished images without the need to step outside Lightroom. This approach is a huge time saver for me and really strips my processing workflow back to the essentials.

That’s not however the end of the story because being able to use these plug-ins within Lightroom got me thinking what other plug-ins do I use that might work with Lightroom. Following up on this I was able to install and use a version of Photomatix HDR software in Lightroom. I then found I could download a free piece of software from Topaz Labs that made their plug-ins available in Lightroom.

Now one limitation of Lightroom is that it doesn’t have the capability to support Layers and Masking, something I use extensively in Photoshop. I remembered something about On One Software developing a package called Perfect Layers that provided this capability so thought I would investigate. That’s when I found I could download Perfect Layers 2 for free from the On One website, I assume because they will be releasing Perfect Layers 3 shortly.

So if you use Lightroom I would suggest a little investigation into third party plug-ins/editors could prove to be very valuable.

3 thoughts on “New Tools for Lightroom

    The Hungry Architect said:
    August 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Great ideas! One of my personal favourites is VSCO film pack. It’s clean, simple and low resource use. I tried Nik for Photoshop and didn’t like the way it loaded, maybe it’s cleaner in Lightroom? I’ll have to give it a shot!

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      August 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      I haven’t used VSCO film pack but will take a look – thanks.

      Two points I should warn about with Nik tools in Lightroom that I am now finding:
      1. I am creating a lot of duplicate images because the tools tend to work on copies of the RAW files – but you can control this.
      2. There are so many options it’s taking me more time playing around and learning how to make use of them.

      Having said all that I am finding these tools invaluable.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

        The Hungry Architect said:
        August 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm

        Interesting that Nik creates duplicates in Lightroom because Lightroom is all about NOT creating duplicates and just creating catalogues of edits. I’ll keep that in mind for sure!

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