RAW workflow software revisited

Earlier this year, I wrote about this topic. Since then, I’ve switched over to Lightroom. When I got my new computer a couple of months ago, I didn’t even bother checking to see if my copy of Silkypix still worked (I suppose I should really try that some time–I bet it works quicker on the new one).

What occasioned the switch? Mostly, it was the realization that what I wanted from a piece of software was for it to get the hell out of my way, so I could just make some minimal tweaks, rather than screwing around for an hour on one picture. I realized that most of the pictures I’m really happy with are almost fine the way they are, straight out of the camera, and don’t really need to be altered much—perhaps a slight adjustment to a couple of settings, without going really overboard, and there it is. Done. This, compared to endless fucking around with the curves tool, often specifying separate curve profiles for luminance, red, green and blue, which was just getting ridiculous, especially on my old computer.

There was also the problem of keeping my ever-growing photo library organized. Under the old system, I was using iPhoto for organization, and Silkypix for tweaking. It was an inelegant system, mainly because iPhoto wasn’t handling the organizational side of it adequately. In fact, iPhoto was so far from doing what I needed that I don’t know if I’ll ever get caught up on organizing those older photos, even though they’ve all been moved into Lightroom now.

I guess this means I wasted however many dollars it cost me to buy Silkypix. I’m not saying it’s a bad piece of software, mind you, just that, in the end, it didn’t meet my needs as well as Lightroom does. Neither did iPhoto, although at least that came free with the computer.

The one aspect of this that I’m not happy about is the anticipation of having an additional program to buy upgrades for. Actually, I don’t know why that didn’t bother me with Silkypix, since I’m sure they also charge money for major upgrades. I suppose the point there was that the money would have been going to somewhere other than Adobe. ;)

Oh—and I’m still intending to try The Gimp sometime, especially since my copy of Photoshop Elements 2.0 doesn’t work at all on the new computer (that lack of forward compatibility is one of my big peeves about Adobe software, which is what drove me to the other stuff in the first place).

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