What was the highlight of your week? Well, mine was attending the Adobe Lightroom 2 Live Tour in Los Angeles today. For those of you who don’t know, and i can’t imagine that there are many of you , Lightroom is the workflow tool for photographers created by the geniuses behind Photoshop.  Actually, the complete name of Lightroom is : Adobe photoshop Lightroom 2.

So today in Los Angeles, Scott Kelby taught the Lightroom 2 Live Tour and over 700 photographers were there to see it.  

The day started with a quick live shoot of Debbie and then it was straight into the Lightroom workflow. 


  • Import the images
  • Sort the images
  • Edit the images
  • Output the images


Now, if that seems simple, it is. I believe that people make lightroom more complicated than it is. It isn’t Photoshop, it can’t add crazy borders and do HDR, it doesn’t stich photos together and it doesn’t deal with compositing different images together, what it does do is let photographers import their images, sort their images, edit their images and then output their images.

I am not going to go into the details of what Scott taught, except to say that even for those of us who spend a huge amount of time in lightroom and thought we knew the ins and outs, there was plenty in the seminar to learn.  I have a whole new workflows to try out…

Key Words

What I did want to touch on was the whole idea of key words. This is a way to add descriptive words to your images and today the question was asked, Why do we need to use them? Are key words necessary? Key words have traditionally been used to locate certain images by the descriptive words in the metadata. For example, if I wanted a photo of Bob Weir with his Gibson guitar, I would put he following terms into the search bar, “Bob Weir”, “Guitar”, “Gibson” and all the images that had those three keywords would be displayed. Is this necessary for all photographers?

And for a lot of people, the answer is probably not. I used to feel a lot of guilt that I didn’t have all my key words completely up to date. I always mean to go back in and keyword all my images individually, it was always something I meant to do on a rainy day,or following some kind of traumatic accident when I had a lot of time on my hands, but that day never seem to come. With Lightroom, (and Bridge) I add keywords on import. That means that I add the band, venue, tour name, and words like music, rock, concert to all the music images. I usually then go in and add the band member names as keywords to individual images from that show, but thats about it. I know I should go and add the instruments and other information, but I never get around to it, and it seems that I have never needed it. Turns out, no one ever asked for a shot of Bob playing a certain guitar. The request is usually something like, “send me your best photo of Bob Weir” which doesn’t need all the extra key wording.

I will keep adding the keywords to my images on import, but now I won’t feel any guilt when I don’t go back and add the small details on an image by image basis. On my drive back from Los Angeles, I thought of one other place that key words are useful, and that is in Flickr. I f you use flicker, then you know that the tags are great for searching, if you don’t use Flickr, then never mind.

All in all, the Lightroom Live tour was a great way to spend a day, thanks to Scott, Matt and Michael.

Matt got one of the prime seats.. C’mon give the guy a table, or at least one of those a good lap tray.

All that lightroom talk, combined with a heavy lunch and it’s nap time before the afternoon session.

Scott gets ready for the sexy shampoo shoot while Michael sets up the lights.

Lighting Matt so that it is impossible to get a correct exposure from across the room.

Scott answering questions between sessions.