Lightroom: Things Lightroom needs that don't involve the manipulation or display of images (automation)

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Things lightroom needs:

Better automation: I love smart collections, but the ability to have lightroom do something to the image when it meets those rules would be great. Check out a little Mac app called hazel to see what I mean.

Better SDK or support for apple script. The 3rd party plugins are very limited because of the horrible SDK.

Archiving features: It is great you allow drag and drop within lightroom, but automating the archive is the way to go if you have a well designed workflow. By setting rules on age of files or folders or info found in the metadata they could be set to move to an external location (server or hard drive) in ether a mirrored structure or a user predefined structure. Or just add the ability to have lightroom look in a second location if the file goes missing. That way one could use 3rd party software to do it.

That's it
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Justin Thornton

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Posted 7 years ago

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Lee Jay

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Don't forget that anything they do has to be cross-platform.
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Justin Thornton

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Photoshop has extensive applescript support and it is on windows. But even then everything else I said could be put one both platforms. But they could extend the functionality of there current SDK. You can make a great export dialoge, or do some stuff to metadata. It won't let you move files or change file names (I need search and replace). Letting people do those two thing would result in some powerful workflow plugins.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I'd go with the SDK improvements, for sure. There are some very talented plug-in authors who have already proven that they can do some pretty clever and useful things, but they are very limited at the moment. That said, I seem to remember PS's SDK was quite a late addition, and

Not so sure on the applescript - if you were to emulate Photoshop, then you'd be into supported vbscript, applescript and javascript, from memory. That's a lot of work for such a small team.

I use Hazel, lovely little app. I'm not sure I'd see the engineers time going into that, but if the SDK was opened up further, there would be great scope for plug-in authors.

Some great ideas there!
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Justin Thornton

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I guess to sum up is that lightroom's management of the image files is way lacking, it constrains the type of workflow you can implement. I'm in the middle of trying to great a super automated workflow on the file and assent management side of things. Importing, choosing file locations, naming, moving files to archives, choosing import and metadata presets all take me away for making great images.

Right now haze can rename the file Based on the folder structure I have made for my cf card and with a automator workflow that haze runs it asks me for a descriptor word to identify the shoot. Hazel would make a name like this - *ppp_2011_8_5_Self Potrait_5d mark II.cr2 Again this is all base on a pre made folder that has a name the triggers the right hazel rule. And the *ppp is a code that I made the identifies the type and purpose of the image. (Most camera's support making your own folders if you follow there instructions) Then hazel can then run an applescript that adds the metadata and prompts me to add a few keywords that could apply to a few keywords. (I'm still trying to figure the apple script side of this out)

Hazel then moves the file into the proper folder, based on the name of the file. Not here is where my workflow starts to fail. There is no way to automate folder sync in lightroom in a good way. I could have an applescript to push a bunch of key strokes for shortcuts but that doesn't always work right.

Another thing I need is a way to gracefully archive files. I don't what to think about what files and folders need to be archived. I just want them to move to my drobo based on rules I set and have the LR catalogue realize that they have been moved to that predefined location.

This is all very difficult to do because adobe has locked lightroom down in a way that is strange given the companies openness in their other apps.

A good workflow should be designed to be set up once then get out of your way. It's about the photography. I don't want to have to worry about organizing. naming and archiving. I want to make great images. Lightroom gives me great tools to do that, but the thought of having to deal with thousands of files uses the energy I should be using on my images.

I'm not saying lightroom isn't great. It's the best all around workflow application out there. I love smart collections. I love the develop and the print modual, (the web and slideshow need some rethinking) There is a lot to love about lightroom. But there are just a few things you could do to make it so much more powerful. (and they don't include making the clone and healing brush work like photoshop... get over it people)