Trustworthy Learning Content

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Hello, everyone! I'm new to the family and to Lightroom. But I am currently doing a research project on learning content. I wanted to know everyone's thoughts about the following questions: 
 • Do you believe the Lightroom learning content out on the web is trustworthy?
 • Is it hard to find trustworthy learning content through performing searches on the internet? 
 • Where do you find the most helpful and trustworthy learning content?
 • What keywords are you using within your search engine?
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Denesha, Employee

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Posted 12 months ago

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Cristen Gillespie

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 • Do you believe the Lightroom learning content out on the web is trustworthy?

I've seen plenty that is of poor quality, and advocating workflows I certainly wouldn't advocate, but for the most part, the content is accurate enough as far as I've found.

 • Is it hard to find trustworthy learning content through performing searches on the internet?

It's easier to find "trustworthy" content than it is to find content that goes into enough depth to be helpful. For free content, one will spend a lot of time finding roughly the same content over and over. And that's to be expected. People understandably typically work for a living.

 • Where do you find the most helpful and trustworthy learning content?

lynda.com, creativelive.com, some YouTube authors, Adobe itself.

 • What keywords are you using within your search engine?

I usually search on the name of the tool, command, or dialog. Occasionally less specifically on a task—results when searching with more generic keywords tend to be difficult to sort through and are often very unproductive. If I've got a specific problem, I'll try to describe it briefly—ex., "Lightroom Edit In not working." If I'm just looking for anything associated with an application, I'll search on that application for videos on YouTube.

Hope that's helpful in some way.
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Denesha, Employee

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Victoria, thank you for responding. I have learned a great deal from you. When you have time could you please email me at neshad0030@gmail.com? I would like to get more insight on your thoughts on misinformation (specifically what traits do misinformation have).
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Denesha, Employee

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Also,  Victoria, yes a copy would absolutely help in my research. Please send me the link when you have an opportunity to neshad0030@gmail.com

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Denesha, Employee

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Carl,  thanks for your response it really gave me more insight on trustworthy content. 
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Link should be with you now Denesha. Feel free to email me back on that email address for any questions I can help with.
(Edited)
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Denesha, Employee

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Hello, Carl. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Can you please email me at neshad0030@gmail.com ? I would like to further discuss. 
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Alan Harper

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 • Do you believe the Lightroom learning content out on the web is trustworthy?  

What I find is usually trustworthy. I am pretty good at sorting the wheat from the chaff.

 • Is it hard to find trustworthy learning content through performing searches on the internet?  

Only in the weird corners where smart people have not already solved my problem for me.

Not asked:

 • Is it hard to find untrustworthy learning content through performing searches on the internet?  

Not at all. It is everywhere. But usually one can spot an idiot a mile away. If not, one might waste some time.

 • Where do you find the most helpful and trustworthy learning content? 

A few commenters on this site. Victoria Bampton. Adobe employees (often, not always).

Not asked:

 • What kind of questions do you find difficult to find trustworthy answers for?

Whether a new tool (e.g., Lightroom mobile) is worthwhile investing the time in to understand how it works and whether it will fit into my work patterns. I mostly ignore anything new, because it is so hard to answer this question.

 • What keywords are you using within your search engine?

Usually the most obvious ones. If I don't get a lead within three results pages, I change them. Google is god.


Hope that's helpful in some way.
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Alan Harper

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I responded to Denesha via email, with a long and frank answer. I can post it here too. "Like" this if you care to see it.
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Cristen Gillespie

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Obviously, I'm interested in these discussions.
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Alan Harper

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Hi Denesha

 In your opinion, what determines if the content is trustworthy or not trustworthy?

I use the same criteria that I use elsewhere in my life (like dealing with “Fake News”). First, does the writer have a reputation that I can discern? Second, are there parts of the post where I already know the answer, and I can check if the writer also does? Third, is the problem clearly laid out by the writer, and solutions, if any are offered, clearly outlined (hopefully with screen shots)?


Example:


I wanted to know how to create droplets in Photoshop. These are, in my opinion, very poorly thought out and extremely fiddly to set up and difficult to maintain, but essential to my workflow. Julianne Kost has a movie on how to use this feature, and once I saw it, I understood exactly how to make them work, and, to a large extent, how to work around the limitations.


Everything I have seen from Julianne Kost embodies the three criteria I list above.


Example:


I continue to be very confused about IPTC metadata. The descriptions are sometimes vague (e.g. source — what naming conventions should we use? What does that long discussion about the virgule mean? Is now irrelevant if you use the IPTC PLUS fields?). Some metadata are well-supported by Lightroom, others are given second-class status, and others so bug-ridden that they can’t be used in Lightroom.


While there are lots of discussions of this on the web, I have not found any “go to” place where I know that my questions can be answered. (Actually there is one source that I have found trustworthy — postings by John Ellis on the Lightroom forum, but they aren’t comprehensive.) Instead I have started maintaining text documents so I can remember how these things work.


Example:
Another example from IPTC metadata. IPTC goes on about using PLUS-ids. But if you search on this term, the relevant organization doesn’t even show up in the first page of results. And if you go to their web page, it is broken (security certificate misconfigured) and the text on the page indicates that the registry is in beta testing still many years after being incorporated into the IPTC standards. All of this says to me, “Anything you read about Plus-IDs is aspirational. Ignore it.


Example:
Yet another example from IPTC metadata. I had a question about IPTC metadata, that I asked (in perhaps not the most positive words, I called it a “morass”) at a mailing list that discusses such things. I got an official response that was full of formal language (“it makes us aware that a namespace is not the same as a metadata schema”), long justifications for what is really an overly complicated scheme, followed by advice to “RTFM” (tho not couched in such crass terms), and ending with “I hope this has clarified open issues.” This made it clear to me that whatever advice was embedded in this email was completely untrustworthy (either I could figure it out on my own, or I would have to look elsewhere).

What problems are hard to solve through performing searches?


Example:

I really want to know how to extend metadata in photos to encompass data that are not covered by IPTC categories. I started to read up on this, but once I figured out (I can't remember where), that Lightroom doesn't include this, and probably never will, I gave up. But I still don't understand how to incorporate something like Darwin Core into my workflow if I were using Photoshop and Bridge. I have never found a good, trustworthy guide to this.

Example:

There are lots of features that Lightroom really should implement, and I have asked for some of them on your forums. The silence of Lightroom developers about these requests makes it very difficult to know what to do. Three cases of simple feature requests with no response from Adobe employees:

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom_please_add_keyword_pane_to_map_module (posted 5 years ago, last updated 3 months ago).

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/bug_report_lightroom_changes_creation_date_of_image_files (posted 3 years ago)

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/is_it_true_that_lightroom_wont_catalog_psb_files (posted 6 years ago)

The fact that no one from Adobe has commented on them makes for a long and pointless conversation among Lightroom's users as to whether Adobe has even noticed these complaints, and whether there is any chance of them being addressed. My rule of thumb is that if Adobe doesn't respond within a year, then I take it off my list of things that "might be fixed" in Lightroom, and make sure whatever work-around I have figured out is as robust and easy to maintain as possible. But if we had some indication from Adobe about what bugs were acknowledged, which were likely to be fixed soon, and which feature requests were in a queue to be looked at and/or implemented, then we could more easily plan how we work with Lightroom. A list of acknowledged bugs and feature requests under consideration would be oh-so-useful.


Example:
I still can’t figure out how to use Bridge effectively in my workflow. Lightroom covers, I estimate, 80–90% of my needs and I worry that adding another tool will only make things more complicated, and will cause me to “lose” work because it isn’t effectively indexed. But I have never found a “trustworthy” article that addresses the question, “What can Bridge add to a Lightroom + Photoshop workflow?”


Good luck. I hope that your work improves Adobe’s customer support.

Alan Harper
adobe@alanharper.com

[Edited to remove some personal information that crept in].
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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> My rule of thumb is that if Adobe doesn't respond within a year, then I take it off my list of things that "might be fixed" in Lightroom, and make sure whatever work-around I have figured out is as robust and easy to maintain as possible. But if we had some indication from Adobe about what bugs were acknowledged, which were likely to be fixed soon, and which feature requests were in a queue to be looked at and/or implemented, then we could more easily plan how we work with Lightroom.>

I think your rule of thumb is a good one. It's pretty much how I operate with PS. But I don't know that Adobe really can do more than acknowledge bugs. To indicate whether or not they'll be fixed or implemented soon is to lock themselves in to a "promise" they may not be able to keep, or may find reason to invest their resources, for the moment, elsewhere. I'm sure their list of "priorities" is an ever-shifting sand dune. The winds don't stop blowing.

So my rule of thumb tends to be as soon as I locate what I think is a bug, report it if I can document it or repeat it reliably, and then go to work making the workaround a part of my workflow. My workaround for features that languish and even bugs, however temporary, has tended to be to find outside sources, so the bug had better be worth the cost, and if it's not worth it to me, I'd better accept that it also might not be worth the cost to Adobe to put it at the top of their sand dune.

> “What can Bridge add to a Lightroom + Photoshop workflow?”>

We're on opposite shores. I can't find what LR's catalog system offers. I can tell you what Bridge offers that LR doesn't, but you might not need it, and in fact, it sounds as if you probably don't.

Bridge is the bridge to ALL the Adobe apps, so it previews more Adobe file formats than other single sources (or ought to preview—it's been sadly neglected for too long until recently). Because I work with AI and ID, I can more easily find what I'm looking for with Bridge than with the Finder, and the Finder doesn't know from Stacks. I can most definitely deal with more types of files than I can with LR alone. As someone who uses the catalog for all his/her files? I'd say steer clear of muddying the waters with Bridge unless you have a need to work with these other file types that don't play well with the OS's own browser, or would completely clog LR's catalog (I use an abundance of PNG and JPEG files—but I'd be drowning LR to bring them into LR, where I would never have any use for them anyway.)

That is Bridge's one reason for existence, such as its existence currently is—to make it easy to view/select/organize and retrieve any Adobe files, and others, seen by your computer. It doesn't know anything that isn't connected directly to the computer, but I had Portfolio before I ever had Bridge, and now I have NeoFinder to do that job for me. Bridge does about half the job it's supposed to about half as well as it should. Can you tell I'm not pleased with the very poor, very slow progress of bringing Bridge into the 21st century?<sigh> Way past time for Adobe top brass to throw a lot more personnel and money at it, but. . .

Once Bridge is truly brought up to date and functions well—then is a good time to revisit whether or not it has anything to offer the dedicated LR catalog user. IMO, of course.  '-}
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Alan Harper

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Thanks, Cristen
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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I'd like to add that one of the things missing from virtually all beginners tutorials (Adobe's included) is an upfront concise explanation with a list of warnings concerning LR's non-destructive workflow. Many beginners assume that imported image files are somehow "inside" LR and the original files can be deleted from the hard drive. As beginners they don't normally have backup copies....ouch! In addition almost all beginners make the mistake of moving or renaming files and folders from outside LR for "organizational" purposes with the same dire results. It's also unnecessary since LR has numerous tools such as keywording, rating, collections for this purpose. It's something that needs to be explained upfront before starting any work inside LR. We see this over, and over, daily in this forum, and in the LR forum!

Perhaps someone at Adobe could rewrite the original LR "Five Rules" to help reinforce basic concepts of LR's non-destructive workflow. And let's not forget Rule #5–Enjoy!
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Denesha, Employee

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Thanks, Todd for taking the time to respond. Thanks for suggesting a  list of warnings. I would like to get more insight from you on the topic. Could you please email me at neshad0030@gmail.com 
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Very true. I did a Top 10 Misunderstandings post a while back, along those lines: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/lightroom-catalogs-top-10-misunderstandings/, followed by a series on organizing photos using metadata instead of folders. The problem is getting them to a wide audience, and then getting that audience to understand that they're trustworthy.
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Great tips! I agree the major problem is how to present this so LR beginners will read and understand it. Don't forget most beginners are already overwhelmed just looking at the LR GUI. What might help is to provide a 'beginners mode' that provides this information on initial launch. Additional information can be incorporated as popups or 'click on help icons' with concise instructions on using that specific control or operation. Just some thoughts on what might work.
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Cristen Gillespie

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> I'd rather like to hear that too! :)>

If you're interested in what I find missing, and understand that I think what I'm missing needs to be paid for, I'd say "workflow." Not LR's internal workflow. I've got plenty of that from many sources, and read everything you write to try to come to grips with how LR works. So long as I stay in LR, I can manage okay.

It's the workflow that enables us to round-trip with various other programs and plug-ins. I find LR enormously confusing as soon as I let anyone else in on the editing process. I basically ceased trying and now greatly restrict what I use LR for as a direct result of finding LR too well-designed to be its own be all and end all. I can do what I want, but the place is soon littered with too many versions, something invariably gets lost in the translation, or just plain lost, and copies of images frequently get sent from a Collection only to return to the big mother of all, instead of back to the Collection.

It's easier to limit what I do in LR ( tethering and LR Mobile), than to figure this all out.
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Carl Douthit

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Thank you, Todd. I downloaded your instructions on the Basic Tone controls. They look very helpful and I will be trying them out. I've been using the Basic Tone controls as best I could, but I keep finding out that there are better ways of using them than what I discover through trial and error.

Also, I downloaded Victoria Brampton's Quick Start Guide late last week but haven't had a chance to work through it. One of our daughters is visiting right now from out of the country and I've been spending a lot of time with her (and will continue to until she leaves). Then it is a vacation with our granddaughters but by the middle of August, I will be back at learning and also dealing with the photos from our vacation. I have bookmarked this discussion and will be following up on the links and downloads at that time. (retirement can be surprisingly busy at times, leaving less time for hobbies, etc.).

But it has been a long learning process to get to this point.

Thank you so much for your links and the documents!
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Carl, glad to help. I'm in my 70s and fully understand your viewpoint. As I told one of my neighbors–Since retiring I don't have time for mundane tasks–I'm too busy having fun.  You can start fresh in LR with your vacation pictures when you come back.
Enjoy!
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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> put all the issues of round-tripping (multiple times, so back and forth, not just in, out, and back again) in one place

Interesting idea. I'll look at addressing that. But the question is, why are you having to round trip multiple times? Is that to different programs? Or the same program? What's stopping you completing the editing all in one go?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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> put all the issues of round-tripping (multiple times, so back and forth, not just in, out, and back again) in one place

Interesting idea. I'll look at addressing that. But the question is, why are you having to round trip multiple times? Is that to different programs? Or the same program? What's stopping you completing the editing all in one go?
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Cristen Gillespie

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> What's stopping you completing the editing all in one go?>

As I learn more about LR, I think I likely had expectations that were beyond the intentions of LR's engineers. I take photos. I receive photos from others. And after initially curating them with various destinations in mind, I always first edit them to make them the best straight photos I'm able to. A paltry few wind up worthy of remaining a straight photo or fodder for a composite—many are intended to be mashed and mangled into some version of photo art.

I began by thinking I could use either On1's Browse, which is wicked fast, or LR Mobile to curate and then send to LR for basic CR type of edits. That way Bridge would be managing the folder of files, but LR would temporarily manage the ones I was most interested in—since Bridge is a bit unstable when it comes to Collections, and LR is not. In trying to simplify one aspect of working with images, I wound up complicating everything else.

Solely since I already owned On1 and Topaz and they install into LR when you install them in PS, and they allows layers inside LR, I thought I could just jump back and forth between LR and these plug-ins for those images where I didn't intend to use TK Actions or the PPW Actions in PS, which is what I'd probably do if the images were going to survive as straight photos, or subject matter was going to be extracted. They also promise that they have their own version of Smart Objects—re-editable images, which in fact they do, but are harder to work with than I anticipated.

I wound up just confusing myself, not knowing quite when I should edit a copy or the original—with the "original" being an already edited version of the file, not the original camera file—or if I should always create virtual images over and over and again, once edited in one plug-in, how should adding an edit in another plug-in be handled, and where could I expect any of these edits to return to in LR?

This all began because of Bridge. It's unstable with Collections and Stacks—the two main features it has that make it different from other browsers and that help me keep from drowning in files—it's so slow much of the time I'm visibly aging waiting for it to respond. It works horribly over local WiFi, which means sitting on the couch with my laptop is a major zen exercise in patience.

And there was the promise that LR Mobile would even work with LR Mobile TV, if they ever allowed a Pick function in LR TV.  I've been trying to find workarounds for the bottleneck that is Bridge, and I like LR/CR edits better than raw edits I've tried anywhere else (just upgraded On1 to Photo Raw and haven't worked with it yet, but I'm not switching to Affinity any time soon for raw development), so. . .

More than you probably wanted to know, but I am trying to explain that some of us have workflows that simply aren't straightforward, and while we wouldn't have picked LR before it became part of the Photography Plan, since it is, we some of us are trying to figure out how to make it part of at least some of our workflows. . . the photographers I know who do little editing are making the best progress if they're using LR yet at all, switching over entirely into LR. Others have given up on LR completely and stick with Bridge/CR/PS or PSE. I've got a toe in the water.
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Dean Hoppe

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By far the best learning resource I've found is Anthony Morganti. He has a lot of free videos on YouTube as well as other online content.

https://www.youtube.com/user/AnthonyM...

Another good resource is content created by Adobe employee Julieanne Kost. Search the web for her name and Lightroom.
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Denesha, Employee

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Hello, Dean thank you for taking the time to comment. Can you please email me neshad0030@gmail.com
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Cristen Gillespie

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Thank you for reminding me. I followed him for awhile when he was doing lengthy videos on Topaz and Nik, but YouTube only showed me his Quick Tips LR series. I just looked him up again and see that he has a fairly complete course. I'll check it out.

He's one of the YouTubers who appear to believe that some of us can sit still for longer than 4 minutes, or that 5 minutes is beginning to exceed our ability to absorb information.
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Denesha, Employee

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Dean, thanks so much for taking the time to share learning resources. When you get the time, could you please respond to the 4 questions? Your insight is needed.