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Let There Be Light: Become a Lightroom 1.1 Master
How 12 photographers captured Iceland's 22-hours of daily light

Mikkel Aaland

Mikkel Aaland

Mikkel Aaland

MA: Lightroom 1.1 is a great application! Itís so much better than what we worked with in Iceland and I like to think we helped make it better. Itís a rare thing to put a group of creators and toolmakers together like we did in close proximity for a week. The tool makers could see for themselves how photographers work, nothing was hypothetical. Lightroom will continue to get better, and thatís why Iím organizing the Lightroom Adventure 2.0. Personally, I donít want Lightroom to get more complex. I still hold to the original vision that photographers should be empowered to shoot, not spend all their time in front of a computer. Iíd like to see a book-making module and better slideshow export function. I really like what I see with Nikon Capture NX U Point technology, which allows you to apply localized editing directly to the image itself. That would be nice in Lightroom as well.

I want to add one thing: the Lightroom Adventure was a unique road-test, but there were lots of other Lightroom beta testers who also made a huge difference. I applaud the other beta testers as well. They are a large part of why the application is such a smashing success.

ii: Now that you are using Adobe, Photoshop, and Lightroom: How has your workflow and business model changed from years past? What if you had to give up Lightroom tomorrow? How would that change your approach to the business of photography? What are the major differences between Lightroom and Appleís Aperture?

MA: I find many photographers still use the Photoshop/Bridge/Adobe Camera Raw workflow. Itís like a trusty, off-road vehicle that will take you anywhere. On the other hand, Lightroom is sleek and sexy, and gets you a lot of placesóbut not everywhereófast. They are both viable options, and since Iím writing books on both workflows I actually use both as well. As for ApertureÖ I donít have enough experience with the application to talk with any authority about it.

ii: What was the process of beta testing each module in Iceland? Why did you travel with the 12 other photographers?

MA: Iíve always been a team player. I love the collaborative spirit and I find it brings the best out in me. I also helped pick a group of photographers I know pretty well, and they are not only great photographers but really good people who I enjoy being around. It was kind of a dream come true, and I canít say how much I appreciate all of their help on this project, not to mention the great images they provided for the book!

ii: Who needs this book? What was your writing or creative process for this book? Where did you write it?

MA: Actually, the book is for anyone who uses Lightroom. I tried to strike a balance between basic instruction and advanced technique so it should be valuable to both the serious photographer and the professional. I try and keep my audience in mind throughout the writing process, and it helps that I teach workshops and give demonstrations along the way. That way I get a lot of user feedback that is very valuable. And you asked where I wrote the book? Mostly in San Francisco, and a lot of it was written fortified by espresso at North Beachís Cafť Trieste! Donít you love laptops?

ii: With Lightroom, do you believe you have the ability to/ are/or will be able to make money, be productive anywhere in the world with just your laptop on hand? What are its limitations?

MA: Lightroom is only part of the equation. You need vision, passion, stubbornness, and knowledge of the craft to be successful. At this point, Lightroom is one of the tools that will help immensely.
If anyone has any questions about the book or the Lightroom application, please contact me at Iíll do the best I can to respond.