Ladies and Gentlemen I present you…

Adobe Lightroom

For those of you who don’t know Adobe Photoshop is one of the top image editing and digital painting programs.  There’s basically nothing it can’t do…or at least I haven’t found it yet.  I have grown so accustomed to it that I use it for even the most minute touch-ups on my personal photos.  The kicker…I probably know only about 60% of it’s full capabilities.  All these wonderful abilities come at a price though.  With a pricetag of around $1,300 it’s not a purchase the average person is going to throw money at.  For most people photo editing is all they’ll ever need…cropping, resizing, small touch-ups, color adjustment, and getting rid of red-eye is all they’ll ever need.  Well, for $300 instead of $1,300 you can get a brand new copy of Adobe Lightroom and have a professional quality image editing program at your disposal.

Fortunately there’s even a beta test version available for free download in preparation for them to release Lightroom 3.  However, it’s only available for a limited time until the full version is released.  My advice…go download it now and fool around with it until the full version is released.  By then you’ll know whether something like this is right for you.  You can find the Lightroom beta at…

Adobe Lightroom 3 Public Beta

I only really fooled around with the program for a couple of hours but came away impressed.  There’s a lot I haven’t messed with, but as far as basic image correction it’s a winner.  It can really improve your photos to a professional level quickly and is very intuitive to use.  Simply import a group a pictures and begin editing them with easy to use sliders and toggles.  When you’re finished you can just export them to another folder and you have a finished project.  Take a look below at some before and after images of some very quick adjustments I made to a couple of my photos.  I really only played with the white and black points and the vividness and clarity.  Not a ton considering what this program looks like it can do.  I really love the color that it brings out and the vividness the whole picture gets.

Click for a larger image.