Lightroom, Darkroom

If you dig a hole at the edge of the ocean, the empty space will fill again with the next wave.

If you free up some space in your day, week or month–by finally getting your taxes off to The Man for example– be sure some new project will sweep in with the next wave to fill the void.

Somehow this morning, in the process of sorting some folders on my hard drive, I came across the guilty fact that a year or more ago, I bought Adobe Lightroom for half price–which would have been great if it was a tool I used with some skill.

On first attempt–if you can imagine this of an Adobe product–the product was vastly complex and vastly not intuitive. It slowed me down rather than speeding up my photo-workflow. I pretended we’d never met.

I’ve never really forgiven myself for wasting the egg-money. So now I have a new project to parallel the notecards project. I’m gathering “Lightroom for Dummies” resources and will go back to school. Again.

That said, it’s been a long dry spell photographically, as is typical for this lowest ebb in the aesthetic year. Soon, I’ll have my first spring wildflowers to shoot with the Lumix. Some of those may make a new notecard set. Who knows.

So: I’m going to Lightroom now to find a spring image to share–just to make me dive under the hood of the software and to begin to commence to revive the itch in my shutter finger. I need to be inspired in the worst way.

NOTE: This image of bloodroot (we should have already seen them blooming–but not THIS spring) was purchased by Monticello a few years back to use as background for a timeline of the Jefferson family. This was one of Thomas’s spring favorites. Mine too!


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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Allen loves making modifications to his photos with Lightroom. Keeping his stuff organized is another matter; from his messy organization, I’m not impressed. I have learned to crop, color adjust, etc. and I am very technologically challenged. I find it very easy and fun and it didn’t take but a minute to learn. Good luck!!

  2. Gorgeous picture of the bloodroot! I paid a local photographer for a one-hour lesson on Lightroom, and got started quickly. Now I wouldn’t be without it.

  3. I love Bloodroot, Fred, but it will be many weeks before we see it in the woods here this year – we are still waist deep in snow. I am all wintered out.