Read the Instructions

Last week’s comment on using Lightroom 4 brought me to a story I’m going thru, but recalls a story my father told me when I was a kid and it’s sort of a men thing.

We don’t read the manuals/instructions, in general.

My father told me the story about the user’s manual of a Peugeot from the 60’s (404 maybe?) which the first page of the manual was something like “now that everything you tried has failed, read this manual”.

So real! So real!

No long ago I upgraded my Lightroom 3 to Lightroom 4. The new version uses an updated process version (named 2012) and this changes radically the controls on the development module. I started using the product in version 3, so there was ever a major upgrade like this to me.

The new process is supposed to be better and more efficient, so to say, so the process update sounded interesting. It changed the sliders, and it’s meant to have a better user experience.

Development module in Lightroom. Process 2010 (Lightroom 3) at the left and process 2012 (Lightroom 4) at the right.

Well, I thought, I’m not going to update photo by photo, so I did a “smart” thing. I updated one photo to process 2012 and synchronized the process (it’s an option when you copy settings) to my ~8000 photos in Lightroom … I found it weird, really weird the result in some of the pictures I looked at and decided to look in details later.

Later on (some weeks later) I stopped to look at it and it was bad, very bad, not like you see Matt Kloskowski or Scott Kelby showing in the tutorials … something was wrong.

Poking a bit I’ve found that the exclamation mark in the screen was not only a working, but a “solve this issue button”. Clicking there, one of the options is “update process to all images in the filmstrip” and I went “no! no! no! I didn’t do that!”.

Update the process button

Reading a bit in the internet I’ve found that this was the right way of doing it. For some reason synchronizing the settings doesn’t do that I would expect (it does change the process to 2012, but doesn’t convert the settings you had to the new configuration, then your images look dark, or washed out …).

Update process dialog in Lightroom 4

Summarizing. Now I’m spending hours taking my history one step back in EACH SINGLE IMAGE and then updating them properly.

It’s good to take a look because even thought the update can make your photo look worse, so keep an eye. Or just don’t update at all.

So, before going nuts and updating something in 8000 pictures, read the manual in advance and save your time! 😉

About Cris Da Rocha

Astrophysicist, DB manager, cyclist, musician and, why not, "photographer to be". Back to enjoy photography after many years ... it's cool. Might share something nice and get something new.
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