Photography Podcast

PhotoNetCast #18 – Interview with Lightroom product manager Tom Hogarty

Posted in PhotoNetCast Shows on 05-12-2008 | 42 Comments

Interview with Tom Hogarty, product manager for Lightroom

As we had announced before, in this episode we had the pleasure of having with us Tom Hogarty, product manager for Lightroom. The conversation was good and we had the opportunity to take a closer look at one of the favorite applications for photographers. There is so much "behind the scenes" going on with this software, and so much that we could have talked about, that we could have gone for a much longer time but time, as always, is limited.

Of course, we would like to thank Tom for his availability to join the show and all our listeners who have sent questions for Tom. If we forgot some, we’re sorry, but I believe we covered everything you sent our way.

For now, on with the show…


And a new giveaway – Copy of Lightroom 2

Adobe was gracious enough to provide us with a copy of Lightroom 2 to giveaway on the show to one of our listeners. If you still haven’t tried the software this is a great opportunity, not to mention the $299 value.

Deadline:  December 17th, 2008 – 2pm PST

How to participate: For this giveaway we came up with two different ways for you to participate.

1. You can write a few lines on your blog about your workflow and how Lightroom changed/would change it. Link to this post so we can track it. This will count as 2 entries for the random drawing.

2. Don’t have a blog? No problem. Just leave us a comment on this post answering the same question. This will count as 1 entry for the draw.

Easy for the value, no? In either case, make sure that we have a way to contact you afterwards (use a valid email address).

If you don’t win but still want to try the software to see if it’s right for you, don’t forget that you can download a 30-day trial version of Lightroom.

Show Notes

Some links mentioned during the interview

Adobe Lightroom 2

LR2/Mogrify – Watermarks

Adobe Exchange – Lightroom

60% of Photoshop Users are PIRATES!

4 Quick Ways to Boost Lightroom 2 Performance

Adobe TV

Tom’s blog at Adobe


Selected from the Web


If you’d like to listen more about Geotagging in reply to our last episode, and much more, there’s a new photography podcast out there, the Subject, Composition and Light podcast . Try it…

Comments (42)

Great giveaway! I have been wanting to buy Lightroom for some time.. but can’t swallow the price just yet.

I’m currently using the free trial of Lightroom and I’m hooked. Aside from the way it keeps photos organized, it’s the easiest raw converter I’ve used. I love playing with all the presets that are available, too. I haven’t bought software yet for processing my raw images because of the cost, I’ve been using one free trial after another.

Great netcast guys! Thank you Brian for mentioning my site at the end of the cast. All the best to all of you!
Best regards,
Pierre |

Lightroom truly gives me full control over my workflow–from offload to printing to backup. It’s powerful enough to handle my post production work, and really shines with RAW conversion.

I don’t think I could have gone from photography enthusiast to professional artist without it.


My workflow is a mess right now, and it sounds like Lightroom would be great for organizing my workflow. I also like the look of the intuitive develop functions. Hope to win the giveaway.

I’ve tried LR2 for nearly a month – it’s fantastic. Can do most of my photo work without needing to go into a photo editor, manage my photographs, print, export, upload… The list goes on! Would love to have a copy to use long term.

How would Lightroom change my workflow? By giving it control. Right now I’m still using 2 different programs to download photos from the cameras my wife and I use. Reviewing, editing and preparation for printing is no more organized. I’m trying to figure out which camera we took a photo with so I can FIND it on the computer so I can email it.

My Workflow is perfectly described here:

Before Lightroom, i never imagined jandling large, large bulks of RAWs could be that easy and fast! It totally changes my workflow, and i am happy with it.


my try. i want to win ;). thanks for ur work here on the blog.

working with lightroom at the agency. i just love the way i have optimized my picture-database – the virtual duplicates of my pictures are just awesome.

Ever since getting Lightroom, my workflow has become more defined and less haphazard. Now, I download my photos from my camera, import them into Lightroom, add keywords and other metadata information, then make image corrections. It’s also sped up the process so that I have more time to take photos.

I tried the 30-day trial version of Lightroom and was so impressed by the great Raw-Converter and the different possibilities to use the tools (slider or directly in the picture). Also Lightroom seems to be a very good solution for managing high numbers of pictures. In my opinion 95% of all foto processing can be done with Lightroom. That is really outstanding ! I would really like to own a copy of the full version!

Before using Lightroom the first time, I was always overwhelmed by the options you have in editing programs and did not know how to start.

Now I import my files, tag them and sort out the unusable ones. Then I can can go into the develop module and work my way from top to bottom. And if I like a developing setting I can easily save it and apply it again. Finally, it is possible to export/upload my photos through a plugin directly into my smugmug-account.

I have many Problemes with managing my Photos, I cant watch my RAW Photos with the normal window program, its not possible and for big jpgs its to slow. Moreover I really love to rate my photos to find the good ones very fast, without making a new special folder etc, Ligthroom would change all that and help me to get an much better Workflow, I would love to go for that!


I’m sure I would love the brush to edit special parts of my photos!

I have been using Lightroom for 30 days 🙂 It really made the workflow much better, as you have library and editor all in one. It makes working with RAWs real fun. Unfortunately now I’m back to folders and free RAW editors…

I am looking forward to this give away. Great!

If I was lucky enough to win a copy of Lightroom 2, it would simplfy a lot of parts that are in my current workflow. Moving from one program to another, just to do the smallest of tasks is a real pain and having a package that has this (and more) in the same software would drastically improve the way I work.

I’ve tried the demo versions but have not got around to getting the full version yet. I really love the great new features in v2, especially the Adjustment Brush. I think with all the new functions I would spend about 80% of my workflow just in Lightroom.

Not only would this reduce my processing time but it would mean that I’m spending less time at the computer and have more time for shooting!

I have used LR on my old Mac and loved it.

Beautiful UI, perfect for organizing lots of pics and able to perform some digital manipulations for dummys – like me.

I have changed to a windows machine now (for the sake of the job) and really miss to use LR.

I’m sure the new version is a loveable piece of software, too.


having lightroom would give me a reason to have a workflow. iphoto != workflow. merry xmas to me?

My usual workflow is … rough decision which photos could be good or are to be “recycled”.
Then doing simple RAW development with freeware or camera vendor’s tool one by one until all are done.
In the end I choose some kind of “best of” and do a more detailed retouching (actually) in Corel Paintshop Pro Photo X2.

With “Adobe Lightroom 2” I could do all that in one application and even copy the most useful settings from one photo to all others. Would be great to have it 🙂

I’ve heard so much about it and I would love to give it a try. In fact I feel like I’m missing out not having it. Maybe its time for the 30 day trial…

Nikon Capture to jpg, and the Windows Photo gallery.

But after looking at lightroom 2 it could be the answer, but after getting the trial, it prints dark.

Great show guys. Thanks for getting my questions in. I’m not very satisfied with Tom’s answers, but I really appreciate you asking and him answering.

For both of my questions it kind of felt like he copped out with an “our users are idiots” excuse for some of the decisions they made (eg. not allowing the user to relocate their panels, and to changing the collections system from simple nested collections).

That’s probably a bit harsh, but it definitely came across as if they have made a deliberate decision to keep the program as simple as possible in order to prevent the users from getting lost or confused, even though that prevents more capable users from having the control they want.

I really hope he is right that some of these changes are only (painful) steps toward a greater goal.

Anyway, thanks again and keep up the great work!

With the new local adjustments Lightroom really shines. As a wedding photographer it saves me a lot of time. Now I think that I only have to run 10 % of my pictures through Photoshop. But when we get layers and more third party programs for Lightroom, then I guess that the percentage will drob further more.

I have atrocious workflow habits, ranging from importing with Picasa, Vista Camera Wizard, ACDSee or copying manually. I have trouble finding my photos once they are categorized into folders, and I struggle to find a single workflow application that I can work with…

The opportunity to own Lightroom would encourage me to pull my finger out and straighten out my workflow for once and for all, and enable me to enjoy looking at and finding my photos as much as I do taking them

I currently don’t use Lightroom as I have CS3 and only started taking pictures with a slr camera. For now the camera raw plugin is ok but I will definitely give the tryout version a spin.


Would love to turn my 30 day trial to a working version with your help.
Just started to work with LR which seems like what I have been waiting for…
Your help will boost my abilities.

Many thanks!

Processing RAW files with my camera’s manufacturer software does not give a lot of options to take full advantage of the benefits from shooting RAW, and also does not provide features to organize, filter and later on find preferred pics; which has become a big issue for me as my library of pictures has increased significantly in the last years.

I decided to download the 30 days trial version of Lightroom to give it a test drive, and I have been very positively surprised of how good not only the organization aspect of it is, but how much flexibility it adds with the localized adjustments, graduated filters, presets, etc. Even the printing options with its pre-programmed sharpening allowed me to process my pictures and send to print quicker than any other option I have tried before. I tested it and ended up with some great looking 30×45 prints.

I see Lightroom as a great tool for photographers, that easies the work while providing almost all the functionalities needed in one common place.

Of course it would be great to win the contest and therefore the giveaway.

Bridge and Camera RAW seems to be working fine until you reach a certain number of images. I think I’m just about to reach the amount where it’s not usable anymore, and after downloading the Lightroom trial I’m sure that this would be the perfect solution for me.
The ability to quickly go through the pictures of the day, select the once that need a second look and adjust them right in Lightroom without using Photoshop, that’s just too cool!

To bad I can’t afford the software, so trying to win a license is currently my only option 😉

I would love to have the full version of Lightroom 2.0 – after playing with the trial version for 30 days I cannot imagine working with anything else!
Thanks a lot for giving us the opportunity to win this great software 🙂

I’m just now catching up with my podcasts and wanted to say how much I enjoyed this interview. The questions that you guys ask always lead to an intelligent conversation and that is a pleasure to listen to.

Hi Laurie,

Thank you so much for the kind words. It’s listeners like you that make all this worth it. Hope you keep enjoying the show in the new year.
Happy new year.

Great podcast guys. I’m looking at the preset sites right now.


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