After my new obsession with digital SLR photography began, I have been looking for software that would allow me to shoot RAW images in my camera, instead of the compressed jpegs. After doing a lot of online research, I eventually decided to go with Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom.
I chose Adobe because I have already used Photoshop CS2, and so I felt pretty comfortable using some of the similar settings for Lightroom. I also was able to go to www.adobe.com and download a free 30 day trial from their website, which was fantastic- I was able to go through the free tutorials that are available on their website, and see if this was the right program for me.
I finished my 30 day trial, and couldn't wait to order it! The controls are very easy to use, and there is so much you can do to a photo- one of the tools I especially like is the exposure adjustment; since I am still new to lighting techniques, I sometimes under or overexpose a photo, and now I can fix them in Lightroom if I am off. I also like the fact that I can make a photo look warmer or cooler with one button, and you can recover some of the blown highlights if parts of a photo are overexposed.
Adobe earns huge bonus points from me for awarding discounts to students or educators- you can check the guidelines for this on their website. If you qualify, you can rather large discounts on their software- for instance, the Lightroom price would be $99 instead of the regular $299! Since my husband is a teacher, this is something we really appreciate. He has gotten a few programs for his classroom, using the discount.
I would definitely recommend trying this program if you are into photography. If you have no background in photoshop techniques, allow yourself a little time to learn the program. You will be glad you did when you start to see all the actions that are possible with this program!