Lightroom Is My Slurm

Philip J. Fry has awakened from a 1000 year cryogenic sleep. The future is wondrous. Flying cars, interstellar travel, alien races, robots, the works. And... a soft drink that is beyond delicious. An alluring, addictive neon yellow-green nectar. Slurm. Fry is constantly downing cans of Slurm. He cannot get enough.

He drinks so much that he wins a trip to the Slurm factory. A fantastical, Willy Wonka-esque place of joy, happiness and an actual river of glorious Slurm. Fry leans down to drink from the river Slurm. He falls in and is sucked down into the depths of the factory, where he learns a terrible secret. Slurm is not a masterfully crafted beverage. Slurm is the secretion of a giant queen worm.

Oh, the shame! Fry is horrified, disgusted, physically sick. And then he slugs down gulp after gulp of that sweet, sweet Slurm direct from the source. Mmmm... good...

Once I reached the decision to migrate to Lightroom, I was excited. Plenty of my photographer friends use it. And the Develop module has excellent tools. Having automatic lens correction and chromatic aberration alone has been worth it. As I've familiarized myself with Lightroom, I am enamored with its processing tools. This was the honeymoon... 

For the last several weeks, I have bene mapping out my migration from Aperture. Say what you want about Aperture's processing capabilities.. the digital asset manager side of Aperture is excellent. I'm a bit of a metadata junkie and have invested lots of time getting my metadata in order in Aperture. I can quickly find any photo in my library in a variety of ways because of the metadata. It's critical to my asset management strategy.

This week I've been banging my head against importing photos from Aperture into Lightroom and maintaining the metadata. Not every file format carries over the same data. GPS data is spotty. IPTC data is spotty. I get different results depending on what methods I use to get the photos into Lightroom. XMP sidecar files are ignored. Even Abobe's own Aperture Importer doesn't do it all right. I'm wading through it, writing my own custom scripts to fill the gaps.

I'm disillusioned. The clunkiness of Lightroom's asset manager starts to grate on me. Strict separation of physical and logical organization. I have to create a Collection to work in images in other modules? Ugh... the whole module thing. And why are the keyboard shortcuts different across the modules. And why can't I customize them? I haven't even begun to sort through merging catalogs to support on-the-go workflows. Why did I choose Lightroom?

I regroup, try not to be so curmudgeonly about learning a new tool. Then I develop a photo. Glug, glug, glug.... ahhhhh.

Lightroom is my Slurm.