FotoStation is a complete image management workstation for Windows/Mac. It can dramatically advance your workflows for organizing and processing large collections of photos. With FotoStation, you can quickly find what you’re looking for with selection and culling, easily tag and share your favorite files.
Lightroom, developed by Adobe, is an image editing tool that allows importing/saving, viewing, organizing, tagging, editing, and sharing large numbers of digital images. While Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are well-known for their strong photo editing programs, Lightroom provides a variety of image manipulation features that photographers will most likely need.
Top 3 benefits of FotoStation
- Metadata: FotoStation helps you handle large volumes of images. You don’t need to import or upload photos to FotoStation because it directly maps your folders within the system. No matter where you place your file, FotoStation will index its metadata so that it can be quickly retrieved later. FotoStation comes with a standard definition of metadata fields that you can use straight away, but you can also customize metadata fields to suit your precise needs. Without metadata, you are only able to search for file properties such as file name and file date and whatever camera info is added to your files at the time of recording. By adding metadata, you make it easier to find images because you can search for any information that you include in the file. FotoStation also allows you to simplify the process of adding metadata to your files, using QuickLists of predefined terms that you use often and SmartReplace for quickly filling out information using shorthand that translates to entire strings. FotoStation is fully XMP compatible, making your data more accessible to other programs, including the system OS.
- Selection & Culling: One of the most time-consuming and difficult things after a photoshoot is going through all the original shoots you took and sorting our the best shots. FotoStation has a collection of tools for culling large collections of photos – you try them all and use the one you prefer. These tools include a carousel view, a slideshow and a comparison tool, in addition to keyboard shortcuts to tag files you want to keep and reject the ones you don’t. You can also choose from several different ways to view your files and different sorting mechanisms to display them in the desired order. In short, you can arrange your files the way that suits you best.
- Automated actions: Often when you work with a number of files, you’ll have to do the same jobs over and over. For example, you may want to resize several images and add some copyright information before publishing them on your website. With FotoStation, you can create an action that does precisely what you want it to in a single operation. FotoStation comes with a few sample actions that let you transfer, rename, copy, resize, convert and process any image or collection, and you can create your own from scratch or clone and modify the sample actions to suit your needs.
Top 3 benefits of Lightroom
- Non-destructive editing: Lightroom is primarily designed for non-destructive editing. When you edit your pictures, they are stored in a catalog file within Lightroom. This allows you to work on your images without affecting the original files, meaning that you can always revert to the original version at any point in time. This also saves hard drive space as you don’t create a new file for every modification made – instead this is all handled by the Lightroom database.
- Custom presets: A Lightroom preset is a set of adjustment settings saved as a template so that it can be easily applied to other images at one click – just like photo filters. You can create your own presets by saving adjustment sliders within the Develop module, or go online and download presets that other users have created. You can make and apply as many presets as you want to based on your needs. Presets do not only help you save time by allowing you to process your images instantly, but let you experiment with different styles on your image and them pick version that comes out best.
- RAW file editor: Most photographers who shoot with professional or prosumer cameras choose to shoot RAW format files. For anyone who’s worked with the DSLR’s of old that used film, a RAW file is like your digital negative. They allow you to develop pictures in your digital “darkroom”. Lightroom allows you to easily do this; you can adjust exposure, contrast and white balance in the RAW files and develop them and then store the output in any format you choose. The RAW original file can be preserved and kept for another type of processing later.
When deciding on which tool to use, you should first clarify your goals and what you require to achieve them. While FotoStation is more focused on helping you take full control of a large number of image files, Lightroom provides a powerful set of photo editing features. As FotoStation and Lightroom are different solutions playing different roles that are essential for photographers, it’s not necessarily a question of one or the other. For those who need to manage a large collection of image files efficiently and work on image editing without affecting the original files, FotoStation and Lightroom can work as a great team together with capabilities that complement each other.