What is it?
Lightroom is a software product from Adobe that works mostly as a collection manager of your photo collection. If (like DH) you take LOTS of photos and you wish to organise them, then Lightroom is probably one of the better products to do it.
What does it do?
There are a several aspects to Lightroom. There is the major part of organisation of your photo collection. You can assign metadata, keywords, titles etc to your photos and group them according to a hierarchical classification scheme of your own making. You can see how this appeals to my librarian's heart! The database is searchable and I have my photos catalogued in it too. So if I need a picture of DD I can search her name and it will bring up all her photos. Or if I need a picture of a lemur, I can find them quickly without searching though months and months of photos. In addition, Lightroom also has
- A Develop module with some photo manipulation tools (e.g. crop, contrast, vibrance, histograms etc)
- A printing "module" where you can set up print layouts and other controls
And the $10000 question - Should you get it?
I guess that depends how much in the money you are! We essentially lucked out on this one. DH had purchased another product that did similar things, and that product was brought out by Adobe. As they weren't going to develop this product further, they offered customers the option of converting to Lightroom 1.0 for free. Which DH did.
If you are looking for a product to manipulate your photos then you are better to get Photoshop Elements or Photoshop itself. Lightroom compliments these products and works with them rather than replaces them.
If you've got any specific questions about it, let me know and I'll direct them to the "master"! Heh heh!