After a lot of encouragement (and positive reviews), I finally decided to give Lightroom a try. I downloaded the new version (Lightroom 3) and I'm now trying to get acquainted -- hmmm, comfortable -- w/ using the interface and features. I've always worked w/ Bridge and Photoshop (CS3), so this is a different approach (for me) to photo management and development. The biggest unknown right now: the catalog. Not entirely sure I understand what catalogs are, where they sit, how they interact w/ the folders on the disk, that sort of thing. I'm really loving the lens correction feature (tried it out on a vacation photo taken w/ the 18-200mm lens and was blown away), as well as the export and printing features (ease of adding watermarks and setting output resolutions, sRGB etc., and can see how easy it will be to process a folder of images). The develop module is a bit mysterious at the moment, but the basic features seem similar to those in Camera Raw. Anyways, I'm having fun figuring it out and feel that this is the direction I want to go w/ my photo management and post-processing: organized files, folders and sub-folder structure; ease of imports and exports; simple, clean edits w/ basic tools; automated features to move images through to print or web posting.
The Tropical Greenhouse at the Ornamental Gardens has been closed for some time now - closed for renovations. While I was in the area in March, I decided to stop by and see if there were any updates on when it might be reopened. It didn't look like it would be any time soon.