Adobe Launches all new desktop – Lightroom CC

The Adobe Max conference provides the company with an opportunity to showcase new applications to the great and good of  designers, photographers, web coders, video-makers, illustrators, and developers. At this years event, held in Las Vegas, they announced a brand new application for photographers – Lightroom CC on Desktop. Below is a brief overview of this new application.

So what is Lightroom CC on Desktop and who is it for?

Lightroom CC is designed and built around 3 guiding principles:

  • Powerful Yet Simple – Lightroom CC will offer the powerful image editing that you want, while being simple and intuitive to use. Adobe’s goal is that it will have everything you need and nothing you don’t.
  • Seamless experience across all your devices – Lightroom CC will work the same across desktop, mobile and web. This allows you to move across your devices without needing to relearn. Your photos and edits are all where you’d expect them to be.
  • Cloud Based – Everything you do in Lightroom CC is synced to the cloud. This means that you can access and work with your photos from any device (including multiple computers), and can easily share photos with others. All of your photos and all of the work that you do with them will be automatically backed up all the time.

Lightroom CC is based on a subscription model rather than a perpetual licence. This may, be a barrier for some, but then again Lightroom Classic is also subscription only now.

The various subscription plans that Adobe are offering include, the existing Creative Cloud Photography plan available to Lightroom Classic and Photoshop customers. This plan will include a fairly meagre 20GB or Cloud storage for $9.99/month, but is really only intended as taster. However, for an additional $10/month, you can increase storage to 1TB. Alternatively, you can choose to skip Lightroom Classic and Photoshop but take the 1TB of storage instead, and this again will cost $9.99/month. For details on the full range of subscriptions plans Adobe will be offering customers, it’s best you visit their Lightroom CC web page.

Interface and Use

Turning now to the application itself, we can see that the UI is broadly similar in appearance and content to Lightroom CC for mobile and web clients. This approach is consistent with with the objective of making all of the client applications in CC ecosystem

Lightroom CC on Desktop – My Photos View

The above screenshot shows Lightroom CC in the ‘My Photos’ view with ‘Square grid enabled. However, as with Lightroom CC for mobile devices there is also a ‘Photo grid’ view, which arranges the photos so that they use the grid space in a more optimised way.

To enable the left or right side panels you can click on one of the buttons or use keyboard shortcuts (i.e. ‘P’ for the left side panel and ‘E’, “I’ or’K’ for the right side panel). The following screenshots shows the application in ‘Edit’, ‘Keywords’ and ‘Info’ view, respectively.

Edit View

Keywords View

Info View

The ‘My Photos’ panel shows a list of imported or synced photos by date.

You can also create individual ‘Albums’, and organise multiple albums within a folder hierarchy.

My Photos

Photos can be added to multiple albums, and will be synced to all devices within your CC ecosystem.

Lightroom CC on Desktop displays much less information on thumbnails than Lightroom Classic, and many will find the absence of badges to indicate whether a photo has been edited or not less than helpful. The little information provided in the form of badges is shown on below screenshot.

Thumbnail Badges

The thumbnails also have a context menu, from which you can quickly access some commands.

Thumbnail Context Menu

The right side ‘Edit’ panel largely mirrors the location and adjustments currently available for iOS and Android devices. However, we can expect to see new adjustments being added over time.

Tone and Colour Adjustments

Search

Searching in Lightroom CC uses Sensei machine-learning technology to identify features in images. In theory, this makes every image in your catalog searchable based on its content without you having to apply keywords/tags. However, in reality it’s not always as accurate as some would have us believe. For example, I typed ‘mountain’ into the search field and obtained below results. As you can see, some of the images are a long way’s from being a mountain. That being said, for many photographers it’s sufficiently accurate that they’ll not bother applying their own keywords to images.

Photo Search

Photo Storage

Local storage of your images is supported, although Adobe’s preferred storage location is the cloud. The following screenshot shows how you can configure the application to store some or all of your photos locally as well as on the cloud.

Local Storage Preference

Syncing Photos with the cloud

Unlike Lightroom Classic all photos added to Lightroom CC on Desktop will automatically be synced to the Adobe Cloud and your mobile devices. However, there may be occasions when you would prefer to delay sync to take place until later. To do so, simply click on the cloud badge at top right corner of the application, then click on the Pause button as shown below.

Pause Syncing

Above has been a veery quick overview of Lightroom CC on Desktop. If you would like more information on the application or other apps within the Lightroom CC ecosystem then visit the Getting Started page. Adobe have also provided a number of short tutorials to help prospective users quickly get up and running:

  1. Explore the application
  2. Add and organise photos
  3. Use Lightroom CC with Photoshop
  4. Edit your photos from anywhere

Minimum Hardware and OS requirements

Windows 

  • Intel® or AMD processor with 64-bit support*
  • Windows 10 (64-bit) Version 1511 or later
  • 4 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • 1 GB of Video RAM (VRAM). 2 GB of dedicated VRAM is suggested for large, high-resolution monitors, such as 4K- and 5K-resolution monitors
  • 10 GB of available hard-disk space
  • OpenGL 3.3 and DirectX 10-capable video adapter for GPU-related functionality
  • Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.

macOS

  • Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support*
  • MacOS 10.12 (Sierra), Mac OS X v10.11 (El Capitan)
  • 4 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • 1 GB of Video RAM (VRAM). 2 GB of dedicated VRAM is suggested for large, high-resolution monitors, such as 4K- and 5K-resolution monitors.
  • 10 GB of available hard-disk space (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)
  • OpenGL 3.3–capable video adapter for GPU-related functionality
  • Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.

 

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