Category Archives: Lightroom CC

Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic & Desktop | October 2021

Adobe  ‘Max 2021’ saw the announcement of Camera Raw 14, Lightroom Classic 11 and Lightroom Desktop 5. We’ve come to expect that each new version includes new features and this time round is no exception. New features shared across all of the applications, including iOS and Android mobile apps are: a new masking engine, camera matching profiles for Canon CR3 files, plus additional camera and lens support. There are also number of new or enhanced features specific to Lightroom Classic and others specific to the Desktop and mobile apps. I’ve identified the new features that apply to each below.

Masking (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic & Cloud Ecosystem)

Adobe pre-announced the new masking feature in late September, thus giving customers an early insight into the improvements it would bring to their editing workflow. The new masking feature is a significant reworking of the Selective/Local Adjustments of previous versions. Adobe have also stated that the work involved also lays a foundation for additional capabilities to come some time in the future. Additionally, they have also implemented several customer feature requests submitted over the years. These include the ability to organise masks in a named list, toggle on/off individual masks, invert masks (including brushes), and mix and match mask types to form a single complex mask.

Range Masks, which were previously only available in Camera Raw and Lightroom Classic are now included in Lightroom Desktop and mobile apps, albeit with the benefit of a new more powerful interface, and it doesn’t stop there. Adobe have also incorporated Photoshop’s machine learning-driven ‘smart’ selection features such as ‘Select Subject’ and ‘Select Sky’. As with selective and local edits/adjustments in previous versions of Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, etc, the Masking features are non-destructive.

In below screenshots, I show the basic Masking UI followed by an example that involves building up a relatively complex mask.

The first pair of screenshots shows the UI for the mask types along with the the supported adjustments. Note that the masking panels can be docked to the side of the existing panels, left floating or docked within the existing adjustments stack.

Moving on to the example. The first screenshot in below sequence is the original image. I wanted to darken the sky and foreground rocks plus brighten the tree.

For the second screenshot I chose the ‘Select Sky’ mask from the options list. The AI masking engine selected the sky with ease.

For the third screenshot I used the ‘Select Subject’ option. In this example, it also selected parts of the sky. Using the Luminance Range mask allowed me to sample the sky that I didn’t want this particular mask to affect when I made my adjustments. I also used the redesigned Luminance Range slider tool to fine-tune the selection.

For the fourth screenshot I first used ‘Color Range’ to sample the foreground. However, as expected, parts of the tree also shared the same colour and were therefore included in the mask. To remove the tree from the mask, I chose ‘Subtract’ and ‘Subject’.

Finally, I adjusted the adjustment slider settings on a mask by mask basis.

In this latest iteration, the range masks now work globally, although using the add and subtract controls they can still be applied within a gradient, just as before. As such, we no longer need to create a range mask as part of a graduate or radial filter. There is also greater control over the luminance range’s falloff, although this may cause some irritation/confusion on first use.

The data (bitmap files) associated with ‘sky’ and ‘subject’ masks is stored in a Lightroom Classic catalog data container (lrcat-data) or in the case of Camera Raw, a secondary sidecar file (.acr) or within DNG files if they are your preferred file format. To avoid losing ‘sky’ and ‘subject’ data It is essential that you do not delete the ‘lrcat-data’ container or ‘.acr’ sidecar.

For users who prefer to use keyboard shortcuts rather than a mouse or pen, Adobe have provided an extensive set of shortcuts specific to masking. These can be accessed by clicking on the ? button at top right corner of the mask panel.

Masks can be copied / pasted or synced to other images. There is no restriction on the type of masks that can be copied / pasted or synced, although in the case of file to file copy /paste / sync, the procedure for ‘sky’ and ‘subject’ masks requires that you ‘Update’ the mask. This step is not required if the source file is a Virtual Copy.

Camera Matching Profiles (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic and Cloud Ecosystem)

They’ve been a long time coming, but at last, Camera Matching profiles for the following Canon EOS cameras that use the CR3 file format are available.

  • Canon EOS 1DX III
  • Canon EOS R3
  • Canon EOS R5
  • Canon EOS R6

Hopefully, the availability of these long awaited camera profiles signal that future Canon camera using the CR3 file format will be ‘fully’ supported.

Multitasking (Lightroom Classic)

The Library module is now capable of multitasking. With this change, catalog read operations, which in earlier versions were sequential resulted in blocking other catalog operations, which caused users a lot of fustration. For example, if you apply a preset to a set of images and want to navigate to a different set of images in different folder (i.e. a catalog read operation), then you can now do it simultaneously without having to wait for previous operations to complete. Another example of where blocking occurred was when renaming large numbers of files. In below screenshot, I show what happens in earlier versions if we try to change folders while the renaming process is ongoing. Obviously, this isn’t particularly helpful. However, with multitasking, changing folders during the renaming process means that grid area will be immediately populated and you can start the renaming process, then start the next Library task.

Metadata Panel (Lightroom Classic)

The Library module Metadata panel has been redesigned to give more control to the user. This redesign includes the following:

Active Image / All Images

  • When multiple images are selected, you now have the choice between seeing the metadata for the active image or for all images (same as that in older versions). This means that when a large number of images are selected and choosing ‘Target Photo’, you can avoid the long enumeration process that blocked other operations.
  • Above works in tandem with the Metadata > Show Metadata for Target Photo Only menu option.

Customize Metadata Default Panel

Another popular feature request that has been addressed in this release is the ability to create a custom metadata field list. Simply click on the ‘Customize’ button at the bottom of the Metadata Panel when ‘Default’ is selected in the pop-up menu. By selecting this option, you will be able to customise the metadata displayed in the default Metadata Panel for the selected image(s). However, care should be taken with the number of fields selected as too many can have an adverse impact on Library module performance.

The metadata fields within the panel can also be reordered to your preference

Edit-Only Mode

A new mode called ‘Edit-Only’ is now available within the Metadata panel. When enabled (i.e. click on eye icon at top left corner of panel) Edit-Only mode, you can edit all visible metadata fields in the Metadata panel for the selected Active Image or All Images. Note that no current metadata values are displayed in Edit-Only mode of Metadata panel.

Auto Save into XMP (Lightroom Classic)

With this release, Adobe have introduced enhancements for when ‘Automatically write changes into XMP’ option is enabled in Catalog Settings.

  • With this change, Develop module edits will be saved to the XMP sidecar file only after active image selection changes in Lightroom Classic or focus is moved to another application (e.g. Edit in Photoshop). This behaviour is unlike previous versions where every single edit operation was immediately saved into XMP. For example, in earlier versions, if you adjusted the exposure slider 10 times, the XMP sidecar file would be updated 10 times. The new behaviour is that XMP will be updated only once, with all the edits being written in one go.
  • Save to XMP sidecar is triggered automatically when there is any change in image metadata and the progress of save into XMP would be displayed in activity centre. There is no need to select the images manually.

Auto Save into XMP Progress bar

  • When enabled , you should be able to see the actual images count for which XMP writing is in- progress. However, this particular feature will likely only be visible when XMP writing is to a large number of files.

Auto Save into XMP Pause button

  • A ‘Saving XMP’ pause button has been added in activity centre to pause and resume the Auto Save into XMP.
  • This  button is only displayed when ‘Automatically write changes into XMP’ option is enabled in Catalog Settings.

I suspect above changes to XMP save behaviour will be welcomed by customers who would prefer to automatically save Develop module edits to the XMP sidecar but were deterred from doing so because of the significant performance hit that the previous behaviour caused.

Catalog Upgrades and Backups (Lightroom Classic)

Catalog updates and backups are not new to Lightroom Classic. However, with the introduction of the new masking feature, the upgrade and backup processes have become more complex, albeit still automatic.

Lightroom Classic will upgrade your 10.x or older catalogs to 11 when first launched. However, as mentioned above, the Smart Selection generated masks along with the 3D LUT (from profiles) will be stored next to catalog in a folder named <CatalogName>.lrcat-data. This folder will also be added to catalog backup, as this data is needed for rendering user edits properly.

Catalog Workflows

With this release, updates to various catalog workflows have been made to accommodate masks. These are:

Catalog Import

Masks, corresponding to the images imported from the source catalog, will be copied to destination catalog’s ‘.lrcat-data’ folder.

Catalog Export

Masks, corresponding to the images exported from the source catalog, will be copied to exported catalog’s ‘.lrcat-data’ folder.

Catalog Backup

Unless it is empty (i.e. does not contain ‘sky’ and/or subject’ masks, the ‘.lrcat-data’ folder will be included while backing up the catalog (.lrcat)

Catalog Optimisation

The key changes to the optimisation process are:

  • Any mask which is not being referred to by any image will be removed during a catalog optimise operation. This reduces the possibility of orphaned masks and saves on storage space.
  • If a mask is being referred to by an image through current settings, before settings, snapshots, or history, it will not be removed during the cleanup.
  • Lightroom Classic now relaunches after completion of Optimise operation.

Library Filter (Lightroom Classic)

With this release, there’s an option to Filter by a Date in Metadata filter. Therefore, you can now filter images by a specific date in any year range. This is often referred to as ‘On this date…’ and has been a long requested feature.

Premium Presets II (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic and Cloud Ecosystem)

The original set of Premium Presets that first shipped in the June 2021 releases were found to be extremely popular with customers, and Adobe have followed up with additional sets of Premium presets.

Recommended Presets (Lightroom Cloud Ecosystem)

The ‘Recommended Presets’ feature is new to the Presets panel of Lightroom Desktop and mobile. When you select the ‘Recommended’ tab in the Presets panel, Lightroom looks through the tens of thousands of customer presets that are available in the Discover section and uses cloud based Artificial Intelligence to suggest some that may work well with your particular image.

GPS Field (Lightroom Desktop)

There is a new GPS field in the Info panel. This field will display the coordinates if the selected photo already has coordinate metadata.

Sync Time Remaining (Lightroom Desktop)

When Lightroom Desktop is syncing photos it will now give you an estimate of how long it will take for the sync to complete. The estimate is displayed in the pop-up menu that you get when you click on the cloud icon in the upper right corner of the application window.

Crop Overlays (Lightroom Desktop)

Lightroom Desktop now has a variety of crop overlays, in addition to the default rule of thirds overlay. The crop overlay can be switched using the pop-up in the crop panel, or by pressing ‘O’ while the crop tool is active. Pressing ‘shift-O’ will cycle the orientation of the selected crop overlay.

Operating System Requirements

macOS

  • Support for macOS Mojave (10.14.x) has been dropped. The minimum macOS version supported is macOS Catalina (10.15).
  • You will not be able to install Lightroom Classic 11.0 or later builds on macOS Mojave (10.14.x).
  • If you are using macOS Mojave (10.14.x), Adobe recommend that you update your OS to at least macOS Catalina (10.15).

Windows

  • Support for Windows 10 v1903 has been dropped. The minimum Windows 10 version supported would v1909 (or later).
  • You will not be able to install Lightroom Classic 10.0 or later builds on Windows 10 v1903. Installation would be allowed on Windows Server 2016 or later.
  • If you are using Windows 10 v1903, Adobe recommend that you update your OS to at least Windows v1909.

New Camera & Lens Support

  • Details on camera support can be found here
  • Details on lens support can be found here

Bug Fixes

  • Lightroom Classic bug fixes listed here
  • Lightroom Desktop bug fixes listed here
  • Camera Raw bug fixes listed here

Disclosure: As an Adobe Community Professional I receive a free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Adobe Lightroom 3.1 Desktop and 5.1 Mobile| December 2019

This latest update to the Adobe Lightroom Cloud-centric suite of applications was released to customers on 10 December 2019.

In addition to new features (discussed below) this update includes bug fixes and support for new camera models and lenses released since the November update.

New in Desktop and Mobile

Contribute photos and videos to a Lightroom shared album

In May this year Adobe provided support for sharing and inviting others to view or contribute to an album. Lightroom now makes it easy contribute photos to shared albums – You can also view and add photos to shared group albums to which you’ve been invited. all  directly from within the desktop and mobile apps and Lightroom on the web.

Share Album and Invite others to Contribute

To use the Contribute feature, you must click the ‘View album’ button in the email invite that is sent by the album owner. Then, open the app and click the ‘Share’ icon. Under section ‘Shared with You’, you can view the album(s) that are shared with you.

Directly import photos from a camera or SD card (Lightroom iOS)

From it’s inception customers have been pressing Adobe to include the ability to directly import their photos into Lightroom iOS rather than through the Apple Camera Roll. Unfortunately, until recently the necessary  APIs, etc were not in iOS. However, with the introduction of iOS 13 direct import was now possible. Time for Adobe to step up!

With Lightroom 5.1 for  iOS  you can directly import photos and videos from an SD card or other attached media into Lightroom. However, your iOS device needs to be running iOS 13.2 or later to support this feature.

To import photos directly into Lightroom, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Lightroom app, and navigate to ‘All Photos’ or select an album. The Import button appears at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  2. Connect your mobile device to the camera memory card, camera, or USB storage device. In the Device connected dialog box, tap Continue.

3. Tap Import in the bottom panel

4. Tap From Camera Device.

5. In the Direct Import screen, you can view the files in the attached media. Tap the Add To drop-down list for options – All Photos, Current Album, or Create a New Album to import the photos to. The default location for import is the current album you are in.

Lightroom 5.1 iOS Direct Import

Adobe provide detailed guidance on using this new feature at Import photos from a connected camera memory card or camera

Export photos in the format of your choice (Lightroom 5.1 iOS)

Select the photos you want to export and click the Share icon to quickly access the Export screen. You can export edited photos as JPEG, TIF, DNG, or as the original photo with applied settings. Moreover, you can access export setting options such as JPG Quality, Output Sharpening, Colour Space, and File Naming.

Adobe provide detailed guidance on using this new feature at Export and share photos in Lightroom for mobile (iOS)

Support for new cameras and lenses

For a full list of supported cameras and lens profiles for Lightroom desktop and Lightroom for mobile (iOS and Android), see the following resources:

Adobe Lightroom 3.0 Desktop | November 2019

This latest update to the Adobe Lightroom Cloud-centric suite of applications was released to customers in early November 2019. However, even with this update customers hoping/expecting for lots of new features will be disappointed.

Export photos

Until this release options for exporting photos from Lightroom desktop have been fairly limited (I’m being generous). In short, we had the ability to export JPGs and an unedited version of the original raw files.

You can now export edited photos as JPEG, TIF, or as the original photo with applied settings. Lightroom for mobile (Android only at time of writing) also lets you to export photos as DNG files. Additionally, you can access export setting options such as JPG Quality, Output Sharpening, Colour Space, and File Naming.

To export photos you first need to select the photos you want to export then click on the Share icon. This gives you quick access the Export screen, but not all of the export options. For the full list of share options you need to click on Export  or tap the Shift+E keys.

Export Photo(s)

Lightroom Desktop 3.0 – Export with Preview

Export Options

Guided tutorials

Guided tutorials have been in the mobile device version of Lightroom for a while now, but now they make a showing in the desktop version. For Adobe this feature is big (i.e. important) and they’ve gone all out to make it as visible as possible. Sadly, for me anyway, its very presence is a major irritant. Don’t get me wrong, tutorials and easy access to them is important, but they shouldn’t be shoved in the face of those who don’t want/need them. At the very least, customers should have the option to hide the tutorials via preference, but we can’t.

So enough of my griping and on with a summary of the feature.

Lightroom 3.0 – Guided Tutorials

Click the ‘Home’ button in the left panel to access the Home view. Here, you will find ‘Get Started tutorials’ to learn the basics of using Lightroom.  The tutorials will take you step-by-step through the process of photo editing techniques. The Home view also offers Interactive Edits where you can discover how professional photographers edit their photos and save the edits shown as a preset.

Fill Edges

As with Lightroom Classic 9.0, the new Fill Edges feature uses Content-Aware technology to automatically fill the blank edges of your panoramic photos. The feature is available in both Panorama Merge Preview/HDR Panorama Merge Preview dialog.

Lightroom 3.0 – Fill Edges

More details on Panorama Merge in general can be found in this link to an Adobe online tutorial – Create Panoramas

Merge Photoshop Elements catalog to Lightroom

In Lightroom desktop, choose File > Migrate From > Photoshop Elements Catalog to easily migrate your catalog from Photoshop Elements 2019 or later.

To learn more, see Migrate photos from Photoshop Elements to Lightroom.

Lightroom 3.0 – Merge Photoshop Elements Catalog

Other enhancements

Lightroom desktop
  • Sort your album photos in the grid view. Drag the photo thumbnails and drop them in the desired position in the album. This change syncs to Lightroom for mobile (iOS and Android) and Lightroom on the web.
  • Click the search bar to view an array of options based on which you can search photos. These options include ratings, flags, camera settings, metadata such as location or keyword, and file. Click an option to include it in your search and see a list of possible values for the chosen facet.
  • Lightroom offers options to share selected photos or albums to White House Custom Color and Blurb and Adobe Portfolio.
  • With GPU acceleration enabled, you can preview the post-crop vignette effect in real time while cropping a photo. To view the latest system requirements for GPU features, see System requirements for GPU features.
  • You can now select photos in the grid view and press the Delete key to delete the selected photos.
  • When you rate or flag photos, press Shift + the respective keyboard shortcut to flag or rate the photo and automatically advance to the next photo.

Support for New Cameras & Lenses

For a full list of supported cameras and lens profiles for Lightroom desktop and Lightroom for mobile (iOS and Android), see these resources:

Lightroom CC (desktop) 2.1 | December 2018

Lightroom CC (desktop) has also received some attention particularly in the area of sharing, adding photos and develop presets.

Share to Web

Previously, you could configure Lightroom CC to share an album but many customers were looking for greater refinement. With 2.1, Adobe have incorporated the ability to filter the contents of a shared album according to the photo rating or flag. The new filters are part of  ‘Share Settings’ which can be accessed via ‘Share to Web’.

Lightroom CC 2.1 – Share to Web

Lightroom CC 2.1 – Share Settings

Add Photos (Import)

The Add Photos (Import) window now includes the ability to select albums that are contained within folders. The albums are displayed in the form of a hierarchy as shown below.

Lightroom CC 2.1 – Album List

File Type badges are now displayed on the photo thumbnails in the Add Photos window.

Lightroom CC 2.1 – File Type Badges in Add Photos

Set as Target Album

Whilst not actually new to version 2.1 ‘Set to Target Album’ didn’t receive much, if any, explanation when it first appeared in 2.0. With this feature you can quickly add photos to a target album from anywhere in  your library using either the keyboard shortcut ‘T’. To configure an album as the target, you first find the album then either right-mouse-click [Ctrl+click (Windows) or Cmd+click (Mac)] on the album. Alternatively, click on the 3-dot menu at top right corner of grid content view.

Lightroom CC 2.1 – Set as Target Album

Notice that you can also delete an album from this menu.

Partially Compatible Presets

As with Lightroom Classic 8.1 develop presets in Lightroom CC (desktop) 2.1 now includes the ability to control the visibility of partially compatible presets. However, unlike it Lightroom Classic it is much easier to find plus toggle on/off if desired. To enable/disable this feature you simply click on the presets 3-dot menu then click on ‘Hide Partially Compatible Presets’.

Lightroom CC 2.1 – Hide Partially Compatible Presets

Full details of what’s new and fixed in Lightroom CC 2.1 can be found on the application ‘What’s New‘ page.

Camera and Lens Support

Details on Camera and Lens support by Lightroom Classic CC can be found on following pages: