Category Archives: Radial Filter

Adobe release Lightroom mobile 2.4 for iOS

lr-mobile-100I normally don’t get too excited when a new version of Adobe Lightroom mobile comes along, but 2.4 is different. Why?

Well, version 2.4 includes two features that I, and I suspect many other photographers, have long been waiting for. These are Raw support  and Local Adjustments. Unfortunately, they’re only available to ‘Adobe Creative Cloud’ subscribers.

Other minor features introduced in version 2.4 that all users can avail of include:

  • support for keyboard shortcuts. This feature requires an external keyboard, and is activated by pressing down on the ‘Cmd’ key,
  • the ability to add your own copyright to photos, and
  • support for the latest Camera Raw version.

New features are all well and good, but unless instructions on how to use them are provided then users will likely struggle to understand how they work. So, taking each of the new features in turn I’ll try to explain the workflow.

Raw Support

Raw support allows you to import and edit Raw photos taken with your digital camera. These photos can then be synced back to ‘Lightroom CC’ on your desktop computer. Of course the Raw photos must first be imported onto your iPad, and it is here that things get a tad complex.

To import your Raw photos on to your iPad you’ll need to use an Apple ‘SD Camera Card Reader’ or ‘iPad Camera Connection Kit’. Depending on which version of the iPad you have you’ll need to import the Raw photos directly from the memory card or directly from your camera into the Apple Photos App ‘Camera Roll’. Either way, the SD Camera Card Reader or Camera Connection kit is essential.

Apple Photo app Import

Apple Photos App Import Camera Roll

When the Apple Photos App import process is complete you then switch to Lightroom mobile. Here you should notice that a ‘Raw’ badge overlays part of the thumbnail for each Raw photo.

Lightroom mobile - Import to 'Camera Roll' complete

Lightroom mobile – Import to ‘Camera Roll’ Complete

Next, make sure that you have enabled support for Raw photo import in Lightroom mobile. Below screen grab shows where this can be done.

Lightroom mobile - Enable Raw Photos

Lightroom mobile – Enable Raw Photos

At this point you can either select all of the imported Raw photos or a smaller number. In below example, I selected all of the Raw photos.

Lightroom mobile - Select All Raw Photos

Lightroom mobile – Select All Raw Photos

When all of the photos have been added to Lightroom mobile you’ll find that an additional badge (Lr) overlays each of the photo thumbnails.

Lightroom mobile - Completed Raw Photo Import

Lightroom mobile – Completed Raw Photo Import

If you’re satisfied that all of the Raw photos have been imported into Lightroom mobile you can delete the originals from Apple Photos App, thus saving some space on your iPad.

When an internet connection becomes available your Raw files will be synced to the Adobe Cloud and ultimately back to Lightroom desktop. If you have any other mobile devices with Lightroom mobile installed smart previews will be synced to these devices.

Local Adjustments

As with Raw support, Local Adjustments has been on my list of must have features for a very long time. In this version Adobe have chosen to include what they call Linear and Radial Selections (in Lightroom desktop these are called Graduated and Radial filters). Personally, I don’t see why Adobe didn’t stick with the names that users already know. If name changes were deemed essential then Linear and Radial Gradients are more meaningful, at least to me.

Okay, so having got my rant about naming conventions out of the way it’s time to look at each local adjustment in turn. I’ll start with the Linear Gradient, uhh, I mean Selection since it’s the default.

To activate Local Adjustments switch to Edit mode and tap on the ‘Local Adjust’ button. A new button appears on the lower left and tapping on this results in a menu popping up. It has two options at present with the top one (Linear Selection) selected by default.

Activating Local Ajustments

Activating Local Adjustments

Next, you tap on the photo where you want the centre of the gradient to be located. The width of the gradient is adjusted by dragging the top or bottom line up/down, and the centre of the gradient can be reposition by dragging the black dot up or down the screen. Additional gradients can be created by tapping on the ‘+‘ button at top left of screen, and the ‘trashcan’ is used to remove a gradient.

Local Adjustments - 'Linear Selection'

Local Adjustments – ‘Linear Selection’ Tool

Next up, the Radial Selection tool. I find this tool is particularly useful for edge burning portraits, although it has its uses in other types of photo.

Radial Selection Tool

Local Adjustments – ‘Radial Selection’ Tool

The Radial Selection tool is activated and the gradient positioned in the same way as the Linear Selection. At top left of screen you’ll see an additional button. This button allows you switch the gradient from inside the selection to outside and vice versa. To increase  the feathering (soften edge) of the gradient drag the larger handle point on the selection counterclockwise, and clockwise to to harden the edge. (Note: in above and below screen grabs the handle point is on top edge of photo.)

Local Adjustments -

Local Adjustments – Reduced Exposure Outside of Selection

Both Linear and Radial  selection tools support the full range of slider adjustments currently available in Lightroom mobile.

So, having described the two new features I was so keen to see introduced I posed myself a question –  Do I think Raw support and Local Adjustments means that Lightroom mobile is now ready for the ‘big time’? Sadly, I don’t believe so, at least not just yet. Sure, both features are very welcome and certainly make Lightroom mobile more useful to me than before. On the other hand, some photographers might have a different workflow or less demanding requirements. For example, if your iPad has sufficient space to store the imported Raw photos then leaving your laptop at home while on a short vacation might be OK. For longer holidays or large professional photo shoots I think many will likely find the iPad short of storage capacity. Also, syncing photos to the ‘Adobe Cloud’ and later Lightroom on your desktop computer means that sufficient bandwidth will be essential both on location and at home/office. This means that if you’re a professional or advanced amateur  photographer you’ll likely find that  taking a laptop on location/holiday still provides a much more productive and efficient workflow than mobile. To be fair, I don’t think the Lightroom mobile development team see it as the ‘laptop killer’ yet, but it’s certainly getting closer.

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

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Released

 Adobe has just released the shipping version of Lightroom 5. If you’re a frequent visitor to this site then you will likely already have read my Beta Preview in which I summarised many of the new features. Whilst no additional features have been included in this GM version I’ve updated the earlier preview to review status. You can read it here.

A summary of the key features included in Lightroom 5 are as follows:

Smart Previews

  • Lightweight images that can be used in place of the original files throughout the application, including the Develop Module.
  • Reside in the same folder as the catalog and are contained in an lrdata file folder structure (Smart Previews.lrdata) that is located alongside the catalog. This is similar to the existing Preview file structure.
  • Smart Previews will be used in the absence of an original file (e.g. file is offline).  Changes are saved to the Lightroom catalog and will be visible on both the Smart Preview and original image. When original file is reconnected the application will automatically apply any metadata or develop adjustments to the original.
  • Smart Previews are Lossy DNG files and are 2540 pixels on the long side.
  • Smart Preview information is communicated to user in a new status bar between the Histogram and toolbar.

Smart Preview Status

Upright

  • Upright is a technology that straightens pictures automatically. Common use cases include fixing horizons (to avoid “tilted” pictures) and straightening buildings (to avoid the “keystone” effect).
  • Upright’s main advantage over previous methods (e.g. straighten and crop tools, Horizontal and Vertical sliders) is ease of use because it automatically finds the desired correction by analysing the image content. 

Upright controls in Lens Corrections panel

Advanced Healing Brush

  • Two types of spots available:
    • Circlular spots – the pre existing functionality within Lightroom
    • Brush spots – can be used for arbitrary shapes (e.g. removal of power-lines).

Radial Filter

  • Radial Filter appears in the Histogram Toolbar between the Graduated Filter and the Adjustment Brush.  The Radial Filter allows users to apply existing local adjustment attributes to a mask with a feathered falloff.  Users can now create off-center vignettes, among other effects.

PNG Support

  • Lightroom can now import PNGs
  • Edit-in Photoshop workflow is supported. The PNG will be converted either to a TIFF or PSD, based on the preferences that you have set.

Full Screen Mode

  • A true full screen mode, available via a single keyboard shortcut (“F”).
  • Legacy “F” keyboard shortcut behavior is available using Shift+F.

Behance Publish Service

  • A new Publish Service to publish your images directly to Behance (http://www.behance.net/).  In order to use the service, you must first create a Behance account.

Book – Improved Text Creation

  • Transparent Buttons for “Page Text” and if a photo exists on the page, “Photo Text”.  These are linked to the existing Page Text and Photo Text controls and are designed to help make the text experience in Lightroom easier to use.
  • All the text tools available in Lr4 can still be used, this is a simpler way for customers to interact with the text technology.

Videos in Slideshow

  • Add video clips to your Slideshows
  • Improved synchronization of slides with soundtrack duration.

More information on Lightroom 5 features can be found at Adobe.com. Pricing remains unchanged from Lightroom 4 (i.e. full version $149.99/£106.48 or upgrade $79/£60.57). Lightroom 5 will also be available as part of Creative Cloud.