Lightroom CC: quicker, better, even more clever than before
Lightroom CC was released today and I’m looking forward to getting started with it. Your graphics card now handles intensive image processing it , so you should see significant speed improvements in the Develop module.
Headlining the great new features there is the ability to create panoramas and HDR images within Lightroom. Before spending perhaps a couple of minutes waiting for Photoshop to produce either type of file – and then not really liking the results and having to start again, Lightroom CC uses the JPG previews of your target raw files to create a preview. You can then kick off the rendering process and move onto your next task in Lightroom while it makes its complex calculations in the background.
Better still, your new pano or HDR is in the raw DNG format. This offers two major benefits. Firstly, you have access to all of the 16-bit data, meaning great noise control if you lighten shadows to expose hidden detail. Secondly, the files sizes should be a lot smaller than the huge uncompressed TIF files generated by Photoshop.
Use of gradients and radial filters is now better controlled with the addition of a brush tool. This enables you to prevent a gradient you might add to darken your sky from affecting a foreground element that you want to stand out against it. Serge Ramelli has released a video that ably showcases these improvements:
Back in the Library, I’m delighted to see that Adobe has introduced facial recognition, enabling you to tag people you know in your photos quickly and easily. This was a feature I suggested in one of the online surveys circulated by the Lightroom product marketing team; it’s great to see that they’ve actually included it.
Since I take a lot of group photos and like to be able to keep track of who’s in which one, I had installed Picasa on my desktop to use its face tagging feature in conjunction with Jeffrey Friedl’s Picasa face-recognition import plugin. Now I can leave both behind – thank you, Adobe.
At the Import stage in the Library, you can import photos directly into a Collection (at this stage, you still specify the physical location to which you copy the actual files). This makes good sense if you want to get straight on with creating a photo book, for example.
The Web and Slideshow modules have also been enhanced. The former now enables you to export galleries in HTML5 – ideal for sharing previews of your work to clients. The latter gains panning and zooming effects, plus more background music options. These could be of use as a way of building showcases of your work for upload to YouTube or use on a monitor at a trade show.
Lightroom CC is available both as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud plan – the bundle with Photoshop is currently £8.57/month – and as stand-alone Lightroom 6 for £103.88, which doesn’t include Lightroom Mobile. Adobe has done its best to hide this option on their website.
Are you a Lightroom user? Feel free to share your thoughts about the new release. Here for example are six features that PetaPixel says ought to be in the new version but aren’t…