Opinions about Adobe Lightroom are as varied as the colors in the ProPhoto RGB color space. However, one thing that is quite clear is that Adobe has been consistently releasing meaningful updates at a commendable rate.
Earlier this morning, Adobe announced updates across every version of Lightroom, including Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom CC for Mac, Windows, Android, ChromeOS, and iOS, as well as Camera Raw. As a private tester, I've had the opportunity to put these updates to use within my own photo management and editing workflows.
Users can expect general performance improvements across the board, bug fixes, and support for new cameras and lenses. In addition to these updates spanning the myriad versions of Lightroom, I'd like to highlight some of my favorites.
Adobe Lightroom Classic CC
Reorganizing Panels in the Develop Module
I'm a big fan of giving users the option to control the way they interact with their apps. Don't get me wrong. In many cases, especially with new users, it's the responsibility of developers and designers to provide a logical UI with features that are discoverable and tools that make sense. However, it is a nice touch to give more seasoned users control over how they interact with an app.
With today's update, Lightroom Classic CC users have the ability to rearrange the panels in the Develop module to suit their tastes. For example, I am a big Split Toning fan and have always held a grudge with Adobe for putting baby in the corner by relegating that panel so far below the fold. With today's update, I can easily move that panel up top, where it can sing from the peak of Develop Mountain!
Adobe Lightroom CC
I know I'll probably get flamed to a mound of ash over this, but I am a big fan of Adobe Lightroom CC. In fact, I created a video outlining why I switched over from Lightroom Classic CC. It is my primary photo management and editing platform, and I currently have every single photo, over 6 TB in total, synced up to Adobe Cloud. Why? Because I'll trade the short-term lack of feature parity for the ability to access, edit, sync, and share any of my photos from any device at any time.
Setting a Target Album
Fortunately, today's update closes the gap with feature parity, albeit in modest ways. One feature that I heavily relied on in Lightroom Classic CC was setting Target Albums to easily send a newly edited photo to my "Ready to Share" album with a single keystroke. Now, that feature is available in Lightroom CC. I know, I know. Modest, but very much welcomed nonetheless.
Improved Album Sharing Workflow
Another Lighroom CC feature that has seen improvements is the album sharing workflow. Often, I find myself having to share a subset of photos with another person. In one recent case, I needed to share a series of photos illustrating some weird phenomena occurring due to a filter I was using.
Before, the workflow for sharing an album was somewhat limited. Now, Lightroom CC gives you the ability to refine the criteria of what is shared within an album by leveraging filters like the Pick Flag and Stars. This makes the album sharing workflow way more convenient.
Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile
Faithful Before/After Toggle
Do you know how many times I've been waiting in some queue with time to spare? Rather than mindlessly thumbing through my Twitter feed, I will launch Lightroom CC on my iPhone, find a photo from some random shoot that I never got around to editing, give it some love, and prep it to share. It's a brilliant workflow.
To that end, one feature that I've long asked for is a faithful Before/After preview toggle. Historically, you could press and hold on an image to see the original version, but it'd only take into account edits made on the mobile device. Now, I can bring up an edited photo taken in 2003 and see the original version even if it was last edited on the desktop in 2003. It's a small update, but if you rely on Lightroom CC Mobile as much as I do, it is wonderful to have.
There are a number of other updates included in this update, and I recommend checking out Adobe's blog post to learn more about them.
It's hard to deny Adobe's investment in the photography space. Every release has brought updates not only to the newer Lightroom CC platform but also to Lightroom Classic CC despite the cacophony of doomsday prophets screaming about its demise. Regardless of whether you're Team Classic or Team CC, I'm very bullish on what the future holds and am excited for what 2019 will bring in this space.