When Lightroom mobile was initially released a few years back, I, like many Adobe users at that time, was curious, and found myself finger tapping all the way to my phone's respective App Store to download it. After that addition to my phone was made, the once fresh home screen icon for a long time sat irrelevant, and relegated to the end of the bench, placed inside of a seldom seen, far lateral, home screen folder.
A couple things factored into this being the case. First of all, I brushed it off at its release as a diet version of Lightroom, strictly designed for images taken on mobile devices. I reassured myself that what I needed to utilize, in my mind seeing this mobile version of Lightroom as not a serious contender for real editing work was the tried-and-true, heavy-lifting capable Lightroom for desktop. Second, let’s be real for a moment, mobile phones are already brimming with distraction. There was already plenty there to steal my ever waning attention. Turns out my perspective on this was simply in need of adjustment. While my feelings have not wavered with regards to where I turn for serious editing of bulk images, which remain in heavy favor to the desktop experience. But what has changed is my realization that Lightroom mobile, now part of a broader Lightroom family and renamed Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC, makes for the absolute perfect compliment to my desktop editing, one that now is an unmovable and time-saving staple in my workflow process.
Recently upon dipping my toes in the Sony waters, I found myself switching away from being a long-running Canon user. I had thought now perhaps is also a good time to try out some Lightroom alternatives. As a fresh Sony Alpha user I had basically a golden ticket to try out Phase One's Capture One Sony 11, no commitment necessary. After all I had always heard wonderful things about the way Capture One handled Sony’s raw files. In addition, I recently purchased Alien Skin's excellent photo editor and organizer, Exposure X3, after a recent anniversary sale price proved to tempting to pass up. But at the end of the day as great as both of these programs may truly be, the biggest feature Lightroom has over the competition for me is a strong cloud based presence, which provides the very 2018 like ability to sync my desktop work with my phone and vice versa.
Most importantly is Adobe seems to understand the phone goes everywhere I do. What they leave out of the Photography Plan product page is that small dopamine drip that hits every time I fire up my desktop catalog only to see the magic of the cloud sync up with the changes I made while on the go. No longer does my productivity have to take a complete nose dive when the outside world calls me into action. I don’t focus on wall to wall edits of my images, instead while on the go I will make small adjustments to them. Edits like straightening a horizon line, slightly adjusting exposure, or applying lens corrections, as small pockets of time during my day allow. As busy as we all are, these breaks in our days are everywhere, there are no shortage of editing opportunities. Heck even the two biggest mobile operating systems will soon have simple ways to track how much free time you spend on your mobile devices on any given day. These small edits add up, and ultimately now allow me to spend less overall time chained to a desk in front of a monitor.
So let this be the reminder you need so that next time you find yourself waiting for cheese to be sliced at the deli counter, or perhaps stuck in the slow moving line at the post office, or maybe waiting for your clothes to dry at the laundromat, or even on a extended bathroom break (just joking, let's not go there) remember there is full-featured software on your mobile device. It is ready and waiting for you to tap into its potential, ultimately allowing us busy photographers the ability to keep the workflow moving along no matter how far from the studio we stray.