Panoramas, HDR, and the future of Lightroom

On Wednesday CNET’s Stephen Shankland sat down to talk with my boss Kevin Connor to talk about what’s on the roadmap for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.  (I was there as well, but Stephen–correctly discerning that Kevin is the guy with the actual clue/plan/power–wisely focused his questions in that direction. ;-))  They conduced a fairly wide-ranging talk that hits on such topics as high dynamic range (HDR) imaging, panorama creation, and the future of Lightroom extensibility.

[Update: I see that Scott Kelby has posted extensive notes on what he’d like to see in Lightroom 2.0.]

0 thoughts on “Panoramas, HDR, and the future of Lightroom

  1. I am hoping that Lightroom moves in that direction to support the use of HDR, but more important for me are my final 10000+ pixel final panoramas that are not allowed to play with the rest of Lightroom. Need support for those large images soon.

  2. I’ve recently compared Lightroom to the other “big players” (results here:; while I truly believe LR is the best overall RAW processor, I think Adobe should concentrate on improving the performance first, before adding features. The DAM part is still very slow compared to programs like ACDSee that update the database transparently (why do I need to right-click on a folder and choose Synchronize, and why does it take so much to do so?) When your collection of photos is in 10,000 range you really start to appreciate speed. Currently I use ACDSee Pro to locate the image I want.
    Panorama generation is complex, there are software packages dedicated to that alone, I’d rather see a Lens Correction feature first!

  3. As a first step you could let photoshop do the work as you do in Bridge. In Bridge you are able to select the pictures you want to merge (for HDR or panoramas) and then let photoshop handle it.
    The downside is that you have to own photoshop, but it would make the workflow a lot easier for those who do have photoshop.
    Now I mark my panos and HDR´s with colorlables in Lightroom and when I want to process them I have to open Bridge and locate them, select the pictures and then let photoshop do the work. It would make it a lot easier if I could skip the Bridge step! // Jani

  4. My major request for LR is to recognize any file type you want and the ability to import it and subsequently view it/hear it/read it..etc. This would change LR from being a good photo editing + library package into a truly briliant DAM [Digital Asset Manager]app with excellent photo editing capabilities and the rest.
    [I’m not sure that LR wants to become a general-purpose DAM. Rather, they want to stay focused on the needs of photographers. Yes, there are photogs who need to deal with other media types, and that’s why Adobe makes Bridge (which features the same imaging core as Lightroom). –J.]
    If LR is to be a true DAM app it needs to recognise all digital media. As a photographer I have lots of files relating to my photographic work that aren’t RGB images. I have Duotones, CMYK files, I have movies from my pocket camera, I have sound files with info about shoots or background ambience, I have text info with names of people photographed, I have music or soundtracks to use in my slide shows….
    Having to go to other apps constantly to find things relating to the images in LR, when LR is so very good at that sort of thing, it is very frustrating, when the only limitation is LR ignoring these files.
    It also makes LR useless for downloading stuff off memory cards as there is the very real danger of deleting non-stills photography files that LR ignored. I nearly deleting movie files that way – thankfully I alwys check using my file mager that all files were copied before deleting and never use LR to copy stuff off my cards now.
    LR could be one of the best apps ever produced if it opened it DAM side up to all digital media, as it’s support for digital media is somewhat pathetic. So many of my still images are simply ignored by LR. Besides if it became a true DAM app, then you’d sell so many more copies.
    I’ve been a music junkie and DJ for many years and would love a version of LR to sort, keyword and organise my enormous music collection, even better if then there was a DJ module to go with it, a sound editing module…etc. And even better than that would be if you could mix and match modules to suit ones needs, so you have a sound editing module to tweak audio for one’s slideshow after the imges have been tweaked in the develop module.

  5. >Rather, they want to stay focused on the needs of photographers. …
    Speaking as a professional photographer, LR ignoring a lot of files [even still image formats] that I use for my photography makes a mockery of the goal of the programme – i.e. to ease workflow. So it fails quite badly on that point in my experience. Unless of course you work in the very limited way as proscribed by LR . I have an awful lot of duotone/tritones that simply do not exist as far as LR is concerned. Very, very frustrating. Just like the ludicrous and thankfully fixed file extension debacle. I don’t necessarily need LR to Develop these images [it would be nice], but I really do need LR to recognise and let me keyword ALL my files, not just the ones it feels like noticing. And then let me add to my web pages/slideshows etc. It’s not a DAM app it’s a RAW/JPEG/TIFF/PSD Asset Manager at the moment.
    Also seeing as it it has a print module, a web module and a slideshow module it goes way beyond basic photography anyway. As for your suggestion of using Bridge, that assumes one has PS and for a lot of photographers, LR makes PS unnecessary. Not to mention the fact that they are very different programmes, with very different abilities. I do have Bridge and it’s a very clunky workaround to this problem. Not to mention 2.0 is very flaky and unstable and as for the caching nonsense, aaargh!…besides since LR 1.3, I’ve used Bridge a lot less as LR is much better for many things, bar the file extension apartheid.
    Besides if I want to use say music/audio in LR for the slideshow module, it’s a bit daft to use another programe to find it, when LR has a [potentially] very good, possibly one of the best ways of doing it.
    At present LR only imports a subset of my photographic images, so is actually fairly useless for me to use for the web/print/Slideshow modules.
    I have a new website designed, which I hoped to be using LR’s customised web galleries to fill the content part of it, but unless I manually find and convert all my ignored formats [which I simply do not have time to do, even with actions] I have to use PS/Flash/Bridge to do something LR could do so much more easily. In theory.
    The reason PS became so brilliant and popular was because lots of different types of people could use what part of it they wanted, in the way they wanted.
    But thinking about what you have said about PS bloat [persoanally, I just ignore/hide what I don’t need, so I think PS is quite lean and powerful]. LR could be modular and you only use/buy what modules you need after all adding more module does not clutter exactly workspace as each has a separate space like Web/SS/Print currently have.
    Think how many more copies of LR you could sell, if it wasn’t just aimed at the niche of serious/professional photographers. And we’d benefit too, an awful lot.
    Finding files is THE big bottleneck and will only get worse with time. LR is a potential solution to all my DAM needs, not just my images.

  6. One of the reasons that I got into LR was for the web gallery. The first galleries that I made where at least of 100 images, but I did a wedding where I got 900 images. I wanted to upload the images so the clients could select their photos, but I realized that it could only make 500 images galleries. Now in the time we are living there is lots of photographers, not only wedding, that want to share more than just 500 images. In the other side Photoshop can make galleries that have more than 500 images, so thats a + for Photoshop and a – for LR.

  7. I am doing bird photography and use LR to create web galleries of different bird groupings. I also have my own mp3 recordings of different bird sounds and would like to have the option to play them when opening the respective image in the gallery. I have used Dreamweaver to insert audio files but when adding new images to the web gallery and exporting them these files are of course overwritten. If audio files cannot be attached to image files it would be helpful to be able to create hyperlinks to these files.

  8. I am quite new to LR after using Photoshop for a number of years. What first attracted me on purchasing LR was having a program that could import psd files w/o having to 1st convert to jpg .. for the main purpose of creating slideshows. (I was previously using Windows Movie Maker Live) I needed a program that could not only handle large files like weddings, but also multple audio tracks. I was successful in re-creating the “moment’ for my daughter’s wedding w/550 photos & 22 modified audio tracks … BUT, not w/o investing a usurious amt of time in converting to jpg, then adjusting to fit the frame area .. sheeshh!. I love the professional looks that LR can create, but I am quickly learning about serious drawbacks … such as only being able to select 1 audio track .. RU kidding me!! LR has nothing on WMML as far as sound track capabilities. LR get with the program! ! NCH Sound File Editor is a great program for modifying any audio track and converting to any format for ~$40. What I had to do for a video slideshow in LR is hook 3 tracks together & save as mp4 in NCH, then upload to LR .. but I still cannot place .. start or end in LR like I could w/ WMML. I also have to preview the ENTIRE slideshow each time I adjust the sound to slide duration .. “fit to music” ahh… no, thanks anyways.

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