Join my old friends & colleagues Phil Clevenger & Rick Miller tomorrow for what promises to be an informative online class/discussion. Topics include:
Quick history of the Lightroom UI and its influence on modern software design
The importance of choosing the right color space when editing your photos.
Creating custom camera profiles for your DSLR, cellphone, and drone cameras to achieve the best color fidelity.
The RAW advantage: recovering data from overexposed/underexposed images.
Using the Map module and GPS coordinates for location scouting.
Soft Proofing your photos to determine the most appropriate print color settings
Questions & Answers
About your hosts: Phil Clevenger: Senior Director, Experience Design, Adobe Experience Cloud. Original UI designer for Adobe Lightroom and author on two patents for UI innovations in the Lightroom 1.0 interface.
Rick Miller: Former Sr. Solutions Engineer/color management expert at Adobe Systems (Rick’s name appeared on the credit screens for Photoshop and Premiere Pro), Professional photographer, and currently a professor at USC. Rick previously taught at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Cal Poly Pomona University, and assisted the LAPD’s Scientific Investigation Division in the forensic application of Photoshop.
The ‘release candidate’ label indicates that this release is well tested but would benefit from additional community testing to validate the corrections and changes included in this update. The goal of this release is to address bugs that were introduced with the release of Lightroom 2.0 and provide additional camera raw support [matching Camera Raw 4.6].
So, how is the world’s most popular 64-bit Mac software built? At the recent Mac-dev C4 conference, Lightroom project lead Troy Gaul presented an inside look at the structure of the application. Hopefully a recording of his talk will be posted soon to flesh out the details, though I don’t have an ETA for that.
Fernando Z.* at Picture Code writes, “I just released version 2.1.2 of the Noise Ninja
Standalone application, and this release features support for
sending multiple photos at a time from Lightroom 2 to Noise Ninja. I’ve
also just added a new video to our FAQ that shows how to take advantage
of this new build and Lightroom 2’s enhanced External Editor support.” [Via Tom Hogarty]
“To celebrate the launch of LR2,” writes John Arnold, “I’ll be doing one tip per day for at least a week – probably 2 weeks.” You can check out John’s set of videos to date on PhotoWalkthrough.com. (I’m looking forward to checking out the entries covering graduated filters.)
The Adobe Design Center has posted Getting Started with Lightroom 2. In it Matt Kloskowski of NAPP offers a sequential set of 15 videos that take a brand new LR user through the basics of what Lightroom does and how to get started using it, while Adobe’s Julieanne Kost has posted a set of 3 videos that go over all that’s changed in LR2 (“Think of it as a Getting Started for upgrade users,” she writes). [Via Luanne Seymour]
On Lightroom News, Martin Evening interviews Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty about how the LR2 feature set came to be and more.
Lightroom Queen Victoria Bampton has posted Adobe Lightroom – The Missing FAQ, "a compilation of the most frequently asked questions, presented in a 397-page PDF eBook format." It’s now updated to cover LR2 as well as LR 1.4.1. She’s also posted a free PDF reference listing Lightroom 2 keyboard shortcuts.
Sean McCormack has created a set of over 70 graduated filter presets for LR2. "Covering both landscape and portrait orienations, as well as hard and soft line filters," he writes, "these filters come in 3 standard colours: ND (Grey), Blue and Tobacco." Sean is selling them for €5.00 (about $7.75). [Via]
At Inside Lightroom Richard Earney lists a ton of handy-looking presets, handling everything from image tweaking to filtering one’s image library (e.g. showing which images contain GPS coordinates, which lack keywords, etc.).
On Daring Fireball, John Gruber writes, "I upgraded to Lightroom 2 last week, and I’ve only had time to scratch the surface with regard to learning what’s new. But so far, every single change that I’ve noticed has been for the better. It’s a remarkable improvement over what was already one of my favorite pieces of software ever." Nice!
Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty has posted some info about how Lightroom & Aperture compare in terms of enabling image editing via add-on code. Being addicted to bulleted lists, here’s my summary of where things stand:
Pound for pound & click for click, "external editor presets" in Lightroom 2 and "plug-ins" in Aperture are the same thing. In both cases you pick the external engine that you want to use on your image; jump into that editing environment to make adjustments; and return to your LR/Aperture library with an edited bitmap image that sits alongside your original raw file. You get the same results with the same number of clicks.
Unlike Aperture, LR doesn’t require developers to rewrite code to work as a plug-in. Instead, it simply lets external apps open/save image data as they normally would. Less work for developers should translate into more options, sooner, for photographers
Perhaps ironically, if you’re using external code like Nik’s Viveza plug-in (available as both a Photoshop & an Aperture plug-in), you’ll retain more editability by bouncing your image to Photoshop and doing the edit there. Photoshop CS3 adds support for Smart Filters, meaning you can go back and tweak your Viveza (or noise reduction, or lens correction, etc.) settings even after sending the results back to your library.
If what you’re after is local image editing (e.g. dodging and burning), Lightroom already offers that as a native part of its development pipeline–no rasterization or external edit required.
If what you’re after is Photoshop integration, the Lightroom-Photoshop story is unmatched:
The jump is faster and doesn’t require creation of an intermediate TIFF/PSD just to open a file in PS. (Instead the raw file goes through the Camera Raw pipeline, preserving your LR edits.)
You can open your raw file as a Smart Object and apply filters to it, preserving the editability of your raw settings and of the filters.
You can pass multiple files to Photoshop at once to create panoramas, HDR merges, or multi-layer PSDs. This works especially well with virtual copies of the same image, making it possible to composite together multiple raw renderings. Lightroom + Photoshop is the ultimate 1-2 punch.
A number of people have written in to ask when Lightroom and Camera Raw will support the brand-new Nikon D700. Good news: they already do–unofficially–in Lightroom 2.0/Camera Raw 4.5. Unofficial support simply means that you can view and edit D700-generated NEF files normally, but because the camera is so new, Adobe QE folks haven’t tested it to the point that they feel comfortable declaring official support. The DNG Converter can convert D700 NEFs so that they can be used in LR 1.4, Photoshop CS2, and other DNG-enabled tools.
Note: LR2/ACR 4.5 add official support for the Olympus E 420 and E 520.
LR supports external editor presets, enabling easy jumps to/from apps like Noise Ninja and PTLens. Thus Lightroom handily matches Aperture 2.1’s ballyhooed plug-in support, while offering far superior Photoshop integration plus non-destructive localized image adjustment.
It enables the rendering you get in LR (or in Camera Raw) to match what your camera renders as JPEGs–frequently a pleasing starting point for adjustments. As photographer Ian Lyons writes, with these profiles you can “approximate the in-camera JPEG rendering as well as the various styles and looks provided either in-camera or via the camera vendor’s own software solution.”
It offers demanding photographers a new degree of control for finessing the appearance of colors (e.g. skin tones).
In other words, we can put a fork in assertions of “Raw converter X looks like what I see on the back of my camera, so it must be more accurate than what Adobe shows” and “I just can’t get look/tone/value X in LR/ACR.” Expect to hear more soon.
Camera Raw 4.5 for Photoshop CS3 (Mac | Win) has been released & offers full support for rendering edits made with LR2 as well as profiles created with the Profile Editor.
Tons of resources are going live now, so I’ll post links to what I’ve seen so far:
Mike Pasini from The Imaging Resource posts a glowing review. (“While we’ve only had a few days to test drive Lightroom 2.0, but that’s been enough to remove 1.4 from our drive. We aren’t going back.”)
I’ll update this list as more links go live. In the meantime feel free to suggest resources via the comments.
Lightroom marketing manager/former Combat Photojournalist Frederick Johnson has posted an informative 12-minute interview with Phil Clevenger, Lightroom interface designer/KPT veteran. Phil talks about the challenges of starting with a blank slate & establishing an interaction language; the pros and cons of modality; Lightroom’s unique model for applying parametric local corrections; and much more. I fount it well worth a look.
(Tangentially: Both Frederick and Phil show up among Kelly Castro’s portraits (aka Project Make Mild-Mannered Software Peeps Look Hardass), now featured on the Adobe Design Center.)