Adobe Released Lightroom 5.4, Camera Raw 8.4, and Lightroom Mobile Today

Adobe released Lightroom 5.4 and Camera Raw 8.4 for Photoshop and a new offering, Lightroom Mobile, today.

Lightroom Mobile is completely new application and, based on first impressions, appears to largely satisfy a need expressed by many Lightroom users: How to show and edit images on the iPad. (Several images of the Lightroom Mobile interface are included here. You can click on the image to see a larger version.) In addition to being able to show and edit images on your iPad, any modification made to an image on the iPad, including metadata, will be reflected in your Lightroom catalog.

Screen shot of Home screen in Lightroom Mobile
Home screen showing the catalogs that have been synchronized with Lightroom Mobile.
Screen shot of grid view of images in a collection sync'd to Lightroom mobile
Grid view of images in a collection
Screen shot of editing screen in Lightroom Mobile
The Edit window in Lightroom Mobile.

The ability to edit images on your iPad is huge. However, there are some limitations:

  • Only subscribers to the Creative Cloud or the Photoshop Photography Program can use Lightroom Mobile.
  • You can only sync collections. This means that, if you want to take a folder of images with you for editing on your next cross-country flight, you must create a collection with all the images in that folder and synchronize that collection with Lightroom Mobile.
  • Lightroom Mobile uses smart previews, which are much larger than regular previews, to enable editing. The more smart previews you carry, the more space the images will take up on your iPad. (This could be a good thing because now you can justify a 128 gig iPad 4 to your significant other!) You can carry some images as regular previews and some as smart previews; you just won’t be able to edit any images with regular previews.
  • Both your iPad and computer must have access to the Internet to sync your changes. You iPad must upload the changes to the Creative Cloud and then your computer must download the changes to Lightroom. So, at a minimum, there will be some delay between working on an image on the iPad and the changes appearing in Lightroom.
  • Lightroom Mobile is available only for the iPad. Adobe is working on Android and iPhone versions but hasn’t committed to a release date for either version.

The new versions of Lightroom (Mac | Windows) and Camera Raw offer the usual camera and lens updates as well as bug fixes and are free to current Creative Cloud or Photoshop Photography Program subscribers and perpetual licensees of Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CS6. If you are subscriber to the Creative Cloud or the Photoshop Photography Program, you should update Lightroom and Photoshop using the Adobe Creative Cloud app. If you have a perpetual license to Lightroom or Photoshop, the new version can be downloaded by opening Lightroom and, in the main menu, clicking on Help > Check for Updates… or by opening Photoshop and, in the main menu, clicking on Help > Updates…

As always, you should update to the latest version of Lightroom and Camera Raw even if you don’t plan to use Lightroom Mobile or have a new camera. Both contain bug fixes.

– Brian

Caveat to Above: As noted above, Lightroom Mobile was just released today. As I use the app, I will likely find aspects of the app to like and aspects to hate. In a couple of weeks, I will post some further thoughts on Lightroom Mobile.

Black and White Photography: It’s All About Tones

2014-01-04_Bruno_Zwit_0003-editWhen you think of classic photographs, you generally think of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Dorthea Lange, and Gordon Parks and the one thing that they all had in common was that their most famous works were in black and white. Black and white photography has gone through a renaissance since it was seemingly vanquished in the early years of the digital revolution and has regained much of its lost prominence. Leica and Phase One have even introduced black and white only digital cameras.

Join the School for Creative Photography in Baltimore, MD, beginning at noon on Friday, March 28, 2014,  for an intensive two and half day workshop on black and white photography. Black and White Photography: It’s All About Tones is all about helping you to take and create stunning black and white images with your digital camera.

This workshop combines field and classroom work. You will learn what subjects make the best black and white images and more than enough ways to convert the color images from your camera into stunning black and white images. We will also take advantage of all that downtown Baltimore has to offer, including the waterfront, an architectural salvage business, and a cemetery, to practice what we learn in the classroom.

If you have any questions, please drop us a line at

Tulips Everywhere: It’s Holland in Haymarket

elliot-sternc2a9-2013-tulips-000191Nothing says spring like tulips! When they bloom, you know that spring has arrived and summer is just around the corner.

To help celebrate the arrival of spring, the School of Creative Photography will hold a field trip to a tulip farm in Haymarket, VA. Tulips Everywhere: It’s Holland in Haymarket will be held on Saturday, April 19, 2014, and be led by Elliot Stern.

Tulips Everywhere: It’s Holland in Haymarket will, of course, focus on how to photograph these beautiful flowers and helping you take incredible and creative images.

Introducing Joyce Harman, DVM, MRCVS

Image of Joyce Harmon peering through a camera on a tripodThe instructors at the School for Creative Photography, if nothing else, are a diverse lot. Everyone one has extensive and unusual backgrounds and came to photography in many different ways.

Perhaps no one, however, has taken a more unusual route to photography than our iPhoneography (along with wildflowers and landscapes) expert and instructor, Joyce Harman. She is veterinarian and owns Harmany Equine Clinic in Flint Hill, VA, a practice devoted to holistic medicine for horses but also sees a few small animals and naturally raised livestock.

Joyce has seriously studied photography since the mid-1990s and has a fascination with iPhoneography. She is also a founding member of the Old Rag Photography Gallery, a cooperative in Sperryville, VA, and a member of Glassworks Gallery in Sperryville, VA.

Check out her full biography and artist statement.

Editor’s Note: Over the next couple of weeks, we will be introducing you to all our instructors. We previously introduce you to Elliot Stern last week.


New iPhoneography Class

iphone 1The School of Creative Photography will hold iPhoneography: Using the Camera Always with You this spring. Joyce Harman, a new SCP instructor, will teach the class on Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Sterling, VA.

iPhoneography: The Camera that is Always With You is about having fun and being creative. The main focus is on helping you fully utilize your phone as a camera and processing tool.

Introducing Elliot Stern…

elliotIf there ever was someone who needed no introduction, it would be Elliot Stern.

Active in the industry for over 65 years, he has done it all. Elliot has been a military, wedding, portrait, nature, landscape, and architectural photographer, manufacturer’s representative, retail salesperson, and teacher. However, what he enjoys the most is teaching and is an expert on photographic equipment. Elliot is also an active blogger and you should check out his blog.

Elliot will be teaching field trips for the School of Creative Photography. As of today (and more will be added over the next couple of weeks), he is currently scheduled to teach:

Check out his full biography. And, if you have a question about any equipment, just send it to us at and we will get Elliot to answer it.

Editor’s Note: Over the next couple of weeks, we will be introducing you to all our instructors. However, Elliot is unique. He has been the mentor to a majority of the instructors and his expertise in photographic equipment is second to none. When I get stuck, I call Elliot!

The School of Creative Photography

Welcome to the School of Creative Photography! We love photography and we love teaching photography.

2013-04-20_Ricketts Glen State Park_Zwit_0012_HDRElliot Stern, proprietor of Blue Ridge Photography Workshops, has decided to semi-retire and the School of Creative Photography (SCP) is picking up where Blue Ridge Photography Workshops left off. (Do not worry Elliot will still be with us but more on that later.) We have a great pedigree and plan to continue with all the things that made Blue Ridge events educational, fun, and productive. We are, of course, going to change a few things as well.

The things that are not going to change include, first and foremost, our teaching style. We are here to help you learn and take great pictures. Instructors are at the workshops, field trips, and classes for you and will not be taking pictures. In addition, all our teachers have experience in photography education along with an extensive knowledge of photography.

We are also not changing the format of our events. There will be workshops, field trips, and classes. The differences are the length of the event as well as the location and focus. Workshops will tend toward weekend adventures and be focused primarily on shooting and field instruction; field trips will also focus on shooting but are going to target a particular subject or event, e.g., sunflowers and St Patrick’s Day in Old Town Alexandria, and be anywhere from a few hours long to a full day. Classes will generally be in a classroom with their primary purpose being education.

You all know most of Blue Ridge Workshop Instructors, including Elliot, Geoff Archer, and myself. The good news is that we will all be SCP instructors and we are adding several more people to our stable of instructors over the next couple of weeks. All of the new instructors are great photographers and teachers and will add something to SCP that we haven’t had before, e.g., a iPhoneography expert.

Probably one of the biggest changes you will see is that we are going to be adding more field trips and classes than we have had in the past. We will still do weekend workshops but, based on your feedback, it is easier for you to commit to shorter events than longer ones and are looking for more events, closer to home. If you have any suggestions for a workshop, field trip, or class, please let me know. We are always looking for unique and unusual locations.

Finally, it is my goal to make everything run like clockwork while we all learn something and have fun. After all, if it is not fun, why do it?

I hope you will look through our current list of workshops, field trips, and events and join us for one very soon. I know you will enjoy it.

– Brian