Adobe Releases Creative Cloud CC 2015

Correction: When Adobe first introduced Lightroom 6 (perpetual license) and Lightroom CC (subscription based licensing) a couple of months ago, I assumed that any new features added to Lightroom CC would be added to Lightroom 6. That is apparently untrue. Today’s announcement from Adobe is only applicable to Lightroom CC, the subscription based version of Lightroom. So, I have struck out all references below to Lightroom 6. Lightroom 6 did not and will not be getting the Dehaze adjustment and other new features in Lightroom CC at this time and probably not until the next major upgrade, i.e., Lightroom 7. There are a number of theories why Adobe has done this from it is required to do so by law to greed. I suspect that this will make owners of perpetual licenses upset but Adobe has never promised that the two versions would always have the same features and the two haven’t since Lightroom Mobile was introduced two years ago.

Adobe released major updates to all of its Creative Cloud applications this morning. The updates include support for new cameras and significant bug fixes as well. Photographers will be most interested in the changes to Link to list of changes in Lightroom  6 and CC, Link to list of changes in Lightroom Mobile (CC subscribers only), and Link to list of changes in Photoshop.

2015-04-09_Mojave National Preserve_Zwit_Before deHaze
Before Dehaze adjustment is applied to image.

Lightroom 6 and CC 2015 now include a Dehaze adjustment. (Click the images on the right to see a larger version.) Dehaze removes the effect of atmospheric haze in an image and is located in the Effects panel of the Develop module. A simple slider allows you to remove (or add) haze from your landscape images.

The Lightroom update also includes two new adjustments in the Gradient Filter, Radial Filter, and Local Adjustment Brush: Whites and Blacks. These sliders are the same as the Whites and Blacks adjustments in the Basic panel and can be used to fine tune tones in the lightest and darkest parts of an image being affected by the local adjustment.

2015-04-09_Mojave National Preserve_Zwit_After deHaze
After Dehaze adjustment is applied to image.

Lightroom Mobile was given significant new capabilities, including a tone curve adjustment and the ability to adjust color channels and the B&W mix and add vignettes and split toning. In addition, you can now import and sync iPhone and iPad videos to the web and your desktop. Lightroom Mobile is only available to CC subscribers.

If you are a designer, there were a multitude of updates in Photoshop for you. If you are a Photographer, the Dehaze and new adjustments in the Gradient Filter, Radial Filter, and Local Adjustment Brush were added to Camera Raw, the export dialogue was redesigned, and the Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush, and Patch tools are faster.

The most exciting update in Photoshop for photographers, however, is the ability to add monochromatic or color noise to blurs. If you have ever blurred a background in Photoshop, you know how well it works. In fact, it is just too good. The blurred areas are too smooth in comparison to the rest of the image and, when you print the image, it is very obvious. Now, with the ability to add monochromatic and color noise to blur, we can match the texture of the blur to the rest of the image.

Overall, this is a great set of updates to Lightroom and Photoshop for photographers. If you have Lightroom 6 or subscribe to the Creative Cloud, update now. If you own Lightroom 5, you might want to consider updating to Lightroom 6 or even the Creative Cloud.

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.