Jul 312013

Adobe announced today the immediate availability of a release candidate for Lightroom 5.2. This has been tested internally, but is released to the Lightroom community early for additional testing and feedback ahead of the official release. You can download Lightroom 5.2 RC on Adobe Labs here. As I usually suggest, if you have no immediate need for the features and the bug fixes and new camera support don’t affect you, I would wait for the official version to be released. However, note that some of the bug fixes are substantial this time.

Lightroom 5.2 RC includes a few small new features, bug fixes, and new camera support.

New features:

In the following video, I show you the new features:

And here is a written summary of the new features:

1. Spot Removal Tool

  • Feather Slider

Lightroom 5.2 Spot Removal Feather Slider

This is a “small” addition that for me increases the power of this tool greatly. As I explain in my video on how to use the spot removal tool/ advanced healing brush in Lightroom 5, I usually work in Heal mode. However, when working up against a high contrast edge, Heal can cause bleeding along the edge of my fix. In these cases I turn to clone mode. However, up until now the edge of the clone fix was often too harsh. Now we can use the feather slider to adjust this edge. (It works on both clone and heal.)

  • In Lightroom 5.2 RC, there has also been an improvement in how Lightroom automatically picks a source area for your fix, for images with textured areas like rocks, bark and foliage.
  • In addition, auto-find now prefers source areas within your crop — in 5.0 it would often pick an area outside your crop, which made finding that source difficult.

2. Color Noise Smoothness Slidersmoothness-slider-lightroom-5-2

  • The color noise slider previously present has been great at removing pixel-level color noise. This new smoothness slider now also removes larger color blobs that you may find when you brighten very-much underexposed areas of a photograph:
lightroom 5-2-smoothness


3. Refinement to the Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filter and Radial Filter

  • Right Click (PC) / Control-click (Mac) on an adjustment pin to bring up a context menu to duplicate or delete



Lightroom 5.0 Bugs Corrected in Lightroom 5.2 Release Candidate:

  • Catalog containing images processed with PV2003 were adding a post-crop vignette when catalog upgraded to Lightroom 5.
  • Pressing the “Reset” button while holding down the Shift key caused Lightroom to exit abruptly.
  • Output Sharpening and Noise Reduction were not applied to exported images that were resized to less than 1/3 of the original image size.
  • Incorrect photo was selected when trying to select a photo in segmented grid in Publish Services.
  • The Esc key did not exit the slideshow after right clicking screen with mouse during slideshow playing.
  • Import dialog remained blank for folders that contain PNG files with XMP sidecars.
  • Metadata panel displayed incorrect information after modifying published photo. Please note that this only occurred when metadata was changed after the photo was published.

New Camera Support in Lightroom 5.2 Release Candidate (* denotes preliminary support)

  • Canon EOS 70D*, Casio Exilim EX-ZR800, Fujifilm FinePix HS22EXR, Fujifilm FinePix HS35EXR, Fujifilm FinePix S205EXR, Fujifilm FinePix F805EXR, Fujifilm X-M1, Phase One IQ260*, Sony DSC-RX1R, Sony DSC-RX100 II*

New Lens Profile Support in Lightroom 5.2 Release Candidate

  • Sony Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS, Hasselblad Hasselblad LF16mm F2.8, Hasselblad Hasselblad LF18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS,Hasselblad Hasselblad LF18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS, GoPro GoPro Hero3 Black, GoPro GoPro Hero3 Silver, GoPro GoPro Hero3 White

Jul 272013

essential-development-lightroom-5-ss2Sean McCormack’s Essential Development: 20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 5 is out! An update to Sean’s Lightroom 4 e-book, it focuses exclusively on developing photos, and is full of great techniques and tips. For only $7, you receive not only a very generous 130+ page e-book, but also 100 of Sean’s develop presets.  Sean is an Adobe Community Professional and a professional photographer, specializing in headshot, fashion, music and editorial photography. He also does beautiful landscape photography.

 I have picked up some great tips and techniques from both the Lightroom 4 and Lightroom 5 versions of Sean’s e-book, and I believe most of you will too, regardless of your experience level. It is quite a challenge for an author to take such a huge topic as Lightroom development, and boil it down to something of reasonable length and yet useful and impactful, and Sean has done a great job at this. You will not have to wade through extra fluff or “chatting” to get to the core content.


I don’t consider Essential Development  to be a substitute for the core training you’ll find in my Lightroom 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond course, but  I’m a great advocate of learning from different instructors — we all have different perspectives and experiences, and  emphasize different things.  I found Sean’s portrait retouching techniques particularly valuable, since I don’t have a lot of experience in this area.

Bottom line: While Sean graciously provided me with a review copy of his book, I wouldn’t have hesitated otherwise to purchase this. Just a single one of Sean’s tips is worth more than $7 to me!

 Click here to go to Craft and Vision.

Jul 132013

mosaic-logo You may know that Adobe has indicated thatthey are working on a way to sync our Lightroom catalog to mobile devices via the cloud. But did you know that you can already do this – or at least if you are using a Mac? Mosaic, a New Hampshire company founded by Gerard Murphy and Andy Young has been “on a mission to make digital asset management easier for photographers, while enabling the anywhere access that we have come to expect.” While their current offering is just for Mac users, they also have a Windows version in development.

UPDATE 7/17/13: The Windows version has been released!

There are two components to Mosaic’s offering:

1. Online photo backup, to back up your master raw or JPEG photos.

Mosaic customers can automatically backup everything as it is in Lightroom, or selectively back up using Lightroom metadata, such as stars, pick flags, date or collection.

Mosaic Online Backup Everything

2. Viewing of your entire Lightroom catalog on Mosaic’s website, and on your iDevices.

Mosaic automatically uploads your photos (actually the JPEG standard preview that Lightroom builds) from Lightroom to the Mosaic website for your private viewing, and automatically syncs these for viewing with the Mosaic App on your iDevices.


Naturally, how much backup storage and mobile device access you get is based on how much you pay. You can start out with the free iDevice app and free syncing of your 2,000 most recent photos in your Lightroom catalog to your iDevice and Mosaic’s website.

Mosaic View pricing

I can’t experiment with the product yet, since I am on Windows, but a couple months ago Gerard demonstrated Mosaic for me over Skype. I was really impressed with how seamlessly the upload to the cloud and the download to an iDevice works. Once you have it installed, you don’t have to tell Lightroom to do anything — it automatically does the master photo backups and the syncing to your iDevice in the background. And as you edit a photo in Lightroom, your changes appear online and on your device very quickly.

I have lots of junk photos in my Lightroom catalog (that I really will delete one of these days!), so I didn’t really like that my entire catalog would be synced to my iPad rather than just a portion that I select. I do, however, like that with the app I can sort by rating, flags, and collections, and now catalogs and folders, so I could at least get to just the photos I really want people to see. Gerard indicated that they chose to sync the entire catalog so that the process would require no intervention from the user. I definitely see his point — once Mosaic is installed, you don’t have to do anything for this sync to take place.

I will definitely be keeping an eye on Mosaic View as it develops!  Right now you can’t rate, flag, keyword, or otherwise work on your photos from your mobile device or the website, but I did see suggestions on their website that more is coming!

Jul 012013

Adobe Lightroom 5 - The Missing FAQI am very happy to report that Victoria Bampton’s exceptional reference book, Adobe Lightroom 5 – The Missing FAQ, is now available!  Victoria is a fellow Adobe Community Professional and Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop Lightroom,  the founder of lightroomforums.net, and one of the most knowledgeable Lightroom experts I know.  She therefore understands what questions Lightroom users have, and has organized her book around these questions. The book is well-written, well-organized, and well-illustrated with hundreds of screenshots and photos, and is full of practical advice about what really matters.

Lightroom 5 - The Missing FAQ - sample page

Sample Missing FAQ page – click to enlarge.

You can purchase either the e-book only (includes PDF, Kindle/Mobi & ePub formats), or the e-book together with a black-and-white paperback. I love the e-book format — I can search the book for a particular topic, and Victoria has included  many hotlinks that allow me to easily jump to related topics. I also enjoy the paperback version.

Sample Missing FAQ page - click to enlarge.

Sample Missing FAQ page – click to enlarge.

Sample Missing FAQ page - click to enlarge.

Sample Missing FAQ page – click to enlarge.

Not only is the book very affordable, but with it you become a premium member of her help service — which not only gives you access to a great Lightroom knowledgebase, but also priority response to emailed questions to her!

The 578 page book has been written primarily as a reference tool, for when you have questions or want to delve into a topic, rather then as a step-by-step tutorial for beginners. It does however have a 45 page “Getting Started” section that focuses on the most critical topics for beginners.  While I am admittedly a bit biased on this topic, I think that a great package of Lightroom resources for both beginners and experienced users is the combination of my Lightroom 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond tutorial video series and Victoria’s Adobe Lightroom 5 – The Missing FAQ.

Finally, I reveal my secret — when I get a question about Lightroom that I can’t answer, I turn to Victoria’s Adobe Lightroom 5 – The Missing FAQ!

Jun 262013

If you have upgraded to Lightroom 4, 5, 6 or CC  from Lightroom 3 or earlier (even if you came via Lightroom 4), when you look at photos in the Develop module that came from Lightroom 3, you will see a lightning bolt below the histogram if the histogram is open, or to the left of the panel name if it is closed:



The equivalent symbol in Lightroom 4 was an exclamation point below your photo:

The lightning bolt  is a signal to you that the photo is continuing to use your settings from the old (pre-Lightroom 4) processing technology. The photo therefore should look the same to you as it did as you had left it in the earlier version of Lightroom (worked or unworked), and you will have the same Develop controls as before (for example, Recovery and Fill Light in the Basic panel, instead of Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks.)

The newer  controls/technology, the same in Lightroom 4, 5, 6 and CC  are called Process Version 2012; the old Lightroom 3 controls/technology are called Process Version 2010. Both the 2010 and 2012 process versions are built into Lightroom 4, 5, 6 and CC. New photos you import into Lightroom 4, 5, 6 and CC, or photos that you never worked on in Lightroom 3 automatically use Process Version 2012. Photos that you worked on in Lightroom 3, however, start out in the old Process Version 2010, and you must choose whether to update them.

Forgive me for the length of this post, but before I explain how to update, I need to first explain IF and WHEN I think it is appropriate to update. Continue reading »

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