May 152013

Adobe Creative CloudI’m a bit late on this news from last week, as I was on vacation with no internet access, but here goes:

Adobe announced the upcoming June 17 release of the next version of Photoshop, Photoshop CC, available only through a Creative Cloud monthly or annual subscription. No longer will we able to purchase and own new versions of Photoshop (or other Creative Suite software, which have also all been updated) — users must subscribe, and when they stop subscribing, they lose access to the software.  Here are U.S. prices, per month with an annual subscription:

 Adobe Creative Cloud Prices

This new policy of only being able to  “rent” Adobe’s Creative Suite software has caused some outcry throughout the creative community, but much more so amongst photographers, many of whom have more limited needs for Creative Suite software. Adobe seems to be scrambling now to convince photographers that this is a win for them and possibly to make changes to their plans to make the value more compelling.

Below you will find questions and answers about this new policy as it stands right now, and its implications for photographers.

What’s New in Photoshop CC?

The most attractive addition for photographers is the new camera-shake filter, to reduce blur from camera shake (not from subject motion). Below is an example of before and after, using the automatic fix, with no further tweaking:


Before and After, Zoomed into 50%


Before and After, Zoomed into 100%

This will definitely save some of my blurry photos but it is a feature that will benefit from more development — it can produce heavy artifacts and halos even with its advanced features. (Generally you won’t see this in video demos, of course!) Speaking of which, here is a demo by Adobe:

Additionally for photographers, Photoshop CC has improved Smart Sharpen and upscaling capabilities, and has added camera raw as a filter that you can make changes with without having to close your photo and go back to ACR or Lightroom. Next, all Photoshop CS6 Extended features, such as 3D, have been folded into the one edition of Photoshop CC. Finally, there are other smaller improvements.

Will Lightroom and Photoshop Elements be available as stand-alone (perpetually-licensed) products?

Yes, Lightroom and Elements (and Premiere Elements) will be available as stand-alone products as well as through the Creative Cloud. At this point, the only way to get Lightroom in the Cloud is to purchase the Complete version. If you only plan to use Lightroom and Photoshop, at this point you would be better off purchasing the stand-alone version of Lightroom, and the single-product Photoshop Creative Cloud. Adobe has indicated that they are looking further at whether to offer a cloud package geared specifically to photographers.

Will the Lightroom offered through the Creative Cloud be different and better than the stand-alone Lightroom product?

No, Adobe’s Tom Hogarty has indicated that it will be the same.

Will Lightroom become a subscription only offering after Lightroom 5?

Per Tom Hogarty of Adobe, “future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely.”

Do I have to be connected to the internet to use Photoshop CC?

You will have to connect to the internet to download updates and then once every 90 (soon to be 180) days for verification. The software will live on and run from your computer, as it has before.

What If I Want a Stand-Alone Photoshop Product Instead?

Adobe will continue to sell Photoshop CS6 as a stand-alone product, and promises that it will be compatible with the next versions of Windows and Mac operating systems, and it will receive new bug fixes and new camera support (ACR). CS6 however will not have the new features introduced in Photoshop CC or in Lightroom 5. No promises have been made past the next operating system versions simply because Adobe doesn’t know what Apple and Microsoft have in store for them.

Other than the new product features to be released next month, what are the benefits to photographers of Creative Cloud membership ?

  • The ability to sync your Photoshop (and other CC software) preferences, styles, actions, etc.., to multiple computers, and access your work from multiple computers.
  • Cloud storage (20 GB with Photoshop CC, 100 GB with the Complete Cloud)
  • Behance ProSite membership, to share your work with and get feedback from the creative community
  • Always up-t0-date software — new features as they become available
  • Cross-platform license (Mac and PC)

Do I have to pay a year in advance?

You can pay monthly and cancel at any time, but prices will be higher.

Where can I find more information?

Adobe Creative Cloud FAQ for Photographers

Adobe Response to Reaction to Announcement



May 012013

Kelby TV with Tom Hogarty of Adobe on LightroomToday on Kelby TV’s Grid show, Adobe Product Manager Tom Hogarty demonstrated an iPad app still under development that might give us many of Lightroom’s capabilities. How many is unclear, but specifically mentioned as possibilities were basic editing, sorting, picking, and collections management. This app would  not use our original raw files, but the “DNG  smart previews” generated back on our computers with Lightroom 5. Tom kept things a bit vague, but it appears that we would be able to sync our Lightroom catalog across devices via the Creative Cloud. (I have no information on this, but I am hoping that there will be a trimmed down cloud service just for photographers that is less expensive than the full service.)

When will we see this app and service? When it’s ready … but not in time for the Lightroom 5 release. I can’t wait!

In the meantime, Adobe wants your feedback on this idea — what would you want to see and how would you use it?

Watch the recording from today’s Grid Show with Tom Hogarty on Lightroom (once it is posted – it may take a day).

Apr 302013

Lightroom 4 SaleAmazon U.S. currently has Lightroom 4 on sale for $40 off ($109.99). I do not know how long this will last.

Adobe has Lightroom 4 on sale for $30 off through May 11, 2013 in the Adobe store with coupon code SPRING 30. (At the moment the discount code is not working online, but from your shopping cart page you will see a number to call Adobe – they will give you the discount over the phone.) This discount code is also valid for Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11, and is valid on all retail sales (not just commercial sales, as the website suggests.)

Keep in mind that Lightroom 5 is due out sometime fairly soon — the beta version is out now, and expires June 30. Speculation has its limitations, but this suggests that the official version of Lightroom 5 might  be out before June 30 — unless Adobe decides to release a second beta version, which they did with Lightroom 3.

Apr 282013

Upright is a new automatic feature in the Lightroom 5 Beta for straightening photos and correcting perspective. In the video below I show you how to use Upright and how it interacts with the Crop tool. I also introduce the new grids and guides available in both the Library and Develop modules of the Lightroom 5 Beta.
As always, for highest quality, hit Play and then click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.

Check out my other Lightroom 5 tutorials, including a Highlights video.

Apr 212013

Lightroom radial filter toolThe Radial Filter tool in Lightroom 5 is great for making local changes to your photo that affect either the outside or inside of an oval or circular area — a classic example is creating a vignette effect to darken the edges of your photo and to bring attention to the center. We have been able to create vignettes with the Effects panel in LR 4 and Lightroom 3, but the new Radial Filter adds the ability to (1) highlight areas that are not in the center of your photo, and (2) do much more than darkening and lightening areas. We can now affect saturation, contrast, white balance, sharpness/blur, and much more.

Watch the video below for complete instructions on how to use the Radial Filter tool. Useful shortcuts are listed after the video.

(For higher quality, after hitting Play, click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.)

Radial Filter tool shortcuts:

Cmd/Ctrl + double-click on the image to set the bounding ellipse to the image bounds
Shift + M: Expand Radial Filter tool
Drag: Radial Filter is scaled from center
Cmd/Ctrl + double-click: Expand Radial Filter to visible image area
Cmd/Ctrl + double-click on existing RF: Expand to visible image area
Option/Alt + Cmd/Ctrl + Drag: Duplicate Radial Filter
H: Hide Bounding Box
Apostrophe key ( ‘ ): Invert Mask
Double-click on existing Radial Filter: Apply & dismiss Radial Filter

Click here to go to lots more Lightroom 5 new feature video tutorials and articles.

Apr 182013

lightroom-5-healing-brush-visualize-spotsWatch my video tutorial below for how to use all of the new features in the Spot Removal tool in the Lightroom 5 beta — including the new advanced healing brush, which is great for both removing objects and doing retouching, and for the new Visualize Spots feature. For me, these new tools alone will be worth upgrading for when Lightroom 5 officially comes out. I will also be making far fewer trips to Photoshop!

(Update 12-01-14: For those looking for Creating a Faux HDR Effect in Lightroom and Save It as a Preset (Lightroom 4 & 5), please click here.

For best quality, after hitting Play, click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.

Summary of what is covered +  shortcuts for healing and cloning:

  • 2 types of spots available:
    • Circle spots – the preexisting functionality within Lightroom
    • Brush spots – can be used for arbitrary shapes (retouching: at low opacity)
  • Usage options:
    • Click + Drag – create brush spot
    • Single click – create a circle spot from auto-find source
    • Shift + Click – connect the selected spot with the new spot via a straight brush stroke
    • Cmd/Ctrl + Drag – Create a circle spot from user-defined source
    • Cmd/Ctrl + Option + Drag: Create a circle spot that scales from center
    • Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + Drag: Create a circle spot that scales from anchor
    • Backslash (/) – select new source for existing circle or brush spot
    • Shift + Drag – Constrain brush spot to horizontal or vertical axis Continue reading »
Sign Up Today!
  • Free Video Tutorial Series: Learn Lightroom CC 2015 and Lightroom 6’s New Features!
  • Laura’s Lightroom Newsletter Updates
  • Access to Laura’s Free Live Webinar Broadcasts
  • New Lightroom Video Tutorials and Articles
  • PDF of Laura’s Favorite Lightroom Shortcuts

Your trusted source for all things Lightroom!
I will not share your email. Unsubscribe anytime.
Sign up!