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/, Project Nimbus/Adobe Previews New Cloud-Based Photography App, Code Named “Project Nimbus”

Adobe Previews New Cloud-Based Photography App, Code Named “Project Nimbus”

Adobe Project Nimbus Sneak PeakIn the keynote presentation for Adobe’s fall MAX conference, Adobe presented “a glimpse of the future of photography” in the form of a brief sneak peek of a new photography application under development, code-named “Project Nimbus”.  The application has a modernized interface that is consistent with the Lightroom mobile and Lightroom web interfaces, with the goal being a seamless experience as one moves from desktop to mobile to web.

What we know from the sneak peek presented by Group Product Manager Brian Hughes:

  • Nimbus is cloud-based (referred to as “cloud-native”) – all of your photos and edits reside in the cloud. This makes them available automatically to Lightroom mobile and web without the need to specify what you want to sync.
  • Nimbus can do content-based searches of your photos. For example, if you type in “pier” it will search the content of your photos to find those that contain piers. This feature has been available as a technology preview in Lightroom web for some time. If it works well, keywording your photos will become less critical (but not obsolete – a content-based search might find all wedding photos, but not wedding photos of your niece.)
  • The editing tools demonstrated are already in Lightroom.

In summary from Brian, “What’s really important to remember here is that everything I do in one place is available to me  in other places – that’s a modern, cloud-native, non-destructive experience – from raw capture to pro-grade editing anywhere.”

Adobe Project Nimbus Editing

Project Nimbus Editing View – Click to Enlarge

In the Library view that Brian presented (shown below),  we see that users have access to “All Photos”, “Recently Added”, “Dates”, and then user-created Albums, but there is no Folders panel  as we’re used to seeing in Lightroom. This may be an indication that file management isn’t something that the user will have access to or control over.  If this speculation proves correct, many users will be happy to not have to struggle with file management as they do in Lightroom, and others might be disappointed that they don’t have this control.

Adobe Nimbus Library View

Nimbus Editing View – Click to Enlarge

The app also appears to be very much streamlined and more straightforward. That said, it’s not clear how far along Adobe is in building in whatever features they plan to ship with it.

Brian did not address at all where Nimbus fits with Lightroom – whether it will be a replacement for it, a cloud-based version that will sit side by side with Lightroom, or a Lightroom-Elements-like program for photographers who don’t have a need for all of Lightroom’s features and complexity.

He also gave no indication as to when Nimbus will be available. Other apps demonstrated during the keynote were positioned as coming soon as a public beta, or to be released soon. Nimbus was instead presented as a sneak peek of something they’re working on.

If you’re currently learning Lightroom, I would suggest continuing with your Lightroom learning and plans, unless you’re willing to just stop for what could be several months to wait and see whether this new program will be a better fit for you. Given that the editing tools demonstrated were Lightroom’s editing tools, it appears that your learning in this area will be applicable in any case.

To watch a replay of the presentation, click on this MAX link, then look for the video titled “The Future of Creativity and Design – Photography”. The sneak peek of Nimbus starts at 11:30.

2018-06-04T10:05:39+00:00November 3rd, 2016|24 Comments


  1. Kimberly November 3, 2016 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Laura, love your blog. I think you might have a teeny typo. I think you might mean Photography app, instead you typed “Photograph” app in the title of this article.

    I could be mistaken, however.

    Thanks for such wonderful content!

    • Laura Shoe November 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the heads up, Kimberly! I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog.

      • Don Dement November 3, 2016 at 5:15 pm - Reply

        Laura, echoing the gotcha above, the word to use in this meaning is “peek,” not “peak.” That was used several times. Sorry to nitpik, but some people find misuses jarring.

        Otherwise I enjoy everything you publish. From what you’ve said about Nimbus, I can’t see yet what problems it would solve versus problems it would create.

        Having to have access to high-speed internet just to get your basic job done can be a big limitation, as well as the uncertainties of having to rely solely on it for secure and reliable photo access. What’s more, splitting your user base would not be a helpful move to continue the growth of an almost universal, pretty solid program like Lightroom.

        But then, maybe it won’t compete. ??? My 2c.

        • Laura Shoe November 3, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

          Thanks for the catch, Don – I was working too fast today.

      • Kimberly November 3, 2016 at 11:24 pm - Reply

        You are welcome.

        I’ve been a long time follower. I’ve learned quite a bit. You, and Victoria are two of my faves to follow in this regard.

        I hate pointing out typos! But, I know that you are very intelligent & very detail oriented. I knew that it was unintentional. I HATE being ‘that’ person to say something, as my grammar, and punctuation leaves something to be desired sometimes.


  2. Margie Stephens November 3, 2016 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    thanks for your update on what’s new and coming! this same context is found in photos from apple,, I just recently took a tutorial,,, I cant wait till
    Adobe bring this out too,

  3. Alastair Monk November 3, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Nimbus looks interesting, but having everything in the cloud presupposes that (a) users have unmetered web access and (b) adequate good bandwidth. Neither is universal. And this doesn’t even touch on the thorny subject of ownership and access rights for web based images.

  4. Chris Wesselman November 3, 2016 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Thanks for letting us know about Nimbus, and keeping us up to date, Laura!

    Your insights are very valuable: is it a Lightroom cloud companion or a welcome replacement for Apple’s iCloud Library, Photos, etc. — or both?


    • Laura Shoe November 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome, Chris. We’ll have to wait and see what Adobe intends Nimbus to be.

  5. Roy Bennett November 3, 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Laura,
    And as always thanks for keeping us so well informed of the photography scene and especially LR. For those who might be tempted to put off learning LR in case of what Nimbus might offer I would say, learn the fundamentals first, they always stand you in good stead. Photography has not essentially changed over the years, understanding speed, aperture, focus etc are the same as when I bought my first camera sixty years ago as they are today. And learning LR gives such a solid basis for developing skills with other software. Files management skills and actually knowing where your pictures are stored is a computer skill never wasted. Manipulating the develop modules in LR will always be a good grounding in taking control of picture development. Planes may fly on autopilot very well but I only want to fly with a pilot who really can (fly).

    • Laura Shoe November 3, 2016 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      Good points, Roy!

  6. John MacLeod November 3, 2016 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Please get rid of the annoying Sign up! tab on the left side of your E-Mails and the annoying tabs on the right side. They interfere with reading your text.

    • Laura Shoe November 3, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks for visiting my blog, John. We’ll review these periodically to see if they are adding sign ups – if not, they’ll be removed. While I agree that they are distracting, I also feel that they are a much smaller price to pay than ads for weight-loss scams all over the site.

  7. Tony Greenfield November 3, 2016 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Laura,

    Every time I click on your email I get to your blog and immediately I’m asked if I want to subscribe. I don’t like saying no! Can you put a box saying “I’m already a subscriber thanks” on the invitation so you can know I’m not just ignoring you? Thanks anyway.

    • Laura Shoe November 3, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately not, Tony. As long as you are not accepting cookies, this will happen. While I can’t execute it, a checkbox is still a good idea, though!

      • John I. Clark November 3, 2016 at 9:06 pm - Reply

        I accept cookies, so why do I still see the sign-up pop and tab? I agree that it’s better than annoying weight loss ads (loved that comment), it does seem like there’s something amiss when we subscribers (who’ve clicked on a link in your newsletter no less!) still get the same stuff a first-time visitor sees.

        • Laura Shoe November 4, 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

          Is this on your computer, or mobile device, John?

          • John I. Clark November 4, 2016 at 4:32 pm

            Both, I believe, Laura.

          • Laura Shoe November 4, 2016 at 4:43 pm

            I would expect this of the tab, but not the popup, John. Please check your browser settings, then next time it pops up, sign up again. (If you use the same email address, you won’t get two newsletters. If you use different email addresses, next time I send a newsletter click on Unsubscribe at the bottom of the second.) Then if it continues to pop up, let me know what browser you’re using (and then if you’re up for it, go through the same process with another and let me know if the same happens there.) Thank you.

            The left tab annoys me as well, so we’ll take a look soon at whether we can eliminate it.

  8. Howard Owen November 3, 2016 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    What’s this enforced cloud storage going to set me back? I have 10K mostly consumer class photos, but my GF has 16,000 mostly hi res raw files. I’m sure many of you pros have many more. What will it cost to store 30GB (say) on Creative Cloud?

    • Alastair Monk November 4, 2016 at 1:04 am - Reply

      Hi Howard,

      For reference, the “well known” storage sites charge in the region of $6.99-$9.99 per month / $84.00-$120.00 per year for 1Tb storage. Most “free” storage maxes out at about 10-15Gb.

  9. Howard Owen November 3, 2016 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Related to my previous question: what’s the deal with Lightroom Mobile? I guess it’s cool to have all my photos available on my phone, but why would I want to work on them there? I need a nice 4K+ display and lots of graphics horsepower to really do the job on my desktop. Why should I care about iOS or Android?

    • Anssi November 4, 2016 at 11:30 pm - Reply

      Review. I don’t have 27″ Retina screen so it’s actually nice to see the photos on iPad screen that is Retina caliber. I’ve showed work-in-progress edits on even iPhone screen, as it’s always with me.

  10. John Steadman November 7, 2016 at 8:30 am - Reply

    Thank you Laura for the news of the updates, I don’t think that I shall be updating, when my subscription is due for renewal I do not think that I shall be contributing to Adobe any more. I am going over to Capture One Pro.

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