Image-Editing Review: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 | CreativePro Network
Figure 3: The most obvious difference between the Lightroom 3 left and Lightroom 4 right develop options in the Basic panel is the new set of tone sliders that centers consistently at zero. How does Adobe get away with not being concerned with highlight and shadow clipping from the start? As you adjust Exposure and Contrast, Lightroom does two things. It tries to recover highlights when needed, and it also attempts to make a smooth, film-like transition from shadows and highlights to black and white instead of the harsh clipping normally seen in digital images.
Figure 4: At first glance, this raw image looks unusable top. But the Lightroom 4 develop controls extract enough shadow detail to produce a wide range of tones in the final image bottom. In older versions of Lightroom, Basic sliders for raw files had starting values that were all over the place.
In Lightroom 4, all slider values start centered at zero: dragging below zero always darkens the image, and dragging above zero always lightens. This makes the Basic panel much more intuitive to use.
For example, if lightening a dark part of an image with a Graduated Filter brings up noise out of the shadows, adding Noise Reduction to that same filter instance will bring the noise level back down in that adjustment. Being able to paint White Balance means you can more easily correct mixed-lighting situations. This means converting to Process Version can alter the look of an image.
For this reason, Lightroom 4 preserves Process Version for photos in catalogs upgraded from Lightroom 3. Both Camera Raw 6. There are other enhancements in Lightroom 4, like separate RGB point curves another popular feature request , and a much more manageable Clarity slider with greatly reduced halo artifacts. All in all, many could upgrade based on the improvements to the Basic panel alone.
I would. A long-standing feature request has been soft proofing — the ability to simulate on screen how your printer or other types of output will reproduce the colors of an image. In Lightroom, soft proofing controls are brought to the surface and visible in the Develop module, and they can be turned on with a single press of the S key.
Editing on a dark background can make you think an image is too light, which can sometimes be a factor in why prints seem too dark. Another nice touch is that Lightroom integrates soft proofing with virtual copies, so you can maintain a master image and multiple instances tuned for different types of output.
These may sound like minor things, but in Photoshop they require jumping between dialog boxes, menus, and sets of layers and alternate views that you have to manage by hand. The Lightroom approach seems like a nice fresh start in comparison.
Figure 6: Turning on soft proofing adds options under the histogram, as well as displays the image on a white background that can optionally simulate paper and ink. Remember that for accurate soft proofing, your monitor must be calibrated precisely, and you must select a profile that correctly represents the output for example, the paper and ink you want.
While there are still-frame photographers who question why video is part of Lightroom, it makes sense now that new cameras typically capture HD video, and many photojournalists shoot both stills and video on assignment. There are other reasons as well, such as avoiding data loss.
If you wanted to import a card containing stills and video into Lightroom 1 and 2, only the stills would be imported. Figure 7:Video tools appear under a video in Loupe view, including playback controls, trim controls for setting in and out points, and commands for capturing a still frame and setting the poster frame. Lightroom 4 adds a limited set of video editing features. You can preview and catalog video, trim the ends, adjust the appearance though precise adjustments require an awkward workaround involving presets , and export individual clips.
At the moment, Lightroom video support is most useful for exporting trimmed and color-corrected individual clips to be edited in another program, such as Adobe Premiere Pro.
That level of involvement in video may be appropriate for Lightroom. Geotagging, the ability to attach longitude and latitude metadata to images, is already widely supported by other image-editing applications such as Apple Aperture. Lightroom 4 addresses this popular feature request with the Map module.
You can look for pins on the map or search for a location to see if you have any photos there. The Saved Locations panel lets you create collections of locations that you can then apply to images. If you have a GPX-formatted tracklog, Lightroom can import it. A private data option lets you prevent location information from being included with images you export.
Figure 9: The new Map module lets you display geotagged images or apply location data to images you position on the map. The weak link right now is the limited availability of cameras that record location data. Most of the photos you have that include location data are probably from your smart phone.
While Lightroom does let you assign locations to photos manually, doing that for a large number of photos is a lot of work.
While not every photographer today will use the Map module, real estate, travel, landscape, location scouting, and wildlife photographers will probably find it to be a valuable addition. As with geotagging, the new Book module could be seen as a response to the well-known book feature in Aperture. The Collection panel stores the books you save. Figure The new Book module makes it easy to add and customize pages based on included templates.
The Book module is tied to Blurb blurb. You also have the option of creating a PDF file instead of sending the book to Blurb. If you set up a Blurb book, the Book module displays the estimated cost based on the settings you specified.
In previous versions, a flag was limited to a folder or collection. While I always wanted flags to apply catalog-wide, quite a few Lightroom 3 users prefer the old behavior, so if you do, be aware of this change. And you can never really buy just one bigger drive, because your backup drives must also be upgraded to match. The problem of growing archives also gets worse as megapixel counts rise, making your drives hold fewer pictures before they fill up.
One way to address this is the new lossy compression option for DNG files exported from Lightroom 4. While the concept of lossy DNG compression may alarm photographers who expect DNG to preserve the original quality of raw files, the fact is that the majority of photos will never be reproduced at a size that will stretch the limits of the original raw format.
Lightroom 4 also supports fast-load DNG, which helps images open more quickly in the Develop module only. Figure New options for exported DNG files can speed up Develop module loading time and save space in your photo archives and backups.
One of the best features of Lightroom 4 is its new low price. Some might say that adding soft proofing and the Map and Book modules in Lightroom 4 are catch-up moves versus Apple Aperture. But Lightroom has also had its own unique advantages over Aperture such as its superior noise reduction and lens profiles. I also wish I could tag photos with keywords and other metadata in modules other than the Library module, and to be able to break off the panels and put them on my secondary monitor so that my main monitor is all image.
Other users hope for face recognition or built-in panorama or HDR features. Still, Lightroom 4 is extremely capable and feature-packed. In my view, Adobe has a winner in Lightroom 4. I even considered using Aperture or Capture One, because I see a huge benefit when I can see the image in full size at its full effectiveness.
I am using a Google pixel, so maybe it’s a unique issue. I just want to edit pictures I’ve downloaded from various apps and re-share them, and in most cases I cannot seem to find the newly downloaded images from within the app. I’ll happily update my review if this gets fixed.
These past few weeks the app randomly closes by itself and won’t save my edits unless I manually save it to a album which I do after every change in cause it shuts down.
It has been happening on my phone and my laptop, please fix! The process of actually editing my photos is more fun on this app using my Samsung tablet, but i don’t appreciate that syncing of photos into the cloud appears to be bullied onto me.
And while all other actions are very user friendly, deleting a photo completely is way too much hassle. Photoshop Express Photo Editor. Remini – AI Photo Enhancer. Presets for Lightroom – Koloro. PhotoShot – Photo Editor.
No data shared with third parties Learn more about how developers declare sharing. Adobe Creative Cloud. Modular design is sometimes limiting. Lightroom 4 adds a limited set of video editing features.
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Download the full version of Adobe Lightroom for free. Create amazing photos at your desk or on-the-go with a free trial of Adobe Lightroom. Find update information for older, legacy versions of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.