By the time you are reading this it will be almost a year and a half since
Adobe Systems introduced Photoshop Lightroom (LR) 1.0. The introduction of the
original version of LR took place after an extensive period of online beta testing
by photographers from all over the world. The full release was followed by a
series of updates which steadily improved the functionality of the program.
The current version is 1.4.1.
of Adobe Systems, Inc.
On the one-year anniversary of the introduction of LR 1.0 Adobe announced
another beta period, April 1st to August 31st, 2008, for the next major upgrade,
Version 2.0. The beta version contains Adobe's suggested changes and upgrades
to the current release and lets us in on what we might expect when the final
is released. There's no question that LR 2.0 Beta contains some definite
improvements and new features. But is it a major renovation or just a face-lift?
The major changes in the beta version are to be found in the Library, Develop,
and Print modules.
When you first open LR 2.0 Beta you will notice the improved layout in the Library
module (#1). A more intuitive approach to image organization simplifies the
location of the features needed to find and filter photographs. It includes
a new feature called Smart Collections, which automatically updates collections
with images that match desired criteria such as star rating, keyword, or other
metadata (#2). You can use the default Smart Collections determined by Adobe
or you can create your own custom
The improved layout in the Library module features a more intuitive
approach to image organization.
Smart Collections automatically updates collections with images
that match criteria such as star rating, keyword, or other metadata.
You can use the default Smart Collections or you can create your
own custom Smart Collections as seen here.
As a functional image management tool LR 2.0 Beta is more streamlined. Essential
tools have been moved front and center for speedy access. For example, still
in Library, a Filter bar has been placed at the top of the Grid View (#3). This
allows photographers to rapidly find, sort, and edit images using filters. The
Filter bar has three categories: Text, Refine, and Metadata.
A Filter bar has been placed at the top of the Grid View. This allows
photographers to rapidly find, sort, and edit images using filters.
This view shows the Metadata filter in use.
Text allows you to search across your images using text search fields; Refine
allows filtering the Grid View by flags, star ratings, color labels, and the
type of file, Master or Virtual Copy. This function is not new to LR 2.0 Beta.
In 1.0 it is located to the right of the filmstrip. It is still in that position
in LR 2.0 Beta, labeled RF so that it can be accessed in any of the other modules.
Metadata is presented in easy to browse filter columns that can be added, removed,
and customized. The column arrangement can be stored as a preset.
The final improvement to the Library module is in the Keywording panel, to the
right of Grid View (#4). The Keywording panel includes a set called "Suggested
Keywords." This new set is able to suggest keywords for the current image
based on existing keywords already applied to the image as well as keywords
applied to images that are close neighbors in terms of capture time.
For example, I use the same keywords, "Wild Horse," for all of my
photos of wild horses. But I use further descriptors such as "standing,"
"grazing," and "running." If I select, or type in, wild
horse, the option to select any or all of the other words is made available.
I did not feel this feature was fully developed but I can see its potential.
Lightroom 2.0 Beta has an improved keywording system which includes
"suggested keywords." The current photo contains the
keywords "Wild Horse" so the option to select "workshop,"
"Wyoming," "Nikon D3," "running,"
and "2008" are the first keywords shown as they are
all contained in the previous photos.
All Photos © 2008, Steve Anchell, All Rights Reserved
LR is an image management program. It is not designed or meant for major image
corrections or manipulation. LR 1.0 does have some features of this kind, though
they were meant to be used globally, except for redeye correction and the Clone/Heal
tool. LR 2.0 Beta has added a Local Correction Brush, which allows you to make
localized changes to specific areas of an image (#5).
A Local Correction Brush allows localized changes to specific areas
of an image. The retouching tools have been moved to the right-hand
panel so that the tool options can drop down below them for ease
This is perhaps the most important fundamental improvement to LR 2.0 Beta.
Currently I introduce students to LR 1.0 before teaching them Photoshop basics.
By the end of the week most of them are asking why they need Photoshop. With
the ability to mask off specific areas then dodge, burn, enhance exposure, brightness,
clarity, and saturation to those areas, the only reason for using Photoshop
may be for advanced manipulation--such as pasting flying fish over Los