Thursday, October 19, 2017

The "New" Lightroom CC - and why you hate it!

TA-4J image edited on LR CC - Win10 and Android
Let me warn you now – this blog post will probably anger 95% of Lightroom users.  The other 5% won’t be mad because they are too dense to realize I am insulting them as well…  So let me begin.

I’ve already seen quite a bit of anger and disappointment on the Interwebs over the cloud-based “New” Lightroom CC.  And a lot of it is from people who haven’t even installed the new version, yet.  So let me get this straight – you people are the first to cry “FAKE NEWS”, or to rip apart a movie critic’s review of the latest blockbuster-to-be, yet you are willing to take the word of some “tech guru” about whether or not this latest software will work for YOUR workflow.  The way I see it, you are either a sheep, or you are scared of change – or perhaps you are a sheep that is scared of change.

Now to address the other 45% that I haven’t just alienated.  At least you installed the new LR CC!  But then you piddled around with it, read some more online “reviews” while waiting for your images to import and upload to the cloud, and then after about 15 minutes declared – “I HATE THIS VERSION!  It doesn’t do feature “X” or mode “Y” the way my old Lightroom does!  THIS SUCKS!

And so, I’ll give you three reasons that probably explain why you feel that way…

#1 You think of Lightroom as a photo editing platform – Let me shatter your world view here.  It isn’t now and never has been.  It is an image MANAGEMENT program that happens to incorporate a lot of the features from Adobe Camera RAW.  The first purpose of the LR franchise has been to put an ORGANIZED catalog of your images at your fingertips so you can find the RIGHT image at the right time.

#2 You don’t understand Smart Previews (in the previous LR version) – I don’t have time to explain the beauty of Smart Previews in a cloud-based environment if you don’t understand how they work.  Do us both a favor and Google “Lightroom Smart Previews” and learn the basics before my next blog post on the efficiency of the new LR cloud-based construct.

#3 You really don’t have a workflow, you just import ALL your images, edit a FEW of them and delete NONE of them - 100GB of space is not a lot, even for me, 10TB of space seems awful confining – but let’s be honest, how many of you are seriously culling your images brutally and only keeping your best shots?   LR CC isn’t for the photo wing of the National Archives – it is a tool for photographers to have their current and best images at their fingertips in an organized fashion.

Okay, now that ALL of you hate me, well, except for that 5% I was referring to earlier, go out and download the new LR CC.  Don’t import your entire current collection – just grab a memory card and say “Okay, I’ll import some images, and then what??” Don’t make the new LR fit your current workflow – see what can be done in real-time with the new tools and how they either assist or hinder your ability to edit across multiple platforms seamlessly.

Here is a quick timeline of a workflow test tonight:

0hr 00min – opened LR CC and selected a “card folder” of 999 RAW images from a D500 I shot at AirVenture in Oshkosh this year. Clicked Import

0h 10min – all 999 images had previews generated on my Surface Pro 3, and they began uploading to the cloud

0h 15min – Transitioned to my Android tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab A) and selected an image of a TA-4J out of the first 50 previews that had loaded to edit. No RAW images are on the cloud yet.  Began using the tools and spent more time trying to figure out where some had moved to than actually using them – MY GOD! WHERE DID MY GLOBAL SHARPNESS GO?? Oh wait I didn’t really need that!

0h 30min – All 999 previews have loaded on my tablet while I’ve been “editing” my image – or as other photographers would say “ruining” the image.  Save edits and put tablet down

0h 31min – Edited image appeared back in the gallery on my Surface Pro 3.

1h 00min – fooled around with the local storage options (yes, there is local storage in LR CC still) and checked out the other preferences.  About an hour in, 250 or so of 999 images had loaded their RAW version to the cloud.

1h 01min – On the Surface, right clicked and selected “Save to” and set the defaults to my custom Social Media JPEG export rules. Hit “Save” and went to dinner… well, and also sparred on FB with other photographers.  And made fun of Tony who just got his Nikon D850 in the mail, two weeks after our last air to air event of the year.  Poor Bastard.

2hrs 45 min – Came back from dinner and all 999 RAW images (21GB) had uploaded to the cloud.

Anyway, enough of my poking fun at the REST of the photographic community – my point is this – don’t be afraid to try the new LR CC, it has a lot of features in common with the “old” LR CC.  But understand that if you just want to shoehorn the new version of LR CC into your current workflow, you will be frustrated and angry.  Take a step back, take a deep breath and then jump into LR CC with both feet – try a new way of importing and managing images and see if there is anything new that the software has to offer, if only you adapt to it.

And remember – don’t be a scared sheep!