Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Take On Lightroom CC

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Okay, it been a day since the launch of Adobe Lightroom CC (or 6 if you're going the purchase route rather than the subscription model).  The first thing I noticed is that Adobe still ties LR to Photoshop with the official name being Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC (LR).  I suppose the thinking is that LR is a subset of Adobe Photoshop CC.  LR is the only product I can see that has the PS hook.  I don't see Adobe Photoshop Illustrator CC.  It's just Adobe Illustrator.  Same with Premiere and the rest of their Creative Cloud offerings.  My question would be "why"?  LR is about as autonomous as you can get.  It's a strict photographic entity.  Why not cut it loose?  But, that's about as nitpicking as you can get.  The new LR is fantastic.  Want to go through the highs and lows.  Hit the "Read More".

The "low" is the easier to tackle, so let's go there first.  There's nothing I don't like about the speed or new features.  It just seems that Adobe wasn't ready for the overwhelming response to the launch.  I got online and downloaded the file with no problem.  It was the hand shaking to get it to work that was a bear.  I downloaded it, it installed and it disappeared.  I'm guessing Adobe's servers were swamped and couldn't fulfill the barrage of traffic the farm was getting.  Thinking I may have screwed up, I uninstalled LRCC2015, downloaded it again and went through the same thing.  I watched every step along the way and I knew I had punched every key just as instructed.  Slow return came to mind and I went to bed.  This morning ... there it was, asking for permission to upgrade my LR Catalog.  I hit the "sure, knock yourself out" button and in short order I was playing with my shiny new copy of LRCC.  So, so far just getting it to work at all has been my biggest (it was tiny) issue.

Now the good stuff.  I've played with the HDR making feature and think it's stunning.  Photomatics and others better do a quick step to keep dancing in front of juggernaut that is Adobe.  I remember back to 1993 when I started at Intel.  The big deal was being able to play a CD (not write to a CD, just play one).  At the time you needed a third party accessory card to be able to handle that much of a load.  Can any of you Gen X'rs even imagine that?  As processors got faster, what once needed a hardware assist became doable by the CPU.  Goodbye CD add on cards and the manufacturers who made a living off them.  Same with sound card.  Same with graphics cards (okay, hardcore gamers [and a few others] will still go for high end graphics cards).  The idea is that things become integrated and no longer need external help.  What was once exotic becomes the norm.  I don't even have to go over to PS to do HDR anymore.  Plus you get a more workable file (a .dng file) to work with.  Initial thought?  Outstanding.

The same thing can be said for doing panoramas.  Faster, better, and a more workable file.  Another trip to PS avoided.  Don't get me wrong.  I do a lot of composites.  I still "need" PS.  It's just that I don't "need it" as much.

Speed improvements are another noticeable improvement.  I'm using a reasonable fast laptop.  Fourth generation Intel Core 7 CPU, 12 GB of RAM, 1 TB HD with a 2 GB external backup.  Even with the horsepower I have I can see some of the more onerous tasks getting done quicker. 

Now the controversy.  Buying versus the subscription model.  It's $10.00 a month people.  It's about $80.00 for the upgrade.  It's something like $149.00 if you're buying for the first time.  Think of it as getting LR for $5.00/month and PS for $5.00/month.  You can use both LR or PS offline.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Adobe do something like "you're happy with LR5?  You don't want to keep up with the subscription?  We're sorry to see you go, but we're unlocking your LR5.  You just won't be getting any support."  They've provided dumbed down versions of programs before.  All PSE SE (Photoshop Elements Special Edition) was was last years version of Elements packaged for OEM inclusion with new computers.  I don't think Adobe is dumb enough to risk loosing a potential customer by cutting him/her off at the knees.  If you are happy using old technology, no problem.  (If anyone asks --- I tell you how Intel handles that type of thing.)

All I have to say is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC?  Woo Woo.  Off we go into better photography post processing, faster, with more new toys to play with.