Adobe Lightroom (officially Adobe Photoshop Lightroom) is a family of image organization and image manipulation software developed by Adobe Systems for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and tvOS (Apple TV). It allows importing/saving, viewing, organizing, tagging, editing, and sharing large numbers of digital images. Unlike Photoshop, Lightroom's edits are always non-destructive by keeping the original image and the edits applied to it saved separately. Despite sharing its name with Adobe Photoshop, it cannot perform many Photoshop functions such as doctoring (adding, removing or altering the appearance of individual image items), rendering text or 3D objects on images, or modifying individual video frames. Lightroom is not a file manager like Adobe Bridge. It cannot operate on files unless they are imported into its database first, and only in recognized image formats.
|Initial release||February 19, 2007|
CC 2018 (8.3) / May 14, 2019
|Written in||C++, Lua|
|Operating system||Windows 7 (x64), Windows 10 version 1703 (x64) and later, macOS 10.12 Sierra and later|
|Type||Image organizer, image manipulation|
|Initial release||September 19, 2017|
CC 2019 (2.2) / February 7, 2019
|Operating system||Windows 10 version 1709 (x64) and later, macOS 10.12 Sierra and later, iOS, Android, tvOS|
|Type||Image organizer, image manipulation|
Initially, Adobe Lightroom was one product only. But as of 2017, it has become a family of products consisting of Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC. While similar, these two products have significant differences, mainly in how they store images and interact with Adobe's cloud storage offering, and in feature parity.
Lightroom Classic CC is focused on the following workflow steps:
- Similar in concept to the 'Organizer' in Adobe Photoshop Elements and other image organizers, this module imports and exports images, creates image collections, organizes images by their metadata, and adds ratings to them. Library is the gateway into Lightroom.
- Supports non-destructive editing of images en masse. This module is more for retouching, i.e., enhancing and improving digital photographs, including changing color balance, improving tone, removing red-eye effect, sharpening, reducing noise, cropping, straightening or converting to black-and-white. It cannot create or edit non-photographic images (such as drawings, symbols, line arts or diagrams or maps), or render text or 3D objects. It has very limited photo doctoring features. TIFF, JPEG, PSD (Photoshop), PNG, CMYK (edited in RGB color space) and raw image formats are supported. It has several standard presets for color correction or effects, and supports sharing custom presets online. Another often used feature in the Develop module is the ability to synchronize edits from one selected photo to the whole selection.
- Added in Lightroom 4, it facilitates geographically organizing photos based on embedded or manually added geolocation data (since end of 2018 this is no longer supported for up to Lightroom CC 2015.x / Lightroom 6.x).
- Added in Lightroom 4, it allows creating photobooks.
- Allows creating slideshows from any number of photos, to which music or a background can be added.
- Prints images. Printing parameters such as layout and orientation can be adjusted.
- Creates a web gallery for website owners. Several templates to influence layout are available.
Tethered Capture Support for many popular Nikon and Canon DSLRs.
In 1999, veteran Photoshop developer Mark Hamburg began a new project, code-named Shadowland (a reference to the 1988 KD Lang music album of same name). Hamburg contacted Andrei Herasimchuk, former interface designer for the Adobe Creative Suite, to start the project. It was an intentional departure from many of Adobe's established conventions. Forty percent of Photoshop Lightroom is written in the scripting language Lua. In 2002, Hamburg left the Photoshop project and in fall of the same year he sent a first experimental software sample, name PixelToy, to his former teammate Jeff Schewe for review; in 2003, Hamburg presented Schewe a first version of Shadowland in a very early UI version. After a few years of research by Hamburg, Herasimchuk, Sandy Alves (the former interface designer on the Photoshop team), and Grace Kim (a product researcher at Adobe), the Shadowland project accelerated around 2004. However, Herasimchuk chose to leave Adobe Systems at that time to start a Silicon Valley design company. Hamburg then chose Phil Clevenger, a former associate of Kai Krause, to design a new look for the application.
Photoshop Lightroom's developers work mostly in Minnesota, comprising the team that had already created the program Adobe ImageReady. Troy Gaul, Melissa Gaul, and the rest of their crew (reportedly known as the "Minnesota Phats"), with Hamburg, developed the architecture behind the application. George Jardine was the product manager.
On January 9, 2006, an early version of Photoshop Lightroom, formerly named only Lightroom, was released to the public as a Macintosh-only public beta, on the Adobe Labs website. This was the first Adobe product released to the general public for feedback during its development. This method was later used in developing Adobe Photoshop CS3.
Further beta releases followed. Notable releases included Beta 3 on July 18, 2006, which added support for Microsoft Windows systems. On September 25, 2006, Beta 4 was released, which saw the program merged into the Photoshop product range, followed by a minor update on October 19, which was released as Beta 4.1.
On January 29, 2007, Adobe announced that Lightroom would ship on February 19, 2007, list priced at $299 US, £199 UK.
Lightroom v1.x is not updated when an upgrade to v2 is installed; a new serial number is needed.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 Beta was advertised in official emails from Adobe in April 2008. New features included:
- Localized corrections: edit specific parts of an image
- Improved organization tools
- Multiple monitor support
- Flexible printing options
- 64-bit support
The official release of Lightroom v2 was on July 29, 2008, along with the release of Adobe Camera Raw v4.5 and DNG Converter 4.5. Adobe added DNG Camera Profiling to both releases. This technology allows custom camera colour profiles, or looks, to be created and saved by users. It also allows profiles matching the creative styles built into cameras to be replicated. Adobe released a full set of such Camera Profiles for Nikon and Canon models, along with basic Standard Profiles for all supported makes and models, through Adobe Labs, at the same time as the Lightroom v2 release. This technology is open to all programs compliant with the DNG file format standard.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.0 beta was released on October 22, 2009. New features included:
- New chroma noise reduction
- Improved sharpening tool
- New import pseudo module
- Publish services
- Custom package for print
On March 23, 2010, Adobe released a second beta, which added the following features:
- New luminance noise reduction
- Tethered shooting for selected Nikon and Canon cameras
- Basic video file support
- Point curve
Although not included in any beta release, version 3 also contains built-in lens correction and perspective control.
The final version was released on June 8, 2010 with no major new functions added. It had all the features included in the betas, added the lens corrections and perspective transformations, and a few more improvements and performance optimizations.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.0 was officially released on March 5, 2012 after being available in beta format since January 10, 2012. It does not support Windows XP. New features included:
- Highlight and shadow recovery to bring out detail in dark shadows and bright highlights
- Photo book creation with templates
- Location-based organization to find and group images by location, assign locations to images, and display data from GPS-enabled cameras
- White balance brush to refine and adjust white balance in specific areas of images
- Added local editing controls to adjust noise reduction and remove moiré in targeted areas
- Extended video support to organize, view, and make adjustments and edits to video clips
- Video publishing tools to edit and share video clips on Facebook and Flickr
- Soft proofing to preview images when printed with color-managed printers
- Email from within Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.0 was officially released on June 9, 2013 after being available in beta format since April 15, 2013. The program needs Mac OS X 10.7 or later, or Windows 7 or 8. Some of the changes include:
- Radial gradient to highlight an elliptical area
- Advanced healing-cloning brush to brush the spot removal tool over an area
- Smart previews to allow working with offline images
- The ability to save custom layouts in the Book module
- Support of PNG files
- Support of video files in slideshows
- Various other updates, including automatic perspective correction and enhancements to smart collections
An update to Version 5, 5.4 allows syncing a collection to Lightroom Mobile App released for iPad on April 8, 2014.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC 2015 (version 6.0) was officially released on April 21, 2015. The program needs OS X 10.8 or later, or Windows 7 or 8. It is the first release of Lightroom to only support 64-bit operating systems. New features include:
- HDR Merge
- Panorama Merge
- Performance improvements, GPU acceleration
- Facial recognition
- Advanced video slideshows
- Filter Brush
Lightroom 6.7 increased the minimum version of macOS required to OS X 10.10.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC (unofficially: version 7.0) was officially released on October 18, 2017. It is the first version of Lightroom that is not available with a perpetual license (one-time purchase price); instead, it must be licensed through a monthly subscription model, with the fee initially set at US$9.99/month. Once the user stops paying the monthly fee, the program will be limited to viewing existing catalogs, without the ability to apply further changes to images. Adobe Lightroom CC is the new online cloud-based version of Adobe's Lightroom application and can be installed alongside Lightroom Classic CC. It is included in the same US$9.99/month photography plan but has limited editing features in comparison to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC. It can be installed on desktops, laptops, iPad and mobile. Lightroom CC has the ability to sync developed photos easily between an iPad, Mobile or a laptop which is the major difference between both the applications.
Adobe Lightroom Classic CCEdit
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Adobe Lightroom CCEdit
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According to 2009 statistics from research company InfoTrends, released by Adobe Systems product manager John Nack, of the 1,045 North American professional photographers who were interviewed, 37.0% used Lightroom, 6.3% used Aperture, and 57.9% used the Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in. Of Macintosh users, 44.4% used Lightroom and 12.5% used Aperture.
- "Lightroom Classic CC system requirements". helpx.adobe.com. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
- "Lightroom CC system requirements". helpx.adobe.com. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
- What is Lightroom
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- The Digital Negative, Book by Jeff Schewe
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