The final version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 shipped just a few days ago and I have to say I am loving it. There aren’t a ton of new features in this version of Lightroom, but there are several key improvements that I am finding quite useful. First off, Lightroom 5 seems to be much faster than it’s predecessor. Second, the new “Full Screen” mode (as can be seen below) is perhaps the best new feature they have included, maybe ever, in a Lightroom update. The fullscreen mode allows me to get all of the clutter out of the way when editing images. I can just sit back and view the images full size on my large Eizo display and rank them with no other distractions.
The fullscreen mode is accessed by hitting the “F” key. At first I was miffed that Adobe changed the old fullscreen mode keyboard shortcut to “Shift + F”. I used the “F” keyboard shortcut all the time and now it doesn’t do what it has done in the past. But I quickly got over this slight change after editing a recent Red Bull assignment in the new “fullscreen” mode in Lightroom 5, which you can see below.
The Develop Module has also been updated ever so slightly. There are a few new localized adjustment tools that have been added to the Develop Module which allow us to create off-center vignettes and use advanced cloning techniques. The new Smart Previews feature also allows for working on images without having a hard drive [with the images] attached to your computer. This is great for a number of situations. I recently used this feature to work up some images while flying back from a recent assignment where I didn’t want to pull out the hard drive and connect it to my laptop while sandwiched into a window seat at 1 AM.
All in all, Lightroom has matured quite a bit since the early days – way back in 2006. I started using Lightroom back when it was Beta and before the public had ever heard about it. Working with the Adobe engineers in those early days to create images to promote the new software and also to learn how to use it so I could work up said images, I instantly saw how this software was going to change my workflow for the better. Now, five versions later, Adobe has yet again defined the industry standard raw processing engine for photographers worldwide.
For those of you that have purchased my e-book Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: A Professional Photographer’s Workflow, or are looking to purchase it in the future, please note that I will be creating an additional chapter to cover all the updates in Lightroom 5. Because there are only minimal changes to Lightroom from Version 4 to Version 5, I don’t feel the need to completely revamp the entire book. This new chapter on the Lightroom 5 updates will be included in the book going forward (when I get the time to work it up) and I will also offer it for free to everyone who has purchased a copy of the latest version of the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: A Professional Photographer’s Workflow e-book over the last year.
I have a summer that is stacked with back to back assignments, adventures and workshops so this new chapter won’t be coming out until this fall at the earliest. My thanks to Adobe for offering up another stellar version of Lightroom to make our lives a little easier on the post-production side of things. Hope you enjoy it.