Lightroom 5: A First Look

It's been a little over a year since we got our hands on Lightroom 4 and now Adobe is fast at work on the new version called Lightroom 5.

The public beta of Lightroom 5 is now available to download and test. Adobe wants the feedback so go ahead and start playing with it. Lightroom is quickly becoming the only photo editing tool I use and the new features might keep me from visiting Photoshop much anymore. Of course I need Photoshop for layers work but just take a look at these new features:

  • Advanced Healing Brush is remarkable and allows customers to heal imperfections and remove distracting elements
  • Upright tool analyzes an image to automatically level horizons and straighten objects like buildings to correct a keystone effect
  • Radial Gradient tool is a Photoshop favorite and creates off-center or multiple vignette effects and now it's in Lightroom
  • Smart Previews allow customers to edit images without needing the original raw file and is seems to be a really great way to share photos while on the go
  • Video slideshow enables customers to combine still images, video clips and music in a creative HD slideshow
  • Upgrades to the Book module enhancing the ability to create, customize and order elegant photo books using a variety of tailored templates

ou can grab the free download here and use it for a few months until it expires.

A Photoshop Layers Breakthrough

I had a breakthrough tonight that I just had to share.

few weeks ago I took the plunge and downloaded Photoshop. I'd never used it before. It is overwhelming. But I felt like it's was an essential part of any serious photographer's workflow so I needed to learn it. To fix ghosting in some of my amateur HDR photography I had to passably master Layers. 

Layers, for those of you that don't know, and that included me a few weeks ago, is a great tool in Photoshop that allows you to pull in multiple photos and use component parts of different exposures. For instance you might want to lighten the sky using the sky from a brighter exposure. 

had the hardest time trying to figure out which 'layer' I was working with and which 'layer' I was attempting to pull in. I was ready to throw my computer through the wall when I had a breakthrough. I finally realized that the main layer was, of course, sitting on top but the layer I was pulling in is simply one below the top layer. It's that simple and no amount of searching on Google helped me figure that out.