Wednesday, April 02, 2008

lightroom beta 2.0

Adobe just released the 2.0 beta of Lightroom, for a 5 month beta period, ending in August. I downloaded a copy this morning and took it for a spin. The new excitement is the local retouching features, that enable localised exposure, clarity, saturation and tint adjustments to be made to an image. You can paint and adjust masks, blend and modify the amount of the effects and generally do a large amount of the work you might have done in the past in Photoshop with layers. This isn't letting you cut and paste parts of the image around, but will meet most of the dodge and burn or localised colour adjustment requirements. Looks like it might be useful. The next, potentially useful, feature is second monitor support. From playing around with it, it currently doesn't really fit the bill for me. I'd love to be able to work on a full screen version of the shot, with all the various tools and panels pulled over onto the second screen. This isn't yet possible - you can have a full screen preview of the working image, but you can't actually be working on it directly. So currently all it seems to be worth using for is a big finder. Hopefully this will change in later versions. I also note that vignettes has been extended to allow post crop vignetting - nice if you tend to make images in non 3:2 ratios and want to focus attention towards the center. Overall, the whole experience was a bit snappier and generally quicker. Import seemed faster and the preview creation was a secondary set of operations, running in the background without really getting in the way. Worth a look.


Matthew Hogan said...

Wow... Had no idea this was even around!