Software News: Adobe Lightroom Creative Cloud and NIK Software
There's been quite a bit of news about software and apps popular among photographers.
Adobe Lightroom Updates to Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC - creates mass confusion
A recent upgrade by Adobe has meant that the very popular Lightroom CC has evolved into two separate streams of the same product line:
Lightroom Classic- This is the natural progression for users of Lightroom CC, where you install the software on your computer and continue to have access to it via a subscription service. Lightroom Classic CC has been updated with new tools and features, chief of which is "range masking" that allows you to restrict the effect of a local adjustment to either colour and luminosity masks. Range masking gives you finer control of the areas you want affected by a local adjustment, so that you can target areas by colour and tonal range.
New Lightroom CC - While this bears the name of the software we have come to use and love, it's actually a new product. The main difference between this and Lightroom Classic CC is that the new Lightroom CC is now completely cloud based. Instead of downloading images into your hard drive and then importing these into Lightroom's catalogue, you now upload your images to a cloud server and then use the new cloud-based Lightroom CC to edit your images across a range of apps. You're no longer limited to physical drives and installed programs, but can now access and edit your images using any medium that you have connected to the cloud (smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop). It works more like the "Photos" app that comes with your operating system and creates Albums in the cloud. It also lacks the extensive range of editing features found in Lightroom Classic.
Phew... clear as mud? So which should you use?
- If you've been a longtime Lightroom user, then do the update and use Lightroom Classic. It'll look and feel the same but work faster and with new functions and features. Win!
- If you're new to Lightroom and prefer a faster, lighter-paced approach to editing where you want to access everything across the devices you use, then Lightroom CC may be the way to go. You can thus edit an image in your tablet, then open the same image on your smartphone to continue editing it, and reword the image on your laptop later when you're home. It could potentially work for those who travel a lot or who prefer the convenience of working on a range of mobile devices. However, your images need to be uploaded to the Cloud first, which could mean a protracted "upload" time before you're able to edit the images.
Google abandons NIK Software; DxO Mark adopts it
The photographic community was stunned a few weeks ago when Google announced that it would no longer be supporting the very popular NIK Software. NIK is a range of plugins that work directly with Lightroom and Photoshop, allowing photographers to apply a range of effects, techniques and filters to their digital images. It's suite included plugins for black and white conversion, sharpening, exposure blending and noise reduction.
The community breathed a collective sigh of relief, though, when DxO Mark announced that it has purchased NIK Software from Google and would continue to develop and support it. Talk about a reprieve!
If you haven't used NIK Software before, it's a great time to jump in and see what it can do for your image editing. You can download NIK Software for free from the DxO Mark website.