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Lightroom Goes Mobile

With the recent release of Lightroom 5.4 your images are no longer tethered to your computer. Adobe now offers an iOS app called Lightroom Mobile and Lightroom on the Web. You now have a somewhat convenient way to work on your images from an iPad. You can run Lightroom Mobile on all versions of the iPad (except the 1st generation) and the iPad mini. The Lightroom Mobile app is available for FREE on the app store.

This is a pretty complete offering considering that it is version 1. It makes me hopeful that the team has much more in store for us. After all, consider how much Lightroom has changed and improved since its version 1 release.

Julieanne Kost offers a nice exposition of the features in Lightroom Mobile on her Adobe TV channel. Spend a few minutes and watch all four episodes to get an introduction to what Lightroom Mobile can do. Here is episode 1 to get you started.

Lightroom mobile extends your existing workflows beyond the desktop.  Lightroom mobile allows you to utilize your iPad to do all sorts of great things and have the changes sync back to your Lightroom catalog at home, including: nor

  • access images in your Lightroom catalog
  • make selects, reject unworthy photos
  • apply a preset
  • refine your adjustments using all your favorites from the Basic panel, including Highlights, Shadows, and Clarity
  • import new photos directly from the camera roll

As with many tablet apps, Lightroom Mobile hides many of its capabilities and the workflow is not immediately intuitive. I suggest that the first thing you do after downloading it is to open the settings menu and click on the gestures option so you can learn the "secret" handshakes.

You will soon get the hang of the interface. Lightroom Mobile provides access to data, histograms, adjustments, presets, cropping, flags and more.

Yes. You are limited to the built in set of presets and there are no flags or stars. But, remember, this is only version 1.

If you want a really deep dive into Lightroom Mobile (and Lightroom on the Web) I would heartily suggest you run over to Victoria Bampton's site The Lightroom Queen and buy a copy of her newest eBook Adobe Lightroom Mobile 1 for iPad - The Missing FAQ

It's a bargain at £3.95 (or about $6.75). Full of screen shots, tips, gesture advice, and more. Victoria's Missing FAQ books are a must have.

Lightroom on the Web is a much less exciting offer. It is available at https://lightroom.adobe.com/ and offers very basic functionality. Your images and collections are populated on the site as you synchronize them with Lightroom Mobile. There is no editing capability and you cannot even share a single image. Sharing is done at the collection level. You can see which collections are shareable (i.e. Public) by the small share icon in the corner.

There is also a basic slideshow capability with no way to customize. All in all, this is the weakest link in the mobile toolset.

While I am excited that Lightroom has made its way to the iPad I have to say I am disappointed in Adobe's strategy here. In order to use Lightroom Mobile you must have a paid subscription to the Creative Cloud. The least expensive membership is the Photographer's special offer at $9.99 per month (and that offer expires in a few months). True, you get a lot as a Creative Cloud member but that's not the point.

Lightroom still remains a stand alone application as well as being offered through Creative Cloud. It has numerous ways to share images with many different services and sites. Even a free Creative Cloud membership comes with 2Gb of online storage. So why didn't Adobe offer Lightroom Mobile without forcing users into a paid Creative Cloud membership? I don't really know. I believe that the Creative Cloud is a great deal overall. However, if I were a Lightroom user and did not use anything else I would be upset by this tie in for Lightroom Mobile and Lightroom on the Web.

So if you are a Creative Cloud member you should not hesitate to give this a try. If you aren't a member you can still try it for 30 days. But don't wait. If you decide you like it you'll need to grab that $9.99 deal before it expires.

Bēcreative. Bēsocial. Bēhance!

It can be said that a great deal of inspiration comes from collaboration. But, how do you find other creatives to talk with and get suggestions from? There are a ton of social media sites for sure. Finding like minded creatives can take some time though. That's where Bēhance comes in.

Bēhance is the leading free online platform to showcase & discover creative work. As a member, you can create a portfolio of your work and broadcast it widely and efficiently. Companies explore the work and access talent on a global scale. You can now share work directly to Bēhance from the Creative Cloud and select Adobe tools.

  • Bēhance is free - upload unlimited projects into your portfolio
  • Find people you know, or discover top creatives in your field
  • Track portfolio stats like who is appreciating your work, project views, comments, and more
  • Share what you’re working on from Creative Cloud or Photoshop to Bēhance as Work-in-Progress
  • Download Bēhance for iPhone to discover creative work and track activity & notifications on the go
  • Download the Creative Portfolio app to showcase your portfolio anywhere (even without internet connection)

Take a look at Paul Trani's explanation of Bēhance.

Lightroom works with Bēhance via the built in Publish Service. Click the Bēhance Publish Service in the Library Module to set it up.

You will get the usual Publish Service setup dialog. Here you can sign in if you have an account or sign up for one directly from the dialog.

Once you've set up your options and activated the Publish Service you will see the Work In Progress folder under the Bēhance Publish service.

Drag and drop your images here (just like any other Publish Service).

Each image becomes a separate WIP (Work In Progress). When you're ready press the Publish button.

For each image you can set the title, tags, comments, and visibility.

Back in the Publish service collection there are two ways to get to your WIPs.

The link (1) next to the Publish button will take you to your Work In Progress section on Bēhance. Right clicking on an image and choosing Go to Published Photo (2) will take you directly to that WIP on Bēhance.

As you can see, the title (1), comment (2), revisions (3), and tags (4) you set up in Lightroom appear on the Bēhance site. You can add revision from the site or by making changes in Lightroom and republishing. Each time you republish a new revision is added to the WIP for that image.

The integration between Lightroom (and other Creative Cloud applications) and Bēhance makes it easy to get started. There are many other aspects to Bēhance that make it a rich environment for creatives.

Jan Kabili, in her lynda.com course covered the Lightroom Bēhance connection very well. Here is the video.

If you'd like to see the entire course (and it is well worth it) you can try a free 7 day pass to lynda.com by clicking here.

I hope you get involved on Bēhance and get inspired! Let me know when you do. I'd love to see what you're up to.

Have Some Fun in After Effects

LR to AE header.jpg

I don't think anyone would argue with the statement that Lightroom's Slideshow Module is not very powerful or flexible. The Slideshow Module is great for a quick slideshow. But if you want a professional looking product you will do much more work than you need to using Lightroom alone.

If you are a full Creative Cloud member then I have good news! You have access to After Effects. After Effects is an industry-leading animation and motion graphics application. It is certainly capable of creating any slideshow you can dream of.

You may be wondering if Lightroom works with After Effects. Since they are both part of one big happy Creative Cloud family they do play well together.

There are three ways to get your images from Lightroom into After Effects. The first is to set up After Effects as an external editor in Lightroom. While this will work via the Edit In feature you may be left with duplicate images in your Catalog. Also, After Effects will not return anything to Lightroom since it will be producing a very different creature. One that Lightroom is not designed to manage. However, it is an expedient workflow from an After Effects perspective.

Another method is to create an export preset to send your images to a folder that After Effects can access. This has the advantage of not creating copies in your Catalog (unless you opt to have them imported after they are created). This is a good way to get images from Lightroom and keep the image sources separate. Note: This method will include any adjustments made in Lightroom.

The third method is to simply drag and drop your images from Lightroom into After Effects. This is the workflow we'll look at here. It's simple and doesn't create unnecessary copies of image files. Note: This method uses the original images without Lightroom adjustments.

To start open Lightroom and After Effects. Resize Lightroom so you can see both applications. Select the images you want to include and drag them to the project panel in After Effects.

Once you drop the images After Effects will become the frontmost application and your images will be in the project panel and already selected.

Next, grab the already selected images and drag them down to the new composition icon at the bottom of the project panel.

When you let go After Effects will present you with the New Composition from Selection dialog box. You are a few choices away from a basic slideshow.

 
 

Select Single Composition so that all your images are in one composition (1). You have two choices to make in the Options section. Choose which image will be used as the size of the composition (2) and then decide how long you want each image to be displayed (3). In this case we have chosen 3 seconds. Make sure that you check the Sequence Layers option to have After Effects line up your images so they appear one after another. Choose overlap, set a duration for the transition, and select Dissolve Front Layer (4). This will create a cross fade from one image to the next. When you're done click OK (5).

Looking at After Effects we can see how the images overlap (1). With the playhead in one of the overlapping areas you can see how the fade is underway (2). If you select a layer and then press T to see the opacity values you will notice how After Effects has set up keyframes to handle the gradual change in the opacity of the front layer.

The keyframes appear as small diamonds. With the playhead between them you can see that the current opacity is at 66%. The left keyframe is 100% and the right keyframe is 0%. Simple.

So what have you gained over using the Slideshow Module? Isn't this all possible in Lightroom? The short answers are "nothing" and "yes." However, now that you are in After Effects you can add special effects. Title and text can appear, wander around the screen, and disappear again.

Now you have the ability to match slide durations to music. You can create several compositions and combine them. The possibilities are endless. Have a little fun and give After Effects a try. You will be pleasantly surprised!