Adobe Lightroom Mobile – first impressions

Adobe Lightroom Mobile (screenshot)

Yesterday Adobe announced the release of Lightroom Mobile.  This has been a while coming…we have been eagerly awaiting it’s release but nobody outside of Adobe had any idea when it would finally hit.  I had to download and take it for a spin right away.  I would have gladly paid for this as a mobile app, but the fact that it’s free as part of Creative Cloud is just awesome.

It brings the essential controls that I typically use right away in my post production process in the desktop version of Lightroom onto the iPad.  Furthermore, it lets me sync any collections in my desktop Lightroom to the cloud and the mobile version.  For someone like me who typically has hundreds or even thousands of photos from a single shoot, this is tremendous.  It means that I can get a huge amount of work done when I’m away from my desk.  Even tugging a laptop along wherever I’m going, doesn’t compare to this, because with the laptop, which isn’t my main edit station, I used to have to first export a collection and then import it to the laptop – very tedious and time consuming.  Now a photo shoot I want to work on is available to me anywhere, with a couple of mouse clicks.

Here’s a sample shoot on my desktop:

Adobe Lightroom desktop screen shot
Adobe Lightroom desktop screen shot







And here’s the same shoot in Lightroom Mobile:

Adobe Lightroom Mobile screenshot
Adobe Lightroom Mobile screenshot







And finally, here’s a brief video of me editing the shoot in Lightroom mobile.  The ‘three finger tap and hold’ to toggle between before/after versions of an edit is golden.

There’s an obvious next step, though there’s no way of telling when it will materialize.  That is, the ultimate freedom, for a photographer, would be for RAW images to become available immediately after, or even during, a photo shoot.  Whether this means uploading from a CF card after the shoot, or somehow wirelessly transmitting data from the camera itself.  There are currently some ways to get an image onto your iPad immediately after a shot, but nothing with the utility that sending them directly to Lightroom on the cloud would have.  Practically, I guess there really isn’t any benefit to the images popping into Lightroom as you shoot them – not for a single photographer working alone, anyway.  But it would definitely be nice to be able to get them off the CF card and into the cloud / available to edit on Lightroom Mobile right after the shoot.  Currently, you have to get back to your desktop first, download from the card into Lightroom, then sync with the cloud.  I suppose, though, that if you’re really so keen on editing right away, then you might as well lug that laptop around with you after all.

In summary, Lightroom CC has been eagerly anticipated for a long time, and now that’s it’s out it’s definitely an essential asset for any photographer who works in Lightroom.

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