Lightroom can now go along with you wherever you are. Use it on your phone and tablet; sync all your photos through the Creative Cloud. With Lightroom CC, Adobe is emphasizing the many facets of Lightroom. For this review, I will be discussing Lightroom CC from the Photography Plan. This costs US$9.99 per month. It includes Lightroom and Photoshop for the desktop and Lightroom mobile and Photoshop mix mobile apps. Now you can use mobile apps both on the iOS and Android platforms. Lightroom is still available as a standalone product as Lightroom 6.

While I use Lightroom, I do not use it as my major source of cataloging nor developing photos. While I own and use an iPad, I still do all of my work on my desktop. Sharing photos has just not entered my life. I post them on my website when I think they are worthy. Otherwise I do not share. I know I am in the minority, and while I have not wanted this to enter into my perspective in my review, I know it has. I use it more as a standalone than as a device that features connectivity so I know my review will be skewed in that direction. I did, however, upload a collection to the Cloud and worked with it on the Adobe Lightroom App for my iPad. It worked well and there were a lot of built in options. I'll discuss it more later in the review.

The interface of Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 is very similar to that of Lightroom 5.

According to Adobe, there are advances in performance. You can test it yourself. Below are the directions from an Adobe document.

"Lightroom performs better than ever, even on demanding 4K and 5K displays, by taking advantage of compatible graphics processors. The performance boost is most noticeable in the Develop module. To see the effect for yourself, switch to the Develop module, click Lightroom > Preferences (Edit > Preferences on Windows), and then click the Performance tab. Clear the Use Graphics Processor check box, and then zoom in and out, drag in the Navigator panel to pan around inside a large image, or use the adjustment sliders. When you select the check box again, notice that all of these features render images more quickly and operate more smoothly."

What is new and featured in this version of Lightroom? The list is from Adobe.

Lightroom CC
• HDR Merge
• Panorama Merge
• Performance improvements
• Facial Recognition
• Filter Brush
• Advanced slideshows
• The Flash galleries have been replaced with a new HTML 5 engine
• New Auto options in the crop tool will automatically straighten and crop your image

Lightroom on iOS
• Segmented view
• Copy and Paste adjustments
• Presentation mode
• Improved crop
• Sign up right within the app (previously available for Android)

Lightroom on Android
• DNG raw file support for Lollipop enabled devices
• Access to microSD storage to edit and save photos
• Tablet support

• Direct access to synced photos from
Lightroom in Voice and Slate

Since I take few images that involve HDR nor do I create panoramas, a close friend of mine and an accomplished photographer, Marvin Clapp, provided me with some that I could use to test HDR Merge and Panorama Merge. Since he had created them himself in Photoshop CC 2014 or earlier, I included those in my compilation. I was very impressed on how Lightroom 6 and CC performed. Both images were created from default settings and not manipulated at all. While the panorama image did have a tint to the sky, the HDR image, I believe, was superior to the one created in Photoshop. These features are an excellent addition to Lightroom and to a photographer's toolbox.

HDR Merge

Panorama Merge

Since it is so easy to go from Lightroom to Photoshop, especially using the Photography CC plan, I really do not see too much of a need to do non global editing in Lightroom. But assuming one wants to, the addition of the Filter Brush is very useful. It will modify the global changes made by using the Graduated or Radial Gradients. This Filter Brush is only for use with these gradients.

In the image below, when I applied the graduated gradient to darken the sky, it also darkened part of the tree on the left and sign on the right.

Notice how I removed the darkening caused by the graduated gradient from the trees on the left and the sign on the right.

Facial recognition has been previously incorporated in Adobe Photoshop Elements. It is a useful tool if you want to find photos of friends and family. To test this out, I took images from a public event I photographed a number of years ago. I made these images intentionally blurry so recognition of faces was not possible.

To start facial recognition, you either click on the "face" that is located on the left bottom of the interface or you type in the letter "O". This will bring up all the faces in your collection. From there you start weeding out by adding names to the faces. Then, by clicking on a face, similar ones will appear. In my opinion, a lot appeared that were not very similar. While this might be useful for some, to me, this was a tedious process.

In this new version of Lightroom CC, tools have been added to the slideshow so that one can zoom and pan and sync the show to music.

As I stated in the beginning of the review, I uploaded images to the Cloud from my desktop and retrieved them in Lightroom. Then I played a little with one image chosen at random. One can do a lot of editing using an iPad including cropping to a particular aspect or as a free crop.

The following information was taken from the Lightroom Queen website. I had trouble finding the cost for the standalone and I was obviously not alone. According to this website which is not, to my knowledge, an official Adobe site, a license for the standalone version is $149 while an upgrade is $79. Also, according to B & H ( website they sell licenses for the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan as well as for Lightroom 6. It is, also, $149.00 for the standalone version.

For a comparison of features of various versions of Lightroom click on comparison link.

Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 requirements are:


Mac OS

In above requirements, notice the processor requires 64-bit support.

Each version of Lightroom includes more tasks that can be accomplished and better performance. If you are using Lightroom CC, then you do have the additional ability to use it on your iOS and Android devices as well as view your synced collections on a computer that does not have Lightroom installed. Now you can even edit your images using the DNG raw camera format with the Android edition of Lollipop.

If you are a subscriber to the Creative Cloud, this version can be accessed easily through the Cloud manager. If you do not own the Cloud, you can still test drive it. Purchasing the standalone version can be a little tricky since it is not easy to find out how it can be purchased from the Adobe website as of the publication of this review. However, it is available from

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