Lightroom for iOS 2.4 Adds Raw and Gradient Selections

Lightroom for iOS 2.4

Adobe just released a significant update for the iOS version of Lightroom, bringing two features mobile photographers are going to love: raw import and editing, and linear and radial graduated adjustments. The first could change how we work with photos in the field, and the second is a feature I use more and more on the desktop and have in the past resorted to interesting workarounds to implement on the iPad.

I need to dig more into this release, but it looks promising. Photos you import using Apple’s Lightning adapters are brought into the Photos app Camera Roll, and then recognized by Lightroom as raw. (Oh, but now I lament Apple’s choice of sticking with USB 2.0 speed for photo import on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.) This could mean no longer needing to shoot in Raw+JPEG just to get a high-resolution JPEG to work with on the device.

(Remember, until now Lightroom wouldn’t even display raw images when importing them from the Camera Roll, and in most apps, the JPEG preview the camera creates to display on its LCD is what’s used for editing.)

Adobe says the app supports all the same raw formats that Lightroom on the desktop supports; I had no trouble opening and editing a handful of raw .RAF files from my Fuji X-T1.

Lightroom ios 2 4 raw badges

I’ll be writing more about this, looking at how Lightroom syncs the raw files back to the desktop, whether it’s practical to import a lot of images or just selected ones, and what this means for Apple’s upcoming raw image support in iOS 10.

For now, here’s more information from Adobe: Lightroom for Mobile July Releases.

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Raw Support Coming to iOS 10

Well now, this is interesting. PetaPixel spotted a feature in one of the slides during yesterday’s WWDC keynote that reads: “RAW photo editing.” We don’t yet know the details, but if iOS finally supports raw images, that could be a giant leap for mobile photo workflows. Raw is typically where the iPad has thrown a wrench into the works (as I describe in my book and elsewhere).

iOS 10 is available now to developers, with a public beta coming in July. The update will be available for everyone in the fall when we’ll see new iPhone models. I would bet (and the PetaPixel article brings up) that we’ll see some sort of raw capture on the new iPhones and perhaps the iPad, too.

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Raw vs JPEG in Photoshop, a Practical View

Raw jpeg top

While I was traveling last week, Lynda.com published an article of mine that looks at the (digital) age-old question of whether to shoot in Raw or JPEG format. Often this topic is pitched as a fight, and because photographers on the Internet are photographers on the Internet, people draw battle lines and argue.

The reality, though, is that both formats are good, depending on your needs. That’s not as dramatic, but who has time to bicker? I’d rather be out shooting photos. In this article, I look at practical considerations, specifically related to working with photos in Photoshop (otherwise the scope is just too massive for an article).

It was also an opportunity to photograph a shot of bourbon, which then became its own post-shoot reward!

Here’s the article: Raw vs. JPEG in Photoshop: A Practical View. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below (Lynda.com articles don’t have comments).

Whiskey shot cropped

Split Raw+JPEG Files on the iPad

If you shoot Raw+JPEG in anticipation of working with the photos on your iPad (as I recommend in my book), you’re bound to run into the problem of storage. Raw files occupy a lot of space, and are mostly ignored when working with images on the iPad. In his latest Practicing Photographer video at Lynda.com, photographer Ben Long (who has one of the best voices on the Internet, I swear) demonstrates how to use the app PhotosInfoPro to “split” the raw file from the JPEG for each image, enabling you to delete the raw files and keep the JPEGs. (Make sure you keep the raw files on your memory card, of course.)

Benlong raw jpeg lynda photosinfopro

The video is free until the next episode is posted, so check it out now while it’s still online. Or, you can read about how to do it at the Lynda.com blog.

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Adobe Demonstrates Early Lightroom for iPad App

This should come as no surprise: Adobe is working on a “Lightroom for iPad” app. What is unexpected is that a very early version exists enough to demonstrate the concept, which is exactly what Tom Hogarty did on Scott Kelby’s The Grid program. Cnet reports:

Adobe Systems plans to release high-end photo-editing software for tablets. The new app would be a close relative to Adobe’s Lightroom software for PCs and serve as a cloud-connected companion to the program.

Tom Hogarty, Adobe’s group product manager for Lightroom, demonstrated an early prototype version of the app Wednesday on the Grid, an online show from Photoshop guru Scott Kelby.

Adobe has done a good job with PC-centric photography software, but the company needs to better incorporate Internet connectivity and mobile devices into photography workflow, Hogarty said.

The article cites Photosmith and its ability to apply metadata and then sync it with Lightroom, but also touts the Adobe app’s capability to edit raw files. I’m impressed that the demo was done on an iPad 2, which includes just 512 MB of active memory. The third- and fourth-generation iPads contain 1 GB of memory, but still, apps that work with raw formats such as PiRAWhna are slow because the memory and processing demands are so high to work with raw files.f

It’s definitely an engineering hurdle, but with tablets gaining in popularity and PCs dropping, Adobe needs to plant a flag and embrace the future. I would be surprised if Apple isn’t working on an Aperture for iPad, or some utility that syncs with Aperture; more likely, that app will be an expanded iPhoto.