Using Lightroom Mobile to Edit Photos
Yesterday I finally made the jump and I joined the Creative Cloud. I have been very happy with what I currently use without the need to be in the cloud. I think that I just thought that the $9.99 a month price for the photography plan. I think that I could use the video features in the cloud, but I don’t use them enough to justify spending $40 more a month for the full suite. During the Adobe Event last week they mentioned that the cloud pricing for the photography plan was frozen where it was. That is something that I have been waiting to hear. What finally tipped the scales for me was the fact that Lightroom Mobile was thrown into the mix. I like the idea of having some of my collection available to me. Say I am on a plane coming home from a trip. Having the photos from the trip in the cloud to edit is great. It would make editing a bit easier. I don’t think that it is feasible for my sports photography workflow, but it might help make weeding through my vacation photos a bit easier. Just for fun I went through and took a photo from my last trip and edited it from start to finish on the Lightroom Mobile app. I took screenshots along the way, and then uploaded them right into Lightroom from the app. I don’t think that for most photos I will get my final photo from this process, but it is a way to see what you have quickly. I will probably revisit this idea in the future to see what I think as time goes by.
Editing My Vacation Photo on the Lightroom Mobile App
When you open up your app you are greeted with the above screen. The app loads fairly quickly, and you have some options ahead of you.
When you open up your collection screen it looks something like this. At this screen you can scroll through the metadata of each photo with some taps of two fingers. It is something that is not too natural at first, but then it becomes very easy to do. From here you select the photo that you want to work on by tapping the screen with one finger on the photo.
That brings you to the above screen where you have some editing options. Some of the pre-loaded Lightroom presets are available. I may be splitting hairs here, but I would love for Adobe to find a way to let me put my presets into the cloud to use in the mobile app. For this photo I used the Punch 3 option to start off.
Now at the bottom of the screen are some of the controls that you are used to seeing in the Lightroom program. I may have played around with this photo a bit too much just because I wanted to try out the sliders in the app to see how they work. It was really easy to use, and besides some differences to the eye it appeared as if I was really tweaking this photo on my desktop.
The crop options are very easy to use. You have a crop overly very similar to the one on the desktop. You have some common aspect ratios to use, or you can just pull on a corner to make your own crop. The only thing that is missing for me here is a golden ratio grid. I like that one a bit more, but I think that I can judge where it is based on the rule of thirds grid that comes with the program. This is another place where I am nitpicking a bit.
Finally you can now add star ratings to your photos in the program. By swiping up on your photo you can adjust the star rating. At the bottom left of the screen is a star icon here. By clicking on that icon you can switch to the flag system where a similar swipe helps you give the photo a pick flag.
The photo (along with the others showing how I processed this photo) is now shown in the collection. The next time that I go to my Lightroom on my Mac I will see them in the folder that I have selected along with a cloud folder near the top of the list in the Library view. From there I can send out the photos to the folders that I have placed in SmugMug.
One feature that will make me install Lightroom Mobile on my phone is the ability to sync the photos from my phone to my Lightroom collection. I have struggled with a quick way to do this. In fact I rarely do it because it is such a pain. Now I can just sync the photos right from my phone, and they will appear in Lightroom. That is a huge plus, and well worth a big portion of the $9.99 a month to be in the cloud.
Final Thoughts on Lightroom Mobile
This program seems like it would be nice to help shorten the time that I spend editing photos not related to sports. With the sports workflow I don’t think that I have the extra time to wait for things to upload a couple of times. I need to have my images up quickly. For all other photos though I like to take my time editing them. This photo taken over the Michigan City Lighthouse while flying out to Pennsylvania is a good example of a photo that I might be able to edit while in the air. I assume that I need to purchase the in flight wi-fi to do so, but it might be worth it to get a jump on my editing. While flying I wanted to send this photo out to show my friends and family back home that I had just passed over them. I knew that I could do the editing that I wanted in Snapseed, but then how would I get the photo to SmugMug? I think that with the new system here I can edit the photo, and then send it to my Lightroom on my desktop. From there I can send it to SmugMug so that I can post it here. I am going to see Jimmy Buffett on Thursday night. I will try to make a photo during the show, and hopefully use Lightroom Mobile to edit and post the photo on here. I have some logistics to work out, but I think that it could work very nicely for me. As I said earlier this is something that I a new to, but I can see where it could really help me out. It is something that I will have to re-visit after I have used it for a while.
A Short Video Showing A Sample Edit
I found an app for the Mac called Reflector that will let me screencast my iPad. Using that together with Quicktime I was able to make this short video showing how easy it is to edit a photo using the Lightroom Mobile app.
This image and all of my others on my website here are now 50% off until Labor Day. I thought that after the long winter that we endured a photo sale was in order. If you like the photo above just click on it, and you will be taken directly to the image on SmugMug. If you just want to browse my online portfolio you can click on the link below.