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Some abbreviated notes to get you started
Streamlined Organization and Worfklow
Layout: The entire Library layout has been revisited to provide a more intuitive image organization experience. The left hand panel of the Library has been streamlined to include only the most relevant image sources: the folders the images are physically stored in and collections of images that the photographer creates.
Folders: Photographers working across multiple hard drives will find that the enhanced volume and folder layout will make it a much more intuitive experience to manage images on one or many hard drives. The volume indicators clearly indicate the hard drive that you’re working with and provide the option to show the online/offline status, the amount of space available, the number of photos you’re working with and there’s an indicator light that migrates from green to red as your hard drive fills up. Now it’s visually much easier to move your images from hard drive to hard drive and understand where your images are stored when a external hard drive is no longer connected.
Collections: The Collection panel has received significant attention with the addition of improved iconography and collection sets that allow photographers to create a hierarchy while maintaining collection-specific sort order. There is also the ability to save output specific collections for Slideshow/Print/Web. This can be accomplished by creating a new collection item while in the specific output module. The subsequent icon in the collection panel will provide a quick reference and link to the images and output settings you created. Collections still maintain their auto-save capabilities when it comes to on-the-fly output creations that don’t require a persistent entry in the Library.
Smart Collections are now available. Specify the criteria for a smart collection and images will be automatically added to the collection if they meet the criteria. An expert user tip: Try alt/option clicking when adding a new search criterion.
Target Collection functionality allows you to specify any Lightroom collection as the destination of the quick collection shortcut key, B.
Filter Bar: With the source location of the images clearly defined in the left hand panel, the top of the grid view provides a panel that will filter the content. Use the ‘\’ key to hide or show the filter functionality and expand one section at a time to filter the content. Each category below can be toggled on or off by clicking on the name and multiple filter categories can be shift-selected to provide additional control.
Text: Search across your images using text search field
Refine: Filter your grid view by flags, star ratings, color labels and the type of file, Master or Virtual Copy. This functionality was previously located only in the right hand side of the filmstrip. It still remains in that location now labeled ‘Filter’ as a quick tool that can be used in any module.
Metadata: A wide range of metadata is now presented in easy to browse filter columns that can be added, removed and customized per your organization workflow. Choose the field to filter on by clicking on the column header and select menu icon at the right side of each column to add or remove a column. The column arrangement and selection can be stored as a preset that is defined in the upper right hand corner of the filter bar. Note that the Date and Location fields contain the option to show hierarchical or flat representations of the data. The Date field also includes the day of the week in addition to the numerical date.
The Keywording pane has a new Keyword Set called “Suggested Keywords.” Keywording is simplified through Lightroom’s ability to suggest keywords for the current image based on existing keywords applied to that image as well as keywords applied to images that are close neighbors in terms of capture time. For example, if a number of images in a catalog contain the keywords dog and beach, an image assigned the keyword ‘beach’ will cause the suggested keyword panel to automatically update to show ‘dog’ as a suggested keyword. The Keywording panel also includes a dedicated keyword entry field below the larger box that displays all of the assigned keywords. The Keyword List provides a convenient filter to help find and manage your keywords. Checkboxes are available to quickly apply additional keywords to the selected images and arrows to the right of each keyword are a link to view all of the images tagged with that keyword.
Multiple Monitors: Lightroom 2.0 offers a dual monitor solution that can adjust to fit your particular monitor set up. The main Lightroom window that includes the Module picker can be positioned on either monitor and the following views can be provided on an additional monitor. To activate a multiple monitor environment, choose the monitor icon in the lower right hand side of Lightroom, just above the filmstrip. If a second monitor is not attached, a second window will appear on a single display.
Photoshop Integration: Lightroom can now open images directly in Photoshop without writing out TIFF or PSD files first. The previous ‘write file to disk first’ behavior was inefficient and the new behavior enables a faster a more functional workflow that includes:
Export Functionality: Managing and organizing exported images is much easier now with the following capabilities:
More notes on Library functionality:
Localized Correction: The develop module now provides the ability to correct specific areas of an image without affecting other areas. A common example of this in traditional photography would be the dodge and burn experience in the darkroom. Lightroom provides brushes that a photographer can ‘load’ with different types of corrective techniques that were previously only available globally including exposure, brightness, clarity and saturation. Images can also be tinted locally using specific hue and saturation values that can provide an excellent way of counteracting mixed lighting environments.
The tools previously available in the toolbar have been relocated to the right hand panel just below the histogram. (Crop, Clone/Heal, Red Eye and the new local correction brush) Selecting a tool from the panel will reveal the options for that tool. Click on it again to hide those options and return to the standard develop panel.
The controls available for the local correction brush are segmented into three basic areas: Mask, Effect and Brush. A quick walkthrough of the correction technique is below:
Recreating the effect of a graduated neutral density filter, this tool goes even further allowing the ability to modify all of the effect parameters in a single graduated effect. Select the effect and click and drag the gradient onto the image. Rotate and adjust as necessary. You can also return to the specific effect settings and modify them after the filter is applied.
Local Adjustment Keyboard Shortcuts
Vignette: The previous lens correction vignette effect was only applied to the entire image frame and as an artistic effect could be obscured after an image was cropped. An additional framing vignette effect has been added that will apply a vignette to an image, respecting the cropped borders.
Basic Panel Keyboard Shortcuts: Photographers who prefer to utilize their keyboards for basic image adjustments will find that the +/- keys are linked to the Exposure adjustment in the Develop module. Adding the Shift key will boost the increment amount, the comma and period keys will cycle through the basic panel controls and the semi-colon will reset the control currently in focus.
Improved Auto Adjustment: The Auto adjustment has been modified in response to feedback that previous adjustments were too bright.
Improved profiles for Raw data: An enhanced set of profiles has been released on Adobe Labs in order to provide an improved default rendering of raw data. (Many Canon photographers complained that our reds were too orange.) In addition to the improved Adobe default profile, there are additional profiles for each camera that emulate the results that would be obtained were those settings chosen in the camera manufacturers software or if the photographer chose to shoot JPEG.
Picture Package: The print module now provides the ability to create multii-page layouts for a single image arranged in multiple sizes. This allows photographers to quickly and easily print a package of images quickly and easily.
Print to JPEG: Many photographers have asked for the ability to send their Lightroom print layouts directly to a lab that will print JPEG files. Choose JPEG as the option in the Print Job dialog to specify your print output as a JPEG file for lab delivery. (Select a custom ICC profile for your lab in the color management area)
Print Sharpening: Lightroom previously provided three levels of print sharpening. Impressive new algorithms have been added to automatically determine the correct amount of print sharpening required based on the output media and resolution of the file.
The Lightroom SDK allows you to customize and extend certain Lightroom features by creating plug-ins. In the current release these features are extensible:
Export functionality: You can create an export plug-in, which customizes the behavior of Lightroom's Export dialog and export processing. You can add or remove items from the Export dialog, alter or augment the rendering process, and send images to locations other than files on the local computer.
Metadata: You can define customized public or private metadata fields for Lightroom. Public or private metadata can be associated with individual photos.
Web engine functionality: You can create an HTML web-engine plug-in, which defines a new type of HTML photo gallery. The engines you define appear in the Gallery panel at the upper right of the Web module.
A Lightroom plug-in consists of Lua-language files (scripts) that define the plug-in functionality, and an information or manifest file that describes the contents of the plug-in. The information file must have a specific name, and be placed in a folder with the Lua source files and resource files; the folders may need to be in specific locations.
Changes from LR2 beta to LR2 below: