December 19, 2018

Lightroom Workflow Improved

The latest update from Adobe to Lightroom CC Classic has improved the way you work

One of the benefits of Adobe’s subscription model is that it can release improvements to the software. Sometimes they can be under the hood improvements but every couple of months we get some new functionality. The latest version 8.1 update to Lightroom CC Classic has a super new feature that is going to improve the Lightroom Workflow in the Develop menu. I have created a short video that shows the new feature in action.

Adobe Lightroom v8.1 Workflow Improvements from Edinburgh Photography Workshop on Vimeo.


What was the problem?

I’m a great believer in development should solve a problem. So, what was the issue that is trying to be resolved by Adobe?

Every photographer has their own way of doing things, they like to edit in a particular way and the Lightroom menus in the Develop menu didn’t always follow what I thought was the logical order in editing. As a consequence, I would be moving up and down on the menus on the right to do my basic edits, then down to straighten, back up a bit to remove noise. I kind of got used to where things were but it was adding a few seconds to each edit.

Lightroom Workflow Fix

With one fairly simple change in the update, I can now tailor the menus on the right of the screen to the order that I would like them to be.

My Lightroom workflow is that I usually apply any changes in the Basic menu first to get the photograph looking right. Next, if I need to straighten the image, I’ll go down to the Transform menu and ensure everything is looking good from a composition perspective. I usually stop there but if I need to, I’ll then make changes to the tone curve, then apply any noise reduction and finally apply effects such as a vignette. You can see that these menus are all over the place in the menu structure.

With the update, I can right-click on the menus in the develop menu and there is a new option – customize develop panel. Click on that and a new pop-up menu appears where I can now click and drag the various menus into the order that I like. I’m going to order them with Basic at the top, Transform next, then Tone Curve, Detail and Effects. You’ll know from my 20-second edit, that I apply Lens Corrections and Calibration automatically on import so I can put these at the bottom. I might occasionally mess with the HSL panel but it’s so infrequent that I’ll put that below effects. Finally, I never use Split Toning so I can click on the tick box and it will be removed from the menu.

Once you’re done, click on Save and you’ll be asked to restart Lightroom. When it re-opens, you now have the panels in the order that is going to suit your own Lightroom Workflow.

Updating to version 8.1

If you don’t have this option, then you’ll probably need to update your version of Lightroom Classic. Simply go to the Help menu and take the option Updates and you’ll be able to update from the menu that pops up.

There are a few other changes that have been applied in 8.1 which you can view on the link underneath the video ( but I think this is the major item for this release.

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