Most photographers and members of Houston Photowalks will recognize Matt Kloskowski . This past Thursday, (December 7, 2023), Matt dropped huge news that he was moving his workflow from Llightoom Classic (the original version of Lightroom) to Lightroom (desktop version of the iPad/iPhone app). And yes – he has a course you can buy to learn how to make the move.
This article isn’t so much a review of the course, but my own thoughts on whether dumping Lightroom Classic for Lightroom makes sense.
NOTE: LrC refers to Lightroom Classic and Lightroom refers to the desktop version of Lightroom that looks and works like Lightroom for iPad and iPhon
Lightroom Classic is (still) a Resource Pig – Period
I’ve said this a lot of times – I have a love/hate relationship with Adobe. The ‘love’ part – LrC does a great job at organizing and editing images. The ‘hate’ part – LrC has always been a bit buggy, and a total resource pig. That’s always driven me bonkers. Joe explained that Lightroom Classic is written using a program language called Lua. One of the things I found running LrC on my MacBook Pro or Air – was that editing an image beyond basic adjustments like changing exposure, highlights, etc. (I.e. masking using the adjustment brush, etc.) would very quickly cause memory pressure to start to max out, and thee’d be a lot of disk swapping usage (which can quickly chew up hard drive space.
Lightroom for the iPad/iPhone were both written to meet Apple’s stricter standards of coding in order to make it into their App Store. One of the things that that Matt noted in his promo video is that Lightroom is a lightweight version of LrCc. This peaked my interest. So I downloaded Lightroom from my Creative Cloud account and started testing it. Low and behold – Lightroom doesn’t chew up the resources that Lightroom Classic does.
When Adobe updated Lightroom in October, they added a key feature – they added the ability to edit images locally (both on your computer’s hard drive and attached external drives). This is what peaked my interest when Matt did his intro video and noted this feature. Lightroom – when accessing images on a local drive – doesn’t use Collections like LrC does. It monitors whatever folder you’ve chosen – meaning if yo add an image to a monitored folder that was edited in Neo or ON1 (and saved as a PSD, JPEG or TIFF), Lightroom will add this automatically..
An interesting side note – the App Store version doesn’t install the Creative Cloud app – but it does EVERYTHING the Creative Cloud version does. The reason I bring this up – not installing Creative Cloud and using the App Store version will free up the resources that Creative Cloud normally consumes. This will help me out on the 13” MBA I take along when traveling and sometimes to a photoshoot.
Photoshop, Plugins and Printing
Keep in mind that Lightroom doesn’t include Modules like LrC (no Map, Book, Print). It’s more of an easy to use image browser along with the same editing capabilities as LrC/Camera RAW. It does include the ability to edit images in Photoshop, but NO integration with plugins like LrC (‘course – if you realize you can edit in Photoshop, you can access plugins there 😉😉).
The one thing I wish that Lightroom had is the ability to print and include the Brightness and Contrast sliders that are in the Print module of LrC. Why? If you joined us for any of our Zoom classes during the Covid lockdown, you might remember I have a Canon Pixma Pro 100 wide format printer. Occasionally, I create an image that I want to print, or do portrait work for someone that wants a print or two (or more). There are workarounds available to be able to print an image outside of Lightroom. The reality – they might add maybe an extra minute to set up and print – meh. I don’t print every day – maybe a few times a month. So an extra minute isn’t a big deal.
So….What Are My Plans?
This just might be a fix for (some of) my sanity issues. 😂. Lightroom is a much cleaner, simpler interface, but has the same editing tools that LrC/Camera RAW has. I do about 95% of my editing in LrC. Occasionally I might make edits in Photoshop or third party plugin like ON1 Photo RAW 2024 or Luminar Neo (both of which are optimized for Apple Silicon). The workarounds to use these are a bit cumbersome, but if I only use them occasionally, Is it really that big of a deal?
As to Matt’s video series on making the with, if switching to Lightroom from LrC, I found it to be very helpful.