Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
By Stan Sholik
photographer lives in Santa
Ana, California, and specializes
in still-life and macro
P hotographers looking for an alternative to their current image editing program ay find that the new features in Lightroom 5, along with the legacy features from
previous versions, are strong enough to justify
a switch. Even Photoshop users who don’t make
use of the full feature set of the program may
find that Lightroom 5 serves all of their needs.
After all, the software incorporates all of the
important image adjustment features added to
Adobe Camera Raw 8 (ACR 8) for Photoshop
Creative Cloud (but not ACR 8 for Photoshop
CS6). And Lightroom 5 remains available as a
boxed product or as a download separate from
the Adobe Creative Cloud. Of course, full Creative Cloud members also have access to Lightroom 5 through their subscription.
However you purchase Lightroom 5, installation is straightforward. If you are upgrading from
a previous version of Lightroom, the new one
needs to create a new catalogue. This took about
20 minutes for the nearly 17,000 images and
videos in my Lightroom 4 catalogue on my iMac.
The new image processing tools in Lightroom
5 are so well integrated into the workflow and
interface that it isn’t obvious at first that there
have been any changes. Two of the tools, the
Advanced Healing Brush and the Radial Filter,
are found in the Develop module toolstrip below
the Histogram. Another addition to Lightroom
5 is the Upright tool, located in the Basic tab of
the Lens Corrections panel.
The Advanced Healing Brush is so well dis-
guised that its pop-up name when you hover
over it is still called “Spot Removal.” You can still
use it as a circular spot removal tool by clicking
on spots, and Lightroom 5 has enhanced this
functionality with the Visualize Spots function.
With Spot Removal active, pressing the T key
opens the tool options bar below the image. Click
on the Visualize Spots checkbox and you are
presented with a high-contrast version of your
image. Adjusting the slider shows spots as well
as image edges, but it is generally easy to decide
which is which. Pressing the forward slash key (/)
forces Lightroom to choose another source area
if you don’t like the one chosen, or you can drag
the circle manually. Pressing the backslash key (\)
toggles the visualize spots function on and off.