As a teacher of Adobe’s Lightroom program and digital workflow, I get to hear from a lot of photographers who are new to the program and digital photography. Surprisingly, one of the more common questions I get is, “Should I buy Lightroom’s perpetual license, or should I subscribe to Lightroom CC (Creative Cloud) and pay month to month?” My vote has always been to go for the subscription-based service. Although the Creative Cloud still confuses many photographers, it’s the better deal. It’s bundled with Photoshop for $9.99 USD per month, so if you use both, this value might appeal to you.
The updates for Lightroom 6 are typically bug fixes, new lens profiles, and compatibility with new cameras. Lightroom CC provides these updates together with new feature upgrades such as Dehaze, Boundary Warp , the new Guided Upright feature, and localized White and Black adjustment sliders. But that’s not all; Lightroom CC also offers online services such as Lightroom on the web, together with access to mobile apps. But Lightroom Web and Lightroom Mobile are just the beginning to remotely working on your images.
At the recent Adobe Max event, Group Product Manager Brian O’Neil Hughes provided a glimpse of the future of cloud-based Lightroom cataloging and image developing with Project Nimbus (PN), the goal of which is to create a service that is entirely “Cloud Native,” providing a seamless experience when transitioning from mobile, to desktop, to web. Regardless of which device you use, all edits are natively non-destructive and full resolution. PN incorporates content-based searches, such as typing in the word “pier” to find photos with that subject. This technology minimizes the need to keyword your archive of images (and appears to be very simple and easy to use).
Adobe hopes to launch a beta version of PN in 2017, but it is still a bit unclear whether it will be offered in addition to Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC, or whether it will replace one of them. In any case, it’s a glimpse into a solution that Adobe hopes will appeal to a wider range of consumers beyond the serious artist or photographer. Follow this link to see the keynote demonstrating PN (and click on “The Future of Creativity and Design—Photography”). So for those of you who may still be on the fence between Lightroom 6 and CC, now may be the time to jump into the Creative Cloud and get a feel for how you can remotely work on your images. The future is almost here!