Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile And Depth Masks

This is a Portrait-mode photo I took using my Apple iPhone Xs Max
Every year, Adobe announces a bunch of updates to their suite of Creative Cloud applications at their annual Adobe Max conference. At last year’s (2018) show, we saw some nice updates to both Lightroom Classic CC and its younger sibling, Lightroom CC.

However, amongst all of the changes and features announced, the one that has me most excited is a new addition to the Range Mask tools in Lightroom Classic. Now, in addition to Color and Luminance range masks, you can create a Depth mask to limit adjustments to the background, or bokeh area, of any compatible photo. This is a very exciting feature and it reinforces my belief that computation photography is the direction we’re headed.

You may be wondering, “What does this have to do with mobile, Brian?” and the answer is that the only photos you can currently edit the depth map information on need to be created on certain mobile devices. Currently, the Depth Range Mask is available for only those photos that have embedded depth map data. As of now, this is limited to HEIC files captured on Apple iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus and X, Xs, Xs MAX, XR (see the list of supported Apple iPhones) using the Portrait mode in the built-in iOS camera app. However, as support for depth map data gets built into more mobile phones and cameras, we’ll see an entirely new level of localized adjustment control. Even more to the point, I believe we’ll eventually be able to change the point of focus after the photo has been taken using our mobile phones. Watch this space, friends!

This is a Portrait-mode photo I took using my Apple iPhone Xs Max
This is a Portrait-mode photo I took using my Apple iPhone Xs Max
This is the way you would traditionally apply a localized adjustment. In this case, I added a graduated filter in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. If I want to limit my adjustments to the background (and not the figure), I’d have to use an erase brush and mask out those areas.
This is the way you would traditionally apply a localized adjustment. In this case, I added a graduated filter in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. If I want to limit my adjustments to the background (and not the figure), I’d have to use an erase brush and mask out those areas.
However, because my iPhone included the depth map data using Portrait mode, I am able to easily restrict the graduated filter to the out of focus areas only.
However, because my iPhone included the depth map data using Portrait mode, I am able to easily restrict the graduated filter to the out of focus areas only.

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