Photoshop CS is the undisputed leader in digital imaging, but for many photographers, it contains a lot of tools that are rarely used, if at all. That’s why Photoshop Lightroom was incredibly popular when it was introduced, with a step-by-step workflow designed to speed through the steps, from importing to processing and sharing, with tools that are more intuitive for photographers.
The newest version includes organizing and enhancing both images and video clips, as well as new ways to share. Location-based organizing helps you find and group photos by where they were taken. This can be done automatically if your camera recorded GPS data, or you can tag images manually.
New image-adjustment tools make it easier to fix common problems. Highlight and Shadow Recovery can rescue details in the darkest and lightest areas of your photos, and new brushes, including a White Balance brush, allow you to make localized fixes.
Lightroom 4 also supports your video clips. Import and organize them and even make simple adjustments like trimming clips, correcting exposure or applying one of a handful of special effects, such as black-and-white. Lightroom also makes it easy to share your video (and photos, too) on the web. Facebook and Flickr export tools are included, and you also can download plug-ins for additional services. A new book-creation tool lets you make your own photo books that can be finished as a PDF or uploaded to Blurb for professional printing and binding.
There’s a lot to like about the latest Lightroom. Maybe the biggest news, though, is the new lower price—the full version of Lightroom 4 is just $149 (down from $299), or upgrade for $79. Windows and Macintosh. Contact: Adobe, www.adobe.com.
Numerous effects presets for both photos and videos allow you to experiment with different image styles. You also can create your own presets for custom effects that you can use over and over again.