Unveiled: Adobe Lightroom 6, the Newest Photo-Editing Workhorse


Arguably the best-rounded program within Adobe's photo-centric milieu, Photoshop Lightroom further extends its versatility in editing, organizing, and sharing capabilities with the launch of Lightroom 6. Encompassing a handful of new features and performance enhancements, this latest version succeeds Lightroom 5 and maintains its distinct qualities of a non-destructive editing environment and wide-ranging capabilities for managing a vast photo library, as well as exporting your photos online and in print.

Among the new features is a pair of merging modes designed to help composite frames into HDR or stitched panoramas. HDR Merge streamlines the alignment and averaging process for gaining increased shadow and highlight detail beyond that of a single frame, and Panorama Merge automatically combines, aligns, and prevents gaps and overlaps from occurring when compositing multiple frames to form a wide field of view.

"...Photoshop Lightroom further extends its versatility in editing, organizing, and sharing capabilities..."

Benefitting the inclusion of Radial and Gradient filters from Lightroom 5's release, Lightroom 6 now includes a dedicated Filter Brush to offer more precise control over these filters' effects. The brush can be used to paint in or remove the effect from specific portions of the frame and adjust the overall shape of the mask.

An update to the organization abilities of the program, Lightroom 6 now features Facial Recognition technology, which serves as an additional means for tagging or keywording your photos. Rather than metadata or text-only tags that can be filtered, this technology learns different faces within your imagery, which can then be used to source, organize, or categorize photos of specific people throughout your library.

Multimedia sharing of imagery is another arena that received a pair of updates; namely in sharing your work to the web or sharing in a slideshow. HTML5-compatible web galleries can now be created from within the application for a more elegant and interactive way to view your work, while maintaining support for most desktop and mobile browsers. For outputting your photos alongside videos and music, Advanced Video Slideshows can now be created to combine the various media with professional visual effects for a polished final output.

Besides the new features, Lightroom 6, of course, also sees an improvement in the processing capabilities of the applications, which is especially noticeable when working in the Develop module. These updated capabilities make full use of compatible graphics processors in order to expedite all aspects of your workflow.

Beyond these unique features of Lightroom 6, this new version still carries over the highlights seen in previous versions of Lightroom, including the Smart Previews function for working with your files remotely, Develop presets for one-click application of preset effects or looks, an Advanced Healing Brush for repairing image defects, Upright perspective adjustments, Advanced Black and White for exacting conversions from color to monochrome, and online sharing to social media sites directly from the program's interface. Additionally, Lightroom 6 is compatible with 64-bit versions of both Mac and Windows operating systems, and is available on DVD or as a digital download.