Adobe debuts Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC, standalone and cloud alternatives to Aperture

Following months of rumors, Adobe is today announcing Photoshop Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC, the latest versions of its popular photo editing and organization software. Sharing the same code, design, and much of the same functionality, the two Lightroom releases are separated into purchasable (Lightroom 6) or subscription (Lightroom CC) versions, only the latter of which can sync with Adobe’s mobile applications. Apple notably recommended Lightroom as a replacement for its recently-discontinued Aperture professional photo application, and worked with Adobe to build an Aperture library importing tool to aid users during the transition.

Lightroom manages large photo libraries, while offering photographers powerful tools for RAW and JPEG image adjustment. Now solely a 64-bit application, Lightroom 6/CC promises huge speed improvements when applying prior effects to images, as well as newly added tools and brushes. As shown in the embedded video, facial recognition has been added, enabling functionality similar to Apple’s Faces feature from Aperture and iPhoto. A new HDR (high dynamic range) tool uses two images to create a composite photo with more vivid colors and detail, while brushes such as radial and graduated filters have been added. The app has also gained new slideshow options, automatic panorama stitching, video slide shows, and many other features.

Photoshop Lightroom CC can be downloaded now as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography subscription service for $9.99 per month; a prepaid year of CC Photography access is normally $119.88, and currently on sale at B&H Photo Video for $99.88. Photoshop Lightroom 6 can be ordered for $149 as a standalone download. Adobe has also released version 1.4 updates to its mobile apps Lightroom for iPad and Lightroom for iPhone with support for Lightroom CC, improved cropping, and TIFF file support. Both iOS apps are now available for free from the App Store, but require Creative Cloud subscriptions.

Google’s free photo editing app Snapseed 2.0 gets lens blur, layers, new UI, more

snapseed2

Snapseed, the excellent free photo editing application, today received its first major update since Google purchased developer Nik Software back in 2012. Version 2.0 arrived in the App Store with a brand new user interface and a huge collection of new features, most notably including spot healing, lens blur effects, perspective transformation, and a non-destructive editing system that can copy edits from one image to another. The app remains universal across iOS devices, and now has a minimalist UI with Material Design influence.

While Apple’s Photos application improved considerably with the release of iOS 8, Snapseed’s unique ability to selectively fix small parts of photos — such as improving the brightness level of one dark face in an otherwise bright image — has kept it relevant as a key iOS photo editing tool for years. Snapseed 2.0 expands upon that feature, letting you apply filters and brushes selectively with a brush tool. You can also go into individual layers and make adjustments to changes that were previously applied during the editing process.

Snapseed 2.0 is available for free from the App Store now. Additional details are after the break…

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Instagram for iPhone updated with new photo editing features, faster sharing, more

Instagram today released a major update to its popular photo sharing app for smartphones. The latest release, Instagram 6.0, packs in several new photo editing tools including light and dark adjustments, sharpening effects, color adjustments, filter strengths, and more.

When you go to select a filter, you’ll now see a new wrench icon. Tap it and you’ll find a tray of photo editing tools ready for you to explore. You can also now adjust how much of a filter you apply to a photo by double tapping the filter icon.

The update comes just a day after Apple previewed iOS 8 which includes its own photo editing advancements in the native Photos app similar to those found in apps like iPhoto. Read more

Adobe debuts Lightroom Mobile for iPad with powerful, on-the-go photo editing

After briefly leaking earlier this year, Adobe is finally ready to show off its Lightroom Mobile for iPad software for photographers and photo editors. The iPad application borrows many of the essential features from the powerful desktop software and is optimized for the touch input user experience key to the tablet. We’ve taken a sneak peek at Lightroom Mobile for iPad, and we have all the details on Adobe’s latest Lightroom update. Read more

Add some sick modular hardware controls to your Mac for $99 (Kickstarter project)

Trackpads and keyboards are great for many things, but there are some tasks where there’s no substitute for a physical dial, slider or button. In video editing, for example, there’s a reason that professional kit uses a rotary dial to move forward or backward through the video clip. Photo editing and audio work are also far easier with physical dials and sliders.

While there’s a whole world of dedicated hardware controllers out there, the Palette project on Kickstarter takes a particularly neat approach: a modular system that you can design to your own requirements. There’s a power block, button, rotary dial and slider, and you can mix-and-match them in any layout you like, and they can be made to work with any software …  Read more

Review: Analog Camera, a fun and fast camera app with personality

Analog Camera for iPhone and iPod touch

Analog Camera for iPhone and iPod touch

As promised, Analog Camera for iPhone and iPod touch has hit the App Store to fulfill your filtered photo taking needs. I had a chance to spend some time with the app over the Memorial Day weekend and quickly decided it’s a keeper.

Analog Camera is a seriously fun and fast camera app with personality, as we would expect from the makers of Clear for iPhone and Mac (and soon iPad), that features eight different photo filters and all the social network sharing you could ever need.

Analog Camera’s easy sharing features allow you to open photos you shoot or edit within the app in other apps including Instagram. This feature is especially cool if you’re feeling spunky and want to experiment with double filters or blurring features offered with Instagram.

Capture and process an image in Analog Camera, then jump right over to Instagram or similar apps to share.

Capture and process an image in Analog Camera, then jump right over to Instagram or similar apps to share.

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