News + Features
Adobe has announced a handful of new AI-powered updates for its Lightroom “ecosystem.” Whether you work in Lightroom (Mac/Win), Lightroom Classic, Adobe Camera RAW (ACR), Lightroom Mobile (iOS/Android) or Lightroom on the Web, it’s time to check out the latest features and enhancements.
Lightroom Mac/Win, Classic, ACR
Every photographer faces low-light situations sometimes, and even with cameras that deliver better-than-ever results at high ISO, image noise can still be an issue. Adobe promises improved results—less noise while maintaining more details—in Lightroom thanks to its latest AI-powered noise reduction feature. This “one-click simple” feature is currently only available for RAW files but Adobe plans to expand compatibility to other files “soon.”
Curves in Masking
Perhaps one of the more interesting (and potentially most useful) new features is the ability to utilize the Curves tool in masks. This combination provides the ability to merge the power of Curves with masking to selectively apply adjustments. Whether you want to warm up a portrait, elevate highlights in a specific area or enhance shadow details, this feature allows you to target portions of an image for fine tuning.
[Read: Impossible Things: A New and Advanced AI Photo Editor]
New AI Mask Categories for Select People
Lightroom can automatically generate masks for various portions of an image such as the background, objects and people. And now Adobe has added a couple of additional options when working with humans. New categories include the ability to select clothes and beards. The former makes it easy, for example, to change the color of a shirt or skirt. The latter allows users to enhance the darkness and/or texture of facial hair. While these two categories may not make it onto your top ten (or thirty) list of useful features, it doesn’t hurt to have them handy.
Lightroom Mac/Win, ACR
Content Credentials (Tech Preview)
In 2019, Adobe launched the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) [contentauthenticity.org] to “promote adoption of an open industry standard for content authenticity and provenance.” According to Adobe, the CAI community is “developing an industry-wide attribution framework and features like Content Credentials to provide increased trust and transparency for digital content.” Although currently in development and only available as a tech preview, Content Credentials will provide information such as edits, and verifiable attribution is part of the work’s metadata. Sounds like a feature that’s extremely timely.
Lightroom Mac/Win, Classic, ACR, iOS, Android, Lightroom on the Web
Additional Adaptive Presets for Portraits
Adaptive Presets are not new for Lightroom (they started rolling out last year) and the original selection includes presets such as Enhance, Glamour, Whiten Teeth and Texturize Hair. The new AI presets include Polished Portrait, Darken Beard and Enhance Clothing.
Polished Portrait is the most useful with automatic options for skin smoothing, adjusting lighting and refining facial features. Darken Beard is, as expected, the darkening of facial hair to provide more contrast (and a way to hide the gray). We’re curious about the Enhance Clothing feature, which seems to pump up contrast, saturation and texture to give a little more pizzazz to an outfit.
Black and White Video
Although not ready for Android, the rest of the Lightroom apps now offer black and white video (in case you missed it, Adobe added video support for Lightroom last year). Convert your color footage to monochrome with a simple tap then adjust various parameters such as contrast, tint and grain to add your own creative touch. Of course, exposure, dynamic range and color management controls are available as well. Black and white video (and stills) never lose their charm.
There are numerous other additions to the latest version of the many Lightroom applications that are AI-driven. Check out adobe.com for further information.