John BeardsworthOver on my main photography web site, things were just getting too crowded, the photos and posts about photography fighting for space with all those posts about Lightroom.

So I set up this separate site to gather all my Lightroom activity into one place – blog posts, less-abrupt versions of answers I’ve given in forums, plug-ins….

Longer Lightroom posts (“rants”) are no longer buried in the blog but have moved to the articles section, while posts relating to each of my plug-ins will have their own tags and urls.



Lightroom for the pub?

Last September Adobe’s Tom Hogarty demonstrated a Lightroom app on the iPad, and a couple of months ago what looked like a draft announcement made a brief appearance on Adobe’s web site. It was promptly removed, but not before people had taken screenshots saying it would be available at $9.99 a month. That seemed a lot for an iPad app on its own, but it was clear something was coming and wasn’t too far away.

More recently Adobe had failed to released a Lightroom 5.4 Release Candidate at the same time as the corresponding betas of Adobe Camera Raw and the DNG Converter. Early adopters of the Nikon D4s and Fuji’s XT1 were left unable to process their shiny new raw files in Lightroom, and of course they blamed Adobe for their slowness rather than Nikon and Fuji for their failure to offer DNG as an option. I had a few emails asking why Adobe hadn’t rushed out a Lightroom 5.4 beta. Clearly, there was something unusual happening.


Don’t overlook that Lightroom Mobile also provides browser access to pictures via This allows you to share pictures with family and friends.

The answer came last night – 5.4 has been released with an iPad app, Lightroom mobile.

I quite like it, even if I think Adobe have made some avoidable mistakes, but I’m going to focus on the gotchas. After all, there will be enough gushing stuff elsewhere, or tap by tap instructions and even books on it (frankly, if you need a book to understand an iPad app, there’s something seriously wrong with either the app or you). So it’s gotchas here….

What it’s for

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking Lightroom mobile is any substitute for the full Lightroom experience. It isn’t and it doesn’t claim to be so.

Photo editing need not mean exactly the same work that you would do with all that desktop horsepower The space for tablets is quick and dirty broad adjustments, done at your leisure in moments when you’re not chained to your computer. Doing broad adjustments on the iPad and (just-as-importantly) thinking about the picture’s needs, you can put your serious face on again later when you are back in front of your colour-managed monitor – all that’s left to do is the fine tuning.

Secondly, the app really isn’t just ….

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Is there an easier way to get text into Lightroom?

Coming soon to my ListView plug-in, automatic updating from Excel to Lightroom.

Direct link to video

So what do you think? Have you ever seen an easier way to get text data into Lightroom?

For the technically-minded it’s an Excel macro (I used to do a lot of work with Excel’s VBA programming language) which reads the spreadsheet and communicates directly with the open Lightroom catalogue. I’m not doing anything dubious like writing into Lightroom’s SQL database or XMP files either – automation is entirely via Adobe’s authorised method, the SDK.

The video shows an early version, and it now works with multiple columns.

I will need testers – ideally existing ListView users. It will only work with Lightroom 5 and you would need to one of the very latest versions of Excel – definitely Office 2011 on Mac as the previous version omitted VB. If you want to try it in advance of release, let me know by email or by adding a comment to this post.

Long term thinking

Maybe the most common response to yesterday’s announcement of Lightroom Mobile has been annoyance at it being tied to a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. I don’t want to defend that other than saying that it was inevitable given Adobe’s

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Does it look OK?

I’m going to post something rather interesting later – a video showing Excel writing directly to Lightroom without any text files – but the other week I read an article on the BBC web site’s responsive redesign and so before

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Making a photograph

Chuq Von Rospach’s post Photography Before and After — Sunrise at Merced National Wildlife Refuge. As Ansel Adams said “you don’t take a photograph, you make it”.

Running a droplet

Is it possible to make a droplet in PS so I can export from LR to the droplet and send the results back to LR?

Yes, and you can approach it a couple of ways. I’ll assume you know how to

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More numbers

Adobe announced its FY2013 Q4 results yesterday and I suppose that the headline is that they have met their target of 1.25 subscribers by the year end. And who is surprised?

Caption builder added to Search and Replace plugin

Anyone want to try a new feature that’s coming in my Search and Replace plugin? The new feature is called “caption builder” and lets you build up captions from other fields.