Lightroom 2's out, and there are comprehensive lists of its new features at Lightroom Team Journal, by Victoria Bampton, and Ian Lyons. Here, like I did after Lightroom 1, I'm going to stay away from the detail of how features work and focus on the whys and what fors, and on best practice.

I'm going to start by drawing attention to a small feature which could easily be overlooked but which I find unbelievably useful - the Target collection. When you're racing through lots of pictures, it's pretty common to want to mark up certain images so it's easy to return to them later - for example, I've recently been shortlisting pictures for a number of new web galleries. Previously you'd hit B which added pictures to the Quick Collection, and then you might save the Quick Collection as a regular, Dumb Collection.

The change in LR2 is that you can right click any Dumb Collection and set it as the Target Collection, which means that hitting B will now send the current picture(s) directly to it, not to the Quick Collection. This keyboard shortcut is most useful when you're reviewing images full screen, but when you're running through a big grid of thumbnails it's faster to use the Painter - Target Collection has been added to the list of metadata it can paint. So it's B when you're reviewing images full screen, and the Painter in grid view.

As an aside, this use of the Painter is one way in which Adobe can make a somewhat-maligned tool really punch its weight. Another would be to let you copy and paste adjustments from one image to another, just like the Format Painter in Microsoft Office. While to some extent you can do this already - it's Settings in this screenshot - this is limited to Develop presets. If you've got the brains to use the Painter, you've got the brains to have pushed your adjustments beyond Develop presets….

Also, for those who want to catalogue CMYK images in Lightroom, see Ian Lyons' Trojan Horse workaround. It's the first Lightroom article I've seen with allusions to Hellenic mythology, but his choice of pictures makes me think it can't be long before we see allusions to the Icelandic sagas too….