Digital Darkroom

Generative Remove Comes to Lightroom

Rapid and reflections in the Colorado River, Grand Canyon NP, AZ, USA

Rapid and reflections in the Colorado River, Grand Canyon NP, Arizona. The lower-right portion of this photograph had a large blemish caused by a water spot on the sensor. This would have been difficult to remove using traditional retouching tools in Lightroom or Photoshop, but took about five seconds with the new Generative-AI mode in Lightroom.

Yesterday Adobe announced significant upgrades to Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Camera Raw.

To me, the biggest news is the addition of “Generative AI” for retouching. This uses similar technology to Generative Fill in Photoshop, but isn’t designed to add or create things – only to remove objects. In fact Adobe changed the name of the Healing tool to the Remove tool.

Whatever you call it, Generative AI is a big leap forward in the retouching capabilities of Lightroom. It makes Lightroom almost as powerful as Photoshop for retouching, but unlike Photoshop it works in a completely flexible, non-destructive way. Generative AI does have some limitations, however, which I discuss below.


The Latest Lightroom Features

Aspens and bigtooth maples, northern Utah, USA

Aspens and bigtooth maples, northern Utah. I used the new Point Color tool to tweak the originally dull-looking greens and yellows in this photo and make them more vibrant.

Last week Adobe launched major updates to Lightroom Classic (13.0), Lightroom Desktop (7.0), and Lightroom Mobile (9.0). The biggest new features are HDR editing, Point Color, and Lens Blur.

All of these new tools deserve their own post, but we just finished a workshop, and we’re still traveling, so for now I’m just going to explain a few of the salient features, and steer you to some more in-depth information.


Lightroom’s Powerful New Denoise Tool

Lightroom’s Powerful New Denoise Tool

Adobe released major updates for Lightroom and Camera Raw last week (version 12.3 for Lightroom Classic, 6.3 for the cloud version or Lightroom, and 15.3 for Adobe Camera Raw). Lightroom Classic now has Curves in the Masking Panel, which I’ve been hoping to see for a long time. But I’ll talk about that later, because to me the most exciting news is the new AI-powered Denoise tool.

I’ve used most of the noise-reduction tools out there, but the new Denoise function in Lightroom and Camera Raw has quickly become my favorite. It’s not perfect, and it has limitations, but it’s performed minor miracles on some of my noisiest, most troublesome photos.


Winter Speaker Series

Sun setting over an alpine lake, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

Sun setting over an alpine lake, Yosemite

I’m pleased to be joining the Winter Speaker Series on Nic Stover’s Nature Photography Classes site. The Winter Speaker Series will be focused on image processing, and includes online presentations by David Kingham, Nick Page, Sean Bagshaw, and me.

My talk will be about the Masking Panel and local adjustments in Lightroom Classic. The Masking Panel is incredibly powerful, allowing you make and combine selections in almost infinite ways, and add sophisticated touches to your images that you previously needed Photoshop for.


Lightroom Update Could Be a Game-Changer

Hoodoos in reflected light, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Utah

Hoodoos in reflected light, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Utah. The new Object selection tool helped me select just the hoodoos, then invert that selection and subtly darken their surroundings.

After coming back from New Zealand I spent a few days at home, then headed up to the Oregon Coast to scout for our upcoming workshop. It’s been a busy month, but before the workshop starts I want to share some thoughts about that latest Lightroom update.

On October 24th Adobe announced major updates to Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Adobe Camera Raw. (The new version of Lightroom Classic is 12.0.) And I think it’s a big upgrade. To me, the most exciting new features for landscape photographers are the addition of a Content-Aware mode for the Healing tool (formerly the Spot Removal tool), and the new Object Selection tool in the Masking Panel.


New Lightroom Course from Chrissy Donadi: Let’s Get Organized!

Let's Get Organized!

My online Lightroom courses concentrate on processing your images in the Develop Module. They’re designed to help you get the most out of your photographs, and enhance your original vision without making the images look unnatural.

But of course there are other aspects of Lightroom. The most important of these – and the part that often causes the most trouble and confusion for people – is the organizational part: importing, setting up folder structures, sorting images, finding images, and so on.

I often get asked whether I can recommend a book or course about that organizational aspect of Lightroom, and I’m happy to say that I finally can. Our friend Chrissy Donadi just launched her Lightroom course called Let’s Get Organized! It’s a thorough, comprehensive look at how to efficiently setup, organize, and maintain your photo library in Lightroom Classic. Chrissy does a great job of explaining everything clearly, with all the information you need – but not more than you need.