Lightroom has great cloud features. But for all its power, the glaring omissions continue to frustrate.
Here’s five features we want to see coming to Lightroom to make it truly as useful as its desktop version.
Better control over storage is missing from Lightroom
I’ve written extensively on how to dig yourself out of the “Help, my Lightroom storage is full!” hole. It’s such a convoluted process, and it should be straightforward. I’d love to see Adobe adding storage control to Lightroom to make it easier to manage what’s in the cloud and what’s local.
Virtual copies that work as actual virtual copies
This one comes up a lot on Adobe message boards: Why won’t Lightroom let us make virtual copies? The Versions feature — which is touted as the equivalent — frankly, isn’t. Versions require you to go into a menu and apply a “version” (i.e. another edit) in a similar way that you apply a preset.
This isn’t the same as a virtual copy which sits in the filmstrip alongside the original copy. I can’t export a monochrome and a color version of the same photo in the same export action with Versions. And that drives me nuts.
(Note: You can make proper virtual copies in the desktop version of Lightroom. But this is missing from Lightroom on mobile and tablet: Versions are your only option.)
Access to display settings when sharing albums
The Share feature of Lightroom is one of my favorite things: I can edit my son’s birthday photos and then share the edited album, with JPEG downloads enabled, to friends and family. This saves a lot of time: I don’t have to export and upload the finished JPEGs to share them.
However, it drives me nuts: For some reason the default sort in online albums is “random.” I want my photos to display in the album in chronological order, but to set this up, I have to log into the web version of Lightroom (as opposed to the mobile, tablet or desktop versions) and change the display settings from in there.
It’s an extra step of double-handling that could be avoided if the display settings were built into the mobile/tablet/desktop sharing menu.
Greater consistency between the four variants of Lightroom
While we’re on the topic of double-handling, it’s frustrating that the mobile, tablet, desktop and web versions of Lightroom all have slightly different capabilities. I can create proper virtual copies on desktop, but not in the other three versions. I can control shared album display on web, but not in the other three versions.
What I want to do is generally possible somewhere, but having to hop and jump between four different interfaces (and devices!) to find it is annoying.
A sharing space for premium presets
The recent social additions to Lightroom have been interesting to see grow. It’s now possible to see people’s editing process demonstrated in real time and apply their edits to your own photos. I’d love to see this turned into a space where people can group presets and share them from account to account. A universal marketplace-style system with ratings and example photos from real users would be a great addition to the Adobe ecosystem.