If you cancel your CC subscription, you’ll lose all your work… or will you?

There’s been a lot of discussion about subscription services and whether you’ll lose access to your work when you cancel your Creative Cloud subscription.

lightroom data loss expired

This is particularly of concern to Lightroom users because your edits are stored non-destructively in the catalog. Of course you could export all of your edited photos to standardized formats before canceling your subscription, but that’s hardly ideal. So what do you do?

Believe it or not, Adobe has been listening. A change was quietly made to the Lightroom 5.5 release to allay your fears.

As long as you’re running Lightroom 5.5 or later, if your subscription or trial version expires, you can continue to use Lightroom excluding the Develop module, Map module and mobile sync.

Yes, you read that correctly!  You can import new photos, add metadata, organize them, search for specific photos, do rough edits using Quick Develop, apply Develop presets, create books, slideshows and web galleries, email and publish photos on social media, export and print your edited photos… nothing is lost!

And when you’re ready, you can renew your subscription or buy a perpetual license to unlock the main Develop module, Map module and mobile sync (sync is subscription only, of course) and use Lightroom to the full.

I’m sure there will be people with a few interesting conspiracy theories, but I see this as a huge step forward. Of course Adobe want to encourage people to join their subscription service - they’re a business, after all - but they’re doing their best to ensure there’s no risk to you or to your data.

What do you think of this change in policy?

What’s new in Lightroom 5.5 and Lightroom mobile 1.1?

It’s that time again!  Lightroom 5.5 has just been released, with its usual camera updates and bug fixes, and there are some sneaky new features. At the same time, Lightroom mobile for iPad has been updated to 1.1 and the long-awaited Lightroom mobile for iPhone is now available too!  This might be a long blog post…


Lightroom mobile

New Features on Lightroom for iPad

  • Star Ratings! You can now click the flag in the lower right corner of Loupe view to change to star rating mode. Then swipe up or down to show the star rating overlay and select your chosen rating.
  • Custom Sort Order!  If you have a custom sort order on the desktop, it’s transferred to the mobile version.
  • (You must be running LR 5.5 for those to work.)
  • Filter on multiple criteria! You can now select both Picked and Unflagged, for example, or Picked plus a star rating.
  • From the menu in Grid or Loupe view, you can now open images in 3rd party apps without first saving to the camera roll.
  • I’ve updated my Lightroom mobile for iPad book, so if you’ve already purchased it, you can download again from the original purchase link.


Lightroom for iPhone/iPod Released

  • Lightroom mobile is now available on the iPhone and iPod!
  • It requires iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 (all models) and iPod (5th gen.) running iOS7 or newer.
  • The features are the same as the iPad version, except smaller!
  • Auto import is particularly useful as it syncs your camera roll photos back to the desktop catalog automatically.  Just remember it doesn’t sync videos.
  • I haven’t done a Lightroom mobile for iPhone book yet, as the functionality is exactly the same as the iPad, just the screenshots are different. If you want a Lightroom mobile for iPhone version, let me know, and if I get enough requests, I’ll do it.

lightroomiphonedev11  lightroomiphonefilter11


Lightroom for Desktop

Here are the update download links: WindowsMac (or update through the CC app if you’re a subscriber)



  • The $9.99 Photographer’s Bundle is no longer a special offer. It’s been so popular, they’ve decided to keep it as a standard bundle for the foreseeable future. You don’t need to have a previous version (i.e. CS3+).  The only change is the 20GB cloud space is dropping to 2GB as they’re including unlimited Lightroom Sync space. Anyone who already signed up keeps their full 20GB.
  • Don’t worry, this does NOT mean that Lightroom’s going subscription-only. Tom Hogarty confirmed in a blog post that “Future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely.” Of course it’s possible that some new features in future versions may be limited to subscribers, just as the mobile sync solution today requires a subscription for cloud access, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.


Sync with Lightroom mobile 

  • Lightroom mobile 1.1 can now sync star ratings and custom sort orders, so 5.5 also adds that functionality.
  • If you right-click on a sync collection, there are now additional options for making the web gallery public and copying that public link directly to the clipboard instead of having to visit the website. That makes it much easier to email links to synced collections.



  • There were some sleep-related changes made in 5.4, and they’ve been improved in 5.5.  Lightroom now prevents your computer from sleeping while building previews, publishing, importing, or exporting, so you don’t you don’t wander back to wake it up and find the job half-done.
  • In addition, there is a separate “Prevent system sleep during sync” preference in the “Lightroom mobile” tab of the preferences dialog (on by default).
  • In 5.4, it also prevented your screen from sleeping, but that now obeys your system preferences.
  • While playing a slideshow, the screen will not sleep.


More Lightroom Desktop bug fixes (I’ve just listed the most frequent ones)

  • The Flickr API has been updated.
  • Lightroom threw an “assertion failed” error in 5.4 on Windows if there was no Pictures folder at the default location. That’s fixed.
  • Signing in to Lightroom Sync on Mac failed with an “attempt to index nil value” error if no computer name was set.
  • Import has had additional attention. As a result, thumbnails show up more quickly in Library’s Grid view after import.


New Camera support:

  • Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II
  • Fuji FinePix S1
  • Nikon 1 J4
  • Nikon 1 V3
  • Nikon 1 S2
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4
  • Pentax 645Z
  • Samsung NX3000
  • Sony ILCE-7S (A7S)
  • Sony RX100MIII
  • Sony ILCA-77M2 (A77 II)


There’s new camera tethering support:


There are also some new lens profiles:

  • Canon mount
    • Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A014
    • Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM C014
  • Nikon mount
    • Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A014
    • Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM C014
  • Pentax mount
    • Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A013
  • Sigma mount
    • Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A014
    • Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM C014
  • Sony Alpha mount
    • Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A013


Go and download now and let me know what you think of the changes!  And if you haven’t purchased my Lightroom mobile book yet, here’s the link.

Lightroom 5.4 bugs and Lightroom mobile workflow ideas

Lightroom 5.4 and Lightroom mobile have been available for about 10 days now, and of course a few bugs have reared their ugly heads.  Here are the solutions and temporary workarounds:

  • If Lightroom says “Sign in failure. Please try again later. (attempt to index a nil value)”, click here to view the tech note or here to view the forum thread with screenshots.
  • Photos deleted from Lightroom mobile show as synced in Lightroom – there’s more information in this tech note.
  • Some users with current CC subscriptions were showing as trial mode, but that should now be fixed.
  • Some Windows users (nothing to do with mobile) are seeing an Assertion Failed error message when starting Lightroom 5.4.  There’s a solution in this tech note.
  • Some Mac users are seeing Lightroom get stuck in Full Screen Preview mode if they quit Lightroom while using that view. While waiting for an official fix, press SHIFT+F after re-opening LR to get out of the loop.


Now back to the fun!  Are you using Lightroom mobile on your iPad?  If so, how is it fitting into your workflow so far? I’ve heard some interesting ideas:



Do you still have a backlog of photos you’ve haven’t finished sorting out yet? If you sync them all to Lightroom mobile and mark them for offline editing, you can make good use of odd 10 minute breaks to start reducing that backlog, even if you don’t have internet access.



You get back from a family day out and upload the photos to the desktop. Then you get THAT look – you’re not going to spend the whole evening on the computer looking through the photos, are you? No, certainly not, you’re going to sync them to your iPad, and by the time you’re sat down relaxing with the family, you can browse through them on your iPad.



You run into an old friend when you’re out, or perhaps a potential client, and want to show them that photo of… anything! Once you’ve synced your catalog of photos to the Lightroom Sync cloud, your whole portfolio will be at your fingertips, and will be automatically updated with any changes you’ve made since you first synced them. No more trying to remember to update your portfolio app.



You’ve had a relaxing day at the beach, and while everyone else is getting ready for dinner, you upload your photos and start sorting out the best ones. When you get home from the airport, you’re not faced with thousands of photos waiting to be sorted out because you’ve already done the initial edits. (This one only works well if you only shoot JPEG as Lightroom mobile can’t directly import raw files on the iPad version).



You’re not going to try to gather the family around the computer to show them your vacation photos, are you? Why not hook your iPad up to the TV using an HDMI adaptor or stream the photos to an AppleTV using AirPlay, and then you can watch your Lightroom slideshow on the big screen.



You’ve already edited a shoot on your desktop, and now you’re ready to show your client. Sync the photos to your iPad, and mark them for offline editing so you don’t have to
wait for them to load. Then you’re ready to sit down with your client and sort through the photos, marking their favorites with flags and rejecting others. They want to see a different crop? Not a problem, you can do it right there with them, and the edits are automatically synced back to the desktop ready for you to order the prints.


What’s new in Lightroom 5.4?

A few weeks ago, ACR 8.4 was released as a Release Candidate, but there was no sign of a Lightroom 5.4 RC. That was unusual, to say the least, and frustrating for many photographers with the latest and greatest cameras. There was a good reason, however. 5.4 adds support for syncing to Lightroom mobile, allowing you access to your catalog from your iPad. We’ll come back to that in the next post but first, there’s the usual list of what’s new in Lightroom 5.4.

Here are the update download links: WindowsMac


So what’s new?  Camera support, for a start:

  • Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II (preliminary support)
  • Canon EOS 1200D (REBEL T5, KISS X70)
  • Casio EX-100
  • DJI Phantom
  • Fujifilm X-T1
  • Hasselblad H5D-50c
  • Hasselblad HV
  • Nikon D4S
  • Nikon 1 V3 (preliminary support)
  • Nikon D3300
  • Nikon COOLPIX P340
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 (preliminary support)
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS40 (DMC-TZ60, DMC-TZ61)
  • Phase One IQ250
  • Samsung NX30
  • Sony Alpha a5000 (ILCE-5000)
  • Sony Alpha a6000 (ILCE-6000)
  • Click to view the full list of supported cameras

There are some new camera emulation profiles (Provia/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, Astia/Soft, Monochrome, etc.) for a selection of Fuji cameras:

  • Fujifilm X-A1
  • Fujifilm X-E1
  • Fujifilm X-E2
  • Fujifilm X-M1
  • Fujifilm X-S1
  • Fujifilm X-T1
  • Fujifilm X-Pro1
  • Fujifilm X10
  • Fujifilm X20
  • Fujifilm XF1
  • Fujifilm XQ1
  • Fujifilm X100
  • Fujifilm X100S

There are also some new lens profiles:

  • Canon mount:
    • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
    • Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
    • Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 ZE
    • SIGMA 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM A013
    • Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM
    • Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM EXT
  • DJI mount:
    • Phantom Vision FC200 (for raw files)
  • Fujifilm mount:
    • Fujifilm X100S
  • Nikon mount:
    • Nikon 1 NIKKOR 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR
    • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
    • SIGMA 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM A013
    • Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
    • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED
    • Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2
    • Nikon COOLPIX P340
  • Sony E mount:
    • Sony E PZ 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS
  • Sony FE mount:
    • Sony FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS
    • Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS
  • Sony Alpha mount:
    • Sony 20mm F2.8
    • Sony 24mm F2 ZA SSM o Sony 35mm F1.4 G
    • Sony 50mm F1.4
    • Sony 50mm F1.4 ZA
    • Sony 50mm F2.8 Macro
    • Sony 85mm F1.4 ZA
    • Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM
    • Sony 135mm F1.8 ZA
    • Sony DT 11-18mm F4.5-5.6
    • Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM
    • Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA
    • Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II
    • Sony DT 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM
    • Sony DT 30mm F2.8 Macro SAM
    • Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM
    • Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM
    • Sony DT 55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM
    • Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM
  • Sigma mount:
    • SIGMA 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM A013
  • Other:
    • Apple iPhone 5c

Of course there are also bug fixes:

  • Not technically a bug, but Lightroom will now keep the computer awake if a process is running, such as exporting, syncing with Publish Services, building previews, etc. Previously, it followed your OS setting, meaning it could fall asleep part way through the process.
  • There are some slideshow fixes, including slideshows not playing on some machines.
  • More attention has been given to sharpening/noise reduction while exporting.
  • Don’t Enlarge in the Export dialog now works correctly.
  • and a few more besides!

And finally, there’s support for the new Lightroom Sync feature, which allows you to sync specific collections to the cloud and then view and edit them on your mobile device! More on that in my next post

Lightroom goes mobile with the release of the iPad version!

Nearly a year ago, Tom Hogarty gave the first public sneak peek at Lightroom on the iPad on The Grid. Now it’s your turn to play! Adobe has just announced the public release of Lightroom mobile 1.0 for iPad.

Initially released for the iPad (iPad 2 or later, or any iPad mini, must be running iOS7), with additional devices to follow, it allows you to sync your photos from Lightroom 5.4 on your desktop to the Lightroom Sync cloud, and back down to your mobile devices. Using the Smart Preview technology introduced in Lightroom 5, smaller versions of your photos, including raw files, can be synced to your mobile device without taking up too much bandwidth or space.



Viewing your photos on the iPad

Once the photos have downloaded to your iPad, you can browse through them while relaxing on the sofa, traveling on the train, or even sitting on the beach (although you might want to be careful about getting sand in your iPad!) If you know you’re not going to have internet access, you can cache them for offline use. Unlike many other apps, however, you’re not just limited to browsing. Lightroom mobile allows you to refine your photos, marking them with flags and as rejects, and those changes are automatically synced back to your desktop Lightroom catalog.


Editing your photos

It can be difficult to decide whether a photo’s worth keeping without first making some basic Develop adjustments, so Lightroom mobile goes further, allowing you to edit the photos on your iPad. And like the flag status, these non-destructive Develop settings are also synced back to the desktop.

Organizing your photos

Then you can organize the photos, copying or moving them into different collections. These groups of photos appear in the Collections panel when you return to the desktop.

Sharing your photos

Finally, you can share your edited photos with others directly from your iPad, displaying a slideshow, sharing via Facebook, Twitter or email, or by sending them to another app of your choice.

Adding new photos on the iPad

But what if you’ve shot some photos using your iPad, or uploaded them from a camera using the Camera Connection Kit? Lightroom can import any JPEG or PNG files and upload them to your Lightroom desktop catalog automatically, so you don’t even have to wait until you get home to start editing them. Note that you can’t import raw files on the iPad (although there’s a workaround in my book…)

Early Days

Lightroom for mobile doesn’t offer the same feature-set as Lightroom for desktop. Mobile apps are better for their simplicity, and some tasks are better suited to a touch environment than others.
It’s early days, and the mobile app will grow over time, just like its desktop companion. The first Lightroom public beta for the desktop didn’t even have a crop tool, but look at it now!

Web view

What happens if you don’t have your iPad with you, and you want to show someone your photos? That’s no problem either. You can simply visit http://lightroom.adobe.com using any web browser, for example, using your mobile phone, and log into your account. From there you can view your collections of photos, and you can share public links to those collections with friends and family.

So how much does it cost?

The best news is it’s FREE if you have a Creative Cloud subscription, either for the full Creative Cloud or for the $9.99/month Photography Bundle. That bundle is a fantastic deal! The Photography Bundle includes the latest version of Lightroom (so that’ll include LR6, when it’s released), the latest version of Photoshop CC, 20GB of CC cloud space, Behance Portfolio membership, PLUS it now includes an unlimited amount of Lightroom Sync space.

If you’re not keen on subscribing to software, that’s ok. Lightroom mobile does require cloud access, so you would need to sign up for the Photographer’s Bundle if you want to use it, but you can still keep your perpetual license for Lightroom, and just use the Lightroom Sync space part of the cloud subscription. You might even be tempted to play with Photoshop CC. And there’s a 30 day trial, so you can test it for yourself before making a decision.

Get started

So how do you get started? Download Lightroom 5.4 from these links – Windows / Mac - and install it, or update from the Creative Cloud system tray/menubar app if you’re already a CC member. Click the Identity Plate to sign in with your Adobe ID, then add a special sync checkmark next to the Collections you want to sync. You can watch the upload progress in the Activity Center.

Then go to the App Store and download the Lightroom app. It may take a short time before it’s available in all countries, so check back later if it’s not available yet.

Curious to learn more?

You could spend a few hours tapping around the app, and figuring it out as you go along, but there are some hidden tricks and workarounds I think you’ll want to know about, so I’ve created a 98 page eBook to save you some time and help you get the best out of it.

For advanced users, there are cheat sheets showing all of the touch commands, including a few hidden tricks, and there are also some geeky workarounds for Lightroom mobile’s limitations.

If you’re more technically challenged, don’t worry, it also covers everything step-by-step using my popular conversational FAQ format.

The Lightroom mobile for iPad book costs just £3.95 GBP – that’s about $6.50 USD* – and it comes in 3 popular eBook formats (PDF, ePub, Kindle). I’ll continue to update it as new version 1 features are added. Even if you’re not sure whether Lightroom mobile will fit into your workflow, you’ll have all the information you need to quickly make a decision.

Tempted? Here’s the purchase link to get your copy for just £3.95. 

If you haven’t read my Lightroom 5 book yet, you might want to read that too, so I’ve created a special bundle at just £18.50 GBP – that’s about $30.50 USD* – for both. That includes the Lightroom 5 and Lightroom mobile for iPad books in PDF, ePub and Kindle formats. Here’s the special bundle link.

And most importantly… have fun!


* Approximate currency conversion calculated 4 April 2014. Actual currency conversion from British Pound Sterling will be calculated by PayPal or your card company.

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