Announcing the Public Beta for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5™ and what it means to Crop Aficionados all over the world!
2:30 PM CT Monday, April 15th. Adobe has announced a public beta of the next major upgrade to their industry-leading photographer’s software: Lightroom. We here at Holy Crop! have reviewed the features and found those items which either appeal to or will make the crop conscious’ lives easier.
Here, in no particular order are the new crop features/enhancements in Lightroom 5
1. Maintain Crop Center When Changing Aspect Ratios
“no more crop resetting angst”
In Lightroom 4 or 3 or … when you’ve carefully set a crop on your image and decide that you needed to change your aspect ratio say from a free-form crop for content to a 5×7 crop to print on a specific piece of paper, Lightroom would rest the crop back to the center of your image. It was very frustrating. Lightroom 5 changes all of that with a new enhancement that keeps your crop centered on the existing cropped area when changing aspect ratios. This helps keep your image composed (more or less) as you had it instead of forcing you to reinvent the crop. See this example:
Note that merely selecting the 1×2 user-defined Crop Aspect Ratio preset changes the aspect ratio but preserves the crop location on center – rather than resetting the crop entirely.
2. Paper Size Crop Overlays
“finally a compositional Overlay that mimics your output!”
Lightroom has always had a series of cropping guide overlays to guide you in composition while cropping your image. I have written about them in detail here. For review you can toggle through the overlays while the crop tool is invoked by using the [O] key. [Shift][O] toggles you through variations which exist for some of the overlays. Lightroom 5 adds a new overlay and it is very exciting.
Ladies and Gents… there is a new overlay in town!
I am going to take partial credit for this one (whether deserved or not) as I requested this feature on Adobe’s official feedback forum long ago and even mocked up a crude prototype that is vaguely accurate in forecasting this future feature.
Cycling through the overlays with [O] brings you to this little gem:
The Aspect Ratios Overlay,as it is named, is now found at the end of the list of overlays and provides you with guides showing common print sizes to help you in cropping. This ensures that you can create a crop that preserves room for future standard print or screen display sizing. Not only is is a nifty overlay, it is also somewhat customizable.
If you navigate to Tools>Crop Guide Overlay>Choose Aspect Ratios… you can choose the guides which appear in the overlay. Nifty!
You can choose only the sizes you wish to appear on the overlay and customize to your style of shooting and output. Again: Nifty! Unfortunately, there is no provision for custom overlay aspect ratios but this is a huge step forward.
[Shift][O] Cycles the overlay so that it can be used as a portrait overlay in a landscape image and a vice versa. I predict this will be come the studio photographer’s second favorite overlay after Rule of Thirds.
3. Customizing the Crop Overlays You Wish To Cycle
“only the Compositional Overlays you want to see”
Another augment to the Crop Overlays is the ability to turn them on and off so that as you cycle through them with [Shift][O], you can bypass overlays you are unlikely to use.
Simply turn off the overlays you don’t use and simplify your compositional guides. (It would have been nice if the order would have been the same as the actual cycle order however) All and all a nice augment to your cropping and compositional needs.
4. Adaptable Grid And Guides
“additional tools to straighten and compose”
New in Lightroom 5 is an adaptable Grid Overlay that can be used to sort elements, augment transformations and further guide you in composition and correction. View>Loupe Overlay> takes you to a screen where you can choose a Grid or a Guide Overlay for your screen.
Inspection of this function reveals a new series of hints in Lightroom 5 in the form of the “Hold Control for Options” hint that tells you what you might do with this tool.
Holding down the [CTRL/CMD] key allows you to control the Grid size/spacing and the opacity of the lines. Very cool very customizable. A horizontal and vertical guide is available to use alone or in conjunction with the customizable grid.
5. Aspect Ratio in Lens Correction
“when you just need a little tweak to make it fit”
In the “I am not quite sure how I feel about this” category, is the new Aspect Ratio Slider in Lightroom 5. It is located in the Lens Correction panel in the Manual tab and designed to adjust perspective-corrected distortion. . It allows you to tweak an image’s aspect ratio either horizontally or vertically. What is really going on is a slight distortion and not really a crop but it could make up for a crop that was just off and there are no pixels remaining for recovery but you still need it to fit that paper or web frame hole. I included it because it can help with an errant crop if nothing else.
“quickly and effortlessly correct perspective and level.”
Staying in the Lens Correction panel, we have an exciting new feature called Upright.
A redesigned Basic tab in the Lens Correction panel now has a series of features whereby Lightroom 5 will automatically attempt to Straighten your Horizon and correct Perspective in your image. As we know from reading here any straightening or perspective correction is a crop by default as you are trimming pixels from your image. You can let Upright tune your image automatically with a button or adjust Level, Vertical and Scaling individually.
In addition, Upright is sync-able and preset-able so you can automate this in your particular workflow.
7. Compositional Overlays Now In Develop
“compositional help in the same module where you tweak your image”
When Lightroom 4 was announced, Holy Crop! wrote about the Overlay feature added and how it could help your cropping and composition. Read about it here.
Just like before you can have an overlay in Library Loupe view. [CMD/CTRL] allows you to adjust the Opacity of the Overlay and subdue the outer portion. The Big Deal here is now this Overlay is visible in the Develop Module! You can now adjust your image while viewing the Overlay at the same time. Unfortunately that doesn’t extend to Crop where the Crop Compositional Overlays take priority. Someday, perhaps. Right now, it does coexist peacefully (more or less) with the new Grid and Guide functions.
With Lightroom 5’s new ability to manage your PNG files right inside the catalog, this gives you powerful leverage to catalog and implement your Overlays.
There you have it: Lightroom 5 and 7 new Crop/Compositional Features to help you Crop your images better and more efficiently. .
The Cropist is pleased with this crop of crop enhancements.
Information and the download links for the Lightroom 5 Public beta are available from Adobe Labs.
Rikk Flohr – The Cropist © 2013