Lightroom Is Now Part of the Creative Cloud

The rumors have been floating around out there for a while (and Adobe said it was gonna happen eventually) and now it’s a done deal. Lightroom is officially now part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. So this means that if you’ve already bought a creative cloud subscription you can now download Lightroom 4 for free today as part of your subscription.

Now, all that said, I know that a good percentage of you reading this won’t be affected by this because 1) you already bought Lightroom 4 when it was first announced, OR 2) You’re not a subscriber to the Adobe Creative Cloud because maybe you just use Photoshop and the CC isn’t for you. Here’s something to consider though… think of thie impact of this from an overall community and support aspect. Now that Lightroom is in the Creative Cloud, this opens Lightroom up to HUGE numbers of new users. People that may never have bought it because they didn’t consider themselves serious photographers (of course we know LR is great even if you’re just a casual photographer). When it comes down to it, this growth is good for all of us using Lightroom. The more people that use Lightroom, the more training, presets, integration and overall community support you’ll find out there. Trust me, it’s a good thing.

Okay, now you know my thoughts on the topic? What’s yours?

Author: Matt Kloskowski

Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based photographer. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Lightroom Magazine, the lead instructor on the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom LIVE Seminar Tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Matt also hosts the world's top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com, where he's built up a massive library of Lightroom videos, presets and tips. In addition to teaching Photoshop, Lightroom and photography seminars around the world, he's an instructor at Photoshop World and one of the full-time staff writers for Photoshop User Magazine.

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16 Comments

  1. Great perspective, Matt. Hadn’t thought of the impact on the LR community. Also hoping for better sharing/backup options via the cloud, any news on that?

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  2. I fall into the first category, already own Lightroom 4. It’s great news, but I wish it was made before I spent money on Lightroom! Oh well, it was an upgrade, so not too expensive. At least now, also as a Creative Cloud subscriber, I won’t have to worry about future versions.

    The more people that start using Lightroom, the faster it will mature. It has already improved greatly over a few versions. And, with Apple not really pushing Aperture much for professionals anymore, it seems like Lightroom is set to become THE app for photographers. So, I agree, it’s great news.

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    • I agree, Alexander.
      I recently upgraded to LR4 and now it’s included in the CC too.
      I’m sure Adobe doesn’t really care.
      But it is a good idea to have it in the collection.
      I just wish giving them giving them so many pounds of flesh would reduce my waistline.
      Oh well…..

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  3. When Zorana and Brian were on PSU-TV a few days ago they said that one of the cloud advantages is that features can be rolled out without waiting for a new release.

    As LR purchasers, does it make sense to uninstall the licensed copy and then reinstall from our cloud subscription in order to get that advantage?

    Can we do it a simpler way, just install from the cloud on top of what we have?

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  4. I joined CC right at the beginning and have been patiently waiting for Adobe to include LR4 in the mix. I just wish they had brought it in sooner, as I’m sure a number of other folks have. The 30 day trial has already expired with nothing to bridge the gap…

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  5. So now that I’ve already shelled out my money for LR4 $169, where is my “free” access to CC?

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    • If you bought a subscription to the CC then just log in to your account. If you didn’t buy a subscription to the CC, buying LR4 before this doesn’t get you access. You’ve actually got to subscribe to the CC.

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  6. So what does this mean if I want to upgrade my software in the future? Will I have to buy into a monthly/yearly based subscription formula to upgrade Lightroom or my current version of Photoshop (currently CS5)?

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    • Nope. You’ll still be able to upgrade just like you normally did by purchasing an upgrade copy of the software. They’re not forcing the subscription on people. Just putting it out there for people that it makes sense for.

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      • Excellent! Thanks for the response.

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  7. I am only wondering,

    what impact will this have on the photography business? With all the digital explosion, consumer cameras being able to produce high quality results in some cases, oh and don’t forget everyone with a cell phone is also a photographer now.
    And now professional photo editing software is within reach to the average consumer through the cloud.

    I think everyone knows that in today’s photography world people do not want photography for their home as much as they want it for facebook and other social media sites. Although It’s an awesome thing to be able to access all the software Adobe has to offer through the cloud, it is no longer an “industry” only software.
    In fact, it’s just not the photography industry that is impacted, it is also the graphic design world (illustrator) , the video world (after effects,premire pro) the web design world (dreamweaver) and so on that Adobe software has been an industry standard software available to mainly the industry.

    Maybe this should be a Grid topic for discussion.

    “People that may never have bought it because they didnít consider themselves serious photographers (of course we know LR is great even if youíre just a casual photographer). When it comes down to it, this growth is good for all of us using Lightroom.”

    I do see the advantages mentioned in regards to presets, But the disadvantage to the industry Professionals is going to hurt the economy of the industry. I can see that Adobe is only increasing their software users by taking the software off the top shelf and putting it at everyone’s reach on the table with the cloud.

    But in some way isn’t that like making the need to call the photographer to get your family portrait or wedding done obsolete when you can have anyone with a camera shoot it or put on the self timer when it comes to a family portrait, and now that you have Photoshop and Lightroom for 600.00 a year on the cloud ( and all the other software Adobe offeres ) instead of 1300.00 that you had to purchase before ( just Photoshop and Lightroom ), you can just fix up your photos and phase out the photographer who relies on his work to eat and make a living.

    So what will be the game plan “for the industry” to retain a business in photography now?

    Not forgetting to mention the other industries that Adobe has been the industry standard software for now available to to anyone who wants to make payments to use.

    Ron

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    • Ron, that is a good point. Clearly the tools that the Pros relied on are now within reach, but that doesn’t make the Pro any less than a pro. Nor does it make Uncle Bob with a new D-whatever a Pro.

      When I was a designer, I got the job because of my vision and creativity, I had to use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to make my vision come true. Not everyone has an “eye” for that sort of thing. I think that yes other will experiment with some of their new Cloud applications, but the percentage that will go on to greatness will not be as high.

      The same goes with the skill of an accomplished Photographer. Sure anyone can point a camera and make a photo, drop it into LR or PS and PP away, but … that doesn’t make up for understanding composition or lighting or even creativity. So Uncle Bob still needs tons of time, education and shooting to turn out high quality products. Look, would your trust your daughter’s wedding that you are spending thousands of dollars on to a relative that has a digital camera and takes great photos of his cat? No. You will go for the Pro is you want to preserve that precious moment.

      Will a magazine pop for Uncle Bob’s Travel photo of East Buck Fart Iowa because he has a tool to add a little clarity to his photo of a goat cart? No. Will his use of Illustrator unlock his creativity, sure. Will InDesign that he got from C/Cloud do him any good at all? More than likely Not. Will he start a business designing Web Sites?

      If little Joey down the street has Premier in his hands, he is gonna take a stab at making a movie, but Hollywood, Bollywood, Cinema Korea or China is not gonna pop up on is doorstep just because he has 1/2 the tools. (not today, but maybe tomorrow!)

      Cameras and Software are only 1/2 the tools in the box, albeit damn good tools, but if you can’t use the other tools properly — dedication, hard work, creativity and a business sense — then you just got a box of tools and nothing else.

      If any photographer today is afraid that some new guy is gonna one up them in the Photography world then you must remember “If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, get out.” Harsh I know, but if you simply have to pony up with a better marketing plan, and drive your business and creativity at full bore to stay ahead of the game.

      The “game plan” is get off your ass. The “game plan” is to get creative and use the other tools in your head.

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      • I’m sorry, clearly it is early in the morning for me, I need coffee, please excuse the typos, but I think you get the idea.

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      • Lol,

        yes coffee,

        my point is more towards how it is becoming more difficult in these times with clients.
        Clients now days are wanting CD’s and no prints either so they can print their own photos or do what ever in some software as well as they want it on some social media site like facebook.

        It once was we shot film, and being a pro was knowing how to expose the film and get it right in the camera. There was always a cost to photography in buying film.
        Once it went full blown digital that cost has been eliminated and more people began taking photos.

        As a pro shooting 25years I know we made more money back in the day, but as the digital craze has progressed those numbers have dropped. Add the internet and a large number of people just right clicking and stealing your images and you lose more. Sure I could call someone like Ed Greenburg, but if people are so cheap and or poor to not hire a photographer or purchase images, then will I really ever see a dime in Feb Court for copyright infingement?

        Add this cloud and making the availability to have professional software at anyone’s finger tips who wants to make monthly payments, and actually pay less than out right purchasing the software, and it just takes that little bit more away from the pro’s.

        I think that in some way the photography industry in its effort to make photography better is killing the industry in a slow death. Take Kodak for example, they once produced the Brownie camera. they had their hand in the cookie jar in the digital camera world as well. But they helped slowly killed their own film production as well.

        In final thought,
        Sure one must have the skills of composition, lighting, exposure and vision, But just as Scott Kelby has said, only other photographers notice those things, even down to catch lights in the eye the average consumer does not care so much especially when they are saving a buck on hiring a photographer paying him and buying prints. Everyone knows you can fix it in Photoshop apply some cool filter/preset and make it look artsy and most are happy with only that. It’s just that much more business Photographers now day’s have a harder time getting. I liked it better when the average consumer had limited access to photo editing software, I think they called it Elements, just some basic tools to generally crop and adjust your personal images. But now anyone and everyone can have access to “professional software” at a cheaper cost than out right purchasing it.

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  8. People, people . . . the ones you are referring to are not going to shell out the $600. anyway, so the argument is mute. Sure at $600 it may be a bargain for those already using at least some of the software but the industry stealers that so many seem to fear will never shell out that kind of money. It just won’t happen.

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