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All Hell Breaks Loose in Lightroom Land!


Holy Cow! I go away for a week or so and look what happens. 😉

OK, I’m not going to write a long diatribe, because some of this is old news to you, but I do want the chance to weigh in on some stuff; the first being that:

(1) Adobe released another update/bug fix on Friday that fixed a lot of folks problems
Not mine, mind you — I can’t seem to import anything into Lightroom whatsoever — the import screen is pretty much unresponsive once it opens (it’s stuck like what you see above). I can click on stuff for a few seconds but then it locks up. If I try to cancel out of the new import dialog, it won’t close. If I try to quit Lightroom itself, it freezes (even the word “Quit” is now grayed out). Basically, I’m in kind of a weird Import limbo right now, but I know that Adobe will get it fixed, and so it’s just a matter of time and that problem will go away. (By the way — Adobe knows the first release, last Monday, was…um…not all it could be [wink]). In fact, Adobe’s own Tom Hogarty wrote a blog post about that release, and the first line of his post reads:

“I’d like to personally apologize for the quality of the Lightroom 6.2 release we shipped on Monday.”

I know Tom personally, and his heart is so in the right place when it comes to Lightroom. He’s a photographer, and he uses Lightroom every day just like you and me, so I know how crushed he must be to have let the community down that he’s been so dedicated to nurturing and supporting (even if that messed up release only lasted four days, I know it had to kill him). You can read Tom’s full post here — and even though I know it was tough, Tom did something few companies ever have the guts to do, and I applaud him, and Adobe, for that big time.

But I have a much bigger problem than my Import Screen freeze out, and apparently from reading your comments here and around the Web, I’m not alone. The problem is, simply this:

Adobe did to Lightroom’s Import process what Apple did to FinalCut Pro (and/or iMovie and now their Photos App).

If you don’t know those three horror stories, just Google any one of them. The FinalCut Pro X update is probably the single biggest simultaneous revolt by users of a software application in modern history, and Adobe (in this new import scheme) did to us pretty much Apple did to FinalCut Pro users, just on a smaller scale since it only did it to one part, but it’s a mighty important part.

They took away stuff we need — important parts of our workflow — to make people who don’t even use the program have a better importing experience. That ain’t right.

Existing Lightroom users didn’t have a problem with the old Import dialog. We understood it — it made sense to us, and it did all the things we needed it to do. Now it does a lot less.

They even removed the checkbox for automatically ejecting your memory card after you imported your images. Who thought that was a good idea? Beyond that, why would you take it away? It doesn’t cost Adobe anything to have Lightroom automatically eject our memory card — why on earth would they remove it?

Of course, there’s other things missing that were there before (as you all have noted, like not being able to see larger previews of the images you’re thinking about importing, which had been in Lightroom for years now), but there’s still potentially a bigger problem.

A bigger problem?
Yup. It’s that while the new Import dialog looks pretty, I believe will actually wind up being more confusing to new users than the old one. So, it’s kind of a lose-lose for everybody.

I totally agree that they needed a new import for dialog for new users. Although we have pretty much figured out the old one by now, it’s not intuitive for new users. Totally agree with that. But I wish the engineer that designed it, had been a photographer because if he had been, they would have used all sorts of other programs for managing photos — one’s where nobody is complaining about the importing images process, and they would have been inspired by one of those, instead of what they chose, which is…well…you know [insert naughty word here].

So, I’m hoping for two things:

(1) Adobe adds a option for us to return to the old import dialog. They can make the new one the default for every new user, but at least give us an option to go back to the workflow we have been using for like EIGHT YEARS — one we’re comfortable with, and at least has all the features we need.

(2) Adobe fixes my Lightroom import hang issue before next week’s game, or I’m kinda hosed (or I’ll do what Pete wrote about last week and downgrade to the previous version).

So, I said up front that I didn’t want to write a long diatribe, but then I kinda did, but this is really important stuff, and I know I’m kind of late to the game because of my trip to Australia, but I still wanted to at least weigh in and give my two cents.

By the way, I could be entirely wrong
I’m just judging by my own experience with the new import dialog, and what I’ve heard “on the street” (meaning online of course, but it’s somehow sounds dirtier and more scandalous if I say “on the street”), so let’s do this:

Let’s take a quick, simple two-question poll about the new import dialog:

Here’s the link to the poll

I’ll post the results here tomorrow.

In the meantime, thanks for letting me weigh in, and know that whatever Adobe did, they did it with the best intentions — to help new users have a better Lightroom experience — but there has to be a way to reach that goal, without making existing users have a worse experience.



P.S. I shared some images from my trip to Australia and New Zealand at this link. I hope you’ll take a sec and check them out.