Lightroom 3 is Alive!

Yup, Lightroom 3 is officially out. I can now stop asking you (in my blog posts) to stop asking me when Lightroom 3 is shipping 🙂

Anyway, Scott Kelby and I did a bunch of videos over at NAPP’s Lightroom 3 Learning Center. You can watch the videos as well as see our top 5 favorite features right here. So instead of running down the feature list here, I’ll give you a few Lightroom 3 tips that may sneak by if you’re not paying attention.

1. Check out the presets panel in the Develop module (you know I love presets). There’s some new ones in there and I’m extremely honored that they’ve included a few of mine as well 🙂

2. When using the Tethered Shooting feature don’t forget to turn on the Auto Advance Selection option (File > Tethered Capture > Auto Advance Selection. It’s a must have since you generally want to see the photos as you capture them 🙂

3. You can now optimize your catalog right from the File menu. Just choose File > Optimize Catalog.

4. When you’re in the Import Dialog your Destination area on the far right side will show your new destination of your photos in italics (see image below). That way you’ll know exactly where your photos will end up.

5. When using the Graduated Filter or the Adjustment Brush, look directly below and to the left of the photo in that little dark gray strip. You’ll see an option called Show Edit Pins. You can choose to automatically display those little pins or turn them off altogether if they’re getting in the way of you looking at your photo. You used to be able to do this in Lightroom 2 but you had to know the secret handshake/keyboard shortcut.

6. I use this one a lot actually, so make a note of it. Again, when using the Adjustment Brush or Graduated Filter you’ll sometimes change a bunch of settings (Exposure, Saturation, Clarity, Sharpness, etc…). Well it’s always been a pain to reset them back to 0 so you could make another change using different settings. Now just press the Option (PC: Alt) key and you’ll see a little reset option appear (circled in the image below). Just click that and all settings will return to 0.

Thanks for stopping by folks. Enjoy.



  1. Joanna Birch 10 May, 2011 at 16:09 Reply


    This is a really basic question and I thought I had it sussed. It’s about finding ‘lost’ photos.

    When I go to find a photo should I be matching it with a saved jpeg of my final edited version OR the original import RAW version. When I do the latter it then overwrites. I can’t seem to work out by trial and error. Can you tell me what I should do and yes I do have your book and have read the workflow which I though worked but now I’m stuck 🙂

  2. Gary Brackin 9 March, 2011 at 15:33 Reply

    I am a Lightroom user and I just so happen to photograph women …but this question could apply to all photographers who crop their photos in the Develop module. Matt, my question is: how do I install my own Crop Guide Overlay to the six that are already there?

  3. Scarlett 6 September, 2010 at 20:03 Reply

    Hey there!
    Just a question related to feature list of Lightroom 3 in relation to Bridge:
    I know Bridge can access the results of edits in LR with “write to xmp” on, but does this apply to virtual copies? That is, I haven’t been able to make it work, but I am not a pro in using LR*, so there might be a way I don’t know of…
    *Also, I use LR2 & CS4, and this might be implemented only in LR3 & CS5
    Technically I would imagine this to be a Bridge feature, but it might be tied to how Lightroom exports/writes changes to xmp.
    The reason for asking is that I use LR to edit and manage photos, but when doing collages and things of that nature in PS I tend to access files via Bridge (and rare cases Finder), and since I can not find out how to do this, I thought this would be a good place to pop the question…

  4. Bruce 5 July, 2010 at 18:07 Reply

    I have a website I haven’t touched in several years. It’s in bad need of a major redesign and content overhaul, and I wonder if LR3’s web publishing capabilities work particularly well with any specific web design templates or services. I am looking to leverage LR as much as possible for the redesign and upkeep of my site. Thanks for any thoughts, and for all the great material you publish!

  5. Chrissy 27 June, 2010 at 01:49 Reply

    Hello Matt and Scott, loving new Lightroom 3 upgrade, but I am either being incrediably thick (again) or missing something. I just want that x button to reject as I go sometimes on big theatre shoots. Is there another reject keyboard shortcut that my searches have missed? its a pain to do it individually as I go? Now x just changes the crop tool around? I know I can do this in Library mode but after a quick look at that I just like to change my mind as I go along in Develop module.
    Thanks, Chrissy

  6. Veronica 19 June, 2010 at 09:34 Reply

    It has now been almost 10 days since Lightroom 3 is supposed to be out, why does still has it listed as ‘pre-order’ and why aren’t they shipping the boxes yet?

  7. Ken E. 17 June, 2010 at 12:45 Reply

    Anyone else having problems with LR3 final release version stripping all EXIF data on export of an image? I just exported a batch of 400+ images and all the EXIF data that appears inside lightroom is gone in the exported JPEGs?

  8. Hans 17 June, 2010 at 03:45 Reply

    It has now been almost 10 days since Lightroom 3 is supposed to be out, why does still has it listed as ‘pre-order’ and why aren’t they shipping the boxes yet?

  9. Uncle Don 16 June, 2010 at 11:07 Reply

    Is it just me, or is this program much slower than Lightroom 2?

    It is too slow for me to even think about using. Vista and w
    Windows 7 64 bit ultimate.

  10. Nina Zacuto 15 June, 2010 at 17:48 Reply

    Is there a way when importing a catalog to have the folders show up as part of the main folder instead of in a new folder (Lightroom) as a sub-folder of the main folder?
    I keep my images in chronological order under images. But when I import the LR3 beta catalog into the upgraded LR2 catalog it does not import the folders under images where LR2 left off, it creates a new folder called Lightroom and then a sub-folder with the name of the Beta 3 folder and my image folders are in that sub-folder. I would prefer not to have to drill down that far to find the most recent folders. I’ve tried to move the beta 3 folders to where they belong, but there does not seem to be a way to do that. It was so much better when the folder structure in the catalog replicated the structure on my hard drive where the images live. Am I doing something wrong?


  11. John Verbruggen 13 June, 2010 at 08:51 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    I bought it straight away when it came available. Up till now pretty satisfied. Good performance and the lenscorrection feature for me as an architectural photographer is vital. What I mis are a list of lenses to choose from. There are very few nikonlenses to choose from. Do you know of Adobe will expand this list pretty soon? Or is Napp making profiles? You guys have tons of lenses anyway 😉


  12. Jo Fonseca 12 June, 2010 at 06:25 Reply

    Thanks Matt.
    In my secondary display – survey mode – in LR2 I could see the flag status next to each image. But not in LR3? How do I see that?

  13. Stan Zimmerman 10 June, 2010 at 15:47 Reply

    Matt. When I viewed your LR3 ‘5 things that are new in LR3’ video with Scott you alluded to the ability to put a frame on your photos using the export/watermark feature. I’ve been interested in capability for a long time. Please consider doing a short ‘how to’ video – I believe it’d be a big hit. If you’ve already done this or know someone who as, would you point us to it?

    Thanks in advance.


  14. Matt Timmons 10 June, 2010 at 01:58 Reply

    Hey Matt! I saw where if one orders Scott K’s new book on LR3, that it comes with a CD of presets. Now, what if you don’t need the book, but still want some great new presets from you? Is there a way to buy the CD or just get the presets here? Cheers, -Matt

  15. Markus Hörster 9 June, 2010 at 15:33 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    I am now using LR 3 as a trial and noticed a change that I dislike: As in the previous version of Lightroom you can choose to make a backup on an external hard drive for example during the import process.
    What I liked very much about this feature is that LR automatically created a folder with the date of import. LR 3 doesn’t do that any more.

    Do you know, if you can turn this feature on again?


  16. Morten 9 June, 2010 at 14:14 Reply

    Comming from LR 2.2 this LR3 is running extremely slow. Previewing is about 1/10 – 1/20 of the speed (scrobling through images) of LR 2.2.

    And the local adjustment brush is simply unusable.

    My compuer is top specced.

  17. Lyle 9 June, 2010 at 12:25 Reply

    Thanks for the videos at NAPP – nice quick summaries…. if they’d quit releasing new software all the time I could afford to be a member of NAPP 🙂

  18. Paddy Carroll 9 June, 2010 at 11:09 Reply

    Great news. I have all my photos in Lightroom 2. Is there a way to direct Lightroom 3 to see the images and to use the Catalogue created by Lightroom 2. Want to use Lightroom 3 and remove Lightroom 2 from the computer.
    Thanks Matt and I enjoy your killer tips.

    • Jorn Kremers 9 June, 2010 at 12:02 Reply

      Just install lightroom 3. It will detect the LR2 catalogue and ask if you want to upgrade it to the LR3 catalogue. Press yes and everything will be the same.

  19. Jerel 9 June, 2010 at 04:06 Reply

    This LR3 is great!! I’d like to know if there is a way to export the templates in the print module as a jpeg ? I’d love to be able to add photos to a template, export it as a jpeg to display it on the web. If there is no way to do this I think this would be a great update for LR3.

    • Lyle 9 June, 2010 at 07:59 Reply

      You can fill the template to your liking, print to a jpg file, and then post that on the web. It will contain the full sheet graphics you see in the print module – borders and all.

  20. William Chinn 9 June, 2010 at 02:02 Reply

    Re: license key: go to, my account, sign in using the email and password. Click the adobe number for your upgrade. Both of my license keys were shown for both LR3 and PS5. Purchased and displayed on 6/8. Hope it works for you.

  21. SSPhotro 8 June, 2010 at 21:41 Reply

    Beware – I purchased the upgrade, downloaded, but never got the serial number. Called Adobe and was told that there is a bug with the license key displaying. Told me to keep checking back on my adobe acct. to see if it shows up. This is like paying for a car on line, delivered with no keys in it. Well maybe not that bad, but I can believe the premier software company would put out a product that aggravates right off the bat.

    • MJ 9 June, 2010 at 06:55 Reply

      I had the exact same issue last night. Just re-checked the Adobe site and my number is now displayed. HTH.

    • Lyle 9 June, 2010 at 07:57 Reply

      I just installed it as a trial, worked all evening and will go back today to get the S/N.
      You have 30 days of trial period working in this mode before you have to apply a S/N, so I viewed my siimilar experience as a minor nit to an otherwise major gain. 🙂

  22. Bill Hamilton 8 June, 2010 at 21:06 Reply

    Matt –
    While the Lightroom Publishing Manager is cool for Flickr, can it be set up to work with MobileMe galleries? Not clear if this can be done easily by the user or if I must wait until someone “publishes” a preset for this.

  23. Ben 8 June, 2010 at 17:47 Reply

    Hey Guys,

    I was just wondering what’s up. I just got LR3 upgraded from Beta 2. I backed up my catalogue from June 7, 2010. It only converted around 2/3 of my photos. So instead of around 8,000 photos in my gallery….there’s only around 5800. T_T what’s going on?
    It says that there is a problem importing, but it says it’s unknown O_O

  24. Ben 8 June, 2010 at 17:46 Reply

    Hey Guys,

    I was just wondering what’s up. I just got LR3 upgraded from Beta 2. I backed up my catalogue from June 7, 2010. It only converted around 2/3 of my photos. So instead of around 8,000 photos in my gallery….there’s only around 5800. T_T what’s going on?

  25. Thomas 8 June, 2010 at 17:19 Reply

    Hi Matt, not sure you or others have come across this problem when converting an LR2 catalog to LR3. Half of my images have arrows on them indicating that their “metadata was changed externally”. When I left-click on this arrow, LR3 indicates that the metadata had been changed by another application. I then have the option to either “import settings from disk” or “overwrite the settings”?!?

    Well, I guess LR2 does qualify as “another program”, but I have no idea what I am supposed to do with this message. I (perhaps simplistical) assumed that LR3 is able to deal with changes from previous verions.

    Anyone else come across this? Although I do not see anything wrong with the images per se, this does not really give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

    Any “killer tips” on this, Matt?

  26. Glyn Dewis 8 June, 2010 at 14:26 Reply

    Superb news! My we’re being spoilt lately what with the release of the CS5 Suite, iPhone 4 (v.soon) and now Lioghtroom 3.0 🙂

    The ‘surprise’ additions look awesome. From the list you’ve given Matt, and having made use of it for the first time this past weekend in the studio, the enhancement to the Tethered Shooting facility is very welcome indeed. On that note, tethered shooting in LR is very impressive indeed with hardly any waiting time at all before the images appear ‘on screen’.

    Geez am I glad i opted to stick with LR after road testing Aperture; personal taste for sure but boy am I glad 🙂

    All the best to you and yours Matt,

  27. Arne 8 June, 2010 at 14:25 Reply

    Should have been great news, but lots of people, including myself, seem to be experiencing a serious bug that makes it impossible to merge the upgraded 2.0 catalog with the 3-beta catalog. Both the (upgraded) 2.0 catalog and the 3-beta catalog open fine, but neither can be imported into the other. Error message: “Lightroom could not import this catalog because of an unknown error.” (Helpful, that one!) Exporting to new catalogs and then importing, or importing both into a blank catalog doesn’t work either.
    The rapidly groing relevant thread on the Adobe Lightroom 3 forum is

  28. jose 8 June, 2010 at 14:23 Reply

    Hi everybody
    I have just installed LR3. Why on earth we can no longer choose a playlist from itunes for a slideshow?. Maybe I am doing something wrong but now, I cannot choose more than one song. This can’t be serious !!!

    • Eli Burakian 11 June, 2010 at 23:38 Reply

      I know. This one song feature stinks. For the time being, you can use GarageBand if you have a mac, combine the two songs into one, and then import. The nice thing about doing this is that you can actually get rid of dead space by trimming the songs. I did a little tutorial about this in my blog.

  29. Jim Poor 8 June, 2010 at 11:39 Reply

    Where do the files “go” when exporting to a CD/DVD now? Sometimes it’s nice to be able to navigate to the folder the files are stored in like in LR2.

  30. RUGRLN 8 June, 2010 at 11:31 Reply

    Hey Matt! I’ve got a little prob w/ LR3 that I can’t figure out! Although LR3 is a major step up and all, I find the import dialog, atleast to me, slightly inadequate.
    I used to love the fact that I could insert an SD card into my PC, and choose exactly which dates to import images from. In LR3 though, it loads all the images, and that too from the first to last, meaning the latest ones you want can take forever to load! Is there a workaround for this!?

  31. Mike 8 June, 2010 at 10:52 Reply

    A tip for those who are migrating catalogs that may help avoid unnecessary frustration. I’ve experienced some of the sharpening problems regarding process version selection, and it seems to be compounded when I import a file that has been processed with LR2 using NIK plug-ins. Some pictures come out very granular and some come out overly smoothed. Further adjustments in LR3 generally compound the problems giving the photo an over-processed feel. The interaction between the programs (Adobe and NIK) has obviously changed, but not in a way that I have been able to develop a feel for. I strongly suggest archiving “finished” copies before doing a wholesale migration, because just selecting the 2003 process does not entirely mitigate the effect.
    I have found that the best results come from going back to the original RAW file and just re-editing it. Overall the new process is superior, but it is different.

  32. Ken Zuk 8 June, 2010 at 10:18 Reply

    my other post is missing….not sure why….

    I first downloaded the trial of LR3….then it asked me right away to import LR2 catalog, did that, very fast! Then I imported LR3 Beta catalog to LR3, kept files in same location, boom! Very fast, done, all in one catalog now! Kept all of my adjustments from both LR2 and LR3 Beta!

    Thank you Adobe!!

  33. Ken Zuk 8 June, 2010 at 10:16 Reply

    Oh, and I already did a backup, and remove LR2 and LR3 Beta….working with one LR3 final release is soooo nice now!!

  34. alex 8 June, 2010 at 09:46 Reply

    Any advice on how best to upgrade my Lightroom 2 catalog and my Lightroom 3 beta into one? Is that possible? Do they both upgrade the same way?

  35. AndyL 8 June, 2010 at 09:22 Reply

    Great news Matt! I am sure that many of us have an extensive LR2 catalog as well as a separate catalog created with the LR3 beta. What’s the work around so that the info from both catalogs can be moved into the final release of LR3? One thought was to was to allow LR3 to convert/transfer the LR2 info as part of the install process and then separately export the beta info and then import into the new release. Many thanks.

  36. Tassos 8 June, 2010 at 09:08 Reply

    Hey, Matt! That’s great news!! Only one problem… Can I keep my preferences from Lr2 so that I don’t have to make them all over again? Can I save them as a preset and upload them or sth? Thanks…

  37. Shawn Daley 8 June, 2010 at 09:07 Reply

    I notice that the NIK plugins don’t work with this release. If these excellent NIK products won’t work with 3 I won’t be upgrading.

  38. Zack Jones 8 June, 2010 at 07:39 Reply

    Great news! I’m downloading the upgrade now. I’ll be good to get rid of Lightroom 2.x on the computer so I only have one version of Lightroom to use. I do hope Adobe follows this practice with future releases. I think it’s been a great experience being able to use the beta.

  39. Petr Klapper 8 June, 2010 at 06:48 Reply

    Great, thanks for the intro Matt. What I value most is the new lens correction feature, works great, only one thing – when applied to camera JPEG (I do shoot 99% JPEG with my Nikon D700 for practical reasons) it also applies chromatic aberration correction by default, but since it was already corrected by camera while creating JPEG file, it INTRODUCES new aberration into already CA-clean photo. Reseting slider to 0 helps of course, but it’s easily forgotten and sometimes not so apparent so you might degrade lot of photos not knowing it !
    Since you and Scott talk to Adobe, it might be worth mentioning to incorporate new logic “do not correct CA by default when out of camera JPEG generated by D3/x/s/D700 etc.”, also warning other users might be helpful.

  40. Herwig 8 June, 2010 at 06:03 Reply

    It seems that you can either buy an upgrade or a student version (if you are eligible). Since I already have LR2, I don’t see a “student upgrade” possibility. Is this correct?

    • Tim 8 June, 2010 at 14:07 Reply

      I think that’s right. I just purchased the “Full” student edition.

      $89 was cheaper than the non-student upgrade for $99.

      • Deena 5 September, 2010 at 14:05 Reply

        Did you have any problems with the student version? I am contemplating the same purchase (student version vs upgrade) since I am still using Lightroom 1, but am worries about not being able to upgrade the student version in the future (new Lightroom versions), and moving photos from Lightroom 1 into Lightroom 3 student version. Any problems?

  41. Sorppa 8 June, 2010 at 05:26 Reply

    If I upgrade to Lightroom 3, do I also need to upgrade Photoshop to CS5 to be able to use Lightroom and Photoshop together? (I have Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4 Extended now.)

    • Lyle 10 June, 2010 at 13:10 Reply

      You can work with cs4, but you won’t get the most optimal results from features enhanced in the raw processing in LR 3, once you’re in CS5 is my understanding.

  42. Rene Delbar 8 June, 2010 at 05:17 Reply


    I tried to upgrade my 3.0 beta catalog and lost all info in the process. Luckily I do have a backup from immediately before installing LR3 release…
    Also saw a report from another photog here in belgium about serious issues with upgrading a 2.7 catalog.

    For now, I will just fool around with the new features (yeah! lens correction has almost everything that PTLens offers, except shifting the corrected image up/down and left/right) and stay away from existinmg catalogs until I learn more…

  43. ingoman 8 June, 2010 at 04:59 Reply

    oh matt, good news for 2day. thank you!
    so peeps can now start asking you about the LR4 and when it will come out? hihi *justkidding*

    take care
    greez from munich

  44. Ken Zuk 8 June, 2010 at 04:28 Reply

    Great news! I want to buy today, but thought that I should check on one thing…..

    Do NAPP members get a discount on LR3? I have been thinking of joining NAPP for awhile now, maybe this would add a benefit to that decision.

    Today, I think I also found out that I cannot upgrade from CS4 Suite to just PS CS5…bummer…unless someone tells me that I am wrong, I would love to be wrong on this one (I am just wanted to upgrade to PS CS5 not the whole suite).

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