Lightroom Tips

Snow Leopard for Lightroom and Photoshop

I’ve had a lot of questions about Lightroom’s compatibility with Apple’s new OS (Snow Leopard) so I wanted to take a quick moment to share my experiences with you. I installed it last week and took the last 4-5 days to go through and do my normal workflow in Lightroom and Photoshop as well as the other apps I use. Here’s what I found:

1. I’ve noticed when I zoom into 1:1 view on a photo and pan around the photo the screen redraws with vertical bars over my photo (see photo below and click on it to see a larger version). They go away when you release your cursor so no biggie.

2. This may sound odd, but I swear Lightroom seems faster since the upgrade. My adjustment brush seems snappier and everything seems to just, well, move a little quicker in LR. I don’t know if its just me or if there’s any truth to it but in theory (at least) it makes me happier.

3. I went to the Print module to try to print something and found I had to reinstall my print drivers for my Epson 2880. I went to Epson’s website to download them and sure enough there was a new Mac 10.6 version of the driver. The reinstall went fine and printing worked like a charm after that.

4. This one is interesting overall and affects everyone. I was surfing the web and could swear some images on sites I had seen before looked darker. In general, a lot of things looked darker. Then I read on John Nack’s blog that Apple had switched to a default gamma of 2.2 (which is what Windows has used for many years). He’s got a good write up on it on his website but its just something to be aware of.

NOTE: Because the default gamma was changed to 2.2, I went ahead and recalibrated my display (I used Datacolor’s Spyder 3) and I’d suggest you do the same with any OS upgrade just in case.

5. This one is really odd but I thought it was worth mentioning because it had me fooled until I realized what was going on. The default wallpaper background (you know the Aurora one) is darker and more saturated. I was sitting there looking at my desktop and thinking “Wow” they must have really messed around with the monitor display profiles or something. Then when I went to my Desktop preferences I noticed there were two Aurora wallpapers and the new default one is darker and more saturated then the old one. Sneaky huh? 🙂
Dual LCD

6. This isn’t a Lightroom thing, but Snow Leopard causes some kind of cursor weirdness in Photoshop. The video on this website says that it happens when you have the “Full Size Brush Tip” option enabled in the Preferences. However, this happened to me even when I didn’t have that option enabled. All I saw was my Move Tool cursor no matter what brush I used. As luck would have it I tried to create a video and now its not doing it anymore. But I swear it happened! And I swear it happened before I had any beverages during my labor day party 🙂

7. Again, this is more general but the initial release of Snow Leopard includes an older Flash player which could cause some of your favorite websites to misbehave. Simply updating to the new player should fix it.

8. A lot of folks take the opportunity when doing an OS upgrade to do a fresh system reinstall. Basically they start from scratch. This means you’ll have to reinstall Lightroom. If you do run into this, make sure you download the latest version of Lightroom from Adobe’s website and don’t install from the disc. All you’ll need any of your original LR box/disc for is to grab the serial number. Tom Hogarty (Lightroom’s product manager, talks a little more about it here).

Here’s a list from Adobe on any known issues with the Snow Leopard upgrade.

Overall, things have been fine. My general impression is that most of the things I do haven’t changed a whole lot. That doesn’t mean there’s not some neat little things here and there. The refinements listed on Apple’s website do ring true for the most part and make it worth $30, but don’t expect a totally different world when you upgrade (sorry Mac zealots). Hope this helped a little.