Lightroom 4 Wish List
Now that Lightroom 3 has been out for a while and is already in it’s second iteration (the current version being 6.2) it would seem that some of the regular pundits have been turning their thoughts towards what may be included with Lightroom 4. Scott Kelby recently posted a rather interesting blog on features he would like to see in version 4 and that got me thinking what would be in my top ten wish list. Scott’s article was pretty thorough and I thought and covered most of the bases. Plus, being in a position he is within the industry, it would seem that Adobe are already taking note. His article also provoked quite a response. You can read the original here and the follow up Wish List Comments here.
I of course, have absolutely no clout with Adobe what-so-ever. So apart from posting my wishes here in the vain hope that someone from Adobe may, by complete chance, happen to stumble upon them, I think getting my wishes fulfilled are pretty dam remote! Nevertheless, here are my top ten in order of preference:
- Soft Proofing: if it’s one thing I still have major difficulty with it’s getting my prints ‘just right’. If you read the web posts I’m not the only one, there are thousands of others out there who, even after profiling monitors and papers, still find achieving the perfect print a bit of a dark art. This one’s a no-brainer and way out in front for me.
- GPS Support: as a landscape photographer I’d love this feature. Pretty soon all DSLR’s will have GPS built-in. I currently use Jeffrey Friedl’s Geoencoding Plug-in for Lightroom which, even by his own admission, is a tad clumsy due to the current LR plug-in architecture, but does work quite well. This enables locations to be imported from a GPS device or simply tag locations from Google Earth, but requires a bit of juggling to get this data back into the LR catalog.
- Key Word Manager: I haven’t seen many requests for this and I don’t really know why. Key-wording is one of those necessary evils. We all know it should be done, but managing long lists and hierarchical keywords in a little side panel is a clumsy affair. They made the new import dialog into a huge pop-out module (which wasn’t really a critical feature in my opinion), so why can’t we have something similar for managing key words?
- Improved Local Adjustment Tools: these currently contain Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Clarity, Sharpness and Colour. But why not Fill Light, Recovery and Vibrance, or even go the whole hog and give us a local Tone Curve adjustment too.
- Improved Slide Show: I currently use a third party product (ProShow Director) for my AV requirements, and whilst I don’t expect Lightroom to provide that level of sophistication, the Slide Show module as it stands is a little basic. More layout capability, with multiple pictures per slides, different backgrounds, more text features, Ken Burns zooming and panning and a few different transitions are an absolute must. Syncing to music would be nice too plus the ability to use several music tracks in sequence.
- Photo Book Services: Scott Kelby mentions this is the sole feature he uses Aperture 3. But I certainly don’t want to be tied to a photo book publishing feature that ties the user to one service like Apple does. To me this is an ideal feature to be added to the Publish Services feature, so hopefully we’ll see services like Blurb, fotobook and many others added here.
- Face Recognition: enough said, it’s already in Aperture and we’d all use this for sure. Surely adobe couldn’t afford to leave this out…could they?
- Improved Spot Removal Tool & Clone Stamp: these are some of the few features that still require me to leave Lightroom. I’d really like to see the Spot Removal tool developed into a proper healing brush, so annoying wires and TV aerials can be cloned out without a round trip to Photoshop.
- Photo Stitching: the ability to make panoramas and stitch photographs within Lightroom.
- Improved Interface: I like the Lightroom interface very much, but it needs to be a little more adaptable. Some of the side panel features are too small when restricted to a narrow panel. A pop-out/expand mode feature may suffice. And please, please, Mr Adobe, do something about the dreaded little triangle in the far left and right margins. I’m forever clicking in there by mistake thinking it’s the scroll bar and hiding my panel. Scroll bars should be on the Outside!
Well that’s my wish list for now. Now tell me yours!