Which one is right for you?

Scuba Diving - - Train - BY ERIN QUIGLEY

Lightroom is Adobe’s pro­fes­sional level, one-stop shop for or­ga­niz­ing, edit­ing and shar­ing im­ages. It’s the per­fect com­pan­ion to Pho­to­shop, and has been the photo-edit­ing in­dus­try stan­dard for more than a decade. In Oc­to­ber 2017, Adobe sig­nif­i­cantly changed the Lightroom lineup, of­fer­ing mul­ti­ple ver­sions of its sub­scrip­tion-based Cre­ative Cloud Pho­tog­ra­phy Plan, and ef­fec­tively dis­con­tin­u­ing Lightroom 6, which un­til

then had been avail­able for pur­chase as a “per­pet­ual li­cense” rather than via a sub­scrip­tion fee.

Even for ex­pe­ri­enced Lightroom users, mak­ing sense of the new op­tions can be con­fus­ing. The old, fa­mil­iar desk­top-fo­cused ap­pli­ca­tion is now called Lightroom Clas­sic CC, and the new fam­ily of cloud-based soft­ware is called Lightroom CC.

The Lightroom CC ecosys­tem is a cloud-cen­tric ser­vice with three de­vice-based apps: desk­top, mo­bile and Web. Lightroom CC is de­signed and built to be sim­pler, with less of a learn­ing curve for new­bies. It’s in­tended to pro­vide a seam­less ex­pe­ri­ence across all your de­vices, and ev­ery­thing that you do in Lightroom CC is synced to the cloud. Be­cause your orig­i­nals are stored on­line, they’re au­to­mat­i­cally backed up as you work — as long as you have a de­cent in­ter­net con­nec­tion.

Lightroom Clas­sic CC con­tin­ues as a pow­er­house of so­phis­ti­cated edit­ing and or­ga­ni­za­tional tools that func­tion in a tra­di­tional desk­top-based work­flow, al­low­ing the user to cus­tom­ize lo­cal stor­age with com­plete file and folder con­trol. Lightroom Clas­sic CC syncs to the Web via Lightroom Mo­bile, but it stores Smart pre­views, in­stead of orig­i­nal files, on­line.

Adobe rec­om­mends us­ing only one of the ap­pli­ca­tions, and un­less you’re com­pletely flu­ent in all things Lightroom, I agree. To help be­gin the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process, ask your­self a few sim­ple ques­tions.

Do you cur­rently own and use a stand-alone (per­pet­ual li­cense) ver­sion of Lightroom?

If you an­swer yes to this ques­tion and want to stick with your cur­rent work­flow, then it’s best to up­grade your cur­rent soft­ware by pur­chas­ing Lightroom Clas­sic CC as part of the Cre­ative Cloud Pho­tog­ra­phy Plan. It in­cludes Lightroom Clas­sic CC, Lightroom CC, Pho­to­shop CC, ac­cess to all of the mo­bile apps, and 20GB of on­line stor­age. Down­load and in­stall Lightroom Clas­sic to up­date your cur­rent Lightroom cat­a­log. Lightroom 6 and ear­lier are no longer sup­ported, and are al­ready miss­ing a hand­ful of can’t-live-with­out fea­tures.

If you an­swered no, or want to ex­per­i­ment with your work­flow, move on to ques­tion 2.

Are you a cur­rent Adobe Pho­tog­ra­phy Plan sub­scriber?

If you an­swer yes to this ques­tion and want to main­tain your cur­rent work­flow, make sure you’ve up­graded to Lightroom Clas­sic CC — not the new Lightroom CC. Both Lightroom Clas­sic and Lightroom CC are avail­able to in­stall with your Pho­tog­ra­phy Plan sub­scrip­tion. Ac­ci­den­tally up­grad­ing to Lightroom CC

will throw you for a loop — the new Lightroom CC is en­tirely dif­fer­ent in form and func­tion.

If you an­swered no, or are start­ing from scratch with the Cre­ative Cloud, move on to ques­tion 3.

Will you be edit­ing your im­ages pri­mar­ily from a desk­top or lap­top, or do you edit pri­mar­ily from mo­bile de­vices?

If you edit pri­mar­ily from a desk­top or lap­top, choose the Adobe Pho­tog­ra­phy plan that in­cludes Lightroom Clas­sic CC.

If you edit pri­mar­ily on mo­bile de­vices, and don’t care about cre­at­ing your own phys­i­cal folder struc­ture for your photo li­brary, choose a Lightroom CC plan with at least 1TB of stor­age.

Will you have ac­cess to re­li­able in­ter­net ac­cess when edit­ing?

Ac­cess to high-speed in­ter­net is an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion when fur­ther win­now­ing your choice of soft­ware. Trav­el­ing divers and pho­tog­ra­phers are of­ten with­out a re­li­able sig­nal for long pe­ri­ods of time. Lightroom CC keeps your orig­i­nals in the cloud, and needs rea­son­ably high-speed in­ter­net for full func­tion­al­ity.

Adobe of­fers three sep­a­rate pric­ing plans to cover all the bases. You can buy them here:­ative­cloud/ plans.html

Cre­ative Cloud Pho­tog­ra­phy Plan

in­cludes the new Lightroom CC, Lightroom Clas­sic CC, Pho­to­shop CC, and

20GB of cloud stor­age. This is the plan for you if you’re go­ing to use Lightroom Clas­sic CC but don’t want to store all of your orig­i­nals on­line. $9.99 per month

Cre­ative Cloud Pho­tog­ra­phy Plan with 1TB Cloud Stor­age

in­cludes the new Lightroom CC, Lightroom Clas­sic CC, Pho­to­shop CC, and 1TB of cloud stor­age. This is the plan for you if you’re go­ing to use Lightroom Clas­sic CC, and want to store up to 1TB’S worth of your orig­i­nals on­line. $19.99 per month (Spe­cial deal: $14.99 per month for one year for cur­rent sub­scribers)

Cre­ative Cloud Lightroom CC Plan

in­cludes just the new Lightroom CC

and 1TB of cloud stor­age. It does NOT in­clude Lightroom Clas­sic or Pho­to­shop. This is the plan for you if you’re go­ing to use only Lightroom CC. $9.99 per month ( More cloud stor­age is avail­able for $9.99 per TB per month, which can get pricey quick if you have a large im­age li­brary.)

Pro Tip:

Although Lightroom CC is cloud­based, you can store a copy of your orig­i­nals on a lo­cal hard drive by check­ing on the “Store a copy of ALL pho­tos lo­cally” check­box in Pref­er­ences. If you’re ex­pert (or crazy) enough to ex­per­i­ment with us­ing both Clas­sic and CC si­mul­ta­ne­ously, cre­ate a sep­a­rate im­age li­brary for each. Ref­er­enc­ing the same orig­i­nals from both pro­grams is a recipe for dis­as­ter.

ERIN QUIGLEY is an Adobe ACEcer­ti­fied con­sul­tant and award­win­ning shooter. pro­vides tu­to­ri­als and in­struc­tion for un­der­wa­ter pho­tog­ra­phers.

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