Adobe releases Photoshop Lightroom 2

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Adobe on Tuesday officially released Photoshop Lightroom 2, a product that was first released as a beta in April 2008. Lightroom has many new features including being Adobe’s first application to support 64-bit for Mac OS X 10.5.

Tom Hogarty, senior product manager for Lightroom and Camera Raw at Adobe, told Macworld that the Lightroom 2 beta was downloaded 130,000 times. The company received a lot of valuable feedback about the new features and some insight into how professional photographers were using the application during the beta process.

One of the ways that a photographer’s workflow is changing is with the use of Raw image format. Adobe is supplying default camera profiles that closely emulate the visual looks that photographers are used to seeing from their favorite camera.

This means that a photographer can use a profile to match what they see when they take the picture or build their own profile to suit their own preference. Profiles can be created by photographers using the DNG Profile Editor and Camera Raw 4.5, also being released today.

The Adobe Camera Raw 4.5 plug-in and DNG Converter 4.5 are available for download and support over 190 camera models.

Among the changes made in the new version of Lightroom is the ability to visually organize images across multiple hard drives. As more professional photographers use the Raw format, multiple hard drives are becoming the norm in the industry, making this an important feature.

New features like Suggested Keyword aim to make the mundane task of keywording images more intuitive. The application suggests keywords based on your keywording habits. For instance, if you go to the beach and always take your dog, when you enter the keyword “beach,” Lightroom will probably suggest “dog” as the next keyword.

Hogarty said that Local brush enhancements, library filleting tools and output sharpening refinements were major topics of discussion among photographers during the beta period.

Now, using the Develop module, the Local Adjustment Brush allows photographers to adjust color, exposure and tonal range of specific areas, without affecting other areas of the image.

A new Graduated Filter allows users to edit larger areas by applying gradually diminishing or increasing adjustment effects such as exposure, clarity, and saturation, alone, or in any combination, according to Adobe.

Other changes in Lightroom 2 include dual-monitor support, Library Filter Bar, and streamlined search capabilities.

Lightroom 2 is available immediately for $299 or $99 for an upgrade for qualifying Lightroom customers.

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