Adobe Lightroom Mobile Available For Free

As you might know, I am an advocate for Snapseed, Google’s free image editing tool for mobile devices. But when Adobe announced yesterday that Lightroom Mobile for Android 1.4 is now available for free (following the iOS version going free in October already) I simply had to give the App a try. After all, the Lightroom desktop version is THE photo software par excellence built with Adobe Photoshop technology.

After playing around for an hour, I decided to place the freshly installed Lightroom Mobile directly beside the indispensable Snapsee App — what a great addition to my all time favorite editing tool!

As you can imagine, Adobe’s mobile version of Lightroom does not cover all aspects that the (paid) desktop version covers. Which is completely fine! It still gives you a good amount of handy tools to get hooked on if you love to post-process your (mobile) photos on your iOS or Android device.

I strongly recommend to get the App and have a look yourself. Even without any tutorial it is very intuitive and easy to use if you are not completely new to mobile editing.

These are the 3 Lightroom Mobile features which I personally consider as neat addition to all the wonderful editing options Snapseed already comes with:

  • Dehaze
  • White Balance
  • Noise Reduction*
lightroom-mobile-dehaze2

DEHAZE: Recover details hidden by mist, fog or dense rain. Of course you can reverse the feature and add some moody feeling to your shots if that’s what you’re after.

lightroom-mobile-whitebalance

WHITE BALANCE: You can either let the App auto correct your white balance settings, or choose the selector and pick a part of your image which is supposed to be white. This feature is super handy for all those shots when you didn’t had time to manually set up your white balance. My photos often tend to look a bit redder than the real live version.

lightroom-mobile-noise-reduction

NOISE REDUCTION: Lightroom Mobile comes with a bunch of Presets. Under “Detail” you can adjust clarity and noise (low, medium, high). This is a neat feature for high ISO shots or mobile photos taken in low light. But it can also give your photo a smoother look, like on this image example (take a close look at the sand).

Do you prefer Lightroom Desktop or Mobile?
Which editing options are essential to you, and which ones do you apply each time?

*Please click on the images to see them bigger and in better quality.

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Snapseed 2.0: Does Google Plan To Pit The App Against Instagram?

I have been using Snapseed, Google’s free mobile photo editing App, exclusively over the past months before sharing my photos on Instagram. So when I read this morning that my favorite App has been completely revamped, I wasn’t even aware that it was a “much-needed overhaul”. Admittedly, it lacked some professional “Photoshop features”, but guess what, some of us like when things are kept simple (though not as simple as the Instagram editing tools).

Of course I still tapped the update button in my App Store. Curiosity 1, Anja 0. To my relief, not THAT many things had changed. Sure, the interface looks completely different; I’m not certain though if the term “modern” really nails it. I noticed that I need one more tap than before to get to my wanted settings and filters. Oh well… But behind the new packaging, not everything had changed radically.

Added features:

  • A slider for highlights in the “Tune Image” section (neat addition to the shadow slider)
  • A feature to transform the image perspective (horizontally and vertically)
  • A brush to add a different exposure, saturation, color temperature or dodge & burn effect to specific parts of the photo
  • A spot repair feature, which sadly neither offers to choose the exact pixels you want to repair, nor the pixels you want to interpolate
  • A few new filter sets (Noir, Glamour Glow and Tonal Contrast)
  • An image stack feature to re-edit the same image lateron
  • A copy feature, allowing you to copy edits from one image to another

Deleted features:

  • The Grunge filter set (not that I am going to miss them)
  • All style presets under “Vignette”, which is truly a shame as they often helped me to see at a glance how much outer and inner brightness I was looking for

I am glad that not more features have been erased, and the new ones have been added in a way that won’t disturb my current workflow, which gives me time to actually go through all new features in the coming days to test them more on various photos.

On a first side note though, the new transform and brush tools look pretty neat and could soon become part of my image editing routine. Here is a first before and after comparison, after playing with “Transform” and “Brush” for around 10 minutes.

Louvre Paris GoPro

Original GoPro photo without any edit. This one looks a bit dull and could need some straight lines.

Louvre Paris with Snapseed

Edited with Snapseed 2.0: The new “Transform” tool interpolated pixels from the Louvre building and the fountain in the foreground (that’s a terrific job!). No need to crop, and the photo looks even more fish-eye than the GoPro original, which I personally love. I changed the saturation and color temperature of single image parts with the new “Brush” tool to make them look more like taken during sunset (which actually was the case).

I certainly think today’s changes put Google a big step ahead of Instagram (with regards to photo editing), and I am glad to see that the App stayed free, without paid “pro options”.

Are you a Snapseed fan too? What are your thoughts?
Which other mobile editing App appears on your primary smartphone or tablet screen?

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