#CreativeFriday – Lightroom Mobile Deep Dive

Lightroom mobile, now available for Android Phone!

Lightroom mobile has been designed for both amateur and professional Image makers. Lightroom mobile has been designed to be a companion application and works seamlessly with Lightroom on the desktop and allow changes made on mobile devices to sync back to the desktop. Lightroom mobile supports a new, and more relaxed way of editing and managing photographs.

Lightroom mobile is included with the Adobe Creative Cloud and is available in the complete Creative Cloud as well as the Create Cloud for Teams and the Photography bundle. Users will be able to use it as part of their active subscription or as a 30 day trial. Lightroom mobile is currently available on both the iPad and iPhone as a free download from the Apple App Store.

Download Lightroom mobile

Visit the Google Play store and download Lightroom mobile.  Once you login with the same Creative Cloud account, you’ll see all of your synced Collections.

(Original Lightroom for Android phone Blog post from the Lightroom team).

The Mobile workflow 

The rise of the iPad and other mobile/tablet devices, created a shift in the way that people consume and access information. Recently this has been over taken, and the way that people consume and create content has also changed. Lightroom mobile is an application that embraces this change and allows photographers to adjust and enhance their images non destructively (i.e. original files are not physically changed), and have these changes and edits sync back to the originals on the desktop, including RAW, JPG, TIFF, PSD and PNG.

What is Lightroom Mobile designed to do

Lightroom mobile embraces the creative cloud to make sure that images from Lightroom desktop are synchronised to Lightroom mobile and vica versa, including photographs taken on the mobile device. Lightroom mobile can be used to select photographs for editing (using pick/reject flags and star ratings).  Images can be enhanced including exposure, white balance, shadows, highlights, clarity etc. Lightroom mobile also provides presets and the ability to crop your images. Lightroom mobile and the creative cloud makes sure that when an internet connection is available, any image enhancements that are made, either on the desktop or the mobile application will be reflected everywhere.

To use Lightroom mobile you will need to log in on the device using your Adobe ID. The Adobe ID will provide access to Lightroom mobile features, as well as any collections and images that have been synced from Lightroom on the desktop.  When any changes are made to synced collections on the desktop, including adding new photographs or removing them, or any adjustments have been made to the image(s) on the desktop or within Lightroom mobile, then Lightroom mobile and the creative cloud will ensure that they are synced to your devices/desktop as soon as an internet connection is established.

N.B. You will need to be running Lightroom Desktop 5.4 (5.4 is Mobile enabled), to have your images available on your iPad/iPhone and Android Phone via Lightroom mobile, and will also need an Internet connect for synchronising images. Lightroom 5.4 is available as an update to both Creative Cloud and to the box version of Lightroom 5.

Setting up Lightroom mobile is easy and is done from within the Lightroom preferences menu item.


Lightroom preferences mobile tab allows you to login using your Adobe ID, once logged in it will provide information about your subscription status, along with the number of photographs that you have synced.


Photographs are synchronised with Lightroom mobile using Collections. Collections are a way to define a set of photographs, and can be added to or removed from at any time. Collections can be created on the mobile app as well.

A Lightroom Collection can be created by clicking on the ‘+’ icon next to the Collections tab in Lightroom desktop, and selecting ‘Create Collection’.


The Collection can be configured at this point and can include any already selected photographs. A Collection can be marked as being a target collection, which means that images can be added or removed from it by pressing the ‘B’ key on an image. To enable the Collection to sync with Lightroom mobile, the ‘Sync with Lightroom mobile’ option needs to be checked.


Once the collection has been created, it will show the images that are contained within it. Once the Collection has been marked for sync and an Internet connection exists, the contents will be synced to Lightroom mobile.


Any content that has been synced with Lightroom mobile is available via the Adobe.com website (www.adobe.com), which is your Creative Identity. Synced Collections can be found under the LR Photos menu item.


Selecting ‘LR Photos’ will show any synchronised Collections within the web view.


Clicking on each Collection will show the photos that have been synced.


Then clicking on each thumbnail will show a much larger image. Slide shows can also be stared from here.


Adding more photographs to Lightroom mobile can be done by selecting the ones that need to be included, and, either manually them to the collection in Lightroom desktop or by pressing the ‘B’ key if the collection has been configured to be a target Collection.




A Lightroom Collection can also be viewed publicly by clicking on the up arrow (top left of the screen below). As you can see, the shared URL can be copied and sent to others (clicking on the ‘view’ option will show what the viewer will see).



Clicking on the Collection name at the top of the screen, will allow you to filter the contents. There are more options available in the list, allowing you to also apply different sorting options to the pictures, as well as showing Badge Overlays.



Navigating over to the iPad or iPhone and opening up Lightroom mobile (once downloaded), will also show the synced Collections.



Initially the Collections are synced to the mobile device (iPad / iPhone) with thumbnails of the pictures. Editing these images will require an Internet connection, so that a larger resolution version can be downloaded when required. Larger resolution files (i.e. the RAW version), requires you to enable offline editing for the Collection.  The offline edit version is controlled by touching the ‘Offline Editing’ option, which can be found under the ‘…’ (Three dots), on the Collections thumbnail.



Control of which method is used to sync content and adjustments from Lightroom mobile can be managed by touching the Lightroom icon. Using this panel, you can force Lightroom mobile to only sync over Wi-Fi, rather than use your 3G/4G data plan.


Lightroom mobile can be used to choose pictures that need work or are part of a selected edit. There are two options to do this, the Pick system and the Star system. When the Pick system is in use, a flag will appear at the lower left of the screen, when the Star system is in use, a Star will be shown. When either system is in use, sliding your finger up and down the screen will show the other options that are available.

Example of the Pick system.


Example of the Star system


Swiping across the screen controls moving to the next or previous picture. Photographs can also be selected by touching the first icon in the group at the bottom of the screen, which will show the filmstrip. Photographs can be selected by touching them, or you can swipe the filmstrip to see more photographs in the Collection.


The next icon in the group at the bottom of the screen, allows non-destructive adjustments to be made to the photograph. An adjustment can be selected by touching it with your finger, then swiping with your finger to the left and right to reach the appropriate value. The values on elements such as white balance, temperature, exposure, white, black point, shadow, highlight etc. can all be modified.


When changing the exposure, white point, black point, shadows and highlights, two fingers can be used to show the clipping mask. The clipping mask can be useful to allow precise adjustments when altering these values on the image.


Once adjustments have been made, two fingers can be used to zoom into the image.


The third option in the group is the ability to apply presets, presets range from creative, colour, detail and effect etc.



The last option in the group allows you to make a crop. Crop enables In-built aspect ratios that are selectable from the bottom of the screen and will stay fixed while the lock icon is closed. Free form aspect ratio cropping is also available by unlocking the lock on the right hand side of the screen.


When adjustments are being made to the photograph, the synchronisation between Lightroom mobile and Lightroom desktop will be paused until the next image is selected. Once the next image is selected, the adjustments will be synced to Lightroom desktop (an internet connection will be required during the sync).

Touching the up arrow, when it is displayed, will allow you to share the image over different channels.


Below the email operation is shown. Lightroom mobile will create the image for the email, as well as allow an option to enter the TO/CC and BCC email addresses.


Adjustments from Lightroom mobile can be seen inside Lightroom on the desktop, once the sync has finished.


Lightroom mobile is also available on the iPhone and works in the same way as the iPad.




Lightroom on the iPhone or the iPad is also a great way to take photographs and sync back to Lightroom on the desktop. Photographs can be stored in any collection on the device, including ones that are created within Lightroom mobile. A Collection can be created on the device by touching the ‘+’ on the top right of the screen. This Collection will appear automatically in Lightroom on the desktop as soon as the sync completed.



Once a Collection has been created, its behavior can be configured. Under the ‘…’ three dots, you can ‘Enable Auto Import’, this option will bring Photo’s in from the camera roll automatically when Lightroom is open. Pictures can also be added manually to the Collection by using the ‘Add from Camera Roll’ option.


You can see one picture has been imported from the camera roll in the following screen shot.


Images from the iPhone can be adjusted and enhanced in the same way as they can from the iPad.


Once Lightroom mobile has completed the sync, photographs and changes will appear in Lightroom desktop.




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