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Adobe Lightroom 4 Upgrade Review

If you are familiar with AdobeR PhotoshopR or Photoshop ElementsR, you will find the Photoshop LightroomR 4 workspace friendly and easy to use for importing, organizing, nondestructive editing and sharing photos and videos. As with the other Photoshop software, Lightroom 4 has task-oriented modules, each with its own set of digital photography tools.

Library Module

Everything begins in the Library module, where you will import your photos or video from a camera, card reader or hard drive. In this module, you have the organizational tools and menus for attaching keywords and meta data to your photos. Also, you have the Quick Develop menu for simple adjustments that don't require the more advanced tools found in the Develop module.

Now that digital cameras also produce video, you can use Lightroom 4 to organize and edit your video also. As you would expect, you can preview your video within the workspace and use the Quick Develop menu to make edits such as exposure adjustments, use the Trim tool for trimming frames as well as the Frame Capture tool for capturing stills as poster sized and jpg images. You can also create a virtual copy of your video which contains all your nondestructive edits. You can export your video in HD format to Facebook, Flickr or your hard drive directly from Lightroom.

Once your online account is set up within Lightroom, you will see a list of your albums. You can drag and drop your photos and videos to the album's name to upload them directly from the workspace. Lightroom keeps track of comments added to your photos and videos.

Develop Module

In the Develop module, we have a few new tools for editing and correcting problem photos. In the past, increasing the exposure in dark areas caused new problems in light areas of the photo. To overcome this problem, we have the new Highlight and Shadow sliders which are remarkably responsive to problem areas while leaving other areas of the photo untouched. Now you can adjust the shadow areas to bring out the details and not wash out the lighter areas of the photo. Of course, it works just as well when adjusting areas that are too light.

With another new tool, the selective Adjustment Brush, you can now adjust the color, tone, contrast, noise, moire and white balance in selected areas of a photo. It's as simple as using the brush to "paint" the target areas.

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*Adobe provided a copy of this software to me for review purposes.

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