Lightroom 4 has been out for a while but I didn’t really spend too much time tinkering with it until last weekend and a little this weekend too. While there doesn’t seem to be much new, the processing engine has seen quite a step up in performance so much so that a few of my older images really benefited from further tinkering.

Kilt

Kilt

The photo above was taken a couple of years ago at the Edinburgh festival. I always liked it but never really got the detail out of it I wanted without bringing in too much noise. The edited photo, while I’ve maybe taken it a bit far, I really like. More contrast and highlights areas like the kilt far more effectively. I don’t think I could have pushed it as far in Lightroom 3.

Squirrel

Squirrel

Similarly this shot from the Cobbler climb in 2010 was a favourite but now with some tweaking in Lightroom 4 I can get some better definition. Slightly confusing was the first time I opened an older image in Lightroom 4. The new develop settings were missing but on anything new brought into Lightroom I could see them – Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks instead of Recovery, Fill Light and Brightness sliders. After a bit of searching I found you had to change the Process Version to 2012 instead of 2010. Applying that to the whole library opens up the newer develop panels for all my photo’s.

Early Morning London Eye

Early Morning London Eye

Even this shot of London taken from inside now looks better. Previously I struggled to increase the clarity and it always looked a bit washed out but I found it easier to tweak in Lightroom 4. There are other new features like book support, proofing and printing improvements, video support and a great way of geotagging photo’s but it’s the improvements in the process engine that really stands out.

Shamefully I’ve hardly been out and about this year with my camera but that will change soon. Promise.