Adobe Lightroom (officially Adobe Photoshop Lightroom) is a creative image organization and image manipulation software developed by Adobe Systems, as part of the Creative Cloud subscription family. It's optimized for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and tvOS (Apple TV) and allows for importing/saving, viewing, organizing, tagging, editing, and sharing large numbers of digital images.[4] Lightroom's editing functions include white balance, tone, presence, tone curve, HSL, split toning, detail, lens corrections, and calibration manipulation, as well as transformation, spot removal, red eye correction, graduated filters, radial filters, and adjustment brushing.

Adobe Lightroom Classic
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC icon.svg
Developer(s)Adobe Systems
Initial releaseFebruary 19, 2007; 13 years ago (2007-02-19)
Stable release
Lightroom Classic (10.0) / October 19, 2020; 35 days ago (2020-10-19)
Written inC++, Lua[1]
Operating systemWindows 7 (x64), Windows 10 version 1703 (x64) and later, macOS 10.12 Sierra and later[2]
TypeImage organizer, image manipulation
Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC logo.svg
Developer(s)Adobe Systems
Initial releaseSeptember 19, 2017; 3 years ago (2017-09-19)
Stable release
Lightroom 3.3 / June 16, 2020; 5 months ago (2020-06-16)
Operating systemWindows 10 version 1803 (x64) and later, macOS 10.12 Sierra and later, iOS, Android, tvOS[3]
TypeImage organizer, image manipulation


Unlike Photoshop, Lightroom is a non-destructive editing software that keeps the original image separate from any in-program edits, saving the edited image as a new file. While Photoshop includes doctoring functions like adding, removing or altering the appearance of individual image items, rendering text or 3D objects on images, or modifying individual video frames, Lightroom is a library and development software. Lightroom can store and organize photos once imported into the platform database, and is currently compatible with TIFF, JPEG, PSD(Photoshop), PNG, CMYK (edited in RGB color space) and raw image formats.[5]

Initially, Adobe Lightroom was only available on one platform, desktop. But as of 2017, it has evolving into a range of productions including Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom CC (desktop), and Lightroom Mobile. While similar in some ways, all three Lightroom variations have significant differences in how they store images and interact with Adobe's cloud storage offering and in feature parity. Lightroom CC actively stores all uploaded photos and RAW files on a cloud server, while Lightroom Classic CC holds the software power designed for desktop systems.[6] Both CC platforms and Lightroom Mobile also allow users to create, upload, and export Lightroom Presets, a batch copy of an image's in-program edits. There is currently a large market for Lightroom Presets as a tool for both mobile and digital photographer looking to build their brand, develop their skills, and improve their workflow process.[7]

Lightroom Classic CC [8] and Lightroom CC feature the following workflow steps:


Similar in concept to the 'Organizer' in Adobe Photoshop Elements and other image organizers, this module imports and exports images, creates image collections, organizes images by their metadata, and allows for users to flag, rate, tag, and color code images. Library is the gateway into Lightroom. Library is home to Lightroom extensions, extras, and plug-ins like focus finder.


Supports non-destructive editing of images en masse. This module is more for retouching and manipulations, such as enhancing and improving digital photographs by changing color balance, improving tone, sharpening, reducing noise, cropping, straightening, and converting to black-and-white. Lightroom cannot create or edit non-photographic images, such as drawings, symbols, line arts or diagrams or maps, or render text or 3D objects. It has very limited photo doctoring features, including spot removal, brush adjustments, radial and graduated filters, and red eye removal. Another often used feature in the Develop module is the ability to synchronize edits from one selected photo to the whole selection.
Upon download, Lightroom provides users with several standard presets for color correction and effects, and supports sharing custom presets online. There is currently a large market for both desktop and mobile image manipulation packages. Photographers and creators with large followings on Instagram and Facebook sell Lightroom Presets to their audience, marketing to their ease and versatility after download. Presets are attached to .XMP and .LRTEMPLATE files that can be imported to Lightroom via the presets pane and include all adjustment settings from the originally doctored photo. Presets are around 4 Kilobytes in size and can range in price from free, to upwards of $200.[9]


Added in Lightroom 4, this module facilitates geographically organizing photos based on embedded or manually added geolocation data (since end of 2018 this is no longer supported for up to Lightroom CC 2015.x / Lightroom 6.x).[10]


Added in Lightroom 4, this module allows users to create and format photobooks. Books can be exported to the self publishing vendor Blurb or printed at any local press as a PDF.


This module creates slideshows from any number of photos, to which music or a background can be added.


Allows users to print images and adjusts printing parameters such as layout and orientation.


Allows website owners or editors to create simple or sophisticated HTML5 web galleries from their uploaded images. This module has several templates available to users that create layout suggestions. The design and HTML can be exported locally to the device or directly to a site's server.[11]


Lightroom release timeline

In 1999, veteran Photoshop developer Mark Hamburg began a new project, code-named Shadowland (a reference to the 1988 KD Lang music album of same name[12]). Hamburg contacted Andrei Herasimchuk, former interface designer for the Adobe Creative Suite, to start the project.[13] It was an intentional departure from many of Adobe's established conventions. Forty percent of Photoshop Lightroom is written in the scripting language Lua. In 2002, Hamburg left the Photoshop project and in fall of the same year he sent a first experimental software sample, name PixelToy, to his former teammate Jeff Schewe for review; in 2003, Hamburg presented Schewe a first version of Shadowland in a very early UI version.[12] After a few years of research by Hamburg, Herasimchuk, Sandy Alves (the former interface designer on the Photoshop team), and Grace Kim (a product researcher at Adobe), the Shadowland project accelerated around 2004. However, Herasimchuk chose to leave Adobe Systems at that time to start a Silicon Valley design company. Hamburg then chose Phil Clevenger, a former associate of Kai Krause, to design a new look for the application.[13]

Photoshop Lightroom's developers work mostly in Minnesota, comprising the team that had already created the program Adobe ImageReady. Troy Gaul, Melissa Gaul, and the rest of their crew (reportedly known as the "Minnesota Phats"[14]), with Hamburg, developed the architecture behind the application. George Jardine was the product manager.[13]

Beta developmentEdit

On January 9, 2006, an early version of Photoshop Lightroom, formerly named only Lightroom, was released to the public as a Macintosh-only public beta, on the Adobe Labs website. This was the first Adobe product released to the general public for feedback during its development. This method was later used in developing Adobe Photoshop CS3.

On June 26, 2006, Adobe announced that it had acquired the technology of Pixmantec, developers of the Rawshooter image processing software.[15]

Further beta releases followed. Notable releases included Beta 3 on July 18, 2006, which added support for Microsoft Windows systems. On September 25, 2006, Beta 4 was released, which saw the program merged into the Photoshop product range, followed by a minor update on October 19, which was released as Beta 4.1.

Version 1.0Edit

On January 29, 2007, Adobe announced that Lightroom would ship on February 19, 2007, list priced at $299 US, £199 UK.

Lightroom v1.x is not updated when an upgrade to v2 is installed; a new serial number is needed.

Version 2.0Edit

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 Beta was advertised in official emails from Adobe in April 2008. New features included:

  • Localized corrections: edit specific parts of an image
  • Improved organization tools
  • Multiple monitor support
  • Flexible printing options
  • 64-bit support

The official release of Lightroom v2 was on July 29, 2008, along with the release of Adobe Camera Raw v4.5 and DNG Converter 4.5. Adobe added DNG Camera Profiling to both releases. This technology allows custom camera color profiles, or looks, to be created and saved by users. It also allows profiles matching the creative styles built into cameras to be replicated. At the same time as the Lightroom v2 release, Adobe [through Adobe Labs] released a full set of such Camera Profiles for Nikon and Canon models, along with basic Standard Profiles for all supported makes and models. This technology is open to all programs compliant with the DNG file format standard.[citation needed]

Version 3.0Edit

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.0 beta was released on October 22, 2009. New features included:[16]

  • New chroma noise reduction
  • Improved sharpening tool
  • New import pseudo module
  • Watermarking
  • Grain
  • Publish services
  • Custom package for print

On March 23, 2010, Adobe released a second beta, which added the following features:

  • New luminance noise reduction
  • Tethered shooting for selected Nikon and Canon cameras
  • Basic video file support
  • Point curve

Although not included in any beta release, version 3 also contains built-in lens correction and perspective control.[17]

The final version was released on June 8, 2010 with no major new functions added. It had all the features included in the betas, added the lens corrections and perspective transformations, and a few more improvements and performance optimizations.

Version 4.0Edit

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.0 was officially released on March 5, 2012 after being available in beta format since January 10, 2012.[18] It does not support Windows XP. New features included:

  • Highlight and shadow recovery to bring out detail in dark shadows and bright highlights
  • Photo book creation with templates[19]
  • Location-based organization to find and group images by location, assign locations to images, and display data from GPS-enabled cameras
  • White balance brush to refine and adjust white balance in specific areas of images
  • Added local editing controls to adjust noise reduction and remove moiré in targeted areas
  • Extended video support to organize, view, and make adjustments and edits to video clips
  • Video publishing tools to edit and share video clips on Facebook and Flickr
  • Soft proofing to preview images when printed with color-managed printers
  • Email from within Lightroom

Version 5.0Edit

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.0 was officially released on June 9, 2013 after being available in beta format since April 15, 2013.[20] The program needs Mac OS X 10.7 or later, or Windows 7 or 8. Some of the changes include:

  • Radial gradient to highlight an elliptical area
  • Advanced healing-cloning brush to brush the spot removal tool over an area
  • Smart previews to allow working with offline images
  • The ability to save custom layouts in the Book module
  • Support of PNG files
  • Support of video files in slideshows
  • Various other updates, including automatic perspective correction and enhancements to smart collections

An update to Version 5, 5.4 allows syncing a collection to Lightroom Mobile App released for iPad on April 8, 2014.

Version 6.0Edit

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC 2015 (version 6.0) was officially released on April 21, 2015.[21] The program needs OS X 10.8 or later, or Windows 7 or 8. It is the first release of Lightroom to only support 64-bit operating systems. New features include:

  • HDR Merge
  • Panorama Merge
  • Performance improvements, GPU acceleration
  • Facial recognition
  • Advanced video slideshows
  • Filter Brush

Lightroom 6.7 increased the minimum version of macOS required to OS X 10.10.[22]

Apple TVEdit

On July 26, 2016, Adobe launched Lightroom on Apple TV, a means of displaying photographs on a large screen using Apple's network appliance and entertainment device.[23]

Development branchesEdit

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC (unofficially: version 7.0) was officially released on October 18, 2017. It is the first version of Lightroom that is not available with a perpetual license (one-time purchase price); instead, it must be licensed through a monthly subscription model, with the fee initially set at US$9.99/month. Once the user stops paying the monthly fee, the program will be limited to viewing existing catalogs, without the ability to apply further changes to images.

Adobe Lightroom CC is the new online cloud-based version of Adobe's Lightroom application and can be installed alongside Lightroom Classic CC. It is included in the same US$9.99/month photography plan, but has limited editing features in comparison to Lightroom Classic CC. It can be installed on desktops, laptops, iPad and mobile. Lightroom CC has the ability to sync developed photos easily between a laptop, iPad and mobile devices, which is the major difference between both applications.[24] Its user interface is also more similar to that of Adobe's mobile version of the applications.

Adobe Lightroom Classic CCEdit

  • Version 8.0 have been released on October 15, 2018; 2 years ago (2018-10-15)
  • Version 8.1 (December 11, 2018; 23 months ago (2018-12-11))
  • Version 8.2 (February 12, 2019; 21 months ago (2019-02-12))
  • Version 8.2.1 (April 2, 2019; 19 months ago (2019-04-02))
  • Version 8.3 (May 14, 2019; 18 months ago (2019-05-14))
  • Version 8.3.1 (May 29, 2019; 17 months ago (2019-05-29))
  • Version 8.4 (August 13, 2019; 15 months ago (2019-08-13))
  • Version 8.4.1 (September 20, 2019; 14 months ago (2019-09-20))
  • Version 9.0 have been released on November 4, 2019; 12 months ago (2019-11-04)
  • Version 9.1 (December 10, 2019; 11 months ago (2019-12-10))
  • Version 9.2 (February 11, 2020; 9 months ago (2020-02-11))
  • Version 9.2.1 (April 14, 2020; 7 months ago (2020-04-14))
  • Version 9.3 (June 16, 2020; 5 months ago (2020-06-16)) [25]
  • Version 9.4 (August 18, 2020; 3 months ago (2020-08-18))
  • Version 10.0 (October 19, 2020; 35 days ago (2020-10-19))

In June 2020, Adobe released an update to Lightroom Classic, with improved features. These features were focused on Performance Improvements, UI Improvements, Local Hue Adjustment, ISO Adaptive Presets, Centered Crop Overlay, New Default Presets, and New Camera and Lens Support.

With the new Local Hue Adjustment feature, one can now make subtle tweaks to a specific hue in only a localized region your image, without that change applying to the entire image .[26]

Adobe Lightroom CCEdit

  • Version 3.0 have been released on November 4, 2019; 12 months ago (2019-11-04)
  • Version 3.1 (December 10, 2019; 11 months ago (2019-12-10))
  • Version 3.2 (February 11, 2020; 9 months ago (2020-02-11))
  • Version 3.2.1 (April 14, 2020; 7 months ago (2020-04-14))
  • Version 3.3 (June 16, 2020; 5 months ago (2020-06-16)) [27]
  • Version 3.4 (August 18, 2020; 3 months ago (2020-08-18))
  • Version 4.0 (October 19, 2020; 35 days ago (2020-10-19))

Market shareEdit

According to 2009 statistics from research company InfoTrends, released by Adobe Systems product manager John Nack, of the 1,045 North American professional photographers who were interviewed, 37.0% used Lightroom, 6.3% used Aperture, and 57.9% used the Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in. Of Macintosh users, 44.4% used Lightroom and 12.5% used Aperture.[28]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Lightroom Classic CC system requirements". Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  3. ^ "Lightroom CC system requirements". Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  4. ^ What is Lightroom
  5. ^ "Supported file formats in Lightroom".
  6. ^ "Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic: What's the difference?". Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  7. ^ "What Are Lightroom Presets? (+ 10 Useful Examples)". Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Lightroom presets and filters | Adobe Lightroom". Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  10. ^ "Map view not available in the Map module".
  11. ^ "Use the Web module panels and tools in Lightroom Classic". Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  12. ^ a b The Digital Negative, Book by Jeff Schewe
  13. ^ a b c Jeff Schewe (January 9, 2006). "The Shadowland/Lightroom Development Story". Archived from the original on 11 January 2006. Retrieved 2006-01-09.
  14. ^ Jeff Schewe (January 9, 2006). "Announcing Adobe Lightroom". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  15. ^ Adobe (June 26, 2006). "Adobe buys RawShooter engine". Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  16. ^ "Lightroom 3 Beta announced". October 22, 2009. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
  17. ^ "Preview of Lens Correction Solution for Camera Raw 6 and Lightroom 3".
  18. ^ "Lightroom 4 beta now available".
  19. ^ "Another lay out for an Amazon Kindle Photo eBook using only Lightroom 4". Blog[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Lightroom 5 now available".
  21. ^ "Adobe – Creative Cloud Photography update".
  22. ^ "Lightroom CC 2015.7 now available", Adobe Systems, 20 September2016.
  23. ^ Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge. "Adobe launches Lightroom for Apple TV." July 26, 2016. August 8, 2016.
  24. ^ "Difference between Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC". November 17, 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  25. ^ "Keep Lightroom up to date".
  26. ^ "Adobe Lightroom vs. Lightroom Classic". Elopement Presets. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  27. ^ "Keep Lightroom up to date".
  28. ^

External linksEdit