Today when starting Adobe Photoshop Lightroom was told that Lightroom 1.1 was available for download (at the Lightroom website). Being the technofile that I am I downloaded and installed instantly. Install is painless. By reading the release notes I was wondering if there was going to be much different because they make it sound like the improvements aren’t that much, BUT I’m happy to say that after an initial look I’m very impressed.

I’m quite fussy when it comes to UI and I thought the initial release’s UI could have been better. It seems they also thought so; the look and feel in 1.1, particularly of the Library module, is just so much better. The metadata browser (a tool I love using) now is more powerful because it includes more fields. They’ve also made improvements in the histogram and setting keywords and metadata.

Still in the library module; an awesome new feature is the painter tool. Although this sounds like something graphic it is in fact a very useful tagging tool. Instead of selected your photos first and then applying keywords to them you can now do it the other way around as well by setting a keyword and then applying it to individual photos; very useful.

There are some UI improvements/additions to the Develop modules as well like the Clarity slider – according to Adobe it “adds depth to an image by increasing local contrast”. I’m still playing with it but I’ll update this post when I have more info.

The whole app is nicer to use, but the biggest improvement in my opinion is performance. For instance: thumbnails now render much quicker and searching or setting metadata is pretty much instant – the whole app just feels much more responsive. In a previous post I complained that performance was the one thing that did put me off so now I’m a happy camper. I urge users to get this free update; you’ll thank me afterwards. 🙂

Well done Adobe!! And great expectation management!

More thoughts/tutorials about the update from: