There are some important photography software updates to report this week. And, since I like to turn things inside out, I’ll pass along some advice on how to rename your Lightroom catalog, so that the name will make sense to you after you do your updating!
This week, Adobe announced changes to some of their products. The oddest change is that they have renamed our good old Lightroom CC or Lightroom CC 2015 or however you remember it… to Lightroom Classic CC. Just to confuse you even more, they have also renamed Lightroom Mobile, the version of LR that used to work only on your smart phone or tablet. It’s now Lightroom CC, and it also works on your computer.
You’ll find the new changes when you update your apps.
If you’re still using Lightroom 6, nothing has changed for you. That’s less confusing, but it does say that they are pretty much finished supporting that software. It’s probably time to update to the subscription-based Creative Cloud version of Lightroom. 😩
Here’s how I’m proceeding with these developments. I’ve updated Lightroom on my laptop to Lightroom Classic CC. I’m ignoring Lightroom CC for my laptop for the time being. It’s a very pared-down version of Lightroom AND it requires you to store your photos on Adobe’s web. If you shoot a lot, that will cost you a pretty penny. On my iPad and iPhone, I’ve updated Lightroom Mobile to Lightroom CC. I do not store a lot of photos on my iPhone or iPad, so this will not cost me more than I’m already paying for online storage at Adobe.
While we’re at it, Photoshop and Premier Pro (if you shoot video) have also gotten upgrades. I’ve updated both.
I haven’t had time to play around much with the improvements yet, but there are plenty of blogs on the web that can explain them to you. I have noticed that Lightroom Classic CC is appreciably faster, though, and that is a welcome improvement!
And, the Color and Luminance Range Masking option is amazing. In the photo of the Washington Monument, I wanted to use the Graduated Filter to darken the clouds in the sky. Normally, it would also have darkened the monument and the trees, and I would have had to carefully erase these changes. With the Masking, it was simply a matter of clicking a few places in the clouds and only those colors were darkened. Much easier! Here’s a bit of trivia for you. If you look at the monument really carefully, you may notice that the top part is still a little darker. That’s due to a budget shortfall in 1854. The monument was partially constructed by then. Twenty-five years later, when they had the money to finish the project, they used marble from a different quarry, and it was darker!
Now to my hint about renaming your catalog. Why would you do it? Here’s a little background. My catalog was last renamed when I upgraded from Lightroom 6 to Lightroom CC 2015, in the summer of 2015. Lightroom CC, at that time, was just Lightroom 6 with a subscription, so I added CC after the name of the catalog, and it became “My Lightroom Catalog-LR6CC”. It made sense to me. When I updated to Lightroom Classic CC this week, Lightroom added a “-2″ to the end of the name. Now, it was making a lot less sense, especially since the Lightroom I’m using isn’t named Lightroom CC anymore! So, I decided to ditch the old name for a newer one, My Lightroom Catalog-LR Classic.lrcat”. There are enough mystery files on my laptop… At least I now know what this one is!
Here are the steps to rename your Lightroom catalog on a Mac. (I’m not a PC person, sorry!) It’s easy!
- First, update the software. When you relaunch Lightroom, it will update the catalog and give it a new name, by adding a “-2” to the end of the name.
- Now, you need to find where that catalog is stored, and Lightroom makes it easy. With Lightroom open, go to the Lightroom menu at the top left of your screen. Click on Catalog Settings and look at the General tab. Under Information, you’ll find the Location. Click on the show button to open the Finder page where your catalog is stored. It will be in a folder. Click on the folder to open it. The file with “.lrcat” at the end of it is your catalog. You’ll also find another file that ends in “Previews.lrdata”, and one more called “Smart Previews.lrdata” if you use Smart Previews. You’ll be renaming these files.
- Quit Lightroom.
- In Finder, go to the folder with your catalog in it and open it. Now, you can rename your files. In case you’re not sure how, there are two ways. You can either click on the name of the catalog, wait a second or two, and click again, to reveal a blue box around the name, or Control + click on the name to reveal that blue box. Delete the parts of the name that no longer make sense and replace them with something that does. Be sure to leave the ending, though! For my catalog, I replaced the “LR6CC-2” part of the name with “LR Classic”. I did the same thing in both my Previews and Smart Previews file names.
- Here’s a bonus suggestion. Does the name of the folder where these files are stored make sense? If not, go ahead and rename it, too, while you’re at it.
- Here’s how Lightroom is going to know to open the newly renamed catalog file. In Finder, double click on it. It will open Lightroom for you. Now, there’s one more step…
- In the Lightroom menu, choose Preferences/General. Under Default Catalog, choose the catalog with your new name. Now, Lightroom will open that catalog when you launch it!
There can never be too many bonuses… Remember that Lightroom Classic CC is a new version of Lightroom and that the old version was erased when the new one was installed. If you keep Lightroom in your Dock, you’ll need to drag the old icon off of the Dock. Then, launch Lightroom by double-clicking on it in Finder. That puts it into the Dock. Control + click on the Lightroom icon in the Dock and choose Options/Keep in Dock.
I hope these steps will simplify the process and get you up and running quickly in the new software. What do you think of the new names? Or the new software? Let me know in the comments!