HDR Merge with Smart Previews – The less publicised new feature in Adobe Lightroom CC
So all the noise was about guided upright (which I will write about tomorrow), but for those of you who read down the Adobe press release, there was something else,
“Merge to Panorama and HDR now works with Smart Previews.”
Previously, Lightroom required the use of original images for the Merge to Panorama or HDR features.”
I actually asked Adobe representatives at the Photography Show at the NEC this year why I couldn’t do HDR Merge with Smart Previews. And if this feature was going to be introduced. They didn’t exactly say no, but they didn’t say it would be out in three months from when I asked!
Why is this so important to me?
Because my Lightroom Catalogue is on my laptop, and my images are on my external hard drive. I have built Smart Previews for every image, and on import I create Smart Previews for each and every image.
And in my architectural photography and interior photography work I use HDR.
The reason for this is that I ran out of hard drive space. I have written about this extensively earlier on this year – you can find the posts on my blog if you want to read about this, or get in touch with me and I can send you links. And having run out of drive space I obviously had issues going forward.
So I had to do something else – make the break from one hard drive – I couldn’t just buy another laptop with a larger hard drive, as at some point this would fill up too. And once hard drives get to a certain percentage full level they begin to slow down…
And that something else was to move my Lightroom images to an external hard drive, but keep my catalogue on my laptop.
Smart Previews allowed me to carry out any editing I want to a photo on my laptop anywhere I might find myself. This is pretty awesome, considering I do not have the actual image files on my laptop.
Everything but HDR Merge and Panorama Merge that is. Or was.
So thank you Adobe for the final piece of my Lightroom jigsaw. Well not true – if you could give me a way of automating mass HDR Merge that would be great. But I am happy with this new, not that well publicised, feature in Lightroom.