Your Complete Guide to What's New in Lightroom: June 2022 Updates

Your in-depth look at all the improvements and new features in this year's summer updates to Lightroom Classic 11.4 and Lightroom 5.4

 

It's summer here in the northern hemisphere, and that means it's time for the annual bigger-than-normal updates for Lightroom "cloud" and Lightroom Classic. Aside from the major releases we see each fall with Adobe Max, these summer updates are usually the biggest ones put out each year.


To say there are a lot of updates arriving with Lightroom 5.4 and Lightroom Classic 11.4 is an understatement. I have pages and pages of notes to condense down into a digestible length for you.


Below, I cover the updates to both versions of the desktop apps: Lightroom (aka Lightroom "Cloud") and Lightroom Classic. I'll call out where some of the updates apply to Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom Web, and the Lightroom Mobile apps, as well.


If you're not familiar with the differences between the two desktop versions of Lightroom, I encourage you to hop over to my deep-dive post where I compare the two options and provide some recommendations for how to use them together.


To see my Top 5 new features in action, watch my walkthrough video. I review - and demo - what I think are the biggest new Lightroom updates that will have the most impact on your editing. There's a TON more in these releases than just those five things, though, so be sure to review this entire post for all the details.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Click on any of the main sections, or the bulleted sub-sections, to jump right to them


Updates Released in Both Versions of Lightroom

Lightroom Classic Exclusive Updates

Lightroom Exclusive Updates

In Conclusion


 

Other Blog Posts You May Enjoy

 

Did I mention this is a pretty hefty mid-year update?!


It may look like Classic didn't get as much love, but keep in mind it's already far more built out than the newer Lightroom so there are less features to add (and, unfortunately, the AI-based Adobe Sensei features, such as the new automatic red eye correction, remain exclusive to the cloud-based Lightroom app).


Also, Classic has received a lot of updates this round, they just fall under the "both versions" list... as they should. I'm personally glad to see Adobe continuing to make more of an effort to ensure new updates are coming to both versions where possible, instead of having one version or the other miss out, as we've seen at times in the past.


One more quick note: I've included a short poll at the end of this post so, when you're done reading, be sure to share your feedback. Comments and questions are always welcome, as well!


Don't forget to check out the video to see full demos of my Top 5 favorite Lightroom updates for June 2022!

 

June 2022 Updates Available in Both Versions of Lightroom


LENS & CAMERA SUPPORT

Also available in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom Mobile


Let's get the standard stuff out of the way first: As with any update, Adobe has added new lens correction support for several lenses, as well as adding in tethering support for the Canon R3 (tethering is only available in Lightroom Classic).


If you have deep enough pockets, the newly added lens support includes Canon's RF 800mm f/5.6 L and RF 1200mm f/8 L.


But I digress. Let's get into the more exciting updates for the Lightroom desktop apps.

 

COMPLEX MASK INVERT / MASK DUPLICATE & INVERT

Also available in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom Mobile


Adobe doing what they do best: Making my past tutorials and videos obsolete! Sarcasm aside, this is a GREAT update, and one of the most requested enhancements to Lightroom masking. Instead of having to manually convert a complex mask group in order to invert it as a whole group, you can now simply go into the mask group's context menu and click on the option to invert the entire complex mask (named "Lower Rt - Dodge/Cool Shadows in the following example):

Lightroom Classic menu showing the option to invert a mask group
New mask group context menu w/invert options

If you're observant, you may have noticed there's an additional new option: Duplicate and Invert Mask. This is a great additional enhancement Adobe threw in. If you've watched my Ultimate Guide to Lightroom Masking video, you may recall the example I showed where there was a subject mask of a person holding a pumpkin.


That subject mask wasn't quite perfect, and it included the pumpkin, so I made some further refinements with additional masks. Now, once you have that complex mask group for the subject set as you want, you can use that new Duplicate and Invert Mask option to create a new mask for the background instead of the subject, and those refinement masks will automatically convert as needed.


In only two clicks you can do what would have taken 4-5 clicks that required you to have specific knowledge of how to invert the complex mask group manually. Less clicks to do what you want is always good!


I demo both of these new mask group invert tools in my Top 5 features video, so if you're not sure what they do, exactly, give it a watch!



One important note on the Duplicate and Invert Mask tool: It will RESET all your slider adjustments on the newly created mask group. The thinking on this is that when you duplicate and invert a mask group, you're rarely going to want the same adjustments as, otherwise, you would have masked the entire area.


Think of a subject mask of a person: if you duplicate and invert the subject mask to work on the background instead of the person, it makes no sense for the settings applied to the person to carry over to the newly duplicated and inverted mask you created for the background.


So, your new mask will be created for you with all sliders at zero so you can adjust as needed without having to manually reset all adjustments first.

 

AI-GENERATED MASKS MACHINE LEARNING UPDATE


This one is more of an FYI than anything. In previous versions of Lightroom Classic 11 and Lightroom 5, the AI-generated masks could vary depending on what adjustments had already been made to the image. Some users were "hacking" the mask generation algorithm to create more accurate masks by cranking up Clarity, Texture, and some other sliders.


This also meant that a Select Sky mask you created later in your editing workflow may have been different than one you created early on. I think it's fair to say most users would not consider that a good thing.


With this update to Lightroom Classic 11.4 and Lightroom 5.4, the Select Subject and Select Sky masks are now generated consistently no matter what settings may already be applied to the image.


Moving right along...

 
 

BATCH UPDATES FOR AI-GENERATED MASKS

Also available in Adobe Camera Raw


Besides the new functionality that allows you to invert a complex mask group with a couple clicks, batch updates for AI-generated masks in Lightroom has probably been the next most requested enhancement for masking.


Let's use a portrait shoot as example:


In the past, if you came away from a shoot with dozens of similar but different photos and wanted to copy and paste a Subject mask that you created - and adjusted - on one image to the rest, you could do so... but you then had to go into each of the additional images one-by-one, click on the applicable Subject mask, and manually recompute it.


With this latest update to Lightroom and Lightroom Classic, you can now paste (or sync) a mask you created on one image to another group of images and that Smart Selection mask will recompute automatically for you.


Here's an example of the message window that appears when you paste or sync an AI-generate mask to other images:

Screenshot of Lightroom Classic message when automatically recomputing synced AI masks
Automatic recomputing of AI masks in Lightroom

Given my landscape and nature photography work, I can't say this is an issue I've really encountered to-date, but I can definitely see how it would be hugely beneficial for many photographers (myself included as I've begun taking on some client work that involves product and portrait photography).


That said, there are definitely applications for it in landscape and nature photography, too, and you can see one such example in my video.


Another new tool is an option to update all missing masks on an image. This will apply if you have images to which you copied Smart Selection masks before this new update, and you haven't gotten around to recomputing them manually yet.

Screenshot of Lightroom showing option to update all missing masks
New option to update all missing masks on an image

Additionally, if you know you have several images with missing AI-generated masks, you can navigate to Settings > Update AI Masks in the Develop module to update all Subject and Sky masks on the selected images.

 
 

UPDATED MASKING BADGES


File this under Good to Know but Nothing Major...


Adobe has updated the badges shown on masks to try to make them clearer. Previously, they overlapped the mask icon a bit on the right of the icon itself, now they sit out separately to the left:


If I'm being totally honest, although they are a bit easier to identify, they are still a little difficult to make out at a quick glance on my 1440p monitor. Regardless, it's a nice little tweak to the user interface. You can rely on these badges to see what happens when you invert a mask group with that new feature, too.

 

NEW PRESET AMOUNT SLIDER

Also available in Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom Web, and Lightroom Mobile


After that brief interlude from bigger updates, we're back on track! I personally don't use presets but plenty of people obviously do, judging by how many photographers sell preset packs.


With this new enhancement to Lightroom and Lightroom Classic, you can dial the intensity of an applied preset up or down on a scale of 1 to 200.

Screenshot of the preset amount slider in Lightroom
The new Lightroom preset Amount slider

This new preset Amount slider adjusts the intensity of the preset, so you can push it well above the default effect on your images.


One note: Not all presets will support this from the start, especially third-party ones you may have already purchased (or created yourself). The presets need to be updated to take advantage of this new Amount setting; most (if not all) of the Adobe Premium presets are already updated.

 
 

NEW PREMIUM PRESETS

Also available in Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom Web, and Lightroom Mobile


There are a few reasons I don't personally recommend buying preset packages, and a big one is the fact that Adobe has added, and continues to add, quite a few built-in premium presets for Creative Cloud subscribers.


With this update to Lightroom 5.4 and Lightroom Classic 11.4, they've added five new premium preset packs that, combined, add 55 new presets to your toolkit.


As shown in the screenshot below, they are:

  • Portraits: Black & White

  • Portraits: Edgy

  • Portraits: Group

  • Subject: Concerts

  • Video: Creative

Screenshot of premium presets in Lightroom
New premium preset packs in Lightroom
 

ADAPTIVE AI-POWERED PRESETS

Also available in Adobe Camera Raw


Here's the part where I walk back the "I don't use presets" statement a bit...


Adobe has added new presets that leverage the AI-generated Select Sky and Select Subject masks. Simply choose one of the new adaptive presets shown below and Lightroom or Lightroom Classic will automatically create the applicable mask and apply the effect, all with a single click.

Screenshot of adaptive presets for Select Sky and Select Subject in Lightroom
New adaptive AI-powered presets in Lightroom

I'm interested to play around with these and see if they'll help streamline some of my editing. The jury is still out, but it's a cool concept and, so far, I think there's quite a bit of potential here.


It also means that, in the future, you may be able to create your own adaptive preset (for an Orton Effect in a Select Sky mask, for instance, similar to what I show in my Orton Effect video, just done automatically via an adaptive preset).

 
 

EXPORT PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS


For those of us with beefy GPUs, this could be a huge improvement in Lightroom. With this update, the export process will now leverage your GPU to help speed things up.


If you have a GPU with 8GB or higher of VRAM, the new export process will automatically utilize the GPU in your system to improve performance.


If your GPU has less than 8GB of VRAM, you can still enable it for exporting by going to Preferences > Performance > Use Graphic Processor and setting it to Custom to enable GPU utilization for exporting, as shown here:

Screenshot showing how to enable GPU support for exporting photos in Lightroom Classic
Enabling your GPU for exporting

Important note if you have less than 8GM of VRAM: Enabling this feature for exporting may still gain you some improvement in exporting times, however, you may encounter slowdown in other operations that leverage the GPU, such as making adjustments in the Develop module, while the export is running. You can always disable this enhancement if you encounter issues.

 
 

NEW CROP TOOL OVERLAY


And the exciting grand finale for updates available in both versions of Lightroom is... a new crop overlay! There's now an overlay that divides your image into fifths.


A welcome addition, but hardly earth shattering.

New crop overlay of fifths in Lightroom
New crop overlay to split an image into fifths

And that wraps up the long list of updates that are included in both Lightroom 5.4 and Lightroom Classic 11.4. Read on to find out what exclusive updates are now available in each app, as well!


 

Exclusive Lightroom Classic 11.4 Updates for June 2022

Also available in Adobe Camera Raw


REVAMPED MASKING AMOUNT SLIDER

Whereas the previous version of this required you to collapse the masking adjustment panel down in Lightroom Classic, at which point you could use the Amount slider to automatically, and proportionally, adjust all modified masking sliders up or down (as I showed in this older video), this new update works quite differently.


I also feel this is a pretty significant update as using the old Amount slider - which also didn't always work as expected - is something I use in my Lightroom editing workflow fairly often.


First of all, the new Amount slider is always visible at the top of your mask adjustments panel. You no longer have to collapse down the panel to see it.

Screenshot of Lightroom Classic showing the new masking Amount slider
The new Lightroom masking Amount slider

Secondly, instead of adjusting your actual settings on all sliders you modified for a mask, it leaves the sliders themselves alone. With this update, it adjusts the intensity of the mask effect - based on your slider adjustments, but not by changing the individual slider values - and you can change the intensity all the way down to essentially zero.


Even more importantly, you can move the Amount slider to bump the intensity of your mask all the way up to 200. This now allows you to have a greater effect for some mask adjustments than what was possible before in a single mask.


In the following screenshots, note that as the Amount value changes, the adjustments s