About a month ago, I got a notification that my Adobe Lightroom photo editing software needed an update. To my surprise, my computer could not update due to my computer apparently becoming obsolete. My computer was no longer powerful enough for the update.

I suppose it was finally time for an upgrade. What a bummer though and bad timing. Good news for Apple though because I was now going to purchase a brand new computer so I can continue my photography business at the highest capacity in regards to the software I need to run to fully do my job. 

Bad timing because we are still in the midst of Covid and on top of that, it's winter, so it's my normal "slow time" of year. However, I guess I should be a little bit happy because I ws able to get away with a computer that has lasted me since 2013. Other than not being able to upgrade my editing software though, everything else still ran perfectly fine. So I guess I'll hold onto it as a backup.

Anyway, I was bummed at first not just because I had to upgrade my computer system, but I had to wait for the update to Lightroom. I found out that they had added a new category of sliders for manual "Color-Grading." I was immediately excited!!

Manual color-grading is something that I was fairly familiar with in video editing, however, I was never able to really dive into it as much as I would have liked to. Mainly because I don't do very much in video editing other than a few YouTube videos here and there.

So what is color-grading exactly? The simple way to put it is you are able to adjust color in highlights, shadows, and midtones manually.

For example, here is an image of what the color-grading tool looks like in the latest version of Lightroom:

I know this probably looks overwhelming to most people, but the simple explaination is you have the color wheel in which you can manipulate the color within the midtones, shadows, and highlights individually. In addition to that, you can also set the blending and balance percentages. I'm not going to get into a full review and tutorial on what each slider does, however, with this addition to Lightroom, working side by side with all the other editing features such as curves, selective color, tone, and presence adjustments, it has taken photo editing (for me) to an entire new level and gives me new ways to explore and learn.

For me, that is what's most exciting. There's still something new to learn even after being a photographer for the past 21 years!! I am so very fortunate to do what I love full-time, and the fact that I can continue to learn and pick up new ways to further my creativity and work is incredible. 

Here are a few images I dragged out of my archive to try out the new color-grading tool on. You can use the slider to slide the image from a "before" to "after" look. Although I did some extra adjusting with some tones, presence, curves, and HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance), you can see see how I was able to manipulate the colors each of the midtones, shadows, and highlights. 

I'm really looking forward to learning more about how color-grading works, but as my first initial impression, I'm floored and love that I have complete control of (what I now feel is) every aspect of the photo-editing process. Really pushing those pixels not only to the max, but in the best way possible. Of course, this is my own personal opinion though.