Every time I release a tutorial, and it shows Lightroom Classic, I get asked the same question a bunch of times:

Matt… Are you still using Lightroom (Cc, Cloud, or whatever you want to call it – though it is just called Lightroom), or are you back to using Lightroom Classic?

So I figured I’d tackle it head on rather than respond to each question.

The simple answer is yes. I am still using Lightroom (not Lightroom Classic). And while I assume it will get better and better as time goes on, even if it stayed the way it is I don’t see a reason why I’d go back to Lightroom Classic.

IMPORTANT!: My move has NOTHING to do with any idea that Lightroom Classic will go away. Adobe has given us no reason to think it’s going away, as they continually update it to make it better and faster. I have publicly said that I believe in 10 years people will still be talking about and using LR Classic. Last year, I just simply found / shared a workflow that can allow people to view and edit their photos faster and easier. That’s it!

So Why Do You Do Your Tutorials in Lightroom Classic?

I can definitely understand where the question comes from. I made a big deal, and even released a course, about how I no longer use Lightroom Classic for my photography. So why would I use it in a tutorial?

The answer is pretty simple. Most people still use Classic. I sold a fraction of LR courses compared to the number of people who follow me. Plus, I know that only myself and maybe 1-2 other educators (in the world) are even talking about Lightroom over LR Classic. So it would be short sighted of me to now shift all of my tutorials to Lightroom, and not use LR Classic.

The people that switched to Lightroom know that the editing is identical to LR Classic (aside from a few naming changes). Lightroom actually even tracks to the naming in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) much closer, so now LR Classic is the outlier because it uses different names and panels here and there. But overall, if you’re technical enough to use literally the hardest software in the world (Adobe photo editing apps), you’re technical enough to figure out the small naming differences.

But Matt… I Still Don’t Get Your Switch. How Could You?

Ah man… Boy do I still get this a lot.

It should make more sense if you just remember one thing – I don’t teach organizing. I have a small section on it in my Lightroom System course, but other than that, you’ll never find videos where I teach about complex digital asset management and the benefits of catalogs, etc… Mainly because I don’t do it myself. I just want to make stuff look pretty 😉 That’s me… that’s always been me. So, how I got to that great photo is irrelevant to me. My simplistic way of organizing has never been an issue with an 8TB photo library. I can find things almost immediately, and never more than 30 seconds of searching, even on a bad day. Because of that, LR Classic always felt like a bit of roadblock to getting me there. It was indeed the best option out there, but I always did feel like it had a lot of features I don’t use and was a bit of a roadblock to quickly looking at photos when you’re not even sure you want them in your photo library at that point.

A little side story for you… A couple of years ago I came out with a mini course on Adobe Bridge and people loved it. In that course I even said I wish that Bridge and Camera Raw were merged. Let me just browse to the photos I want on a hard drive (regardless of whether I imported them or had the right catalog open, or moved them somewhere) and then have a Camera Raw panel on the right side pop up, so I could edit quickly like I do in Lightroom – and not have to go through the clunky process opening photos in Camera Raw, closing them, opening more, etc…

And that’s exactly what Lightroom did with the Local edit option.

But what I do teach is editing. While there are far better people to teach you digital asset management out there, I believe that I can really help you with editing. So that’s what I concentrate on because that’s what I’m good at and enjoy – and I think that shows through in my teaching.

So at that point, whether you see me edit in LR Classic, Lightroom, or Adobe Camera Raw doesn’t matter. Just about everyone reading knows it’s the same (and I usually remind people of that in my videos).

But to keep the peace, I mostly do my public tutorials in Lightroom Classic because that’s what most people use. If I start doing all of my tutorials in LR instead of LRC, I’ll just get a bunch of comments about how could any serious photographer do that, or comments about the multitude of features Lightroom doesn’t have that LR Classic does. So honestly, I just avoid it. I’d rather show you how to edit and make photos look great, than have the conversation change to something that has no impact on the final photo.

It’s All Good Right?!

If you’re one of the people that have switched over to Lightroom, and you see a new tutorial from me… just know that behind the scenes I’m really editing in Lightroom, not Lightroom Classic. And the only time I really open Lightroom Classic anymore, is when I have to do a tutorial.

But it shouldn’t matter because editing is the same. Who cares where we view our photos right? It has ZERO affect on the final photo and hopefully that’s all you or I care about.

I’ll keep talking about what I consider the “good stuff” of making photos look great. And by the way, I don’t want to take away from some of you that the “good stuff” is organizing and how important that may be in your workflow. I get that. But just know that for most hobbyist/enthusiast photographers, it’s not. And in many ways the catalog and confusing organizational structure of LR Classic, became more of a roadblock than a benefit. So I’m happy to show people a simple way of looking at and editing photos.

PS: Comments are turned off. I already know the direction they’ll take and the objections to using Lightroom over Lightroom Classic – and that’s ok. Debating it doesn’t do us any good and only takes us away from the important thing – making your photo look great. If you have a legitimate question (not a statement about why LRC is better or worse for you) always feel free to email it in. Thanks!


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