Here’s an FAQ on a lot of questions I’ve been getting. Also, the video below is just a video version of it. They both contain the same questions. Thanks!

Q. Adobe seems to be pushing us to the cloud. Is that right?

A. Not sure how that’s the case. Lightroom came out 6 years ago and was all cloud based. Then in October 2023 Adobe added a “Local” feature which means we can use it without ever having to upload anything to the cloud. Seems the exact opposite to me.

Q. Seems you really messed up here Matt and your viewers are telling you that. Are you going to pull back and revert? Your first video seemed much more enthusiastic like you were trying to sell this, but your last video seemed more low key. Did you realize you messed up and regret it?

A. I don’t regret this one bit because I know I’m doing good for people. In two days this became my best selling course, so I know I’m doing something right. While I may be getting more messages of uneasiness and displeasure, I’m getting exponentially more messages thanking me for doing this. While many may be vocal out there in not liking Lightroom, there are many more that dislike the LR Classic workflow and don’t need the bloat that a program like that comes with. I have tried for 10 years to get my 79 year old mom to use Lightroom Classic, and she just can’t figure it out. It doesn’t make sense to her. Now I have something that works for her and I know will work for many of you.

Here’s a few thoughts…
– A few years ago I did a Bird Photography course and emailed to 100,000 people. A very small percentage purchased it. Does that mean I’m bad because I released a course they’re not interested in. I even said I shoot more bird photography now and very little landscapes. So I’m clearly very excited about bird photography when many reading this could care less.
– Last year I did a video called “Bridge Doesn’t Suck” and told everyone I’ve been using Bridge for many of my photo shoots along with camera raw. Where was the backlash then? In fact, most messages were praising. How is this different.

Q. Does Lightroom support external plug-ins?

A. No. But for me this was never a deal breaker because when I did use a plug-in in LRC, I always went to Photoshop first and that was always my suggestion. In LRC, the moment you go to a plug-in it creates a huge TIFF file. Then when I’d get to the plug-in, I may realize I don’t want to go through with the edit and close it. Yet I was left with a huge file to remember to delete. So I’ve always took the extra 5 seconds to go to Photoshop. Then invoke the plug-in from there on a layer which gives you all the goodness of layers/masks. Then save back to LR or LRC. Takes an extra 5 seconds, doesn’t take up any more space, and to me, is much less destructive (since you get a layer) and simpler to use.

Q. I don’t see my Lightroom Classic edits in Lightroom?

A. By default, it will not. In just about every video I’ve done with Lightroom I have said “Do not migrate your LRC catalog”. I don’t want to create more work for you. I want to give you an easy way to quickly edit a photo shoot. In my course, I do show you how to get your LRC edits over, however I don’t recommend it. Keep LRC there and open it up when you need to get to your old photos. If you need to get to them all the time, and use LRC’s other features, a Lightroom workflow may not be for you.

Q. Isn’t it bad to not have all your photos in one place?

A. I personally don’t think so.

Q. Does Lightroom support collections?

A. Yes, it has Albums which are similar to collections.

Q. Will Lightroom Classic collections transfer over?

A. No. Unless you use the Migration tool in LR which is not something I recommend or cover at this point, and part of the reason I don’t suggest trying to get your entire LRC catalog over to LR.

Q. Will Lightroom see my photos if I create my folders by name or by date?

A. I don’t know how else to say this. Lightroom is just a browser. You point it at a folder on your hard drive and it will show you photos within that folder.

Q. I very disappointed with you Matt. You’ve gone down a path I can’t go down and now I’m going to miss your tutorials going forward. Will you continue to teach Lightroom Classic?

A. I won’t lie on this one… it does baffle me. What could I possibly do that my tutorials would no longer be useful? I don’t teach photo organization right? I really dislike organizing and DAM (Digital Asset management) in every way and have been vocal about that for 20 years.

Just about every tutorial I do starts with the photo already where it should be. And just about every Lightroom-based tutorial starts with me saying “Okay, first, remember you can also do what I’m about to do here in Camera Raw too… now let’s get started”. So now I can say “Camera Raw and Lightroom too” instead of just camera raw. How does this change anything for my tutorials going forward? LRC, Lightroom and Camera Raw are all the same. Edits are edits. They can be done anywhere and all of you are smart enough to see me edit in Lightroom Classic and translate those edits to Lightroom or vice-versa. Also… I’m not dumb. I realize the vast majority of people are still in Classic so you’ll most likely see a tutorial start with a photo imported in to Lightroom Classic and go from there. Heck, after using Adobe Bridge for the last year, almost every video you’ve seen of mine in LRC, has been me “fake” importing the photo to start there anyway. I haven’t put my good photography in Classic in almost a year. Does that mean the photo isn’t good or I’m no longer good at teaching how to edit?

Q. Does Lightroom keep a history of edits?

A. Lightroom is non-destructive which means everything you do is un-doable. It does not have a “History” panel per se, but in 17 years I’ve never gone through history step by step. If I don’t like an adjustment, I just click the slider and move it or reset it. If I don’t like all adjustments, just Reset the photo. If that isn’t enough for you and you must see step-by-step, this version of Lightroom won’t work for you.

Q. What happens to my raw photo when editing in Lightroom?

A. Your edits will be viewable on screen. Your raw photo is never touched just like it’s never touched in Lightroom Classic.

Q. How do I save my edits in Lightroom?

A. You don’t. You just move on to the next photo just like Lightroom Classic. The edits are saved in a “library” file of sorts, but it’s not something you’re ever exposed to or need to mess with. If you choose to move computers or have a crash, as long as you backup your computer, when you reinstall Lightroom this “library” file will also be there and all of your edits are safe.

Q. Will Lightroom work if I don’t have internet?

A. Yes. Try it and turn off your internet while editing and you’ll see it works just fine.

Q. Is Lightroom non-destructive?

A. Yes, it is exactly the same editing philosophy as Lightroom Classic and Camera Raw. It is impossible in any Adobe raw editor to permanently adjust your photo.

Q. What features are not in Lightroom that are in Lightroom Classic?

A. I’m not going through feature by feature but here’s a general list. That said, remember that software gets bloated over the years. A new program that doesn’t have all the features of an older program doesn’t mean it’s bad. I get if you use these features and you have to decide how much you use them and how important they are. Here’s the list:

1. Book, Slideshow, Print
2. Export Presets
3. Plug-in Support – though I think going to PS first is always better then invoke the plug-in from there.
4. Publish Services
5. Smart Collections
6. Dual Screens
7. Smart Objects to PS
8. Multiple Photos at once to PS
9. Hierarchical Keywords.
10. Tethered Shooting
11. Thorough Renaming tools
12. Color Labels


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