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Adobe Lightroom 2020: The Ultimate Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 1 of 116

Differences Between Lightroom Desktop and Lightroom Classic


Adobe Lightroom 2020: The Ultimate Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 1 of 116

Differences Between Lightroom Desktop and Lightroom Classic


Lesson Info

Differences Between Lightroom Desktop and Lightroom Classic

Hi, everyone. And welcome to Creativelive. We are going to be talking about light room in this workshop and in order to talk about light room, we have to talk about the different types of light room that exists now. About two years prior, maybe 2018 light room became a little confusing because we have multiple versions of light room. And so we have to actually talk about those before we can even talk about light room and workflow and all the things that you want to get into how to use it, how to develop how toe print, how to share your images. First, you've got to know what version of light room do I want to use? Which one's the best for me? And so we're going to talk about that today, we're gonna talk about light room and we're gonna talk about light room classic these air two different desktop applications that Adobe has made and they're both based on the same concept. They both are catalogs of images, and they are both nondestructive so that as you work on your photos, the photo its...

elf doesn't actually get destroyed or manipulated. It's kind of protected on its own, you could think of, almost like a library where the books are on the shelves. And then there's a whole catalogue of information, Um, like, of of information about the books, Um, and you look through and work on the catalogue itself, and then when you need the book, you go to the shelves and get the actual book. So, um, light room is like that, and both versions of light room, light room and light room desktop are I'm sorry, Light room desktop in light from classic or both. Like that. They're like a library. So you are going to be having photos and you're gonna take those photos, you're gonna put him on a disk, and then light room is going to look at those photos, bring them in and show you what they look like and allow you to edit them and share them and play with them. But it's never actually touch the original photos. Those are always kind of saved and protected from any kind of manipulation. So that's what light room is. The question is, which version of light room do you want to use and people get really confused about this topic, so we're going to start with that. I have a diagram here that will help us in explaining what version of light room you want to use. So the first thing that we need talk about is the actual logos that represent light room. So light room desktop is a brand new version of light room, and it's always indicated by curved edges. So instead of corners, you see curved edges on the logo itself and kind of, ah, bright, greenish blue, uh, border to the to the logo. That is what we would see in light room desktop. It's a brand new version of light room. The older light room, with one that we all have known and loved for many, many years, is called Light Room. Classic Lightning Classic has square edges around the corner and kind of a blue border. So when you go to install light room on your system, you're going to choose one or the other. It doesn't make a lot of sense to install light room, classic and light room desktop, the smaller version on the same computer, so we really need to choose. So let me explain the difference between light and classic and light room desktop, which, when I say light on desktop, I'm talking about the newer, more streamlined version of Light Room. Okay, so let's start with Light room. Classic Light Room Classic is called Lighter and classic because it's the original. It's the original way we worked with photos inside of light room. It's the classic model Light room is a desktop censured Ah, program. It's it's definitely based in your computer, and I know that that's confusing because because its desktop centered and it's called Lightning Classic and the other one's cold light of desktop, which is actually cloud centered. So you're gonna have to just work with me here on this so light room classic is based on your computer. It's going to be inside of your computer. The catalog is in your computer, the photos air in your computer and everything is based around your computer. It also connects to the cloud so you can see that I've given an indication here in this little diagram that it does connect up to the cloud and in the cloud. Though instead of sharing original files, it shares up what's called a smart preview. So Any time you connect it to the cloud, it sends a little itty bitty raw file to the cloud, which is really nice because it doesn't take any space in the cloud. So you, most of you, when you get a light room subscription, are going to get like one terabyte of space. And so light room Classic doesn't use very much of that space because it's using smart previews, which actually don't even count against your space. And so you can put a lot of smart previous in the cloud thousands of them, and it won't take up any of your space inside the cloud. The cloud can be used for other things. So that's one of the big advantages of Light Room is that it does connect to the cloud, but it doesn't USA's much space. Another reason that people will use light room classic is because they're professionals and they're churning through thousands and thousands and thousands of files, and it has a lot more capabilities in churning through those files. It can synchronize changes really quickly, and we'll talk a lot about that. It can adjust one image, and while you're adjusting one image, it's adjusting thousands of images all at the same time, It's it's much more based in organizing your files. So if you're the kind of person that knows where all your files are and you really like the idea of knowing exactly where your photos are, then light room classic is something that you would want to be involved in. That's that's your program. If you know where your files are, you like organizing your files. That is definitely a light room classic mentality. It's fast on workflow. If you happen to want to tether to light room, you have to have light room classic. That's the only version that will actually allow you to tether directly into it. Shoot directly into light room from your camera. Um, and then also there are some extra bells and whistles inside of light room Classic like, for instance, in Light Room classic. We can build books and we can look at maps. Um, let me show you a couple examples, so this is light room classic. So light room classic is the is. It's been this way forever. It's got modules. You can see up at the top right hand corner that there's a library module, a develop module map module, book module, print module. I kind of skipped the slide show on the Web modules because they're kind of insignificant now, but it has a bunch of different modules in it. In the develop module, it's gonna look very similar to light room desktop, but a little bit different. It's got a lot more capabilities in it right now, because Light Room Classic has been around a long time and light room desktop is fairly new, so some of the controls that you're used to enlighten classic won't necessarily be in light room desktop yet, but eventually they'll get their um, it also has a map. Module helps you find photos as to where you actually photographed the photos. Eso that's really helpful is, Well, um, it has a book module that allows you to make books. Either pdf's or you can actually print directly through an online provider called Blurb on DSO. That's really helpful. I make tons of books. I probably have three or 400 books that I've made through blurb already. Eso Fantastic part of Light Room Classic is the book module. It allows you to make books as raw images. So you have actually raw images that air going into these book designs? Um, and a print module, which is really useful because you can set up pre designed prints so that any time you want to make a print just like that, you can turn it on, throwing image in there and hit print and everything that you've set up for that print and you tweaked it and you got it just the way you like the prints to print out. It will just memorize that. So think of it as presets for prints. So all of these things make light room classic a really useful tool, especially for either working professional photographers or photographers who shoot like professionals and just shoot a lot of imagery and have a lot to chair and threw light room. Classic is that's kind of your baby. That's what that's where you want to go, Um, and let's talk now about light room desktop or the new version of light room. Now, in this version of light room, you can also store your photos on your disk, just like you can in light room in light room Classic. You can store the photos on your resident disk so it can actually be on your computer. But the main difference is is that light room desktop? The new version of Light Room is actually tied to the cloud, and you have to put stuff on the cloud. I mean, I suppose you could just never connected to the Internet, and it would just never put anything up there, and it would just try and synchronize and spin forever. But once you're connected to the cloud, anything that you put into light room desktop will be pushed up into the cloud and the difference being that instead of sending up a smart preview or a small little, ah, small version of a raw image, it's actually sending the entire raw image to the cloud. So if you shot a 13 megapixel file, that 30 megapixel file is going up to the cloud now. The advantage of that is that you have an ultimate backup. So if you're the kind of person that has never backed up your photos and you wish you were a backup kind of person and you wanted to be protected that way, then this would be your thing because it does it for you automatically. So the second you put your photos in tow, light room desktop, it's going to send him to the cloud. And so you're gonna be immediately backed up the minute you put photos in Fantastic. But notice that the of the two in light room classic your cloud is not very filled up because you're using smart previews. But if you look at the light room desktop version, the new version it's gonna fill your cloud up really fast. So you're gonna have to be very careful about getting rid of old stuff. Or you're going to have to buy no more space because one terabytes not going to cut it after a while, especially if you're a heavy shooter. You might run out of that one terabyte pretty damn quickly. So that's the key. Is is getting rid of those extra files and buying or space? So that's it's an advantage that you have a backup, but it's a disadvantage because you have to have lots of space, and so you're either gonna have to pay for it, or you're gonna have to get rid of those extra files that you're not using anymore. Now the whole system works together. It's all an ecosystem. So anything that you put in light room classic goes to the cloud and, well, sorry. Anything you put in the light from classic can go to the cloud. You can put it in the cloud you don't have to, so you can choose what you put in the cloud and what you don't light room desktop. The new version of light room. Um, anything you put in light room desktop is going to go to the cloud. It must go to the cloud, but all of it is tied together inside the cloud, and then all of it is shared in whatever version was sent. If its a smart preview, if it's the full raw file, all of it is shared out over to all of your mobile devices and one of the chief advantages of light room desktop. The new version of Light Room is that you could actually have two different computers running the same catalogue so I could have my desktop computer at home with light room desktop, the new version of light room on it, and anything I put in that computer would go to the cloud and then automatically come down to my laptop and share it with my laptop, the full original file and anything I did. T Either computer would automatically synchronized back and forth between the computers, so that's a fantastic way toe work, being able to actually share your images back and forth between two different computers without ever having to move them yourself. So if you're the type of person that doesn't know where your photos are at any given moment in time light room desktop the new version of Light Room is your go to program because it will sort all that out for you. It will find your images. It will put them in the right place, and it will keep you from messing it up. That's that's its goal, and it'll share everywhere you want to be. It'll share it on two different computers and all of your different laptops. I'm sorry, all of your different devices so you can have it on your phone. You could have it on your IPad. You could have it on your computer and your laptop as well, so it's really, really well connected now. The beauty of these things that I can also use both light room, classic and light room desktop together as one system because I can have one computer. My main system could have lightning classic on it, and I could put all of my stuff in there. All my photos in there and then share them to the cloud and anything I share to the cloud from Light Room Classic will be shared with my laptop. That might have light room desktop on it. Or I could do it the opposite way. And I could have light from classic as just a side computer and put everything inside of light room desktop. And the entire full raw file would always go to the cloud. And then it gets shared down toe light room classic so they actually share back and forth pretty well. But there are some significant differences. As I've mentioned, one sends a smart preview to the cloud, and the other sends the full raw file to the cloud. Here. We're actually looking at light room desktop, the new version of light room, and you can see that it looks a little bit different and it's much, much more simplified. So when you're looking at light room desktop. There's no modules. Toe look at everything is always in the same view. So right now we're looking at the organizational side of light from desktop. But then this is what the editing side of light room desk top looks like. And you can see that the buttons over here on the right hand side that allow you to adjust and crop and and ah, retouch your images are still there, even when we're in the organizational side and when we're in the editing side. So everything is always, ever present. So they've actually simplified the interface quite a bit inside of light of desktop to make it a little more simple. And that's one more advantage. For those of you who are looking into light on desktop, it is a much, much more simple program. Light room is, I think it's lightning. Classic is pretty easy to use, but light room desktop is very easy to use, and it feels exactly like light room on your IPad or on your android device. Whatever any mobile device, it's gonna feel the same. They're as it's going to feel here. So, um, every time you uh, So if you're going to consider light room klassiker light from desktop also ask yourself, How complicated do I want this program to be? Light from classic. Lots of tools, lots of power, a little bit more complicated. Light room desktop. Much more simple. A few less tools not quite, is involved, but really easy to get into. So those are the chief differences. And now if I want to step back and you're saying, Well, Jared, that's all great, Good and I like all the information. But which one should I get again if you're a professional or if you're shooting like a professional and you're shooting thousands and thousands and thousands of photos, and you need to get through him quickly and efficiently, Light room classic is the right tool for you. You might also use light on desktop kind of on a secondary computer of some sort, and there's great ways to do that. But light room classic is going to be the tool. If, on the other hand, you were an enthusiast, you take trips, toe Italy and you want to photograph, and you want to look at your images on your IPad or on your on your laptop while you're out on the road, but you want them immediately backed up. You don't shoot a ton of images, but you do shoot a significant amount, but you're willing to delete a lot of them or you're willing to buy some extra space in the cloud than light room. Desktop is definitely a great tool for you. So it really is kind of a heavy shooter versus, like, shooter mentality. And it's, ah, do I know exactly where my files are? And I like toe organize my files specifically, That's a light room classic mentality, Or do I have a hard time maintaining order in my files? And I need something to do it for me, and I never remember to back things up that is light room, desktop lightened desktop. The new version of Light Room is meant to solve that problem for you, so those are the type two types of people. The two types of photographers that are out there and those are the two types of light room that we have to offer for you is like room classic professional, heavy shooter. Lots of images got to do it fast or light from desktop, the new version of Light Room. And that's for those of you who are travelling having fun, taking pictures. You love photography, but you don't. I want to spend all of your time and effort organizing your files, and you just want them to be everywhere you happen to be. That's light room desktop. So hopefully that gives you a good overview as to how each one of these systems work. We're going to go into a lot more detail on each of these systems, but what we want to do is get you in the right system. First off, and that is either light room, classic or light room desktop.

Class Description

All lessons are also available here for individual purchase.


  • Efficiently cull and retouch photographs
  • Manage your files to enable seamless and immediate recall
  • Get your computer and software to run faster
  • Create impressive photo books and slideshows
  • Take advantage of global adjustments
  • Improve your mobile workflow with both your iPhone and iPad
  • Deliver and share your images directly from Lightroom


Adobe® Lightroom® is the industry standard for post-production workflow and in Adobe Lightroom: The Ultimate Guide, you’ll learn Jared Platt’s gold standard for retouching and managing files quickly and efficiently.

Jared will show the ins and outs of Lightroom Classic, Lightroom Mobile, and Lightroom Desktop. He’ll demystify the difference between each and demonstrate when to use each one for maximum output.

Jared will share tips on improving every phase of your workflow – from shooting to archiving. You’ll learn how to take advantage of the latest Lightroom tools and features and become faster and more skilled at adjusting your images.


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Lightroom
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Lightroom and learn new features to help edit photos
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Lightroom fixes


Adobe Lightroom Classic 9.2
Adobe Lightroom Desktop 3.2
Adobe Lightroom Mobile 5.2


Jared Platt is a professional wedding and lifestyle photographer from Phoenix, Arizona. Jared holds a Masters of Fine Arts in the Photographic Studies and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography from Arizona State University and has been a professional photographer and college educator for the past 12 years and has been a speaking, debating and lecturing for the past 17 years. His attention to detail and craft make him a demanding photography instructor. Jared has lectured at major trade shows and photo conferences as well as at universities around the world on the subject of photography as well as workflow. Currently, Jared is traveling the United States and Canada teaching and lecturing on photography and post production workflow. Join him online for monthly "Office Hours" at


  1. Differences Between Lightroom Desktop and Lightroom Classic
  2. Hard Drives
  3. File Organization
  4. 30,000 Foot View of Workflow
  5. Importing into Lightroom
  6. Building Previews
  7. Collections and Publish Services
  8. Keywords
  9. Hardware for Lightroom
  10. Searching for Images
  11. Selecting Images
  12. Organizing Images
  13. Collecting Images for Use
  14. Develop Module Overview
  15. Profiles
  16. Basic Adjustments
  17. Basics Panel: Texture, Clarity, and Dehaze
  18. Basics Panel: Saturation and Vibrance
  19. Tone Curve
  20. HSL
  21. Split Tone
  22. Lens Corrections
  23. Details
  24. Transform Tool
  25. Effects Panel
  26. Synchronizing for Faster Editing
  27. Spot Tool
  28. Skin Softening and Brush Work
  29. Range Masking
  30. Dodge and Burn
  31. Working with Specific Colors
  32. Edit Quickly with Gradient Filters
  33. Making Presets
  34. Preparing Image in Lightroom
  35. Content Aware Fill
  36. Skin Repair
  37. Skin Smoothing
  38. Expanding a Canvas
  39. Liquify
  40. Layers and Composite Images
  41. Sharing via Web
  42. Exporting Files
  43. Sharing with Slideshows
  44. Archiving Photos and Catalogs
  45. Designing
  46. Making Prints
  47. Color Management and Profiles
  48. Archiving Photos and Catalogs
  49. Using Cloud Storage
  50. Adding Images to your Portfolio
  51. Collecting for Your Portfolio
  52. Publishing Unique Websites Per Project
  53. Sharing to Instagram
  54. HDR
  55. Panorama
  56. HDR Panorama
  57. Making Presets
  58. Creating Profiles
  59. Maps
  60. Setup for Tethered Shooting
  61. Sharing with the Client
  62. Watched Folder Process
  63. Second Monitor and iPad
  64. Backup at the Camera
  65. Gnar Box Disk Backup
  66. iPhone and iPad Review
  67. Importing to Lightroom on iPad
  68. Cloud Backup
  69. Adjust, Edit, and Organize
  70. Using Lightroom Between Devices
  71. Lightroom Desktop
  72. Removing Images from the Cloud
  73. Profiles
  74. Light
  75. Color
  76. Effects
  77. Details
  78. Optics
  79. Geometry
  80. Crop
  81. Adding and Using Presets and Profiles
  82. Local Adjustments
  83. Healing Tool
  84. Synchronizing Edits
  85. Editing in Photoshop
  86. Finding Images
  87. Sharing and Exporting Albums on the Web
  88. Posting Images to Social Media
  89. Overview of Lightroom Desktop
  90. The Workflow Overview
  91. Organizing Images
  92. Albums and Shared Albums
  93. Lightroom Desktop Workspace Overview
  94. Importing and Selecting Images
  95. HDR and Panoramics
  96. Light
  97. Profiles
  98. Tone Curves
  99. Color
  100. Effects
  101. Details
  102. Optics
  103. Geometry and Crop Tool
  104. Sync Settings
  105. Making and Adding Presets
  106. Healing Brush
  107. Brush Tool
  108. Gradient Tool
  109. Edit in Photoshop
  110. Finding Images with Sensei
  111. Sharing Albums on the Web
  112. Print through Photoshop
  113. Exporting Images to Files or Web Services
  114. Connecting with Lightroom Classic and Mobile Devices
  115. Archiving Images for Storage
  116. Review of the Workflow



Thorough but very easy to follow. I've noticed a significant improvement in my work since starting this course a couple weeks ago, and I'm also spending noticeably less time editing my photos. I appreciate that it's up-to-date as of October, 2020, so the info is current (I wish CL would take down some of the older courses, since software changes make some of them obsolete).

Kyosa Canuck

I hate to say this is a repetitive class due to covering much of the same things in each LR app. I appreciate Ben's classes better but this does give different perspectives. Also, Ben knows better than to use the word "super" let alone use it 10+ times per lesson.

Kayode Olorunfemi

I have been using lightroom for upwards of 6years and I still found this course incredibly useful. It can be useful learning through desperate tutorials online, but having a course that ties everything together, coupled with foundation principles, is invaluable.