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Adobe Lightroom CC (6) Released; Best New Features Are the Little Ones!

PhotoJoseph's picture
April 25, 2015 - 10:00pm

Adobe Lightroom CC (or version 6 if you're using the standalone version) was released last week, and has a variety of new features that many will love. There are however two small – but utterly fantastic – features that make my coming-from-Aperture workflow so much better.

Add to Collection on import

Did you know that prior to Lightroom CC, you had to add your photos to a collection ​after you imported them… not when they imported? Meaning, you would 1) import, then 2) select all the photos you just imported and add them to a collection. Of course if you didn't already have that collection created, you would have to 2) create the collection, then 3) add the photos to that collection. Whereas in Aperture, you would at the time of import choose either an existing Project to import to, or create a new one in the import dialog, and the photos would be added to it. Of course in Lightroom you still have to create a Collection Set if you want to truly get into Aperture-level organization, but that's a whole other saga, for another day.

A big part of this discrepancy is that you don't have to have collections in Lightroom; you can just organize in Finder folders, but this is a methodology I have yet figured out how makes any sense at all, unless you truly never organize your photos beyond the basic put-'em-in-one-folder-and-be-done-with-it system. Personally, in Aperture, Folders, Projects and Albums were the mainstay of my organization techniques, and I expect(ed) the same from Lightroom.

If you're not using Lightroom, but have used Aperture, the above two paragraphs probably make your head hurt. If you've made the transition, you're probably saying “praise the Flying Spaghetti Monster” (or whatever you praise when things go well) right about now. Either way, you can finally do this:

Finally, you can create a Collection at the time of import, and automatically add photos to it!

The screenshot above is from the import screen, and the “Add to Collection” option is all new. The (+) you see on the right opens the dialog on the left, where you can create a new Collection, and even create it inside an existing Collection Set. 

Filter in Collections!

The second feature that's got me excited either wasn't in the new-feature bullet list or I simply missed it, but you can finally (really?! This wasn't there before?! Someone tell me I just have missed it and it's now enabled… please) search/filter your Collections by name. In Aperture, this was the fastest way to find something. You were looking for a photo from that trip to Paris two years ago, and you were clever enough to name your Projects something like “2013-06-20 | Paris Holiday”? You could search the Projects list for “Paris” and find that project instantly. This isn't important if you have 20 projects. It's kind of critical if you have 2,000. Same in Lightroom… without the ability to search through Collections, it made the concept of having a multi-year Catalog (Library, in Aperture parlance) impractical. But now, you can filter… so now, you can expand.

Look at that, filtering my Collections by the word “import”… I still can’t believe this was only just added

This is insanely huge. Seems like a little thing, but you know… it is always the little things.

Of course there's more…

There are some other very nice features like built-in HDR merging, a first run at Faces, and some other fun stuff, but for all that I'm going to point you to someone who knows Lightroom far better than I do, Nicole S. Young, aka @nicolesy. She wrote an article on photofocus titled “Say Hello to the NEW Adobe Lightroom CC!”. I highly recommend reading that to get the full scoop.

Live Training can now begin

I've been waiting for this new version of Lightroom to arrive before I started my Live Training series for it; I didn't want to get a few in and have to start over when a new version was released. So sometime in the next couple of weeks we'll finally get that started! It's going to be very much a comparison of features to Aperture, with the idea of helping Aperture users make the switch. And as always I'll remind you that I am not stating that Lightroom is the right choice for everyone. I can only devote so much time to learning new software and I've chosen Lightroom for now, so that's what I'll teach at first. But these videos will certainly help you to make your own decision when the time comes.

Adobe Lightroom Classic (pre-CC)
macOS Windows

Happy to hear there are some tutorials coming,  Joseph.  I just bought LR 6 a couple of days ago and I’m a little lost (basics OK, but…) I enjoyed your Aperture tutorials a lot and feel sure I will get my head around Lightroom eventually.  I’m not sure I’ll ever enjoy the user interface.  

Joseph,  Looking forward to your approach to Lr and seeing how you try to adapt your Aperture set up to it.  I’ve made the transition and commitment to Lr so I am curious to see how you set things up.


Florian Cortese

Good lord, I always hated LR, but the more I learn about it the more I find it’s far worse than I ever realized. And now I’m about to buy it. Oh, the burning irony.


thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I’ve been dreading the switch and you will make it less painful.  I’m choosing Lightroom because I am in a community that uses it almost exclusively, not because I’ve evaluated all the choices.  I look forward to your videos.



I was disappointed to find out that I can’t try the new version of Lightroom because I previously had a Lightroom 5 trial. I wanted to give it another go, particularly for the HDR & Panorama features, as well as syncing to iPhone/iPad.

My Capture One trial ran out on Friday but I decided based on my Lightroom 5 trial that my future is with C1.

Capture One Pro and Photos user.


So glad you will be posting tuts on Lightroom ESPECIALLY with an Aperture flare.  I’m really struggling with my move to LR.  I purchased LR5 then held off moving until LR 6 was released.  I installed LR6 last week, watched Jan Kabili’s excellent course on LR6 on Lynda, have my plan for how I’m going to migrate…but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  Maybe if I work with you I’ll get my courage up enough to move but the more i learn about LR the more I dread the switch.  That interface is just a mess.  The editing tools are strong, keywording is better than I expected (huge for me), but I just can’t get past how childish and complicated the interface is…DAMN YOU APPLE!

I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand upon. I don't do these things to others, and I require the same from them. - John Wayne, from "The Shootist"

I too have decided to go ahead and buy Cature One. I like it. There will be things to learn as there will be with any alternative program but can’t be worried about that. C1 is said to have the best RAW processing (I’ve seen lots of examples) and I like that idea from the start. And it seems from what I have seen to be the closest to Aperture from a structure/tool standpoint. 

I was hoping Joseph would eventually provide an in-depth  training series similar to the Aperture series but it seems it’s likely that he has or is going to embrace LR 6 although that remains to be seen.

Anyway…we’ll see if PhotoApps.Expert is going to be an in-depth resource for all the major Aperture alternatives or if it’s going to morph into a LR.Expert site. 

One consequence of going with C1 is that, at the moment, there are less resources to discover how great it is and the most effective way to use it. So I also hope that provide Aperture users who have migrated to C1 with a good amount of content.

I have come across by Paul Steunebrink, who has also been very helpful on and of course the official webinar archive

Capture One Pro and Photos user.

Yep, yep and yep. 

This is why Joseph’s thorough expertise through videos and webinars was so valuable to Aperture users in the past. . Having the same thing happen for C1 and LR ( I guess) would be great not only for users but for Joseph’s business. I understand that Joseph can only do so much and being total conversant to the extent he is with Aperture with both C1 and LR 6 is somewhat problematic and is going to take some time. But it can be a money making proportion. I for one wouldn’t hesitate to subscribe/buy future detailed exercises with C1

Hopefully this hppens.

BTW, thanks for the links. The C1 Webinars which i have watched previously  are good but IMO nothing as detailed as Joseph’s approach. 


My aim is to provide service for all apps, but as others have pointed out I can only do so much in any given time. It's for this reason I'm so happy to have others writing on here about the software I haven't had time to learn yet. This was a lot easier when it was just Aperture ;-)

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

I agree - the best features about the update are the little things… I honestly wish Adobe would spend more time working on these little things more. Those are the things that help me work faster and use the program more. / Portland, Oregon

You still can’t brush in curves like you can in Aperture. This is the biggest missing for me.

Any thoughts?

Daniel Plumer Photography

The key to making your LR training is the Aperture spin. I’m currently viewing the LR training on It’s designed for someone coming in cold. It’s fine training. But what’s the best way to move Aperture photos to LR? and other such questions are not covered.

I’m not doing anything with moving my Aperture library to LR until I see your recommendations, assuming you will be covering that angle.


Joseph,  I had sort of an epiphany, just moments ago, when looking at several Adobe/J. Kost mini-tutorials.  Obviously, with the latest Lr update you can now import photos not only to a folder on your HD (either on your computer or on an external HD), but you can import directly to a Collection as well, that is either by itself or in a Collection Set (which in itself can be within another collection set).  So what if you create a collection set “2015”, then create a collection set within “2015” entitled “YMD | Whatever” before you start your import.  Then import your photos in a way  that is similar to the sub albums that we create  w/i a project for a particular shoot. Instead of going into the folder section, they could go by groups into the Collection section. Heck you could even create a smart album(s) within the sub collection set.  It should mimic, granted in a roundabout way, what many of us have set up in Aperture following your format.  In this case all of the photos would be dumped into one folder in the folder section, but the Collection Section could be set up to mimic what many of us created in Aperture and that’s were you would “Iive and work” all of the time.  What do you think??


Florian Cortese

It's close, but here are the problems. Smart Collections don't have a search-source option for a collection set, only a collection. So this means that even in a collection set, you still have to create another collection unique to that set with all the photos in it so you have something to point the smart collection at. Photos can't live in a Collection Set (think of them like Aperture folders), but the problem is that nothing other than photos can live in a Collection, which is where the Aperture paradigm breaks. Meaning you can't put a collection inside a collection. So it'd be like this…

2015 [Collection Set]
– 2015-04-29 | My Event [Collection Set]
– – 2015-04-29 | My Event [Collection, likely named the same as the hosting collection set, which contains all the photos for that event]
– – Five star [Smart Collection example, which can only look at a collection, not a collection set]
– – Client favorites [Collection example, since there are no Albums in Lightroom]

It's tedious, but that's the closest to an Aperture workflow I've come up with.

Lightroom Collection Sets are like Aperture Folders — they can contain organizational things, but not photos themselves.

Lightroom Collections are like Aperture Albums — except that you can't put anything inside of them. 

There is no “Project” equivalent in Lightroom. I suppose you could say that's the Finder folder, however since Folders and Collections are two completely different places in Lightroom, and don't have any relation to each other, it really isn't the same thing.

I'll be covering all this in my first Lightroom Live Training videos.

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Thanks Joseph. I guess it turned out to be a quasi-epiphany.  In the folder>project>sub albums set up that I used in Aperture, I would create a Smart Album of my favorites of that project as the last step. I was hoping that would be possible in Lr.  Now that you pointed that out, I see it is not.  So that just means I would have to create another Collection w/i the “sub Collection Set” and physically move my favorites into it as an alternative unless I go the duplicate Collection title you posed.  Anyway, I am anxiously awaiting your tutorial on this and I’ll keep playing with Lr as well.  Thanks again for all that you do for all of us.  Adobe still has to come up with the ability to completely duplicate a structure set up like aperture rather than just duplicating the Collection or Collection Set. close, Adobe, but no cigar. :-(


Florian Cortese

As an amateur, I’ve never used Aperture as a DAM. I’ve always filed my pictures by date and event/place. What attracted me to Aperture was its interface and editing features - especially their being parametric. Would I be better off just going directly to Capture One Pro and just skipping LR 6? I’ll never adopt Adobe’s CC model but am not sure I can even trust LR 6 standalone to remain as such.

Ken Sky

Ken,  You’ll have to decide for yourself which system you want to use.  Lr6 as a standalone is not going anywhere.  If you buy it it’s yours forever.  However, the likelihood of any upgrades becoming available to the standalone is highly unlikely except maybe recognizing some new cameras. There are free trials for both, so it’s probably best that you play with both and see which you prefer.


Florian Cortese

“Live Training Can Now Begin”

joseph-how’s it going on this front?  I’m waiting because I don’t trust anybody but you on the issue of moving my Aperture library.  Would love to get your take on it. Any idea of timing?

thanks for all of your guidance.  



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