Upgrade Now: Lightroom 6

For people wondering about using Lightroom rather than Elements to manage photos, there has been only one area in the past in which Elements was better than Lightroom: Elements had facial recognition, Lightroom didn’t. Lightroom has always done everything else better as far as importing, culling & organizing images.

Guess what, friends? The new Lightroom 6 Library module will now recognize faces and tag your photos accordingly.

Lr6_FacialRecognition_ChannelimgCan you tell I’m excited? The feature works a lot like tagging photos on Facebook. You can see from the screenshot above that there are facial boxes with both suggested and accepted name tags on them.

Today, Adobe released Lightroom 6 as a standalone product, and the corresponding update to Lightroom CC for those that subscribe to Adobe’s Photography Plan. Beyond facial recognition in the Library module, it has several other new features that I am super excited about:

  • You can now easily upgrade from Elements, Aperture or iPhoto to Lightroom 6 or Lightroom CC.
  • Both the Graduated Filter and Radial filters now have brushes built in, so that you can erase the filter effect from parts of your photo that overlap. This is great for those that like to use the Graduated Filter to darken skies but hate the way the filter overlaps mountains, trees or people in the foreground.
  • Merge HDR bracketed exposure photos from within LightroomLr6_HDRMerge_Channelimg
  • Merge panorama photos from within Lightroom.Lr6_PanoMerge_Channelimg
  • Faster response time – you might have noticed in the past a delay between moving a slider in Lightroom and seeing its effect on your photo. Performance enhancements in the new version of Lightroom show a 725% decrease in the time it takes to adjust Exposure, for example – and that metric was from testing on a 4 year old Macbook Pro. Image the difference on a newer computer.

Those are the changes to Lightroom that I’m most excited about this go round. My software will update automatically because I subscribe to the Creative Cloud Photography Plan. Even if I didn’t, I’d purchase the standalone upgrade. The facial recognition alone is worth the price.

And speaking of price, the upgrade cost for the standalone Lightroom 6 is $79. If you’re purchasing for the first time, the cost is $149.

If you’re curious about the Creative Cloud Photography Plan, I highly recommend it. For $9.99 a month, you get:

  • Photoshop CC. Yep, that’s full Photoshop, not Elements.
  • Lightroom CC. The current versions of both Photoshop & Lightroom are automatically delivered to your computer.
  • Lightroom Mobile
  • Photoshop Mix for iPad and iPhone.

Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan

Subscribing to the Photography Plan costs less than upgrading Lightroom every year, and you get so much more. And for those that aren’t into subscription plans, Lightroom 6 and Elements make an excellent team.

Are you guys as excited about LR6 as I am? Who is going to upgrade?


  1. J.L. Blakemore April 21, 2015 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    To download the upgrade, open your copy of Lightroom and click on ‘Check for Updates’ in the Help Menu at top of screen… the updates page will appear — click on ‘Download’ … it should take you to the Creative Cloud page. Don’t panic … in the black bar at the bottom of the page, click on ‘Products’ … it will take you to a list of Adobe Products — select LR for Lightroom, click on ‘I want to buy’ and change ‘Full’ to ‘Upgrade by clicking on the little arrow icon at the side and selecting ‘Upgrade’. Now go down and click on ‘I Own’ and select the version of Lightroom you currently have by again clicking on the little arrow to the side of the box and selecting the correct version. Go down and click on ‘Add to Cart’ and from there it’s easy sailing.

    • Erin Peloquin April 22, 2015 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      Thanks for finding that, J.L!

    • Denise Phelps April 23, 2015 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      Hi, I did what you said, I have LR 4.4 and the updates page said I did not have any updates. Does this mean I can’t upgrade from LR4?

      • Erin Peloquin April 27, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

        No. YOu need to go to the Adobe website and talk to them if necessary.

      • J.L. Blakemore April 27, 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

        Hi Denise … I understand your frustration and feel your pain. No, I don’t think it means you cannot upgrade from LR 4.4 … if I understand it correctly, anybody who has Lightroom 1 to Lightroom 5 can upgrade. Go to this link (http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom.html) and follow the above instructions in my previous comment by scrolling to the very bottom of the page and clicking on the word ‘Products’, which appears in white letters on a black field. When you get to where it takes you, there should be an LR symbol and to the right of it something that says ‘Buy’. Click on it, and the screen should present you with a list of several choices. Click on ‘Full’ where it says ‘I want to buy’ and another sublist should appear that says ‘Full’ and ‘Upgrade’. Click on ‘Upgrade’ and you will see the words ‘I Own: Select Product’, and a tiny arrow next to it. Click on the tiny arrow and select the version you currently own from the list that appears, which is LR 4.x (for Lightroom 4.4 … the ‘x’ simply means it’s a variable number, but you probably know that). The price is adjusted to $79.00, and the rest should be easy from there on out … just follow the directions, and if you have any further questions, don’t be shy about asking. On a closing note: the new Panorama and HDR functions can be found by selecting several photos in the line-up and then clicking on ‘Photo’ in the menu bar, or right-clicking on the mouse, or pad, and selecting ‘Photo Merge’ from the list— Panorama and HDR will appear. Hope this helps!

  2. nathan April 21, 2015 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Thanks for posting this.

    I am a long time LR user. Since there are new updates every couple years, but not annually, using the CC cloud is about three times more expensive for me that just buying Lightroom licenses.

    EXCEPT I cannot find any links on the Adobe site that actually allow one to purchase the upgrade. I see that the whole LR6 app is available, but no upgrade option for us LR5 users.

    Is there such a link, or is there another process?

    • Erin Peloquin April 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Nathan. I don’t see any links for the upgrade either. I will ask some questions, but in the meantime, you might just need to wait a day or two until their website catches up.

      • nathan April 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm - Reply


        I did some more looking around. At the very bottom of the LR page, there is a single option to buy the perpetual license instead of the CC suite.

        Following that, one can ADD it to the cart — and then EDIT the cart, to change it to an UPGRADE instead of a complete new license. You have to specify not just that it is an upgrade, but also what product you are upgrading from — and the good news is that you don’t have to have had LR5. LR4 etc are acceptable.

  3. Vanessa April 21, 2015 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Can I purchase the upgrade to go from LR 4 to 6? I never bought 5.

    • Erin Peloquin April 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      I believe you can, Vanessa. Once Adobe posts the upgrade product on their website, you’ll be able to confirm there.

    • C August 12, 2015 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Disappointed at Adobe’s choice to move to Cloud only upgrades! I’m not a fan of the Cloud – WAY more of an expense than my budget as a hobbyist allows…. It would have been nice if Adobe would have kept the low end consumer in mind and offered both hard software upgrades and the Cloud option. Hopefully this migration, which has mixed responses from consumers, will not result in loss of revenue… That being said, Adobe products still rule! 🙂

      • Erin Peloquin August 12, 2015 at 9:52 pm - Reply

        Just to clarify for others reading along, you can still purchase Lightroom and Elements outright. It’s only the professional-level products like full Photoshop that are Cc subscription based.

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