Adobe’s new Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC upgrades — what’s up?

How to improve performance, and a rundown of improved functions

I’ve been a fan of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC since joining up, with constant upgrades keeping me clicking as a professional photographer. Sure, there have always been some speed issues with Lightroom, but it’s been my go-to for basic adjustments. So when the latest updates were announced, I quickly logged on and set things in motion,

Photoshop upgraded seamlessly, but Lightroom was a different matter. The first obstacle was the choice between Lightroom CC (which is what the computer-based program has been called) and Lightroom Classic.

It took a quick google search to realize Lightroom CC wasn’t for me because it is a strictly online cloud-based program. While Lightroom CC will allow access to photos and editing from any device anywhere in the world, it just isn’t a viable option for professional photographers. Our files are just too large, and we take way too many images to be loading them to the cloud.

Lightroom Classic is the desktop-based program that I have been using for years. That’s the route I went — and the one I recommend for any professional photographer.

Once the upgrades were completed, I was ready to dig in and see what changes and improvements had been made. The promise was greater functionality and speed. Unfortunately, both Photoshop and Lightroom were so slow I initially didn’t even have time to worry with any improved functionality. It was just awful, and it didn’t take much looking around the web to see that other photographers agreed.

So I began looking for solutions, and here’s what I discovered:


The main culprit here seems to have been connected to the amount of RAM being allocated to the program. The recommendation is to allocate between 7384 and 9666 megabytes of memory to Photoshop. The default in my preferences was on the low end of that range.

I moved the allocation to 79 percent of my RAM, and the program immediate responded. Problem solved.

It’s important to note that I didn’t choose 79 percent for any particular reason. I simply slid the bar to the right and gave it a whirl. So you might be able to get away with a slightly lower allocation.

Lightroom Classic

I have yet to find a RAM allocation for Lightroom, but in looking at my preferences and searching the web I discovered a setting under the “Performance” tab allowing me to choose whether or not to use a graphics processor. The default was that it is turned on: I turned it off, and many of the problems cleared up.

Watch the attached video to see me work through the steps to make these changes.

I also go through a couple of the Lightroom Classic improvements, including Range Mask and the “Embed and Sidecar” import setting.

Click here to see my online fine-art photography gallery

About Andy Crawford

Andy Crawford has been a photographer and writer for more than 20 years, with thousands of images and articles published in magazines and newspapers around the country. He now focuses on Louisiana photography, landscapes, HDR photography, urban prints and other fine art photography. He also is a portrait photographer.