Golden Gate Bridge - Fog, Stylized

Okay, Okay! I Was Wrong! Yes, Again…

This past weekend I did another one of my treks1 up Mount Tamalpais. I love being up there, especially when the fog and clouds are doing their etherial dances. Yes, you can expect another time lapse soon!

I had positioned my tripod at the edge of a pullout on the side of the road–a pullout with a stunning view. An older couple2 had biked up the mountain from Sausalito3 and were now coming down from the peak of the mountain on their bicycles. They stopped next to me to take pictures of the cotton-esque fog playfully coming off of the ocean and wistfully dissipating into the evergreen trees just below us. Gorgeous! They asked if I would take a picture of them. I’m always delighted to do that.

When I took his iPhone X, I didn’t recognize the camera app. It offered control over all of the camera’s functional settings and even was set to save the photo as a DNG file for some serious, later, non-destructive editing. I was curious and asked: “What’s the camera app?”

“Lightoom CC”

“Lightroom?” I asked incredulously. “I didn’t know Lightroom had a camera app built into it for iOS…” And then the most delightful and extended conversation began.

Lightroom CC iOS Camera Screenshot
The Lightroom CC iOS Camera App Screenshot

Originally from the stunningly gorgeous Croatian coast4, this couple has lived all along the Mediterranean Sea and now live in San Jose, the home of Adobe, Inc. I suspect, but foolishly didn’t think to ask, he may work for Adobe, maker of Lightroom, Photoshop, and all of the premier photo and video software products. He appeared to have far more than a casual knowledge of the Lightroom CC product line for photographers.

Long story short, When I got home, I checked out the current version of Lightroom CC.

Now, when Adobe first announced they were moving their software into the cloud and renting it to users, I was furious. Yes, I swore I would never use it, never rent software. In truth, the initial Lightroom Creative Cloud iOS software was so limited, it seemed all but useless to me.

I demanded the ability to keyword my photos—missing. I demanded the industry standard Lightroom tools that were also The tools amissing in Lightroom CC iOS. What good was it if I could have access to and edit all of my photos across all of the digital devices I owned if I couldn’t have access to the same tools on all of those devices?!

Never! Never, never, never!

Well, … The latest upgrades to the Lightroom CC suite of products just blew me away. I would never have checked it out again had it not been for this chance encounter on the edge of Mount Tam.

While the iOS software doesn’t yet have exact feature parity with the Lightroom Classic product, it’s absolutely stunning, and it’s close! The tools are carefully and thoughtfully designed for functionality and intuitive ease of use on a touch device! Without question, this will be my goto solution for all of my iPhoneography! I am impressed, totally impressed!

And now, finally, you can keyword all of your photos! But here’s an interesting twist. You don’t have to. You can just search your catalogue for: bridge photos at night. And, yes. Lightroom CC’s artificial intelligence engine will show you all of the pictures of bridges you shot at night. I’m sure it’s not going to be perfect, but Holy Cow!

So, they did it. Adobe got me. I now love the creative cloud product line, and I certainly didn’t want to. And I especially appreciate their commitment to maintaining both product lines: the Classic desktop software and the Creative Cloud software. Each addresses an important workflow.

So here is a before and after photo edit I did on my iPhone using Lightroom CC for iOS. I shot this picture back in November, 2016. I decided to go for something very different for me: a hand-crafted, stylized look. This is not the product of some creative filter pack.

Apparently, pushing blues into turquoise or teal and pumping orange and reds is a thing now. So, I gave it a shot. Actually that colorization makes a lot of sense as the two colors are contrasting colors, and our eyes/brains love contrast. This strategy is used a lot in movies now as people (of any ethnicity/skin tone) tend to pop more off the screen when you push this blue/orange color contrast envelope. And, frankly, I just like the look.

The photo was shot at sunset, but the sun’s angle wasn’t giving the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge the warm sunset tones it deserved (because, duh, I was shooting it!). So, I helped it along a bit.

Golden Gate Bridge - Fog, Original
Original as shot
Golden Gate Bridge - Fog, Stylized
Edited in Lightroom CC for iOS


  1. mind you this was by car 

  2. my age, okay?! 

  3. unspeakably difficult and a very long, steep distance 

  4. If you don’t know the area, doing an image search on Croatian coastline is totally worth it!