How to use Adobe Creative Cloud to its full potential

The D-Photo team ventured to the Adobe Make It. Everywhere event at Auckland's Aotea Centre on July 12 to learn all about the various Adobe Creative Cloud offerings, designed to make being creative on the go a breeze. We spoke with Director of Digital Media for Adobe Asia Pacific Michael Stoddart about how Adobe Creative Cloud can be used by photographers and videographers to its full potential.

D-Photo: Tell us about the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan, and why it's the best offering for amateur and pro-enthusiast photographers?

Michael Stoddart: Being able to work with my images anywhere, anytime with the leading RAW-editing technology and industry-standard pixel tools is the best reason [behind why] I subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan. It’s a very cost-effective full solution, [including] desktop tools, mobile tools, and an online portfolio solution. And it’s always up to date — not just with existing retouching and editing features, but camera support for RAW files, and the synchronization from mobile to desktop and vice versa.

Those of us using Lightroom love it for its photo-processing power, and because it's an image cataloguing whiz. What are some lesser-known features to love?

The best lesser-known feature of Lightroom for me is Lightroom Mobile and Lightroom Web. I get the same processing capabilities on my tablet, which are synchronized to my laptop. And Lightroom Web (lightroom.adobe.com) really frees me up when working with clients on-site, or when I want to show results. And no matter which Lightroom I use, it all synchronizes so I am never repeating work.

When it comes to a specific feature, I find [that] I’m using the Targeted Adjustment tool more and more. It’s very powerful that, when it's turned on, I use on-image adjustment for overall saturation or specific tone curves.

Why is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile set so distinctly apart from your typical mobile image-editing apps?

It’s an end-to-end workflow. Other mobile image apps are great, but usually deliver a flattened end file that prevents further editing on the desktop. And unlike other mobile apps, Lightroom lets me move from mobile to desktop, but also from desktop back to mobile — any processing work I’ve done on the desktop I can continue to do when out of the office. I believe Photoshop Lightroom is a richer, more complete image-editing solution — one that you can pick up and use as a beginning photographer, but one that also grows with you as your needs become more sophisticated.

What's your favourite new feature for photographers working with Adobe Creative Cloud, across desktop and mobile, and on the go?

With Creative Cloud, I can collaborate with colleagues by simply sharing an image through the Creative Cloud interface. I can set the file to ‘view only’ to protect from editing, but still allow my colleagues and clients to make notes and suggestions — all within the browser.

The other feature of Creative Cloud is knowing [that] I can get access to my images whenever an idea strikes me. Whether I am out and about using the included mobile Adobe Spark apps to build a presentation, or when I am at my desk doing pixel-editing work in Photoshop, I use Creative Cloud Libraries to organize my images and have them available wherever, whenever.

With the A7 and Lumix crowd now shooting in brilliant 4K video, Adobe Premiere Pro isn't just for professional videographers or moving-image artists. Give us a few quick tips on how to get started!

There’s so much Adobe Premiere can do for the still photographer getting into video that I always tell new users that the fastest way to get excited is to use the free tutorial videos at helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/tutorials.

But the technique I use to quickly get results, and see the power of Premiere, is to quickly cut together a portfolio of still and video files to a music soundtrack to create a showreel. There are a number of ways to accomplish it — I do it by pressing the ’M’ key to mark the beats and then assemble the video to match. Top and tail with some titles and then export for sharing!