While there are now lots of alternatives to Photoshop and Lightroom when it comes to working on your photos, Lightroom in particular remains a popular choice of software for amateurs and pros alike

One of the few drawbacks of Lightroom has been the rather fiddly process for removing unwanted objects in images – Adobe obviously felt the need to come up with a different solution to Photoshop’s tools, but the end-result was a rather awkward compromise that was not particularly easy to use.

So it’s good news that from today, Lightroom users should find it a lot easier to remove passers-by, vans, rubbish bins and those red plastic chairs that seem to be everywhere in South East Asia from otherwise strong images.

AI removal magic

As you have probably guessed by now, AI is involved, and Lightroom’s new Generative Remove uses Adobe’s Firefly AI to generate AI content that should realistically replicate the look and feel of the original image, once the distraction has been removed.

Put more simply, AI can make it look like that ugly rubbish bin, for example, was never there in the first place. While many Lightroom users are used to doing this manually by now, AI should make the process a lot faster.

All this can be done with a single click, and the process is non-destructive, so the original image remains intact.

Lightroom generative remove before
Nice Japanese lucky cat, spoiled by a randomer walking past… (Image credit: Adobe)
Lightroom generative remove after
With Generative Remove, one click and it’s sayonara to the randomer

‘From removing distractions in family photos, to empowering professionals with speedier retouching workflows and more fine-grain control, Generative Remove empowers exciting capabilities for all photographers,’ says Adobe.

Other changes to Lightroom

Several other features and updates have also been added to Lightroom, the highlights of which are:

  • Lens Blur, now generally available, replicates the effects of differential focus and attractive bokeh, coming in handy if your wish to focus attention on the main subject more by blurring out the background. Lens blur can be added to any part of a photograph in a single click and now includes automatic presets.
  • HDR Optimization, already a popular feature, has been boosted to give more dynamic range in your images, enabling brighter highlights, deeper shadows and more vivid colours.
  • Expanded tethering support for new cameras including the latest Sony models, such as the Alpha 7 IV and Alpha 7R V. This provides access to photos in Lightroom Classic in real-time, speeding up your workflow and enabling better collaboration across teams.
  • Instant access to photo libraries in Lightroom mobile and desktop apps, again to facilitate faster editing.
  • A more streamlined toolbar and interface for Lightroom mobile apps.

Generative Remove is available today as an ‘early access’ feature for Lightroom Classic and all other flavours of Lightroom, eg mobile. In addition, Lens Blur is now generally available with the new preset functionality across the Lightroom product range (‘ecosystem’ in Adobe-speak).

To access Lightroom, you will need to take out a Creative Cloud subscription and pay monthly, with a range of subscription options available. Full details here.

Further reading
Lightroom vs Photoshop – which is best for photo editing?
AI is making me feel like the guy from Blade Runner
Adobe interview: ‘we’re not trying to trick anyone with AI’