Adobe has announced the public beta of Lightroom; a photographic workflow program aimed at professional photographers. Initially introduced at the Adobe Ideas Conference in April 2005, Lightroom has been designed to provide photographers with a complete workflow solution in a ‘modular, task-based and streamlined environment’, from initially importing and managing, to editing and printing photographs. Adobe says that features and modules found in the beta may change in the final version, depending on feedback from users. Shantanu Narayen from Adobe comments: ‘We look forward to feedback from the photographic community as we refine the product over the next few months.’ Designed to complement Adobe’s flagship editing program Photoshop, the interface of Lightroom has been created to enable photographers to concentrate purely on the image. Lights-Out mode enables tools and control panels to disappear into the background at the click of a button, while the Identity Plate lets photographers add personal branding to the program and its output, so it becomes a personal gallery for showcasing work. Lightroom can scroll through hundreds of photographs at once and users can zoom in to view fine detail using Quick One-to-One zoom. Providing support for over 100 cameras, Adobe Camera RAW technology enables RAW files to be converted in one step of the workflow. Once imported, RAW files can be converted to Digital Negative format (DNG) or renamed and organised by folder or date. Supporting advanced RAW processing, split-toning controls generate richer black and white images, creating new parameters that provide the photographer with more control over adjustments, enabling them to concentrate on specific areas of the photo on the histogram. Lightroom offers a selection of tools for showcasing photographs; slideshows can be created using: drop shadows, coloured backgrounds, borders and identity plates, and the position of the photos can be adjusted and delivered in Flash, PDF or HTML formats. A selection of templates can be used for creating contact sheets, which can incorporate identity plates or be used to create a fine art print. Available on the Macintosh platform, download the beta from http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom. On its full release – scheduled for late 2006 – Lightbox will support Windows and Macintosh platforms.