Today’s Question: I upgraded from Lightroom 2 to Lightroom 6. When I review old photos from Lightroom 2 in Lightroom 6 in the Develop module, under the heading “Tone” I still see the headings from Lightroom 2, such as Exposure, Recovery, Fill Light and Blacks. With new photos that went directly into Lightroom 6 the “Tone” section in the Develop module shows Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks. How do I get the new adjustments for the photos from Lightroom 2?
Tim’s Quick Answer: The issue here is simply that the photos processed with an older version of Lightroom are therefore set to an older “Process Version”. Simply updating the Process Version to the “2012 (Current)” option, either in the Camera Calibration section of the right panel in the Develop module or using the “lightning bolt” icon shown below the Histogram for the affected images.
More Detail: Among the other new features that get added to Lightroom over time, there are of course changes in the Develop module. In some cases that involves new adjustments, or changes in which specific adjustments are available.
For example, as noted in today’s question, within the Basic section of the Develop module older versions of Lightroom included controls for “Exposure, Recovery, Fill Light, and Blacks (along with Brightness and Contrast), while the latest Process Version includes Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, and Blacks.
Switching between the available adjustment controls simply involves changing the Process Version. For example, in the Camera Calibration section at the bottom of the right panel in the Develop module you’ll find the Process popup. From this popup you can choose the “2012 (Current)” option, which as of the latest release is the current Process Version.
You can also use a shortcut found below the Histogram, which provides the additional benefit of enabling you to adjust all images on the Filmstrip with a single step. When you have selected a photo that is set to an older Process Version, you’ll see a “lightning bolt” icon at the bottom of the Histogram panel at the top of the right panel.
If you click on that “lightning bolt” icon a dialog will appear, offering to update the Process Version for only the current photo, or for all photos on the Filmstrip. In addition there is a checkbox you can turn on the “Before & After” view so you can compare the results for your photos.
It is worth noting that changing the Process Version for a photo can cause the overall appearance of that photo to change, since the underlying adjustments have changed. In most cases I’ve found that the variations are quite modest, but that won’t always be the case. Therefore, it is worth performing at least a quick review after changing the Process Version for some of your photos, in order to ensure you’re happy with the results.