Bugs, bad updates, and processing OCD

These days we rely on software for so much of what we do, when it doesn’t work properly or doesn’t do what we want it to do it’s a massive pain in the backside, writes Andrew James.

It doesn’t really matter what software you choose for your raw processing, at some point there will be bugs and updates that mess up the workflow leaving you frustrated and annoyed. I’ve recently had a couple of these issues with my set-up, which as you know is Adobe-based. As a reminder, this is my basic processing journey:

  • Download my raws to my external drive.
  • Upload the new raw into my Lightroom Catalogue.
  • Identify images for processing and of course, some for deletion.
  • Process my raws using both Lightroom and in lots of cases, Photoshop by using the Edit>in option that allows me to add to Lightroom adjustments in Photoshop, saving them back to Lightroom as a separate PSD file before output as a JPEG for magazine or any other use.

There could be an argument that as Lightroom’s functionality continues to improve, there is no need to take an image into Photoshop at all. However, I have a personal way of processing that works for me, and this includes – particularly for images I am supplying to a magazine or client – some final adjustments in Photoshop.

If you are wondering what these are, they could be basic cloning or healing because Photoshop is still better at this in my opinion, or some subtle Layers work to perfect an image. Again, it could be argued that the Masking options in Lightroom remove the need for this, but for now I still feel the need to use both programmes some of the time. It’s quite possible that I am now in ‘old dog, new tricks’ territory, but I think that it’s important that when you develop a successful (I think I can say that) and effective processing workflow, that you stick with it until something so monumental comes along that makes it a no-brainer to change what you do. Clearly Lightroom’s Masking was one of these, but I have incorporated it more into the first part of my processing, and still require the second part.

Therefore, when the other day I suddenly found myself unable to take my processed Lightroom image into Photoshop via the Edit>in>Adobe Photoshop option, I was to put it mildly, rather peeved. Why wasn’t it working I moaned? What had I done to deserve such insurrection?

I should add, this all came at a point when I had just returned from my most recent Arctic trip with (inevitably) a whole load of raws to go through. On top of that, I had the travel company wanting some images and a magazine screaming at me for a different combination of text and images. I didn’t say this to make you feel sorry for me, although you can in the unlikely event you are so inclined, but to add context to my utter frustration. I just couldn’t complete the 1 to 4 steps of my processing and while I could output at step 3, that messed with my processing OCD.

Dealing with software bugs and errors is never easy, especially for an idiot like me because I am no computer wizard! This is my normal routine when I have an issue.

1. Quit all relevant programmes and reopen them and try again. I guess it’s the software version of the IT fix-all of “have you tried turning it off and on again.”
It’s amazing how often this works, but it didn’t worth this time. Still no Edit>in functionality

2. Double check for user error. In other words, what am I doing differently to normal.
This has as an approximate 25% success rate, but no luck on this occasion.

3. Google it/hunt the Adobe Forum because someone out there must be suffering too.
Takes time and quite often you discover the thread you’re reading was written 10 years ago and related to version 4.0, not 20.7!

4. Start a chat with the Adobe Virtual Assistant.
They’re not human and you tend to go round in circles.

5. If you’re ‘lucky’ the Virtual Assistant might refer you to a real-life person.
This can work, but not always. In an unrelated recent query, I had an Adobe human telling me what I was describing couldn’t happen, even though it did. I gave up, exasperated.

6. Go back in time via Creative Cloud and uninstall the software version you are using and allow the previous version to reinstall.
This is perhaps a last resort as it’s always good to have the latest version, but bugs are frequently introduced in updates.

Now, just for the pure amusement, please watch the following information video…

Number 6 was my fix for the lack of the Edit-in option. As soon as I reinstated the previous version of Photoshop everything worked normally, and I was able to get on with my processing, just how I like to do it.

If you’ve not done this before it’s pretty straight forward. Go into the Creative Cloud App and go to the bit where your Apps show. Read along the Photoshop line and click on the three little dots to activate the dropdown menu where you’ll see Uninstall. Follow the instruction from that point to uninstall the current version and reinstall the previous version.

This is what it looks like, although there may be some minor difference for PC-users.

Of course, the final thing here is, once you’ve reinstated the early version and everything is working again, how long do you leave it until it’s safe to update again? There’s no clear answer to this, but in most cases there’s no doubt that Adobe will have picked up on the grumbles and initiated a fix to get things working again. I tend leave it a week or two before updating.

Published in Imaging Skills
  1. I had to do pretty much all these steps a little while ago when a version of Bridge started to freeze every time it loaded. Stepped back a version and waited for two or three updates to go through before I tried again… by which time the bug was sorted.

  2. Ditto for me Paul with Bridge, went back a step and then used that version until the the next but one turned up!
    It’s been a while since your last rant AJ, so enjoyed that one! Not in the sense that you had an issue.
    Had a similar frutrating issue with a our work portal it wouldn’t let be upload files, turned it I was in the wrong view to access the field I needed!

  3. IT Gremlins are BarStewards.
    I checked just now if I could go into PS (v24.7.0) from LrC (v12.4 with Camera Raw 14.5) and I was able to get into PS. I do not use all the Adobe Apps that you use AJ, so possibly there is/was a conflict with one of those (other than PS, LrC with Cam Raw).

  4. It doesn’t matter what software, or for that matter computer or operating system you use, they will all have an issue at some point. Those long agreements you have to sign/tick a box before you can run the software pretty much just say ‘this doesn’t work, we know it doesn’t work and you are agreeing it doesn’t work so you can’t sue us when it doesn’t work’. However we al notice the few occasions it doesn’t work, but just take for granted the many times when it all works flawlessly. Have a look at the OSI 7 layer model, take a step back and just think of the amount of engineering that goes into every aspect of the computer you are using and all the supporting technologies you are using to (internet, cloud services, electric network, etc, etc) and our photo editing tools are a thing of beauty. 25 years ago, the internet was barely functional – we still had dial up. And we didn’t get smart phones until 2007, and really it was around 2009 before they started to really take off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to rip into tech when it doesn’t work, but sometimes you have to sit back and wonder where would be today if none of this tech existed at all.

  5. you are correct Shaun, and I don’t disagree. The world has come a long way since the old-fashioned typewriter, complete with ribbon, that I used in my first job as a rookie journalist. It is still infuriating when tech doesn’t work though! 🙂

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