Huge Adobe Lightroom Update Adds AI Generative Remove and Lens Blurring

A person in an orange jacket smiles and poses with crossed arms in front of a bright, floral backdrop. A partially transparent image of another person appears in the background. The Lightroom logo with a blue background is visible on the right, with a Generative AI tool interface.

Adobe is bringing even more Firefly-powered artificial intelligence (AI) tools to Adobe Lightroom, including Generative Remove and AI-powered Lens Blur. Not to be lost in the shuffle, the company is also expanding tethering support in Lightroom to Sony cameras.

Generative Remove Uses AI to Clean Up Your Photos

Adobe has worked its Firefly AI technology into a wide range of its apps and services, and Firefly goes far beyond text-to-photo content creation. Firefly not only varies in its application but also in terms of the version used for different tasks. Regarding the new Generative Remove feature in Adobe Lightroom, Adobe has implemented its Image 1 model — not the latest Image 3 model unveiled about a month ago.

Two women stand in a vibrantly decorated room. One woman with curly hair and wearing a bright orange jacket smiles and points playfully. Another woman with long, dark hair and a green coat is in the background, partially reflected in a mirror. The wallpaper is floral.

Nonetheless, Generative Remove impresses in demo form. It lets users remove unwanted objects from any photo entirely non-destructively with just a single click. Well, the tool requires one click to activate, but users must paint a general shape over the object(s) they want to remove.

This differs from existing heal functions, which are best suited to small objects like dust spots or minor distractions. Generative Remove is designed to do much more, like removing an entire person from the background or making other complex removals.

A smiling woman with curly hair and a bright orange jacket poses with a peace sign. A blurred area in the image covers another person in the background against a floral-patterned wall. A photo-editing interface for size adjustment and generative AI is visible.

When users use Generative Remove, Lightroom offers three potential variants, each with a slightly different spin on AI-powered object removal. In a pre-launch demo, PetaPixel asked Adobe to go off-script and remove different objects in various photos, and Generative Remove didn’t skip a beat.

A woman with curly hair and an orange jacket smiles while looking up, standing in front of a building with a sign that reads "Booksellers & Publishers." A man in a hoodie and cap appears surprised in the background. The Transamerica Pyramid is visible behind them.
Before Generative Remove
A woman with curly hair and an orange jacket smiles while looking upwards. She is standing on a city street with a tall, pointed skyscraper in the background. The fa├žade of a bookstore is also visible.
After Generative Remove

 

A large Maneki-neko (beckoning cat) statue with a raised paw and a red collar stands prominently in a lantern-lit street. In the background, a person wearing a black outfit and cap walks away, and red lanterns hang overhead, illuminating the evening scene.
Before Generative Remove
A white and red Maneki-neko (beckoning cat) figurine with a raised paw and golden accents is prominently displayed in the foreground. In the background, there is a street adorned with red lanterns and warmly lit shops at dusk.
After Generative Remove

While it’s easy to think about “generative AI” in terms of adding something to a scene, it also makes sense for removal, as to do so convincingly, new pixels must be made to replace what is taken out of the frame. In that sense, as with any generative AI, photographers may have different views on its use, which is entirely reasonable.

For those who want it, it’s available in all versions of Adobe Lightroom beginning today as an “early access” feature. Adobe is keen to receive feedback from early adopters.

AI Lens Blur Officially Released

Speaking of “early access” features, Adobe introduced AI-powered Lens Blur as an early access tool last year. With today’s Lightroom ecosystem update, it is finally available to everyone, no strings attached.

Lens Blur uses artificial intelligence to create a three-dimensional depth map of a two-dimensional image. If an image file has depth map data already attached, like a Portrait Mode shot from an iPhone, Lens Blur can use it. Otherwise, it creates a map from scratch.

A person with curly hair and a bright orange jacket smiles in a street decorated with hanging red lanterns at night. A photo editing interface shows the "Blur Background" option with three preset choices: Subtle, Bubble, and Geometric.

Users can visualize this depth map and tweak it as they see fit, including with manual control over specific objects in a scene. Users can also change the “look” and intensity of the virtual lens blur, including choosing between circular and polygonal specular highlights.

Like with Generative Remove, the Lens Blur is non-destructive, meaning users can tweak or disable it later in editing. Also, all-new presets allow photographers to quickly and easily achieve a specific look.

An image showing a photo editing software interface, where a large bear and a smaller bear are highlighted with an orange overlay. The right side features various editing tools and sliders, including options for bokeh, focal range, and blur. "Visualize Depth" is checked.
Lens Blur visual depth map inside Adobe Lightroom Classic

It is a pretty intriguing feature that works well. It also revives the ambitious promise of the ill-fated Lytro camera system. Talk about a blast from the past.

Lens Blur is available across Lightroom on desktop, mobile, and the web.

Other Improvements, Like Sony Tethering Support

Additional improvements include expanded tethering support for select Sony Alpha mirrorless cameras, like the Sony a7 IV and a7R V. This provides access and control to a connected camera. However, it only works with Lightroom Classic.

Sony SORPLAS
Sony a7 IV

Since many mobile devices shoot HDR photos, software has continually expanded its support for HDR image editing, Lightroom among them. With HDR Optimization, Lightroom users can achieve brighter highlights, deeper shadows, and more saturated colors in HDR photos.

Another much-requested improvement is direct access to photo libraries in Lightroom mobile and desktop apps. Photographers used to need to put their images in the cloud before they could edit them on Lightroom mobile. That is no longer the case, as the app offers access to on-device photos.

Another change to Lightroom on mobile is an all-new toolbar. This new mobile toolbar offers faster access to the most popular features and photo editing tools.

Availability

The large Adobe Lightroom ecosystem can be confusing, with different versions of Lightroom getting various features while others don’t. For today’s updates, Generative Remove is available in “early access” across mobile, desktop, iPad, Web, and Lightroom Classic. It is also coming to Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).

Lens Blur is generally available across the entire Lightroom ecosystem. However, the amount of manual control photographers have over the depth map and visualization depends on the platform. Like Generative Remove, Lens Blur is also in ACR.


Image credits: Adobe

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