Lightroom vs Photoshop (sorry, this is a little wordy)

Latest Posts Photography Forums General Photo Chit Chat Lightroom vs Photoshop (sorry, this is a little wordy)

This topic contains 18 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Craig 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #409921


    i have noticed that most photographers seem to tote the praises of LR. the impression i get is that it makes handling large groups of photos easier. so to give like wedding pictures all the same feel it is a much quicker process than individually handling them in PS.

    i originally came to PS from Paint Shop Pro and understood it would be a rather strenuous learning curve as PS was not nearly as user friendly as PSP. that said i also heard you would never be able to learn everything in PS because there were so many ways to do things. (unlimited learning!)

    today i am still learning and still feel like i don’t know anything 🙂 but there is a hands on appeal to it that i like.

    the one thing that keeps me a fan of PS (other than all the great stuff it can do) is that i can use SAVE AS (psd, jpeg, tif, etc.) it is very rare i would use SAVE, the SAVE AS keeps me from changing my original raw files. i usually have an original size psd file, a 300 resolution jpeg file and a 72 resolution jpeg file which are easily done in PS quite quickly.

    i noticed that even here in LS there is a tendency to lean towards LR, ie LR Presets but no PS enhancements like brushes or textures or actions, which might be worth considering to offer.

    of course, it may just be me that is a die hard PS user, but was wondering what everyone else thought about LR vs PS.

  • #409928

    Tom M

    Well, as you have noted, PS is such a daunting, but well endowed beast. Granted there are many thing that LR simply can’t do that PS can. LR for me(preferred), does many things well and so much simpler than PS. I wish I knew PS better, I’m working on it, but until that day, I will continue to use LR as my go to developer in 95% of my photo development. By the way I use LR6(non subscription), and also am learning CS6(non subscription) for as long as Adobe allows me. These versions seem to have everything I want in both programs, and just cannot bring myself to be sucked into their never ending subscription plans. I am only a hobbyist photog at heart, and these are more than enough for my needs…

  • #409931

    Graham Hart

    I only use LR for basic adjustments before editing in PS. I was completely overwhelmed by PS at first and often struggle daily with the most basic tasks but as time passes, I slowly tick off another mystery and my knowledge base grows. That’s what I like most about PS, the never-ending learning. There’s always some new way of doing something. I can’t get enough of that feeling of getting better at something rather than being satisfied with the status quo. Frankly, I am more befuddled by LR’s file handling system and I hate the way I can’t just ‘save as’ instead of having to export files somewhere.

    My big lightbulb moment with PS was when I signed up for an online course (Adam Williams Easy Way Photography) which was the start of me getting a real understanding of layers and masks, curves adjustments etc….the true power of PS.

    The PS subscription is $3.50 per week for the full suite of LR, LR Classic and PS and ongoing updates and tutorials free forever. $3.50….the cost of a cup of coffee per week. ‘Subscription’ is not the dirty word I used to think it was.

    • #409936


      That’s what I like most about PS, the never-ending learning.

      That’s what I hate most about it. I’d rather be taking photos or watch something on Natgeo (check out Safari Live – it’s like beeing on the Landy during a safari ride)! I’m well advanced in the second part of my life (assuming I won’t get 130 years old) so I really do not have time for learning PS’ enormous set of features – or struggling with its non-intuitive way of doing things.

      LR was specially designed for guys in my position! 😉

  • #409948


    For some reason LS decided to delete my post after an edit so I hope this is not duplicated – or deleted again:

    Dorothy these packages are horses for courses. One would use an Arabian horse to make money on the race track but you won’t use him to plough the fields with. You will use your Belgian or Clydesdale for that. No-one is better than the other – they are all pedigrees. They just have different purposes.

    Photoshop is a graphic design package. Some of its graphic design features are nice-to-have’s for photo processing.

    Lightroom is the Arabian horse of photo processing. It has nice catalogue and speed features: you can change one image, select all of the others (sometimes hundreds of them) and click the Sync button. It would then apply all of the same changes on all of them. In wedding photography that single click implies a saving of days’ work compared to PS.

    LR even allows you to create import presets. If you know that you always make specific changes to wedding / nature / studio images, you can import it with those presets so by the time you see the image for the first time, those presets have already been applied.

    I mainly use LR but sometimes I need PS’ graphic design features to make changes LR was not designed for such as: –

    – Content aware fill (to remove huge unwanted objects) – this is 90% of the reason I use PS;

    – Specialized sharpening or blurring – except when it’s needed for human faces in which case I use PortraitPro – another pedigree for a different purpose;

    – Luminosity masks (for burning & dodging only certain areas in specific light / dark tonal ranges);

    – Layers for photo merges or HDR although LR is also entering this field now;
    High quality Image resizing – specially for enlarging images;

    – The fact that you have the ‘Edit in … PS’ feature in LR makes this so easy to use! You save your changes in PS and the changed version is immediately available in LR for final touches if needed. And LR never touches your original RAW file. It only saves the changes in the catalogue and re-apply them every time you open an edited shot.

    In short: if I have to edit a photo shoot (wedding or studio) by only using PS, I wouldn’t bother. I’d simply outsource it. Life is way too short.

    I usually return with 1,500-2,500 images from a safari, 600 from a wedding shoot and 250 from a studio shoot. So, I can still do without PS but absolutely not without LR (or a similar photo editing package – even if it’s a watered down version like Snapseed).

    @admin Rob as soon as I replace the hyphens above with bullet points or numbered bullets then the editor refuses to load my post.

  • #409952

    John Thompson

    I signed up for PS subscription when it first came out and have not looked back.  The think I love about PS is if you want to know how to do something that is not in your daily repertoire you can look it up on line and fine our easily.  I know that PS has more power than I use and will never use but I love it.  With the subscription service it is updated regularly which helps keep up with OS changes.

  • #409960


    I learned on photoshop before lightroom was ever around.  I snubbed lr for the first year of was out, thinking it was a fad and nowhere near as powerful as photoshop.  It isn’t.  But it is quicker.

    Now my typical workflow is to cull my photos (is so easy to choose between 10 similar shots in lr) and then do global edits in lightroom.

    I’ll export the chosen photos which is similar to doing save as, but much quicker than in ps because it can export everything in one shot.  After that I’ll bring them into photoshop one at a time to edit for minor cloning work and polish things with layers and/or luminosity masks.

  • #410437

    Lynne Guenther

    All PS all the time but that’s bc I like to mix my color like paint which is easier in PS than LR. I use PS’s power (patch, d and b, etc..) frequently enough I just use ps-acr instead of LR.

  • #410439

    Lynne Guenther

    Layers, I use layers constantly

    I couldn’t do this in lr…

  • #410451

    Rob Eyers

    LR & PS work well together.

    I use LS for cataloguing, capture sharpening, applying camera ICC profile, lens correction, removing chromatic aberration, and some basic tonality. In short I use LS to prepare the image for editing in PS.

    I use PS for all of the finer details and creative stuff. Without layers LS is handcuffed and many things are just not possible.

  • #410457

    Kent DuFault

    I also started with Photoshop long before Lightroom was even developed. I have trained myself with Lightroom. But, I don’t like it. I use Photoshop exclusively. I don’t like the way Lightroom handles the files. I like to control where the file is place, and I like to be able to move it around without ‘losing’ it. The development aspect is reasonable. But, I’m big fan of layers. I use layers a lot for making micro adjustments and masks.

    • #410665


      I got around this by using my own folder system in lr and removing photos to a hard drive when I’m done in lr.  I hate the cataloging system in lr.

  • #410470

    Robert Apple

    Its kind of like Cameras . or baking, take your Choice, LR is a Point and Shoot, PS is a DSLR. LR is Betty Crocker Brownies in a box, and PS is Your Grandmothers made from Scratch recipe.

  • #410506


    Hi , Dorothy, I will throw a curve ball.  I really like Lightroom for bulk editing, keywording and keeping track of files.  However for the serious stuff, I use Affinity Photo, which has just about all the features that Photoshop has.  Version 1.7 of Affinity came out a few days ago and has some great updates and new features.  I really love it and it won an award last year as the best featured program around, or some such words.

    I do not pay the subscription model, but instead use Lightroom 6, which was the last standalone version.  Affinity Photo is incredible value.  There are hundreds of videos around showing how to do the various things on it and even at my rapid pace of viewing and trying them, I cannot keep up!

  • #410549


    Thank you everyone, really interesting viewpoints and usage comments. so until the day comes where i actually have the problem of editing 600 or more photos for a client (or even 100 for that matter) LR will remain my second cousin to PS.  thanks again i have enjoyed hearing everyone’s thoughts.

  • #410574

    John Thompson

    The cataloging is the main reason I stay away from LR.  I have my own system that I started years ago and LR is like typing with gloves on.  I am sure if I stayed with it long enough I would master it but I see no benefit.  I have the same power in PS plus so much more.  ACR uses the same software as LR and I have spent some time learning more about ACR.  So there, I do not use LR because I am stupid.

    • #410575


      John, I would like to hear more about your cataloging technique. It is one of the things I have never really come to terms with. ;))

      • #410666


        I use a series of folders and label them by date and a brief description.  The date is yyyymmdd format so it’s all in chronological order.  So the last folder I created is called “20190601-10 west vacation.” If i took more photos during the year then I’d keyword the folders to make it easier to search.  I use windows, not sure if you can keyword folders on a Mac.

        • #410673


          Thanks Beth… I have been using something similar… A folder structure by, Year/Month/Event. Such as “2019/6-June/Sunny Lake Picnic/” … I usually do not rename individual image files. Using File explorer I can then search by any key word I have used in the event fold name and windows allows long structure naming.  I have tried many photo cataloging programs, e.g: light bridge and others. All seemed kind of clunky. What I do works but even that seems not to slick. ..Hope I’m not hijacking the thread.

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