Beginner photographers often ask whether they should use Lightroom or Photoshop. And the answer is much simpler than expected. Functionally, Lightroom and Photoshop have a lot of overlap, but they’re very different tools that excel in different situations.
What is the difference?
This may come as a surprise, but Lightroom and Photoshop have a lot in common. They share a surprising number of features, and most editing tasks can be completed in either program.
But professional photographers typically both use Lightroom and Photoshop. And that’s because these two apps are designed for different tasks. While Lightroom is primarily a tool for photographers, Photoshop is an all-purpose suite for detail-oriented image editing.
Lightroom: quickly organize and edit photos
Note: There are two versions of Lightroom. The default Lightroom app is relatively simple, connects to Creative Cloud for remote storage, and runs on both desktop and mobile devices.
Lightroom Classic is a bit more “professional”, with more complicated tools and a greater emphasis on local file storage.
When novice photographers first start using Lightroom, they are often surprised (or even disappointed) by the emphasis on folders, albums, and other file management systems. Lightroom isn’t just a photo editor; It is also an organizational tool.
In my opinion, file management is the most important part of Lightroom. Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer – your first task in Lightroom is to load the photos of a wedding into an album. You can then look through this album and tag images with flags or stars.
When it’s time to start editing, your images are already bundled. You can even switch between images in an album during the editing process (no lag on a decent computer). The organization tools in Lightroom help speed up your editing work, ensure consistency between photos, or even apply presets to multiple images at once. (And you can undo or temporarily hide these edits with the press of a button.)
Keeping everything organized in Lightroom also helps with photo retrieval. And that’s important in professional photography, an industry where clients often ask to use (or buy) old photos they previously skipped.
But the photo organization isn’t Lightroom’s flagship product. If anything, it’s the simple and intuitive editing process. Lightroom requires skill, of course, but it has a gentle learning curve. And that enables even faster editing, especially in combination with the integrated file system.
Photoshop lacks these features. Even with Adobe Bridge or Creative Cloud, organizing or browsing files with Photoshop is a hassle. And while Photoshop can perform the same edits as Lightroom, its interface isn’t built for speed and has a steep learning curve.
Photoshop: Deep editing and creativity
While Lightroom is a photo tool, Photoshop is an all-purpose digital imaging suite. It’s a poor option when you need to edit hundreds of photos in one sitting, but it’s perfect for detailed pixel-by-pixel jobs, image manipulations, and big creative edits that differ from your original photo.
Photoshop is based on a digital canvas system that allows you to create artwork from scratch or edit existing images. Layers are the defining feature here – each layer you create on an image can contain its own material that you can move or modify to create what you want.
In the context of photography, Photoshop is mostly used for large jobs or tiny details that Lightroom can’t fix. While Lightroom can remove blemishes or red-eye, Photoshop is the better option when it comes to removing objects from an image’s background, frizzing someone’s hair, turning a baby’s frown upside down, or performing other difficult edits .
Photoshop also includes AI-powered “content-aware” tools. These tools can add detail to an image by looking at things that are already there. For example, if a portrait doesn’t have enough headroom, you can use Content-Aware Fill to create some space above the subject’s head. This room will appear as if it is part of the room where the portrait was taken.
And of course you can add things to your photos with Photoshop. Not just text or weird images you found online, but lens flares, trees, clouds and more.
These incredible features are hard to master. Photoshop is more detailed and less intuitive than Lightroom, which can be good or bad.
Which app is right for you?
Beginner photographers often assume that they to need Photoshop, which is generally not true. Lightroom includes all the features you need to make good photos look amazing — it excels at photo organization, it can adjust almost every aspect of an image, and its presets system lets you quickly capture a specific style or mood.
Also, Lightroom has a pretty gentle learning curve. A few YouTube tutorials will put you on the path to becoming a professional photo editor. Needless to say, most photographers should start with Lightroom (and may never need Photoshop).
But when you need to make dramatic, weird, or ultra-specific changes to your images, Photoshop comes into play. Photoshop can do the same edits as Lightroom, but it’s specifically designed for destructive and creative editing. That means adding beautiful text to pictures, removing wacky strangers from family photos, or creating digital art.
The problem with Photoshop is that it’s a bit unintuitive. It’s also a poor choice when you need to organize and edit multiple images, even if you use something like Adobe Bridge to streamline the process a bit. That’s why most professional photographers start in Lightroom and just move something into Photoshop to edit it in pixel-by-pixel detail.
Use both apps and take photos to the next level!
Let’s say you are a beginner photographer. Or, if you’re like me, take semi-pro photos for work. You should probably become familiar with both Lightroom and Photoshop. This increases the speed and quality of your workflow while keeping things organized, easy to share, and easy to access.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, professional photographers typically start their work in Lightroom. You import a photoshoot or project and leave it in its own folder, clearly labeled. Then they look at the images, mark what’s worth keeping, and start adjusting aspects like exposure, contrast, and color. They will also touch up these pictures, remove blemishes or remove nonsense from the background.
However, some images require detailed editing. Maybe it’s an ugly stain on a wedding dress, or hey, maybe this image is supposed to be an album cover with cool fonts. The photographer moves these photos to Photoshop after playing with them in Lightroom.
I suggest getting familiar with using Lightroom before diving into Photoshop. But using both applications will take your photography to the next level. Thankfully, Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan includes both Photoshop and Lightroom for just $10 a month. And as a student, it’s even cheaper.
Adobe photography plan
The Adobe Photography Plan includes both Photoshop and Lightroom (plus 20GB of cloud storage) for $10 per month.
This article was previously published on Source link