Photoshop vs Lightroom – What You Need to Know

Photoshop vs Lightroom One question that keeps coming from our readers all the time is about Lightroom v Photoshop – many beginners do not know differences between Lightroom and Photoshop and have a hard time choosing which one to get first. In this article, I will show the main differences between these two software packages from Adobe, what they are used for and what you can do in Photoshop that you can not in Lightroom. Photoshop Compared to Lightroom

What is Photoshop ?

Photoshop Photoshop was in the first place created as a joyride for simpleton image edit, which since 1990 has grown into a freak software suite with many functions and capabilities to accommodate graphic designers, architects, animators, publishers, photographers and even 3D artists. think of it as a Cadillac of persona editing with inexhaustible likely that can grow not only with software updates and upgrades but besides with special plugins known as “ filters ” from Adobe and third-party software companies.

Want to stitch multiple photograph into a single view ? Or create a gamey Dynamic Range photograph ? Or get rid of skin blemishes ? Or possibly make a person look tall, shorter, flimsy or fat ? Yup, Photoshop can do all that ; and a lot much more. It would be pointless to try to list what Photoshop can do because it would credibly be a ceaseless list. The term “ Photoshopped ” is immediately a part of our daily jargon because we are constantly exposed to altered images that might look realistic while being talk through one’s hat – that ’ s the power of Photoshop .

What is Lightroom ?

Lightroom The wide diagnose for Lightroom is “ Adobe Photoshop Lightroom ”, which may sound confusing, because it contains the word “ Photoshop ”. In a way, it makes feel, because Lightroom can be considered a subset of Photoshop with particular functionality that Photoshop does not and probably will never have. It was created for the chief determination of managing a large total of images, keeping them organized in one set. Photoshop is a very gain persona editing tool, but when you edit hundreds of images, keeping them organized becomes a problem over time. Before I started using Lightroom, my photography work flow entirely consisted of Adobe Camera RAW ( which allows open, manipulate and converting RAW files ) and Photoshop ( which I used to calibrate images before saving them into my hard drive ). It was a complex, cumbersome and inefficient process, even after I semi-automated it through a batch summons in Photoshop. The biggest challenge was organizing emended images in my hard tug, sorting and cataloging them. I am not even going to talk about find images, because it was an impossible undertaking that required reviewing thousands of thumbnails and prototype metadata in order to find what I was looking for. As my file catalog grew, I realized that I had to find a better way to organize my photograph. And that ’ s when I discovered Lightroom. Lightroom is a database-driven visualize management software that mechanically reads image metadata ( such as television camera make and model, date/time captured, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white libra and more ), known as EXIF and writes information about each photograph in a new database known as “ catalog ”. As images are imported, Lightroom has built-in functionality to add extra data to each visualize, allowing you to tag images with specific keywords, flags and star ratings. This makes it identical easy to sort through hundreds of images and pick the best ones, edit them selectively or in batches, then export the best images directly into websites like Flickr and Facebook. This character of tagging and indexing is not available in Photoshop, because Photoshop does not keep a database with catalogue images. In addition to media management capabilities, Lightroom contains a typeset of tools that allow photographers to manipulate images. In brusque, think of Photoshop as an trope editing joyride while Lightroom is an image management cock with some restrict effigy editing capabilities .

Lightroom Image Editing Capabilities

Lightroom has a specific place of tools that make it easy to edit and manipulate images. here is a tilt of tools available in Lightroom ’ s Develop Module :

  1. Histogram and Tools Sub-Modules: Histogram, Crop & Straighten, Spot Removal, Red Eye Correction, Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, Adjustment Brush.
  2. Basic Sub-Module: Treatment: Color and Black & White; Camera Profiles; White Balance: Temp and Tint; Tone: Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks; Presence: Texture, Clarity, Dehaze, Vibrance and Saturation.
  3. Tone Curve Sub-Module: Region: Highlights, Lights, Darks, Shadows; Point Curve.
  4. HSL / Color / B&W Sub-Module: Hue, Saturation, Luminance.
  5. Split Toning Sub-Module: Highlights: Hue, Saturation and Balance; Shadows: Hue and Saturation.
  6. Detail Sub-Module: Sharpening: Amount, Radius, Detail and Masking; Noise Reduction: Luminance, Detail, Contrast, Color, Detail and Smoothness.
  7. Lens Corrections Sub-Module: Lens Profile: Remove Chromatic Aberration, Enable Profile Corrections; Manual: Distortion, Defringe and Vignetting.
  8. Transform Sub-Module: Auto Transform, Transform: Vertical, Horizontal, Rotate, Aspect, Scale, X Offset, Y Offset.
  9. Effects Sub-Module: Post-Crop Vignetting: Style, Amount, Midpoint, Roundness, Feather, Highlights; Grain: Amount, Size, Roughness.
  10. Camera Calibration Sub-Module: Process Version, Shadows: Tint, Red Primary: Hue and Saturation, Green Primary: Hue and Saturation, Blue Primary: Hue and Saturation.

As you can see, the list of tools is preferably long – from cropping and changing basic exposure to fixing lens-specific problems. here is a screenshot of the Histogram / Basic sub-modules : Lightroom Develop Module specific changes can be saved as Presets and applied to a group of images. As Adobe develops newfangled versions of Lightroom, new sub-modules and other sub-module specific features become available. In addition to the visualize editing capabilities highlighted above, Lightroom besides has built-in modules for creating slideshows, print images, exporting picture galleries for the world wide web and more.

Photoshop Image Editing Capabilities

All of the above Lightroom effigy editing capabilities are mechanically included in Adobe Camera RAW, which fires up when a RAW visualize is opened from Photoshop. While it looks a little different than Lightroom, every individual officiate is mirrored in Camera RAW. When Adobe releases updates to Lightroom, it besides releases updates to Camera RAW at the lapp time, so even small things like Lens Profiles get refreshed in both. here is a screenshot of the Camera RAW gore : Adobe Camera RAW And here is a comparison of the exposure sub-module : Lightroom vs Photoshop As you can see, both have precisely the lapp functionality. To sum it up, everything you can do in Lightroom can be done in Photoshop, plus a lot more. Some photographers use Adobe Bridge with Photoshop as share of their work flow without Lightroom. While Bridge has some of the Lightroom functionality, it is not a database/catalog system. think of it as a browser or file director. Searching for an trope requires going through all files, which could take a long time, whereas a exchangeable search in Lightroom could be done in a topic of seconds – again because Lightroom ’ south database is optimized for searching. If you have been using Adobe Bridge, try Lightroom and you will never go spinal column to Bridge again .

Which to Start With – Lightroom or Photoshop ?

The real interview is, which software should one depart with – Lightroom or Photoshop ? Since all of Lightroom ’ s double handling tools are already available in Photoshop, wouldn ’ t it make sense just to start using Photoshop ? I always recommend to start off with Lightroom for the follow reasons :

  1. Lightroom is easier to learn than Photoshop.
  2. Lightroom already contains a big number of post-processing tools (as shown above) – good for 90%+ of editing tasks.
  3. Lightroom will help you in establishing a solid photography workflow process.
  4. Lightroom makes you more efficient because you can go through and process many photos quickly, without having to deal with opening and closing files.
  5. Lightroom will keep you organized by cataloging all of your images in one place, making it easy to find and work with images.
  6. As a file and media management tool, Lightroom allows creating folders and sub-folders in your hard drive and can mass-rename files using templates.
  7. Editing images in Lightroom is non-destructive, which means that the original file never gets permanently changed, whereas Photoshop is a mix of destructive and non-destructive editing.
  8. Unless separate layers are kept for every change, Photoshop does not keep historical changes. With Lightroom, you can go back and restore earlier settings after making changes.
  9. Lightroom can display image metadata as an overlay as you edit photos. Photoshop cannot do that once an image is opened.

I am sure there are many other advantages to using Lightroom, but these are the ones I personally find crucial. nowadays, remember when I said, “ I always recommend to start off with Lightroom ” ? This means that you should finally start exploring Photoshop. If you are planning to do any serious edit, you will have to get into Photoshop to be able to do things you can not do in Lightroom. For example, removing objects in Lightroom is identical circumscribed and slow, whereas Photoshop ’ s bring around tools are very brawny in comparison. There are many other tools that are simply not available in Lightroom, such as the ability to focus smokestack images, or working with different layers .

Which Version to Buy

unfortunately, Adobe has discontinued the retail versions of Lightroom and Photoshop, so you can longer buy them individually. The only way to buy Lightroom or Photoshop today is to subscribe to Adobe ’ s Creative Cloud platform. We have written a number of articles at PL criticizing Adobe ’ s subscription platform, but the company is not going to back out of its decisiveness and will nobelium longer provide support for any retail versions of the software. You can subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud plans through Adobe ’ s web site, or through our sure spouse B & H Photo Video below :

If you are just getting into photography, but want to explore an option image editing software without having to pay a monthly subscription tip, then you might want to check out Adobe Photoshop Elements. It has many of the features, tools, and filters from Photoshop, with some stripped out features. Think of Photoshop Elements as a light version of Lightroom and a sparkle adaptation of Photoshop combined. While you can use Photoshop Elements to organize, edit, print and publish photograph, it can besides nicely integrate with Lightroom if you choose to use Lightroom ’ s image organization features rather. If you equitable take pictures of your syndicate and occasional landscapes & nature photograph, then Photoshop Elements is a good option. If you are wondering about differences between Elements and Lightroom, see our Photoshop Elements v Lightroom article. The best photography work flow, in my impression, involves both image edit and picture management software working hand-in-hand as Lightroom and Photoshop do. When you come across an picture in Lightroom that you need to edit in Photoshop, you merely right-click the visualize and snap on “ Edit in Adobe Photoshop ”. The image opens up in Photoshop and once you are done with all the changes, saving the prototype imports that new persona back into Lightroom and this kind of bipartisan communication is automatic. No need for imports or exports. The adept news is that you can simultaneously work in both, which speeds up your work flow even more. The bad news is that you will need to pay Adobe $ 9.99 per calendar month to be able to do that. Another bad news program is that once you get Photoshop, you will credibly need to get extra education and possibly third-party tools a well, which translates to extra investment of time and money. At the end of the day, good and reliable software is important for every photographer. Start off with Lightroom and once you learn its functionality and its limitations, start using Photoshop to open up new doors in front of you. But be warned – Photoshop can be both a rewarding and frustrating experience. It is a building complex patch of software that has a significant learning curve .

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