When obtaining new software photographers always have to consider which image-editing program they want to use. Lightroom vs Photoshop is still a common question among photographers who just started image editing.
The good news first, since the introduction of a Cloud version of both programs photographers do not have to decide between Lightroom or Photoshop. In the Creative Cloud Photography Plan for just US$ 9.99 a month, both programs (Lightroom CC) and (Photoshop CC) are included as desktop applications and offer all tools photographers need for image editing. Other tools such as Lightroom Classic CC (More Desktop-focused), Portfolio and Adobe Spark are also part of the Photography Plan.
Now that Adobe has made it easy for us to decide, the question should be: Which software suits my workflow?
The decision should be based on what you want to do with the software, what kind of image editing you want to do, and what tools and functions are important for this. For example, a photojournalist wants to sell his or her pictures quickly and uncomplicatedly and will probably not want to invest as much time and effort in editing as an art photographer. It is often claimed that Lightroom is a leaner version of Photoshop, but this is not true. The two programs work differently and can therefore not be regarded as simpler or more complex versions of one another.
Image edited with Adobe Lightroom and Lightroom Preset Collection I DO
Adobe Lightroom offers only a fraction of the possibilities of Photoshop and editing is not as detailed as with Photoshop. But when corrections are made, the image is not changed. Rather, changes in color intensity, contrast, brightness, and sharpness are lain over the picture in layers, thus changing the appearance. The data volume remains much smaller. In addition, the different editing steps can be transferred to other photos using the stacking method. Lightroom is a useful program for fast and uncomplicated editing, and with the newest version gradient filters can be used and corrections made to the image. But it does not enable users to create levels or clipping paths, and so collages and other artistic works cannot be realized. And while the program can import CMYK files, it can only make and display changes in RGB color space. Furthermore, there are no commands for creating masks. And with Photoshop users will also look for accustomed effect filters and text tools in vain.
At the same time, however, Lightroom has many advantages. For example, pictorial material can be archived and organized more easily. While users of Photoshop have to use Bridge – an additional program – Lightroom automatically saves the images in folders that have been created when they are imported. Prior to this, the settings for archiving and organizing can be defined, enabling images to be accompanied by descriptions, key words, and evaluations and thus easy to find. These applications are also possible using Bridge, but Lightroom additionally automatically creates so-called thumbnails in selectable sizes from 1,024 to 2,048 pixels in the database. A practical feature: These preview images can be sent straight to customers who also have this software for quick viewing. Since no original files are sent with them, the data volume is quite small. Another big advantage of the program is the use of Lightroom Presets. Defaults for various usage purposes can be a helpful tool and speed up work processes considerably.
Image edited with Lightroom and our new Lightroom Preset Collection Anomaly
Lightroom vs Photoshop conclusion – Both programs have advantages and disadvantages, and a decision for one or the other depends strongly on usage and expectations. For those who only have to make a few improvements under time pressure, Lightroom is optimal, and thanks to the thumbnails easier to use. For users who want to engage in more detailed editing, Photoshop has the appropriate options. Those who work with levels, clipping paths, and masks and are not worried about large volumes of data should also choose Photoshop.
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Date published Oct. 10, 2019