Lightroom is a very powerful image editor as we discussed in the previous article, and we demonstrate it’s editing and retouching capabilities with the SLRLounge Lightroom V5 Preset System. Lightroom is what we use for the majority of our photo editing, but there are instances where we need to use Photoshop for its additional functionality. Watch the video or read the article below to learn more about the strengths and limitations of Lightroom.
LIGHTROOM VS PHOTOSHOP PRICE
LIGHTROOM STRENGTH: GLOBAL ADJUSTMENTS
Global adjustments are changes made to an image that effects the look of the overall image. Local area adjustments are adjustments made to a specific part of an image. Lightroom’s strength is that it is great at global adjustments and dialing in settings to give the image an overall look. While Lightroom does also offer local adjustment or area effect features, it’s the fine tuning of the details where we begin to see the limitations.
LIGHTROOM VS PHOTOSHOP: LOCAL AREA ADJUSTMENTS
Adobe Lightroom 5 doesn’t have the ability to create precise masks, mask based effects, multiple layers, and so forth. For all advanced retouch, digital enhancement, or image manipulation, we need to use Adobe Photoshop.
In the photo below we see what it looks like when we try to selectively erase an effect we applied to our image in Lightroom. Although Lightroom gives us a few options with our brush, it’s not extremely precise, and the functionality is limited. This makes it difficult and time consuming to create precise selections when we want to create advanced editing effects.
LOCAL AREA ADJUSTMENTS AND LAYER BASED EFFECTS IN PHOTOSHOP
In the image below we see what it looks like when we’re doing local area adjustments in Photoshop. Right away you can see how much more precise it is compared to Lightroom. Using Photoshop, we are able to retouch, create and refine precise selections. We can also create masks, layers for compositing and image manipulation. Even the brush options and functionality within Photoshop is infinitely more capable than Lightroom.
LIGHTROOM VS PHOTOSHOP | WHY NOT COMBINE LIGHTROOM AND PHOTOSHOP?
These two programs are built to run efficiently on their own, while not bogging down the user interface and overstimulating users with additional complexity. Let’s be honest, in and of themselves, both Lightroom and Photoshop have interfaces that have relatively steep learning curves. Could you imagine trying to learn both applications simultaneously?
By keeping these two products separate, Adobe has created two different and powerful tools for photo editors to use, while designing them to work seamlessly together. Lightroom and Photoshop have different purposes in a photographers workflow while maintaining streamlined efficiency and approachable interfaces.
LIGHTROOM VS PHOTOSHOP: WHICH ONE SHOULD I BE USING?
For the majority of photographers (amateurs and professionals) Lightroom is capable enough because most images do not require the functionality of Photoshop. When we need to do advanced retouch, image enlargement enhancements, or image manipulation, that’s when we need to use Photoshop. We work in Lightroom literally 99% of the time, and this makes our workflow quick and efficient.
Of course depending on the type of photography you shoot, your needs are going to vary, and your needs may require you to spend a lot more time in Photoshop. Some photographers only deliver 5-10 perfect images, and they need the tools of Photoshop to get every detail in their image perfect. For the advertising, commercial, or fashion photographers, Photoshop may be their only option.
LIGHTROOM VS PHOTOSHOP CONCLUSION
For the majority of photographers, Adobe Lightroom 5 is capable enough to edit most of our images. My recommendation to all photographers is to learn to master Lightroom in this workshop first, because many people don’t realize how powerful Lightroom is when it comes to photo editing and retouching. When you start to hit the limitations of Lightroom and you want to take your images a step forward, that’s when you need to make the decision on whether you want to purchase or subscribe to Photoshop.