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Author Topic: Lightroom vs. Photoshop  (Read 2073 times)

Kit-V

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Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« on: December 14, 2017, 09:01:21 AM »

As a Lightroom user for several years, I finally upgraded to Lightroom Classic. As part of the subscription plan, Photoshop CC was included. So this presents me with the opportunity to finally integrate Photoshop into my post processing (which I have not done before). But rather than just blindly muscling my way through Photoshop, I want to focus on those aspects of Photoshop that (1) extend the potential of Lightroom or (2) simply do a better job than Lightroom in image processing.

Since I am sure that many of you are well-versed in both Lightroom & Photoshop, I would appreciate your thoughts & recommendations. Thank you so much.

Kit
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Two23

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 09:07:44 AM »

I'm hardly an expert, but I've been using only CC and have never used LR.  I like the clone tool etc. with CC.  There's a lot more you can do with CC.


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john beardsworth

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 09:25:37 AM »

As a Lightroom user for several years, I finally upgraded to Lightroom Classic. As part of the subscription plan, Photoshop CC was included. So this presents me with the opportunity to finally integrate Photoshop into my post processing (which I have not done before). But rather than just blindly muscling my way through Photoshop, I want to focus on those aspects of Photoshop that (1) extend the potential of Lightroom or (2) simply do a better job than Lightroom in image processing.

Since I am sure that many of you are well-versed in both Lightroom & Photoshop, I would appreciate your thoughts & recommendations. Thank you so much.

Kit

Photoshop won't necessarily allow you to do a better job, rather there are few limits (other than your skill) to the many types of job that it can do.

Just think about the tasks that you find you just can't do in Lightroom. So while you can achieve a lot with LR's dust spotting tool, with Photoshop you can potentially do much more because (a) it can select stuff much more precisely and intelligently, and (b) it has a much more powerful variety of content aware fill and other cloning tools. Focus your efforts on selection, and the CAF / cloning tools.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 09:36:30 AM by john beardsworth »
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 09:49:49 AM »

I basically agree with John's views on spotting, cleanup, etc. Though that said, careful use of those tools in Lr can meet the need a good part of the time, depending. As well, I would add -  there is an infinity of creative things you can do with Photoshop layers, channels and blend modes that simply aren't part of the Lightroom tool set, but the main question is how often you would need or want to use those tools for your image editing. My basic premise, upon which I have built a lot of experience, is to rely on Lr as much as possible, and revert to Photoshop only when there are things to do that LR cannot perform as well or at all. There's no point trying to create a detailed laundry list comparing the capabilities of the one application versus the other, because the depth of both is rather bottomless in different ways. Just by experience of learning to use Photoshop for things that you think you need to do but Lr cannot do at all or as well, you will develop a sense of which application to use when. It's very useful to have this interactive combination of tools at hand, which is what makes the real strength of the Lr/Ps Photography Plan.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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rdonson

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2017, 10:12:19 AM »

I agree with John and Mark. 

One caution I will add is don't try to learn everything that PS can do.  That's a lifelong learning process and 80-90% of PS functionality will NEVER be used by most photographers. 
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2017, 10:21:13 AM »


One caution I will add is don't try to learn everything that PS can do.  That's a lifelong learning process and 80-90% of PS functionality will NEVER be used by most photographers.

Yes, there is a very large amount of capability in Photoshop that (a) only gets activated as a function of the user's imagination, and (b) more often than not most people would seldom if ever use for day-to-day image editing requirements. That in fact was one of the primary motivations for developing Lr.

That said, as I recollect how I got into Photoshop, I did find it useful to read books and tutorials, as well as attend a number of "Photoshop World" events just to expose myself to the broad range of capabilities the application includes. It's good to have this level of familiarity, as it stimulates one's thinking about the possibilities for creative photo modification, but I agree with Ron that any one who tries to learn "everything" that Ps can do is in for an endless ride - there are very few people who could ever get to the bottom of it.
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luxborealis

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2017, 11:13:32 AM »

Couldn’t agree more with what Mark and John, both of whom are thoroughly knowledgeable about the possibilities and limitations of LR, yet also well-versed in PS.

My own personal experience has shown that LR is ideal for creating highly “polished” “straight” photographs, a super-up darkroom if that means anything to you; i.e. where photographers want to get the absolute most out of a scene as photographed. But you know this already. For many of us, LR is the ideal tool for this.

With PS, you can do all of this through ACR, but then have the added tools of an art studio to make radical and significant changes to an image with limitless “creativity” beyond what LR doesn i.e. to change your digital file from a photograph to more of a mixed-media creation.

For straight photographs (and I hesitate using that term as it carries some baggage with it, but I hope you know what I mean), some photographers use the curves, layers, sharpening and, perhaps most often, the healing tool, to, in effect, do the same thing as LR does, once you know the depth of possibilities with LR. Others find these tools in PS allow them to tweak the photograph more than they can do in LR.

In one sense, different horses for different courses.
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digitaldog

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2017, 01:52:17 PM »

Do as much work possible in Lightroom (or any raw converter).
Precise pixel editing in parametric editors isn't that precise and in LR, everything can bog down in a hurry so if you're doing a lot of "spotting" or clone work, Photoshop is the way to go here. After all global corrections and maybe as many selective corrections as you can stand in LR, move to PS if necessary. The Content Aware features in Photoshop can save a lot of time getting started in clone work depending on what you're trying to achieve. In the end, two very different tools; use the right one for the right job. That said, for a lot of images, zero need for Photoshop. For some, absolutely a necessity.
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Andrew Rodney
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pearlstreet

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 01:57:59 PM »

Spot removal is better in ps as has been said and so is cloning/ content aware fill. Sometimes I will process an image two ways, open both copies in ps as layers and then blend the layers. I use text a lot on photos. Composite images are fun - we call it Japanese horror film art for what we do. :-) I also use the transform tool to straighten lines when Lightroom transform doesn't cut it. I use photoshop with Lightroom every day.

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Kit-V

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 04:08:31 PM »

Thank you, everyone, for all of your input. Lightroom serves me well . It seems as though the more knowledgeable & experienced I become with LR, greater potential in LR seems to unveil itself. But I also agree with the notion of "the right tool for the right job". So I envision Photoshop as a set of supplemental tools to utilize in the appropriate situation. Your recommendations on the cloning, healing & spot removal tools in PS resonate with me. There have been situations where these tools in LR seemed less than satisfactory (of course, discounting for operator error).

As a reference source, I will get Martin Evening's PS book when the 2018 edition is released.

Again, I appreciate your responses. This forum has always been a source of knowledge & experience regarding the craft of photography.

Kit
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paulbk

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 05:26:13 PM »

Subscription user here: Lightroom Classic CC only (do not use web-based version, not installed), and Photoshop CC
I'm retired engineer. Serious amateur photographer for many years. (Canon 1Dx mk2, Canon Pro-1000 printer) I shoot a few commissions a year, and sell a few prints to friends.

I use Lightroom for: photo archive and management, RAW tweaks, then export TIF (16 bit) > Photoshop. Occasional use DxO stand alone or plug-in. Even use Canon's DPP. Whatever I think will give me the best RAW convert to work on for print.
I do all my serious post editing in Photoshop. I print from Photoshop or Canon Print Studio Pro.
Lightroom is a clumsy editor for fine art work. Even newest version is slow (not responsive) compared to Photoshop.
YMMV.
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paul b. kramarchyk
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Rand47

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2017, 05:53:25 PM »

Another good use of Photoshop not possible in LR is compositing & creating layered collages.  Also any images that you may want to have text as part of a project.  Also photo restoration is mostly impossible in LR & PS really shines in this area.

Here’s an example that I created for a client.  Restoration in PS, then global adjustments and split-toning in LR, then back to PS for “assembly:”



I still ALWAYS print from LR.  The print module is fabulous. 

Rand
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 05:56:57 PM by Rand47 »
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Rand Scott Adams

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2017, 03:53:22 AM »

One caution I will add is don't try to learn everything that PS can do. 

Yes, don't try to "learn Photoshop", learn how to do specific jobs in Photoshop.

Another tip is to focus on the latest techniques and newer features. In LR there's usually one way to do something, but that is rarely the case in Photoshop, and after 27 years it can often be hard to distinguish the new and better method from the still-working but obsolete tool, especially when it's presented in a new-looking book or video. Better isn't necessarily in terms of image quality - it's often the flexibility of re-editing the work later (eg adjustment layers, retouching on layers, smart objects and smart filters). Martin Evening is pretty good at signposting what's new, and Julieanne Kost's videos are great for this.

Kit-V

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2017, 12:31:45 PM »

Rand: Your comment emphasizes to me that having a strong understanding of working with layers is paramount.

John B:  It is not my objective to somehow become the "Oracle of Photoshop". As a photographer, I am interested in specific tools within PS to augment my photography. With that said, I also believe (as with any new endeavor) that having a fundamental understanding of the basics is critical.
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digitaldog

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2017, 12:33:54 PM »

Rand: Your comment emphasizes to me that having a strong understanding of working with layers is paramount.

John B:  It is not my objective to somehow become the "Oracle of Photoshop". As a photographer, I am interested in specific tools within PS to augment my photography. With that said, I also believe (as with any new endeavor) that having a fundamental understanding of the basics is critical.
Yes! So consider what PS offers that LR doesn't (can't): the clone tool, use of layers, complex selections (and then, adjustment layers upon which you'll edit said selections). That's more than enough to keep you busy for awhile.
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Andrew Rodney
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Rand47

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2017, 05:18:59 PM »

Yes! So consider what PS offers that LR doesn't (can't): the clone tool, use of layers, complex selections (and then, adjustment layers upon which you'll edit said selections). That's more than enough to keep you busy for awhile.

Great advice, IMO.   Prior to LR, I was 100% Photoshop.  With the first versions of LR, it got to 50-50.  Over time, and with the latest version of LR, I'm probably 95-5% Lightroom vs Photoshop (except for special projects as in my above post)!  As others have said, I get as far as I can go in LR (which is more and more often 100%), and then round-trip to Photoshop "only" for those things that are either "better" in Photoshop, (fine pixel level editing, cloning, healing, content aware stuff, text, etc.) or that LR just "can't" do (and the list is getting shorter and shorter).  With the latest color and luminance selection for local adjustments, a lot of what I'd do with luminosity masking, etc. in Photoshop has gone by the board!  Now if Adobe would just allow labels on the local adjustment masks, I'd be in the proverbial hog-heaven.  :-)

Rand
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Rand Scott Adams

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2017, 09:01:51 PM »

Lightroom and Photoshop are different tools that happen to do some of the same things. So one does not replace the other.
You would probably still need a catalogue of some sort, such as Lightroom.
However serious editing is the Photoshop strength and there are lots of things that you can do in Photoshop that you can't do in a catalogue, at least as well.

If you just compare what Lightroom does and then compare how Photoshop does the same thing then you are limiting your thinking because you are excluding the things that you never knew were possible or existed.

I am not great in Photoshop. I probably know 10% of it's capability and 5% of that I learnt off someone else. The thing is though that the 5% learnt from experts was a light bulb moment.

If you read the manual for Lightroom then you can work out what you can do with it. If you read the manual on Photoshop then you are only learning what the tools do, not what can be done with them. That is a lifetime maybe away.
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Kit-V

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Re: Lightroom vs. Photoshop
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2017, 09:04:36 PM »

Lightroom and Photoshop are different tools that happen to do some of the same things. So one does not replace the other.
You would probably still need a catalogue of some sort, such as Lightroom.
However serious editing is the Photoshop strength and there are lots of things that you can do in Photoshop that you can't do in a catalogue, at least as well.

If you just compare what Lightroom does and then compare how Photoshop does the same thing then you are limiting your thinking because you are excluding the things that you never knew were possible or existed.

I am not great in Photoshop. I probably know 10% of it's capability and 5% of that I learnt off someone else. The thing is though that the 5% learnt from experts was a light bulb moment.

If you read the manual for Lightroom then you can work out what you can do with it. If you read the manual on Photoshop then you are only learning what the tools do, not what can be done with them. That is a lifetime maybe away.

Agreed. Thank you.
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