Lightroom versus Photoshop [Warning: Tony Northrup Video]

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Aushiker, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. POLITE REQUEST: Please refrain from the "Tony Northrup" comments. If you cannot comment on the topic of interest may I suggest you please move on to another thread or create your own venting space elsewhere.

    It would be nice if we can have a mature discussion on-topic. That shouldn't be too hard should it?

    As a Lightroom user and one who has avoided the "dread" of taking on Photoshop I have found this video informative. I am not yet convinced but to take on Photoshop even though I have it as part of my CC subscription.

    Do you use both? Curious as to your thinking on whether Lightroom is sufficient or should one learn Photoshop as well?

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  2. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    I use both, and the $7.99 plan well covers my needs. I have a friend who finds PS intimidating and he only uses LR in his workflow, and although there are people who are capable of creating fine images with LR, it's not on the level of PS in terms of fine adjustments and performance.

    PS I didn't watch that video
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  3. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I don't understand why it's even a versus. LR is a RAW converter + DAM. PS is an NLE. To use PS with RAW you still need to use a RAW converter such as ACR, LR, CaptureOne, etc... most good RAW converters will have some basic NLE functions mind you.

    I happen to only use ACR 99% of the time, and only occasionally require other dedicated tools such as pano-stichers, or NLE editing in PS for things like stacking.
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  4. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    The reason it's a versus, is because LR can suffice for a lot of people's needs as far as 'photo optimization' goes, up to the point where you need layers, which I might call new image creation.

    I fit into that mould and need a true editor for about 1 in 1000 images, i.e. rarely. At which point I panic because I have never got the hang of those programs. I think there are a lot of photographers who fit this description, not just the OP and I.

    But a lot of photographers seem to be doing all their editing in PS or similar, or at least it is their post-processing routine to do so. The 'versus' question is, what gains would the LR-centric photographers get from moving to PS-centric [edit: ACR-PS-centric for raw] for their standard routine?
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
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  5. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I still don't get why you'd ever be PS-centric, unless you want to lose non-destructive RAW conversion settings that a RAW converter allows. PS can't do RAW natively so if you use RAW then it's always PS plus a RAW converter, whether it be ACR, LR or otherwise.
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  6. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Sure, I mean ACR-PS-centric. Lots of people do this.
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  7. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I didn't watch the video, but I do use both.

    99% of the time Lightroom's Develop module is more than enough for what I need.
    I learned first on Photoshop as it was the only thing back then. I still use it when I need to do extensive compositing, want to work in LAB or CMYK modes for complex work.
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  8. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    This is my general workflow even for basic adjustments, used LR back around version 2 and never get along with it, tried it a few times since and still not for me but I do get the attraction and why it would be perfectly fine for quite a large percentage of photographers.
    I was lucky to have learnt PS many years ago and have generally stayed within a version or two of whatever the current release is.

    I do think that anyone who gets serious or even half serious about post processing should learn PS (or similar) due to the flexibility and power it provides, with the sheer volume of educational/instructional material available it's not that hard.

    Not sure why it has to be one or the other..... both serve a purpose and for anyone with some form of DAM then LR will serve them well even if they then use PS to do edits...

    Personally i use Daminion for DAM so have no need for LR
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  9. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    I don't see these as a vs type of thing. LR does way more for photographers than Ps does, such importing many photos at a time, cataloging, key wording and metadata edits quickly, mass updates and syncing, exporting and posting many photos at a time, making photo books much more quickly, and on, and on.

    Lightroom has but a small subset of photo editing tools that Photoshop has, and was designed to take the more common PS photo editing tools and make them available in an easy to use package. As such, it was to only do a subset of the capabilities of Ps yet added many things that Ps cannot do quickly and easily benefiting photographers across the spectrum.

    The layers, masking, selections, blending capabilities, layer styles, and many many more options, that Photoshop has - provides more accurate and detailed editing than Lightroom can even begin accomplish. e.g. In Photoshop you can alter an image so far that it won't resemble the same photo processed in Lightroom. e.g. If you want to change perspective or maybe even a background change , those can be done in Photoshop, but not Lightroom.

    So it is a Lr or Lr + Ps thing. And for those just think all they need is Bridge and Ps or just the OEM editing program - they may not know how much of their time is being consumed when they could be out shooting more.
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  10. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    Two reasons I use Photoshop entirely, don't use Lightroom at all:

    (1) LAB color mode. I watched some of Ming Thien's workflow videos and became really attached to LAB mode. I didn't realize how much color shifts in standard RGB when contrast is pushed until he pointed it out. LAB allows you to adjust luminance (contrast) without affecting color. Last time I used Lightroom, I couldn't find a way to use LAB.

    (2) Speed/performance. Lightroom is a dog on my MacBook. Photoshop isn't a great performer, but it's so much better with brushes versus Lightroom.

    I somewhat miss the non-destructive editing, but I don't spend so much time per photo to the point that I mind re-processing a photo from scratch. Er, which is to say it doesn't make a big difference for me. I am happy to not have the clutter of a Lightroom library, just a folder for JPEG exports and a folder for RAW originals.

    Just my two cents.
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  11. bahamot

    bahamot Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    IMHO, It's more like complimenting than versus. I use LR to get the photo (almost) ready to be use and photoshop to give it more advanced finishing touch.
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  12. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    My workflow is Photo Mechanic (selection/caption/editing) + ACR (or whatever raw converter) + Photoshop for final tweaks. I've been doing it that way since 2004! :D
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  13. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2016
    I'm quite a bit newer to post processing than most. For many years, I settled for SOOC jpgs (or for that matter, SOOC negatives) and finally signed up for the Adobe CC subscription 18 months ago, primarily for LR. For me, PS is challenging and less intuitive to use than LR, thus I seldom use it. However, an image (or a combination of images) sometimes demands more than LR can accomplish, so I watch some YouTube videos and learn a new technique in PS - and consider myself fortunate to have both tools.
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  14. This is pretty much where I am at as well.
  15. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    I use only Lightroom for 99.9% of the photos, because I can get what I want from it very quick.
    I like to stick to non destructrive editing as much as I can.

    I sometimes need to use an external editor, most of the times it's Hugin (for Pano shots) or Anglerfish (for defishing to panini projection).
    If I need photoshop one day, I'll use it because it's part of my CC subscription, but I didn't need it for any shot yet.
    I also don't want to take a long time trying to learn how to use it properly.
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  16. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    I use both although I only go into photoshop when needed for specific jobs - mainly heavy-duty cloning, or detailed portrait retouching.

    Lightroom is incredibly powerful and flexible as an editor in its own right, all of the features available are useful to photographers. But recently the most important feature of LR for me has been the ability to batch edit - it has saved soooooo much time.
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  17. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I'm pretty sure that other than DAM features, Bridge/ACR are equivalent to LR. What I mean is that for the types of edit that you can do in the beast that is LR, you could achieve the same edits using basically the same tools in the much lighter ACR. Being Adobe friends they even share the same XMP sidecar development settings.

    For my workflow, I have set up Bridge to auto-launch and ingest to a scratch WIP folder whenever I insert an SD card. This scratch area lives on an SSD and is subject to its own dedicated backup policy.

    From Bridge, I then cull images. I then process the remaining keepers by launching ACR from Bridge itself. Once all done, I get ACR to batch export JPEGs (or TIFF for further edits). The entire folder then gets archived on a separate storage space on traditional HDD, which is the one scanned by DAM software. I'm still using Picasa3 for this - it's fast, functional and I have too many faces tagged in it...

    In my experience ACR is very good at parallel export - easily saturating all 12 threads of my Ryzen 5. Bridge also appears to render previews in parallel in this same way. Everything I've read seems to point to LR being poorly multi-threaded in comparison...
  18. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Didn't watch the video but my answer is very simple: I use both and as a perfectionist I can't drop either of them. Lightroom is the main tool but I wouldn't be satisfied to leave it (ie. processing) there. I need to make the final tweaks in PS since it's 100x better in certain things. I'd love to be able to cope with just one application but it is how it is...
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  19. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    Use both - PS since version 4. LR I resisted for a while but now that I know how to use it I think it is a good tool. PS is an unbelievable editing tool and would be the last tool I would give up.
  20. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I hate both!

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