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Photoshop / Lightroom? Now I'm really confused.

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by linkedit, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    I've been using Photoshop for a to alter photos for a while now. I recently purchased an E-PL1 (still waiting for it's arrival) and while researching various things about it on the internet I see many people using Lightroom instead of Photoshop and *in addition* to Photoshop.

    I'm kind of confused as to what Lightroom actually does since from what I've read I could do the same things in Photoshop. I downloaded the beta of v. 3 and it kind of seems like photshop but with out the type editing tools?

    The other term I keep seeing is that Lightroom is a "workflow" tool. What the does that even mean? That you can apply the same changes to multiple images at once?

    Someone please help! lol
  2. antithetic

    antithetic Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 7, 2010
    City of Angels
    Lightroom is an application that will help you catalogue and maintain your photos. Here you can assign tags/keywords, sort/view on metadata, etc. Lightroom gives you the a non-destructive way to do adjustments. These adjustments can be done to multiple photos at the same time.

    If you need to do more adjustments that's offered by Lightroom, it's integrated into Photoshop and other Adobe applications. You can select to modify a photo in Photoshop and once your done, those changes will be picked up by Lightroom.
  3. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    Photoshop is a graphics editing program and Lightroom is a workflow program, which covers the whole photographic workflow beginning with the import of the pictures from the memory card, developing, cataloguing and publishing or printing the pictures.

    Within Photoshop you can edit your photographs and print them, but you will miss nearly everything else you need for your workflow. That is what Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw are for. With Bridge, ACR and Photoshop you have all tools you need for your workflow, however, the workflow itself is not covered. If you have the same or a similar workflow as the one Lightroom covers, you will most probably be much more efficient by using Lightroom.

    If your workflow is too different to that which Lightroom covers, then Lightroom may not be the best program for you. But there are some other good programs like Aperture, Bibble, DxO and CaptureOne, such that you may find what you need. I have been happy with Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw and switched only lately to Lightroom, which I like very much.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    Thanks for the reply and the explanation. Lightroom looks like it will make my life easy when I start to accumulate many images. Though does anyone have any links that go over the basics of Lightroom, cataloging and organizing image files?
  5. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    I don't use Lightroom, as of right now, but two suggestions. Check out their site because I am sure they have a great deal of information and help. Secondly, here is a book that was recently recommended somewhere on the site I believe: Amazon.com: The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book: The Complete…

    There may be some existing threads right here in the Software forum that will be helpful, too, but I'm pretty sure Lightroom, being an Adobe product, has a quite a bit of support out there.

    Don't hesitate to ask questions on an existing Lightroom thread, or start a new one devoted just to Lightroom.:smile:
  6. Pictor (previous reply) has laid out a very good overview and thoughtful suggestion about workflow. Although reference has been made to LR3 (as well as Martin Evening's Guide to LR3), I've used LR2 (and read Martin Evening's Guide to LR 2) almost exclusively to process and manage my digital files.

    Unless, you are really into changing skies, colors, and other sorts of manipulations, LR makes life very easy. I download my files, add keywords to entire shoots, add keywords to select shots and LR provides a catalogue that I can access in many different ways. It allows me to view and develop RAW and other format files, with adjustments to crop, white balance, tone, noise, saturation, etc. Furthermore, NIK software (separate purchase) has a suite of plug-ins that can be used within LR to de-noise, sharpen, convert files to professional B&W, etc. Just another level of processing tools to get apply professional adjustments to improve your workflow and your images.

    I use LR with RAW files mostly, this is another thread topic that can be discussed(why the trouble of RAW?). For many, the in-camera processing that provides JPEGs is a great attraction. I find that the processing options of LR, using JPEGs, are less useful than when I work with RAW.

    Personally, I try to stay away from Photoshop (and Elements) and have found LR allows all the post processes that I really need. I find the process of Bridge and ACR to get my files viewable/selectable a real PIA! With LR, once the card is previewed via selectable device (camera, reader, CD, etc), those files can be entered into the catalogue with a simple click and recalled with simple keywords or just the shooting date.

    LR works with your files in a non-destructive way, i.e. the original files are not changed, but rather LR creates/stores your manipulations as commands within the LR software to apply them to your files as you return to view them within LR. In the Develop mode, your history of applied changes is viewable and you can backtrack whenever you want. Similarly, the Print mode retains printing orders/modifications.

    I understand that the final version of LR 3 is a good update and is worth the cost even for those of us who love LR 2. By all means, there are other software packages to consider, but for me LR has been a complete success!:2thumbs:
    • Like Like x 2
  7. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    Agreed - for photography LR3 covers 95% of my needs although "content aware" in CS5 is "magical"
  8. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    Thanks everyone for the great information. In the past I have always used Photoshop to perform those basic adjustments to photos (resizing, correcting color, saving in different formats etc.) I found it very tedious. LR seems like it will simplify all that.

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