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Photoshop or Lightroom?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by runner girl, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 26, 2011
    Have been using Picassa for years. I also have Photoshop Elements 3 but found it was too difficult to master for my limited use. I'm now taking 150-200 photos a day and think I need to move my processing up a step. I'm inclined to go with Lightroom but there are no classes locally. Any tips as to resources for me and/or whether to select Lightroom vs Photoshop Elements?
  2. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    Oi. Tough question.

    I use LR for everything I do (when my main processing computer isn't crapped out, anyhow) and am self-taught. Once you get used to the relative complexity of the sliders and their purposes, there are innumerable and invaluable free tutorials on youtube for things that aren't intuitive, like 'split toning', etc....

    For reference, I put down the money and took a 3 month Photoshop class from a relatively famous guy in LA last spring. Great guy, good teacher, class slowed down by a number of factors.

    Although I know how, I almost never use PS. Why bother?
  3. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Many photogs, including myself, use multiple programs for processing. I use Aperture (others use LR for RAW conversion and global manipulations and PS for selective manipulations and final polishing.

  4. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    go with LR

    Years ago I took a class offered by Adobe for how to use Photoshop. Out of over 100 people I was the only photographer, and the rest were illustration artist who bought their photos from a stock photo house. One day someone wanted three of my photographs, and while I located two right away, it took a day to find that third one. I knew that I needed a D.A.M. system, digital access management. I looked online, and found "Where are my *))Y^%*)^ pictures". It is at the Luminous Landscape web site and is how to use that part of LR. But that is just one side of what LR can do. If you want to know how great the Post Processing side is, they have video lessons for that also. They take you through step by step what everyone of those fields means and how to use them. The tutorials are not that costly either. You download them one video at a time. All together I have around 20 hours of training on how to use LR, from how to import my work, to how to print using that portion of LR. I had looked at LR when it first came out, and didn't go with it, but after my search for that photograph, I became a believer. I have learned how to enter keywords into LR, and I can type in a keyword and bang, every photo out of over 20,000 that I have entered that keyword for pop up on my screen. You can go under find, and see what camera took which picture. It is a powerful software, and these videos make it easy to figure out how to either do just P.P. or the whole package. I hope this helps.

    Images for books, magazines and calendars | photosbypike
  5. hathi

    hathi Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 10, 2011
    Philadelphia PA USA
    I second the suggestion about the video tutorials from Luminous Landscape. I have learned a lot from both the Lightroom 3 tutorials and the Camera to Print and Screen series. I've discovered so much about digital image quality that I am no longer interested in acquiring new gear to make my pictures better, but on how to get the right exposure and fulfill my vision digitally. They are totally worth it if you are going to dip into lightroom.

    My enthusiastic opinion.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. sam_m

    sam_m Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Both for me, if im processing a shoot from an event or whatever and the lighting is very similar throughout the shots I will create a new preset style in Lightroom to the look I want and then tweak it slightly for every photo in that set. Photoshop I use more for dodge and burn if required, and resizing for web and copyright stamps.

    I think the skill edges more towards post processing now, the phrase "you can`t polish a turd" doesnt apply to photography these days.
  7. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2010
    i highly recommend Lightroom. and this is coming from a very experienced Photoshop user (which i still use all the time for graphic design work).

    - easily manage and access all your photos (very helpful once your library goes over 1000, which has probably already happened in your case)

    - non-destructive edits! this is huge and you don't have to worry about keeping multiple versions (orig plus edits 1, 2, 3, etc). you can even make "virtual copies" if you want a b/w version plus the color for example.

    - easy batch processing. apply your custom white balance to the whole shoot for example.

    - keywords and tagging; goes with easy photo management.

    - you can dodge and burn with the brush tool (and a whole lot more). you can "save for web" via the export. really the only things you don't get from Photoshop are the rubber stamp-like tools and layers, which really go beyond photo "editing" and into the photo "manipulation" realm.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    I would vote for Lightroom if you could use only 1. It is more than an editor; it helps a photographer manage the complete workflow, from uploading the pictures to organizing to publishing. Photoshop is much more powerful, but you can always learn Lightroom, and then if you still feel that it's lacking, you can use GIMP for more serious local editing.

    Edit: These days, I live with only Lightroom. My photos are just that: photographs, not graphic images. Photoshop allows you to do crazy stuff like switch out the sky in your photos, clone out parts, etc. which I don't do much any more. I used to spend up to two hours per photo editing and doing crazy little things to get that extra 5-10% look that I was going for. Lightroom is more tailored to editing photographs for color, vignetting, contrast, etc. and then allows you to batch apply those edits to multiple photos. Here is a decent comparison:
  9. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    +1 for Lightroom for all the reasons mentioned above
  10. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    lightroom +

    i use 98% lightroom and 2% in paintshop X4 if i need to work with layers. there is a learning curve but well worth the time. i love having the presets. you can apply them during import if you like. i just used the ND filter option and dodge/darken brush to salvage some jpg's my daughter shot with blown highlights. the fill light is also a great tool.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2011
    +1 Lightroom and in total agreement with that previously stated.

    Lightroom is not only the 'right' tool to PP photos, it is an excellent software product - among the best software that I've worked with in any category.

  12. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    See thread: https://www.mu-43.com/f74/best-25-ive-spent-lately-19900/

    Remember, Elements is the simplified version of PS. With your statement above you have kind of answered your own question. That said, Lightroom will work with Elements though the integration is not tight. Occasionally you might need it. So your investment is not wasted.
  13. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Loosely used Adobe Photoshop for almost 15 years. (For some street cred here, that's 4.0 on Windows 95 :tongue:)  Naturally transitioned to Adobe Elements around 2001 since it was more basic for photograph tweaking.

    Switched to Lightroom about a year ago, and now I rarely launch the photoshop programs. It's much more intuitive when you have a high volume of photos.
  14. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    Oh, and one last bit:

    The tools that NIK Lightroom plugins included completely obviates the need for creating/managing/remembering pain-in-the-ass masks that Photoshop requires and it creates the same effect as they do FAR more easily.
  15. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Can you expand a little bit please? I just looked at their web site and they seem to have a lot of products. Not sure which you are referring to.

  16. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    Viveza, specifically, although I recommend getting their entire suite.

    Here, this might give you an idea: [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArKI72wdrZE]Photography Workflow - Lightroom 3 and Viveza 2 - YouTube[/ame]
    • Like Like x 1
  17. UkrainianOne

    UkrainianOne Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    Long Island, New York
    I use the same exact combo and lo0ve it! except for the fact that I havn't upgraded to X4, still on X3 but works great all the same for touching up some fine details or to just manipulate the image itself!

    +1 To LR 3.6

    +1 To Paintshop

  18. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    yes for Nik software too.

    Let me add my two cents here for getting Nik software. I own every one but the sharpening software package. They have a lot of free help on their site about how to use it. Check out B&H, and read all the way though their listing for Nik software. I was going to buy the B&W plug in, but they were closed, so when I came back a few days later, they had a package of three Nik software plug ins for only about $50 more than the one I was originally going to buy. You learn how to use one of their products and you have just learned how they all work. Great product.
    Images for books, magazines and calendars | photosbypike
  19. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I use Photoshop for photo editing and Photo Mechanic for organizing and captioning. For some reason I can't get into either Lightroom or Aperture. I'm also a heavy PS action user and have multiple layers of actions when editing. I feel like an old relic, but at the same time I can edit faster than users of the newer programs!
  20. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    What are you guys using for NR? I once tried Nik define plugin and got some horrible plastic looking results. These days I don't use NR at all cause I can't see noise at normal viewing sizes
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