5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 5, 2017 5:06 AM by Abambo

    Lightroom or Photoshop




      I'm new to these friendly forums and I hope you are fine with me asking what maybe basic questions.

      I, not long ago, signed up for Photoshop and Lightroom.  In a nutshell can anyone suggest the primary differences

      of the two products, say in three bullet points ? What the primary functions of both products are and when you why you

      would use each ?  I suspect some folk will have different reasons and uses for both, however it would offer good and useful

      insight to me as part of my learning curve.




        • 1. Re: Lightroom or Photoshop
          davescm Adobe Community Professional

          Hi Rob


          Lightroom is primarily a catalogue program - great for keywording, searching your images. It also provides non destructive adjustments to your images. Any adjustments made do not actually alter the image but are stored as a list of instructions that are applied each time you open that image.


          Photoshop is primarily a pixel editor - allowing you to build up layers of an image and apply masks and blending modes affecting how those layers interact.


          There is inevitably some overlap between the two, for example adjustment layers in Photoshop are also non destructive, but the above simple explanation should get you started in terms of which application to use. I start with Raw camera images in Lightroom where I "develop" them. I then move to Photoshop for pixel editing - for example cloning areas etc.



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          • 2. Re: Lightroom or Photoshop
            robh21046457 Level 1

            Thats great Dave, and useful info. Thank you

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Lightroom or Photoshop
              terris86415680 Adobe Community Professional

              Lightroom is essentially Adobe Camera Raw packaged into a standalone application. If you know camera raw then you'll be aware it is the means of getting images from a camera into the application in either the raw or jpeg format, but it's far more than just that as it's become Adobe's method of choice for making color and tonal adjustments to images. You will find in Camera Raw or Lightroom everything you need to correct images so they look their best. There is nothing in camera raw that cannot be performed by Phototoshop but it's more difficult and analytical tools are provided for work needing high precision in Photoshop. What you don't get in Lightroom is tools to manipulate images that are needed for creative projects like montages or panoramas.


              Photoshop's memory management is good, but it's not designed to keep track of thousands of images, whereas Lightroom has a database that facilitates image collections to be created and also bulk processing of image to a common standard. There are lots of overlaps between the two products but photographers will generally catalogue a photoshoot in Lightroom, do some basic processing and then export chosen frames to Photoshop for further work.

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              • 4. Re: Lightroom or Photoshop
                JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                Lightroom is a organizer has a very good library system.  Lightroom is also a very good image developer can make none destructive adjustments both local and global.   Lightroom also has an output module to you help create image files and prints you want.   Lightroom is not a full fledge Image editor it does not support layers so it not able to  create composites image to combine images and mage great image alterations.  You need a Image editor to use with Lightroom for things like that.  Lightroom can use the composite the editor produces but can not use other layers that may be available in the image files the editor creates.


                Photoshop is a full fledge image editor that can do all the Image adjustment Lightroon can do.  It supports layers and has many tools, filters and feature to edit images. If has many tools for professional web development and has powerful automation features you can program automated Photoshop processing using Actions and Scripts.   Photoshop is not an Image organizer it requires the use of other applications for that.  Adobe Bridge is installed along with Photoshop can be used for that or you can use Ligghtroom or something like Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder.


                I mostly use windows file explorer and occasionally Adobe bridge.  Bridge is a good metadata editor and has an optional output module.


                Personally I do not install Lightroom.  I do not need it library system I don't have a business that would find it useful and need to have it. Lighroom requires a lot of disk space and IMO can slow down ones work.  Adobe is working one improving its performance.   Lightroom's benefit have an overhead cost.


                Lightroom's RAW development has a different UI then Adobe ACR which is used in Photoshop.  Many love Lighrooms UI better than ACR UI.  ACR and Lightroom use the same RAW conversion engine.  So when Lightroom Passes RAW file it developed to Photoshop ACR will open and convert the RAW file and use Lightrooms adjustments.  However, in Photoshop only ACR UI is supported ACR is a Photoshop Plug-in and Filter.  Lightrooms Develop module is not a Photoshop plug-in so its UI can not be used in Photoshop.  ACR is and Plug-in can use in Photoshop, Bridge and I believe some other Adobe applications.

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                • 5. Re: Lightroom or Photoshop
                  Abambo Adobe Community Professional

                  Look at the videos on Adobe TV, a great source to find more information on your question:

                  Products | Lightroom | Adobe TV

                  Products | Photoshop | Adobe TV


                  Basically I would say the following: Lightroom is the digital darkroom build around a powerfull database. All you do in Lightroom is nondestructive, meaning that you can return to the original status or any intermediate status of your file at any time. Lr does not modifiy the original pictures, edits are burned in by exporting to a new file.


                  Use also Lightroom to organize your files with keywords and collections. Collections are like folders, except that they do not duplicate your picture. Your picture is stored only once on your system. A picture can be part of more then one collection. If you organize your pictures well, you will find easily what your looking for. When I take pictures of people, I try to allocate the name as a keyword, making it possible, when I get asked, to serve with a picture of that person in a certain situation.


                  Lr use is about 90% of my time.


                  I use Photoshop for anything I can't do in Lr: Layered photo editing, background clean-up, pre-press adjustments, mostly very complicated modifications in the picture. They would probably no more be admissable for National Geographic! My main work here is probably cut-outs of machines and logo corrections on the machines and workshop clean-up (I'm doing technical photography for my company). This will be about 10% of my time.


                  If I take a timesheet,

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