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Author Topic: Lightroom or Photoshop for a 'beginner'?  (Read 6221 times)
cwdavis
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« on: July 19, 2006, 07:38:47 PM »
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Hello,
Very briefly, I'm an amateur with a life-long interest in photography just getting back into the game.  Have sold all my film gear and re-outfitted to digital, and am having a great time!

Also, have used digital photography extensively in my biology professional life as a microscopist, but as a scientist have stayed away from Photoshop for being overly complicated to my needs.  

Hence, I'm a Photoshop beginner, wondering if I shouldn't instead be learning digital image processing for 'fine art' photography (I'm just not sure that my photography meets the grade just now!  ) using Lightroom.

Opinions would be appreciated!  Thanks,

Bill Davis
Chapel Hill, NC
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2006, 08:52:48 PM »
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Try LR. No harm done if you don't like it. It won't let you do things like cloning (though that may be added by 1.0), selective corrections or any other more sophisticated stuff. It is just for global optimizing at this time.

PS Elements along with LR is a very capable combo. You may not even need to invest in PS CS2 if your needs don't require its level of sophistication.

Quite frankly, it does not matter if you learn image processing in LR, PS or any other program for that matter. Just as long as you try to learn to be proficient in whatever tools you decide to use. What counts is what suits your tastes and can help you accomplish what you set out to do with your photography.
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2006, 08:54:33 PM »
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I'd continue to stick it out and learn Photoshop because one day you're going to want that power, and you'll be glad you stuck it out and learned it.

Photoshop has key things you can't do in lightroom - layers, blending, dodge / burn, which, I think, are quite vital. Lightroom is a great RAW converter, but to me, that's the start of image processing, not the end.

Graeme
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2006, 12:29:40 AM »
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As someone who started out on PaintShop Pro, (tried the GIMP briefly) then moved to Elements and then finally to PS, I can say each can do the major items such as layers, blending, dodge/burn, brushes, etc. The main issue with learning on a program other than PS IMHO is not really with differences in features as they all have the main features Photogs need, but in the difference in interface design and keyboard shortcuts.

The biggest benefit to PS is it's ability for automation (mmm...droplets *drool*). All the other stuff can be done one way or another in the other apps.

Each app has a demo so nothing is lost in trying things out.
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Raw shooter
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2006, 08:24:28 AM »
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Bill,
Just an opinion - but you should fully commit to Photoshop CS2.  Go full throttle toward being a ‘master’.  The tools seem too numerous at first, but each become so valuable that you will in time wonder how you once lived without Photoshop.
Adobe Lightroom has great potential, but my guess that potential is obvious to a seasoned Photoshop user.  Raw edit/conversion, printing with ICC profiles, etc. seem like endless details to new users, but are really THE game, once you get experience.
You will love the experience and skills you learn.  For any serious photographer, I don’t see an alternative.
Just one guy’s opinion!
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giles
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2006, 10:35:54 AM »
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Hence, I'm a Photoshop beginner, wondering if I shouldn't instead be learning digital image processing for 'fine art' photography (I'm just not sure that my photography meets the grade just now!  ) using Lightroom.

Maybe ... but in my opinion probably not, yet.  It's pretty clear that the tools in Photoshop are sufficient to get the job done.  Lightroom is probably still missing some features you'll want.  Michael's "First Look" at the first(?) Lightroom beta gives some ideas.  Of course, missing features are probably still being added at a fast rate, 'beta' designation or no:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/...ightroom1.shtml

I'll give Lightroom a run as soon as I locate some time and update my OS/X installation to the required version.  As well as cropping and rotation (which might have been added since Michael's "First Look", I don't know) I would miss the Photokit Sharpener plugin.

Giles

P.S. My worst struggles with Photoshop are when there is something that "everyone" knows (so not documented in the books I've seen) but which is not obvious to me.  It's one of those learn by trial-and-error things: with each piece of knowledge the next piece is easier and the books start to make more sense, but it's a dreadful application to learn, no doubt as a result of the incremental development over the years.  I look forward to Lightroom, or Aperture, or some other application replacing it.
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cwdavis
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2006, 05:21:02 PM »
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Thank you all for the feedback.  Photoshop it is, and a relief I must say.  I was dreading putting a lot of effort into learning its ins and outs, then turning around and having to relearn yet another program!
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2006, 08:47:43 PM »
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When learning a big beast of a program like Photoshop, it's important to remember that you probably won't ever need all of the bells and whistles. Look at some of the workflows that people mention here in the LL forum, find one that makes sense to you, and learn the most basic steps to do it. Then when you feel the need to do something fancy, see if there is a way to do that. In other words, start simple and add to your arsenal of tools only when you feel the need.

Of course it's also fun to play with some of the fancy stuff just to see what happens.

Good luck! You'll be addicted before you know it.    

Eric
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Barry Prager
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2006, 06:28:32 PM »
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There are some excellent books on Photoshop for every level.  You can get an overview at Amazon.  I like going to a book store and look at the various offerings and then pick one subject, say layers, and see how the different authors address that subject in diagrams, pictures, and word.  A book written for photographers rather than a Photoshop Bible would be better for you.

Honeybadger.
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dlavine
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2006, 05:57:40 PM »
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I'm am thrilled with Lightroom.  Let me explain why.  

I committed to digital photography last Christmas with a purchase of a Nikon D70 and Photoshop CS2, then went on a month-long trip to Costa Rica, where I took 3000 photos.  Then my job intervened for a while.  But when summer started and I had more time, I kept putting off sitting down to work on my images, even after investing time in working through two how-to books, since PS was still just too intimidating.  

So then I downloaded LR.  It does 80% of what I want with probably 20% of the effort it would have taken in PS.  Enough to get lots of images in final form.  And with the confidence I have now developed with the tone curve, etc, I'm ready to deal with layers, dodging/burning, healing brushes, and all the rest.  But I never would have gotten there jumping into PS cold.
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cottagehunter
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2006, 08:00:11 PM »
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Quote
Thank you all for the feedback.  Photoshop it is, and a relief I must say.  I was dreading putting a lot of effort into learning its ins and outs, then turning around and having to relearn yet another program!
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Just a tip on learning photoshop. Many people can read books and get the tutorials from it but I'm handicapped in that (being a lefty) , what worked great for me was to purchase either throughforeground to o add a  newstands or subscriptions British photography magazines these are not cheap $18.00 per issue at Chapters less through subscpition. I say British mags as they come with eiter a DVD or CD giving video tutorials and after a year give good baic coverage of all the features of Photshop you will need. 1 CD I have in front of me  gives tutorials in Curves , Rulers Guides and Grids Textures,how to a backdrop how to enhance an image etc. and this is just one months issue. The two mags I prefer are Digital Photo [a href=\"http://www.photographymags.co.uk/]http://www.photographymags.co.uk/[/url]
and Digital Camera World http://www.dcmag.co.uk/.
This worked for me and after a year they tend to repeat themselves
Pierre
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