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Author Topic: Lightroom or Photoshop?  (Read 6565 times)
JRandallNichols
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« on: January 17, 2011, 10:41:11 AM »
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I am returning to digital printing after an unavoidable several year absence and therefore am way out of date on the question of how photographers are handling the relation between Lightroom and Photoshop for photo editing.  When I "left" Lightroom had only just been introduced, and while I had become fairly proficient with Photoshop through CS2 I did not get started with Lightroom at all.  Now with a new Mac and newly back into digital printing, I need to know whether to convert and upgrade my PC version of CS2 and continue using it, or switch to Lightroom 3, or use both--all unanswered questions when I left the discussion.

I'd appreciate some commentary on what people are preferring, with apologies for being so out of date!  Many thanks.

Randy
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Randy
NikoJorj
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 11:52:12 AM »
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Go for LR, it's much more efficient, and handles (almost) everything.

Whether you will need PS for what is out of the "almost"  (ie on top of LR) is up to you :
- do you need real softproofing with adjustment layers? (otherwise, a simple extension does it http://www.lightroom-plugins.com/ProofIndex.php )
- do you need heavy retouching jobs such as removing or pasting entire image elements in your picture?

Another question if you decide you still need PS is, do you keep CS2 or update to CS5? Apart from the things updated in PS itself, you'll gain better compatibility with LR, namely the ability to directly open a raw file with LR's modification (as a smart object if needed) rather than LR sending a TIFF to PS - but anyway PS sends back a TIFF to LR).
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 01:28:13 PM »
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Now with a new Mac and newly back into digital printing...
********
LR 3.x is worth the price just for the ease  of printing that it provides.  Down load the "trial" for your Mac and give it a spin.   

Steve
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dmerger
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 01:38:59 PM »
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For about $200 you can upgrade to CS5, which includes Camera Raw.  So, perhaps you might want to consider the differences between Camera Raw and Lightroom to determine if you'd be better off with it, at about $300, vs CS5/Camera Raw for about $200.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 01:48:55 PM »
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Hi,

Lightroom and Photoshop are very different tools. Lightroom is a "workflow solution". Eventually you may need both. But, most of the work can be done in Lightroom, so you can do with a simpler pixel level editing program as a external editor to Lightroom. Downloading the Reichmann & Schewe tutorials may be a good starting point.

Best regards
Erik




I am returning to digital printing after an unavoidable several year absence and therefore am way out of date on the question of how photographers are handling the relation between Lightroom and Photoshop for photo editing.  When I "left" Lightroom had only just been introduced, and while I had become fairly proficient with Photoshop through CS2 I did not get started with Lightroom at all.  Now with a new Mac and newly back into digital printing, I need to know whether to convert and upgrade my PC version of CS2 and continue using it, or switch to Lightroom 3, or use both--all unanswered questions when I left the discussion.

I'd appreciate some commentary on what people are preferring, with apologies for being so out of date!  Many thanks.

Randy

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Colortrails
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 05:56:42 PM »
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As Erik alluded to, it's not really and "either-or" question with Lightroom and Photoshop, unless you're on a strict budget... in which case the choice is pretty academic. Smiley The real question is whether you intend or want to correct your images or style them, beyond the tools which Lightroom 3 provides. An increasing number of shooters are answering "no" to that question because Lightroom now has some ability to straighten photos using new Lens Correction features, as well as a custom curve option and others... so strictly speaking if all you want to do is perfect the exposure and color, and remove defects like dust spots, noise or vertical distortion, that can all be done in Lightroom (among other things).

But if you want to do any serious retouching or have more control when printing and managing colors (for example), Photoshop CS5 is still going to be worth your while, and it's an excellent upgrade in its own right with a lot of useful features. Especially if you're coming from CS2 or CS3.
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dmerger
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 06:42:50 PM »
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The real question is whether you intend or want to correct your images or style them, beyond the tools which Lightroom 3 provides. An increasing number of shooters are answering "no" to that question because Lightroom now has some ability to straighten photos using new Lens Correction features, as well as a custom curve option and others... so strictly speaking if all you want to do is perfect the exposure and color, and remove defects like dust spots, noise or vertical distortion, that can all be done in Lightroom (among other things).

I'm not real familiar with Lightroom, but as far as image editing (not work flow), what does Lightroom offer that isn't also in ACR?  I understand that Lightroom offers some advantages over ACR for workflow, but it would be helpful to understand the differences for image editing versus work flow.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 07:30:47 PM »
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I'm not real familiar with Lightroom, but as far as image editing (not work flow), what does Lightroom offer that isn't also in ACR?  I understand that Lightroom offers some advantages over ACR for workflow, but it would be helpful to understand the differences for image editing versus work flow.

Download a free demo and try it. In a nutshell, the image processing engines are the 99% same between the two programs but the GUIs are very different. Some people prefer the ACR GUI others the LR. But LR is much more than a raw processor; it's s database/storage system, a slide show maker, a website maker and a print engine, with a number of RIP-like features in terms of layout and an easier print path than Photoshop's. Why I say you should download and try is that it's difficult from this kind of description to fully appreciate it. It's a brilliant application.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Colortrails
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 08:50:25 PM »
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I'm not real familiar with Lightroom, but as far as image editing (not work flow), what does Lightroom offer that isn't also in ACR?  I understand that Lightroom offers some advantages over ACR for workflow, but it would be helpful to understand the differences for image editing versus work flow.

What Mark said; essentially, Lightroom is the more polished solution when compared to the combo of ACR and Bridge. Basically it boils down to whether you like working in three programs or two (Ps, ACR, Bridge vs. Ps + Lr). Personally I feel Lightroom is the more powerful and efficient tool when it comes to import, evaluating images, filtering images, and exporting / outputting images (and the raw editing tools are fantastic), so I use it. While it does have many photo-centric features, Bridge will never be the pure photographer's tool that Lightroom is because it has to cater to all the other apps in the suite as well.
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sniper
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 05:16:05 AM »
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I think it's going to depend on what you actually do with your images, lightroom is a good basic editing and workflow option but it can't do layers or cutting pasting of parts of images, it's also only got limited selective ajustment via ajustment brushes, no pen tool.  If your doing lots of clever stuff your probably going to need photoshop.
IMHO where Lightroom comes into it's own is with batch ajusting/cataloging.
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jpegman
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 02:55:18 PM »
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In addition to all the pros and cons of LR over PS or vice versa, one thing to remember is that Adobe has changed the upgrade requirements for any new PS release.

The upgrade purchase will only allow activation if the previous version is 3 version less or newer! So, since you have CS2, you are on the edge of being excluded from updating your PS if you wait until CS6 is released (since the PS cycle seems to be about 18 months, this should be around the end of 2011 because CS5 shipped in April 2010)

As you know there is a BIG difference ($500) in the price between the full CSX price ($700) and the upgrade ($200) price!

Just something else to factor in before it's too late. If I were in your shoes, I would get LR3, and if you need to use CS2 for more extensive pixel editing, consider updating to CS5 before CS6 is released, or look into PS Elements 10+ for a "Lite" (and cheap) version of Photoshop pixel editing.

BTW - if you are considering either one or both, consider a 1 year membership ($99) in NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), where you can get a 15% discount on either full or upgrades. There are many other benefits and loads of free tutorials on their website for both.

Just my $.02

Jpegman
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Rand47
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 04:16:00 PM »
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Another vote for "not an either/or." 

Lightroom 1 could be described as having an emphasis on the "Light" part.  Grin

Lightroom 2.x was a whole lot better.

Lightroom 3 is a whole different animal - VERY powerful disguised behind a simple looking UI.
I highly recommend spending the money on the LL Tutorials for LR3.  Do that, then download the trial version so that you may "play along" in step w/ the tutorials with your own files in LR.

Lightroom is very powerful in the data asset management department as well.  Probably 90% of what I need to do in advanced image editing I now do in LR.  The processing engine in LR3 is very good, the sharpening and noise reduction are now on par with most 3rd party products for most of what you'd normally need to do.  And, in my book, the print utility alone is worth the price of admission.  Very powerful, and very easy to use with the ability to create presets for favorite papers, ICC profiles, paper sizes, printer feed preferences, and a whole host of other parameters that can now be accessed with a simple mouse click.  Future versions will almost certainly add soft proofing, and then it will be a darn near perfect printing utility.

LR's integration with PS CS5 is wonderful.  "Round tripping" from LR to CS5 and back is painless.  CS5 is still very necessary for what I call "pixel level editing" which consists of significant image manipulation of elements in the image, removing things, adding things, retouching, etc.  It is also necessary for serious layers work (though the power of LR has diminished the value of using a zillion different adjustment layers in my work flow - once the real power of LR is understood, you'll realize how much CAN be done there).

So as of now, IMO, serious PP requires for me "both programs" in order to have a work flow that makes sense, is logical and fast and easy to use - yet can still get in there and do serious magic when necessary.
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JRandallNichols
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 07:03:58 PM »
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Many thanks to all of you for helpful replies--exactly the kind of diverse user response I had hoped to receive.  My own "vote" as a result is to use both, though I believe LR will now become my workhorse for basic raw conversion and editing, with PS at the ready for the less frequent surgery, retouching, or color management I do sometimes require.  That is different from before where I did everything in PS, so this has been a very helpful conversation.  (This thread is the "gold standard," I believe, for what a genuinely helpful discussion board is capable of offering.)

Randy
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Randy
donbga
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 09:01:00 PM »
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In a nutshell, the image processing engines are the 99% same between the two programs

The RAW processing engines are exactly (100%) the same.

Don Bryant
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Schewe
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2011, 09:16:45 PM »
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The RAW processing engines are exactly (100%) the same.

Correct...but the usability is slightly different.

The current version of LR 3.3 and Camera Raw 6.3 will produce EXACTLY the same rendering (assuming the .xmp settings for both apps are the same). Zero difference. But the moment you mismatch the versions like LR 3.3 with PS CS4 and ACR 5.x, then you have differences...which is a good motive for making sure you keep LR & ACR in sync.
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jljonathan
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2011, 12:53:49 AM »
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I am currently in that exact situation, LR 3.3 and PS CS4. Can you explain a little more about what differences the mismatch would produce and how they would negatively affect the results.
Thanks
Jon
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2011, 01:51:59 AM »
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It means that if you do "Edit in Photoshop" and choose "Open Anyway" you're leaving Photoshop/earlier ACR to do the raw conversion, so you'll get its results. That will extend to lots of LR£ improvements such as noise reduction or lens correction. Editing as a smart object has the same limitation. Instead you want to "Render using Lightroom" or use export.

John
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jljonathan
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2011, 12:33:05 PM »
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Thanks for the clarity John.
jl
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photopianeil
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2011, 03:42:16 PM »
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I don't think anyone has yet mentioned why I treasure the LR workflow.  When processing in LR, unlike ACR, there is unlimited history which stays forever with the image files.  You can always go back any number of steps (not just one or all), right to the last printing or the initial import. The other part of my 2 cents is that I intend to let PS upgrades lapse until the last minute since most of the things I do in PS are features that have been around for quite a while and many of the improvements are for those thing which you would do in the parametric editing anyway. 
Neil
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Philmar
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2011, 03:30:25 PM »
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I don't think anyone has yet mentioned why I treasure the LR workflow.  When processing in LR, unlike ACR, there is unlimited history which stays forever with the image files. 

And they are automatically saved!!!
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