Creative software from Adobe is used globally by many in the creative industry and is one of the most used software around today. Around 90 percent of all creatives are estimated to work on Photoshop, and many of these graphic designers, photographers and editors use a range of software from Adobe to make beautiful visual art.
It can feel like there are many hurdles preventing access to Adobe software for those just getting started in the photography industry, including the steep learning curve of mastering Photoshop or the price of each tool on Adobe’s latest subscription-only access plans.
Budding photographers can wonder whether it’s really worth Photoshop or whether Lightroom’s less efficient, cheaper alternative is just as good at the beginning. It’s important to consider every choice when scheduling your perfect editing process. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the software you’re about to buy is a big part of that. For picture editors, Photoshop and Lightroom both have their advantages, but you need to know both their strengths and limitations to get the most out of the software.
Why use Photoshop?
Photoshop is commonly regarded as one of the most powerful tools available for image editing. Photoshop is pretty much the industry norm, but there are several useful alternatives. It’s safe to say that someone looking to work as a photographer professionally would need to have some knowledge of how to use Photoshop.
Originally designed as a basic image editing tool, Photoshop has developed into a piece of software in a variety of media with applications for designers and image-makers. From 3D animation to video editing, with its broad range of operations, Photoshop is able to make amazing edits. Photoshop is a layer-based pixel-level editor, which means that editors have full control over every element of the image and can make adjustments separately to various sections of the image to create a more realized definition for each frame.
What are the benefits of using Photoshop:
Some of the best elements of the software that will really help your editing skills if you’re new to the Adobe suite include:
- Powerful editing
Photoshop is exclusively intended for editing pictures, so this is where it excels. What makes it so helpful for individuals in all fields is the wide variety of resources available when editing.
Compositing, where photographers can layer images or parts of images on top of each other to create the effect they are looking for, is one such editing technique. This can be useful for removing heads or even just one eye on the face of an individual in group shots.
- Layer editing
Being able to edit the image in layers helps photographers to make their modifications more accurate. This also helps to reduce the possibility of disruptive editing, as unintended modifications can be reversed by simply removing the last layer.
- Healing tools
Photoshop has four methods for healing, each of which has a different use. Content-Aware Fill enables editors to remove entire items from the image, while for smaller details such as skin blemishes, the healing brush is fine.
What are the drawbacks of Adobe Photoshop?
- Works on one image at a time
It comes with the downside of only working on one image at a time to be able to edit images to such a high level of detail. This, coupled with the inability of Photoshop to work with RAW format images, may mean that editors may need to use Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, and Photoshop just to edit one image.
- Hard to master
With so many tools and various functions, when starting out, Photoshop can be intimidating. To get to grips with the software, beginner photographers might want to consider Photoshop courses.
Why are you using Lightroom?
Much later than Photoshop, Lightroom was introduced and entered the creative suite in 2006 as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The inclusion of Photoshop in the name indicates that this tool was supposed to be closely related to the original, but some specific problems that many photographers had previously experienced with Photoshop were addressed by Lightroom.
Lightroom allows photographers to create databases of their images as a workflow-focused software and automatically uploads data from the camera to help categorize everything in more detail. It has fewer editing capabilities, but can operate on a group of images at a time, helping to speed up the process for batch editing photographers.
Benefits of using Lightroom:
- Simplifies the process of editing
Lightroom is a great way to streamline the editing process, with automatic databases and metadata extracted from the camera on upload. In order to be easier to return to later, users can browse their collections and even flag or star specific images.
- Works with the format RAW
Most photographers work in the RAW format, so the software’s ability to upload images directly from the camera to Lightroom is a highly attractive feature.
- Allows to create presets
Lightroom presets are specifically designed to make professional photographers’ lives easier. Users can apply presets to a group of images at a time to maintain a collective aesthetic by either creating from scratch or downloading presets made by professionals.
- Does not destruct the original image
The software will automatically save the edits to a new file when an image is edited in Lightroom, meaning the original image can never be lost by accident. This is a common problem with Photoshop that photographers find, which also lends to its difficult reputation.
- Simple to manage
Compared with Photoshop, Lightroom has a more limited set of tools, enabling beginners to get the hang of it in much less time. However, to get started, those with little to no editing experience may still want to think about Lightroom training.
Drawbacks of using Adobe Lightroom:
- Less editorial control
As a weaker editing method, Lightroom will be frustrating to photographers looking to make comprehensive and managed edits. Nevertheless, it also has a powerful collection of image editing software that could be only enough for certain talented photographers.
- No editing layers
In Lightroom, layer editing is not possible, as its function is mostly as a simple photo editing tool. Users may also need to use Photoshop for some more complicated modifications or to edit particular areas of an image.
Photoshop vs Lightroom:
In fact, the battle between Lightroom and Photoshop does not have a winner. Each tool has its own uses and they have been developed by Adobe to be used together, hence the name ‘Photoshop Lightroom’. At just under Rs. 1000 a month, Adobe even provides both apps to photographers, a saving of Rs. 1000 per month compared to Photoshop as a single app.
Using both Lightroom and Photoshop together will allow you to take advantage of the positives of both tools for any photographers just starting out in their editing careers.
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