Why use Lightroom when you have PS?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Tanto, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Tanto macrumors member

    Tanto

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    I've been brushing up on my PS skills lately and I've noticed that in just about every video for PS that is online, the narrator uses LR at some point in their presentation and I would like some feedback on why YOU use it. Is it just the RAW format capabilities or the ability to apply one photo's effects against multiple photos? From what I've seen, PS can do pretty much everything that LR can do so I'm hunting for the finer points that would make purchasing LR worthwhile.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    Lightroom is better suited for organising thousands of photos, despite them being in RAW or JPEG or TIFF format.
     
  3. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Rome
    #3
    There are lots of websites that address this question, but examples are easy to produce. Consider this scenario:

    You set up an import profile in Lightroom so that when you import photos from your camera's card, they're automatically sorted into folders by date, tagged with your copyright information, your favourite development setting are applied to all photos (like minimal sharpening, your favourite camera colour profile, etc.), and then you add keywords for the photos on that card.

    Later, using Lightroom you search for all photos shot that day, keyworded with the term "portrait" and shot with your 50/1.4 lens at an aperture of 4.0 or less. Then you apply lens correction to all the selected photos in one step.

    Unless you need to do really heavy work on a photo (anything involving layers, etc.), the question usually becomes "why use Photoshop once you've got Lightroom?"
     
  4. Tanto thread starter macrumors member

    Tanto

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Well put. I've made up my mind on this matter. Thanks.
     
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #5
    There is another crucial difference. In Photoshop you take an image, work on it to make it better, and then 'save' the better image instead of the original. That is the default behaviour, to do other-wise means adding a step ('save as' or 'save a copy'). Photoshop is designed for you to make an image better, and then use that version.

    Lightroom has no 'save' button. As you make changes, the original image is left untouched - the changes are recorded, but the image itself is not changed. LR is designed so that you 'export' a version of the image for a particular use. So one version for web-use, and then another version for print use, and perhaps a 3rd version for email etc etc . Each version is different for the different uses.

    You can, of course, duplicate the behaviour of one app on the other, but it is not the default behaviour.

    If you have already made up your mind, that is great - and the comment above will then hopefully be useful for someone else reading the thread.
     
  6. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #6
    Yes and no. "Saving as" is in theory, the same thing as "exporting" in Lightroom. You are creating a new version of this edited image for an intended output, which both programs do.

    The original image in Photoshop is also left untouched, especially if you're shooting RAW. Once you begin working in photoshop, you're editing a duplicate. The handy thing about Photoshop is the ability to make nonlinear revisions. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if a step made 13 steps down the history in Lightroom is problematic, you can't simply erase that portion of the history without eliminating every other history step on top of it. In Photoshop, you can easily eliminate any layer, no matter where it is, without also deleting other layers.
     
  7. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #7
    I don't disagree with you, but do want to clarify what I wrote - perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I believe that Lightroom was designed with the 'export' action as the primary way of working with an image, and that the starting principle is that the original image stays untouched. Though you can make a 'virtual copy' which is similar to PS's 'save as', it's just not the primary design feature.

    I don't work with RAW in PS, preferring to leave those in Lightroom. But for all other image formats (far as I know) while PS can 'save as', that action is not quite the same as an LR 'export'. Each 'save as' creates a whole new copy. If one 'saves as' a 1GB file 5 times, that file has now expanded to 5GB, essentially. LR's 'export' doesn't eat up disk space in the same way. Really, the differences are not that major - but the two packages, I believe, were designed with two different philosophies in mind. It's why they work so well together.

    For my workflow, I work with multiples of my images in LR, and one image at a time in PS. Though I may have a dozen images open in PS, I am using 11 of them in support of the one image I am working on. If I am working on one image in LR, then I plan on using it to modify a batch of images. Subtle differences, but I like them.... eh?
     
  8. Tanto thread starter macrumors member

    Tanto

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    There's a lot of great feedback in here that has undoubted merits since everyone here has firsthand experience with both programs, it seems. While LR may not be for me, I think this thread will surely help anyone with the same question.

    Thank you, everyone who wrote, and lets keep the input coming so this thread hopefully becomes the end-all thread on this topic.
     
  9. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #9
    1. Digital Asset Management
    2. Non-destructive editing
    3. Simpler interface than PS

    That's why I use it. About 99% of my editing is done strictly in LR3. Now that LR has top notch noise reduction, perspective corrections, and most of my favourite plugins directly available, the only thing I need PS for is to occasionally work with layers, and even that isn't that frequent.

    There's no doubt that PS can do far more things than LR can, but for the most part, I don't need those things.
     
  10. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #10
    LR has strength as a DAM application. It's primary focus was asset management, key wording, rating, etc. PS is piss poor at those things.

    Try creating multiple versions of a file (crops, B&W, etc) in PS, try keeping them organized, you will likely lose your mind.

    As LR has matured, more editing ability has been put into it, and now you can do some things easily and nondestructively while still in your main DAM application - this is a big time saver compared with trying to use bridge (barf) and PS back and forth.

    If it comes to pixel level editing yes PS is still way ahead, and LR is in no way a replacement for it.

    Lastly, LR is significantly cheaper than PS. Although I own both, PS is quite expensive.
     

Share This Page