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Photo editing: Photoshop vs. Lightroom

It’s been a long time since I last added a post, although the reason is very valid. Now I am happy to announce that I have finally graduated from the university, although I’m not very sure if it’s the last time I will be studying there (master’s degree is tempting).

Lately, during a much-deserved (after all the thesis and graduation dramas) summer vacation I have decided to try Adobe Lightroom. I have accumulated a number of photographs and I am determined to keep them all.

I used to utilize Photoshop for photo editing using actions and it served me well, but my classmate managed to convince me months ago that Lightroom is better.

So should you keep Photoshop for your photo editing needs or should you use Lightroom instead?


edited with Photoshop

edited with Lightroom 4.4

The topmost photo is the base image, taken using a Fujifilm point and shoot camera in my custom program setting in macro. The focus is there, but the colors are lifeless.

The middle photo shows the base image edited in Photoshop using Photoshop actions. Photoshop actions are convenient presets in editing images without the need for fumbling with adjustments and color balances manually. You can download lots of free Photoshop actions online or you can create your own preset for a personal approach.

The bottom photo shows the base image edited in Lightroom 4.4 – this means I adjusted exposure, clarity, vibrance, tones, etc. manually according to my taste. I made the colors vibrant, the way I wanted to; I took the base photo because I loved the colors of the flower, even if it was just a weed. I was able to accomplish that goal in Lightroom.

The advantage of using Lightroom is you can manipulate layers of your photo beyond what Photoshop can, and even if you do not shoot in RAW you can still adjust shadows and highlights separately (I am still to witness what wonders RAW can do in Lightroom). There are available presets for Lightroom online as well, for free; I haven’t tried one yet but they are probably similar to Photoshop actions.

Should you dump Photoshop for Lightroom?

NOT YET. Lightroom kicks ass, for sure, I am enjoying it at present in ways I cannot imagine, and though it’s tailor-made for photo editing, Photoshop is no way a loser.

Photoshop is a digital artist’s bestfriend. It’s the jack of all trades, it can do anything, the limit being the user’s imagination and skill. However, do remember that when you turn on Photoshop you also activate all other functions in the program, whether or not you will be utilizing it for photo editing. It’s like turning on a power-hungry electric bill-burning desktop when all you wanted to do was to read an eBook, or baking a three-layer cake when you are to eat alone – too much for a single task.

This is probably why Adobe created Illustrator, Indesign, Lightroom, etc.  A determined artist can use Photoshop for his masterpieces, but some people just have specific needs without needing the extra baggage.

I am not saying Photoshop can do everything, but it can do most anything. I haven’t maximized it to its full potential, but what I can do with SAI, Illustrator, Indesign, and Lightroom, I can do with Photoshop…yet I still use SAI (not Adobe, mind you), Illustrator, Indesign, and presently, Lightroom, all because I want to save RAM.

Which photo do you like best?

It is hard to judge. I like both edits, each has its own charm. Besides, Photoshop actions are very convenient for lazy days. =)


About klacenklai

Klarizza Jose is a landscape architect by day, dreamer and digital artist by night, and is in an on-again off-again relationship with coffee.


One thought on “Photo editing: Photoshop vs. Lightroom

  1. This makes me want to try Lightroom! Always been editing photos using Photoshop, too. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Posted by msjfreckles | 05/31/2013, 14:09

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All illustrations, drawings, photos and content are © Klarizza Jose unless otherwise stated. Please do not download, copy, alter, distort, and use without permission. For inquiries please send me an email at klacenklai@gmail.com.
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