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03-27-2008, 07:48 AM   #1
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photoshop vs lightroom?

I don't want a huge debate to break out.. but very new to digital processing. Would you suggest Lightroom or Photoshop to someone who is serious, about getting more serious, intodigital imaging? I used to use Iphoto and let it auto adjust everything when i had a my point and shoot pictures. I just got a K10D and this summer I plan on going photo crazy! I downloaded the trial of lightroom and really like the red eye reduction tool, best i have used. But I really don't want to learn one thing to eventually have to learn another (photoshop seems to be more universal) but I have read that people use both? Is that software overkill?

Not to throw more fuel on the fire, but I use Mac and I love the simplicty of the software... however how does Aperture measure up? Is it somewhere between the photoshop and lightroom? I need help..

thanks in advance...

03-27-2008, 08:17 AM   #2
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i think Lightroom is more of a workflow tool and to make general modifications to the entire picture. it should be enough for most people, but if you want to manipulate certain sections of a photo are do more than what is available, you should get Photoshop (or try cheaper alternatives Paint Shop Pro, Photosho Elements first). note Lightroom and Photoshop work well together
03-27-2008, 08:21 AM   #3
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I use both photoshop and Lightroom. I use lightroom 95% of the time. If you are serious about developing raw images, lightroom is the way to go. Lightroom also interfaces with Photoshop for those times I need to use layers, cut away a background or do photomerge, or HDR. They are both very powerful tools, but lightroom is designed for raw workflow. If you are handling a very large number of raw files, Lightroom will help you sort, track and filter them. The most attractive feature of light room to me is that the changes you make in the develop module are nondestructive, and can be reversed or changed in the future. Photoshop is a "pixel painting" program, where as Lightroom (in my opinion) is much more like actually being in the darkroom with a negative. Hope this was informative, if you have any other questions feel free to PM me.
03-27-2008, 08:24 AM   #4
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I can't speak for Aperture, I'm on windows. But I do use Lightroom and Photoshop.

Lightroom is a photographer's work horse. Its designed to facilitate a photographer's workflow. That being said, I use it to import the RAW images from my SD card, organize them in my library, discard hopeless candidates (more of those than good ones!) and develop and export good ones.

I do about 90% of my work in Lightroom and the other 10% in PS. Everything you can do in Lightroom you can do in PS RAW converter. But I personally like Lightroom's interface and ease of use more than PS. Most of the work I do in PS is sharpening. I think it blows Lightroom out of the water in that regard. I'll also use PS if I need to use layers to fix a photo...which isn't very often.

What format are you shooting in? If you're just making red eye adjustments, you might look to PS Elements.

03-27-2008, 08:51 AM   #5
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I can't compare LR to PS, but I use CS3 for other things like web dev. However, I have to say, FastStone Image Viewer for Windows (price is right - FREE for non commercial use) is a very slick tool. Plus you can quickly create very nice desktop backgrounds and slide shows. For basic image surgery it's very adequate.

As has been said in many threads, the debate between the two products isn't apples for apples. They both serve a very useful purpose. I would love the cataloging and workflow piece that lightroom provides, but can do somewhat similar things with PS. Both provide integration of Camera Raw (as does Elements). And to really mess things up, today Adobe announced a web version of Elements which will also be a freebie linked to a Flickr type sharing site.
03-27-2008, 11:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hhays Quote
I use both photoshop and Lightroom. I use lightroom 95% of the time. If you are serious about developing raw images, lightroom is the way to go. Lightroom also interfaces with Photoshop for those times I need to use layers, cut away a background or do photomerge, or HDR. They are both very powerful tools, but lightroom is designed for raw workflow. If you are handling a very large number of raw files, Lightroom will help you sort, track and filter them. The most attractive feature of light room to me is that the changes you make in the develop module are nondestructive, and can be reversed or changed in the future. Photoshop is a "pixel painting" program, where as Lightroom (in my opinion) is much more like actually being in the darkroom with a negative. Hope this was informative, if you have any other questions feel free to PM me.
Thanks - great info here. I've just enrolled in an 8-week online course for Elements, I have 6.0. I have been wondering what Lightroom is, and this helps. It sounds like someday I will need Lightroom, but not right now. I just need to "fix" my images, and maybe get creative with layers. I'm not shooting in RAW yet, primarily because I am overwhelmed at what is required post-processing .. again, someday!

What is Adobe Bridge? I saw something about that somewhere. Also, what is a reasonable price for Lightroom and/or Bridge? I paid $99 for Elements 6.0 ...

Thanks!
03-27-2008, 11:56 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by deludel Quote
Thanks - great info here. I've just enrolled in an 8-week online course for Elements, I have 6.0. I have been wondering what Lightroom is, and this helps. It sounds like someday I will need Lightroom, but not right now. I just need to "fix" my images, and maybe get creative with layers. I'm not shooting in RAW yet, primarily because I am overwhelmed at what is required post-processing .. again, someday!

What is Adobe Bridge? I saw something about that somewhere. Also, what is a reasonable price for Lightroom and/or Bridge? I paid $99 for Elements 6.0 ...

Thanks!
Bridge is a viewing/sorting/tracking app that is bundled with Photoshop. It allows you to see thumbs for all files including raw files. I find it most useful when opening something directly into photoshop. (There is even a link on the PS toolbar for Bridge) You could probably get Lightroom for $200 or under now.
03-27-2008, 12:26 PM   #8
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I'd agree that lightroom feels more like a darkroom. You can do alot of adjustment in LR, but if you really want to get to the business of making images that couldn't have come out of a camera photoshop is where you need to move. I really like the RAW workflow in LR and all the organization tools. Its loads better than any of the company specific packages for importing your files.

LR is only $99 if you can somehow qualify for the educational version. (or know someone who can)

03-27-2008, 12:34 PM   #9
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I don't think there is a vs here. They really work hand in hand. If you can only get one or the other I would probably suggest getting CS3, it has bridge and ACR that work a lot like LR does. They aren't as complete as LR, but they will do a lot of the basics for handling files and RAW editing. I use both together, but only having LR I think would be a problem since you are missing a lot of things that PS can do. With only CS3 you can pretty much do whatever LR can do, just not as well.
03-27-2008, 02:03 PM   #10
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i use both cs3 and lightroom and have found ( for me ) that cs3 possess's additional tools that allow for more exposure adjustments beyond lightroom....there are also many tweaks that i have not been able ( as yet) to duplicate in lightroom......in the end, it is all a matter of what works for the individual artist ....as for macs, know nothing about them tho' i have friends that would sacrifice limbs to use em ( hopefully not the upper ones as that would be somewhat counter-productive....whatever you do, good luck and have fun.
03-27-2008, 02:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Geekybiker Quote
...

LR is only $99 if you can somehow qualify for the educational version. (or know someone who can)
Ooh! This is relevant to my interests.
03-27-2008, 02:29 PM   #12
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As for Aperture vs Lightroom, they pretty much do the same job. I have tried both, but found that Lightroom worked the best for me. Much of that is probably due to personal taste, I know a few that use Aperture and are very satisfied, but I found Lightroom to work a lot faster than Aperture on my somewhat slow Mac. I don't think it requires so much resources from the computer.

I think that Lightroom is a good application, and if you shoot RAW it's a very efficient way of correcting white balance, . I think the sharpening and color tools in the latest updates are quite nice too, and can do a lot of what you do in Photoshop. I found working in Lightroom being more efficient than Bridge+Photoshop. But that's for me, and it depends on your workflow. Photoshop can do a whole lot of stuff that Lightroom can't, and I guess what you need really depends on what you are planning to do.

However, if someone finds the PP of RAW images overwhelming, I think they'll find that Lightroom makes that job a lot easier.
03-28-2008, 09:39 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by madisonphotogrl Quote
I don't want a huge debate to break out.. but very new to digital processing. Would you suggest Lightroom or Photoshop to someone who is serious, about getting more serious, intodigital imaging? I used to use Iphoto and let it auto adjust everything when i had a my point and shoot pictures. I just got a K10D and this summer I plan on going photo crazy! I downloaded the trial of lightroom and really like the red eye reduction tool, best i have used. But I really don't want to learn one thing to eventually have to learn another (photoshop seems to be more universal) but I have read that people use both? Is that software overkill?

Not to throw more fuel on the fire, but I use Mac and I love the simplicty of the software... however how does Aperture measure up? Is it somewhere between the photoshop and lightroom? I need help..

thanks in advance...
Well, Aperture is $100 cheaper than Lightroom. With Aperture 2.0/2.1 I am finding even less reason to need Photoshop. I used Lightroom for about a year and a half on both PC and Mac until Aperture 2 came out. I prefer it hands down to Lightroom now. The new 2.1 update even has a dodge and burn plug-in that also offers selective application of sharpening, desaturation or saturation, even blurring. Several 3rd party plug-ins will be coming on line in the next month or two.

I shoot weddings and portraits and I find Aperture to be an indispensable part of my workflow. RAW processing is easily as good as ACR and there are far more tools for organizing and output than Lightroom has. There is a free trial so it is worth a look. I tried it and after a week I took Lightroom off my computer and have barely touched Photoshop.
03-29-2008, 12:24 PM   #14
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I know it's been reiterated, but Lightroom (and Aperture) are "workflow" programs, meaning they're for organizing a large number of photos and adjusting several photos at the same time (or in quick succession). Lightroom/Aperture are best for adjustments that apply across the entire photo (white balance, sharpening, highlight/shadow adjustments, etc), they have tools that makes it very easy and to do it on a lot of photos. I used to use Lightroom, but now I use Aperture, and they suit my image needs 98% of the time and great for organizing photos.

Photoshop is a much more sophisticated image editor for editing photos one at a time. Photoshop can do many things that neither Lightroom nor Aperture can do, like modify very specific parts of a photos and doing special effects. For example, I use Photoshop so I can use NeatImage, which is a noise reducing plug-in. Photoshop can also do all the things that Lightroom and Aperture can do, except that for me it is hard and takes a lot longer, and I can't do it to multiple photos at a time.

As for Lightroom vs. Aperture, they're both very similar. Personally, I prefer Aperture since I find it easier and faster to use while it is still very powerful.

A lot of people use both Lightroom/Aperture and Photoshop; myself included. The former for organizing and the majority of their edits, and then they bring over a few select photos to Photoshop for specialized editing. Some people are perfectly fine with using only Photoshop or only Lightroom/Aperture. Really, you should download some demos of each of these programs and try them out one at a time, and see which one you like best.
03-29-2008, 03:20 PM   #15
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I use Lightroom ($300) and Elements 6 ($100) for when I need layers which is not very often.

I also have Photomatix (free version) for the odd HDR ($0), The Pentax software that came with the K10 because the EXIF readout is so neat ($0) and DxO to magically change my 16-50 into a perfect lens ($100).
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