If you're slowly starting to process your photos, you've probably come across two programs that stand out from the rest: Photoshop and Lightroom. The question is not which one is better, since they are different programs and each serves a different purpose.
So what we're going to try to do in this article is analyze both programs broadly to find out, not which one is better, but which one you need.
Adobe Photoshop is a program that is not only for photographers. It can also be used by graphic designers, web designers, illustrators, advertisers and even architects. That's why it's so complete and also so overwhelming. That you have so many options can be, at the same time, your main advantage and your main drawback.
If you've just entered the world of photo processing, it's very likely that when you open Photoshop you won't even know where to start. It has so many utilities, tools and menus that it can be overwhelming at first.
With Photoshop we can find endless options to retouch our photography:
- Make the basic development of photography: color correction, lens correction, reframing, straightening, etc.).
- Make any type of color correction to our photography
- Distort and modify the perspective of the photo at will
- Work with selections and masks to accurately retouch zones
- Work with layers and merge modes between them
- Apply different effects and filters, both to the whole picture and to specific areas
- Adding or removing elements from our photograph at will
- Create elements digitally
- Make photomontages, both fantastic and realistic
- Apply advanced photographic techniques, such as frequency separation or dodge and burn
Lightroom, in comparison to Photoshop, is only focused on some of these utilities offered by Photoshop, specifically all those dedicated to the basic development of our photography:
- Exposure correction
- Color Correction
- Perspective correction
- Reframing and straightening
- Lens Correction
- Stain Removal
Thanks to this Lightroom is a much simpler and more intuitive program than Photoshop, ideal for retouching our photos when we are not looking for a more exhaustive retouch, but simply want to make a basic development. In addition, Lightroom also offers us some retouching options for areas that, although limited and not excessively precise, are very useful for a faster and more personalized retouching.
The main strength of Lightroom is that it allows us to retouch our photographs in series. It will be very simple to go from one photo to another retouching in each one what we want, to copy the adjustments of one on the other, and even to synchronize several photos to retouch them all at the same time. Also, when we copy settings from one photo to another, Lightroom lets us choose exactly which ones we want to copy and which ones we don't want to copy. And of course later you can modify them without any problem.
Catalogs are also an interesting part of Lightroom. All the retouches that we make to each file will remain stored in the catalog, and we will be able to pick them up or undo them whenever we want. This is very important, since we will be doing a non-destructive retouching of our photographs, and we can always go back, to the original photo, or to any of the intermediate steps if we are not convinced by the retouching we have done. This is an advantage if you are just beginning, as it will allow you to practice and try without fear of making a mistake or "spoiling" the photo.
In addition, with Lightroom we will be able to organize our photos and even give them keywords to find more easily all the photos of the same theme or motive. On the other hand, if you want to organize your photos in Photoshop as a catalog you will have to use a separate program, Adobe Bridge.
Finally, Lightroom also allows us to create collages, album layouts and photo projections in a very simple and intuitive way.