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Post-processing: Photoshop or Lightroom?


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I post-process my photos only in Photoshop, havent used Lightroom. But I know that many use Lightroom and sometimes it seems that photos processed there looks somehow better, almost magical, in terms of light and colors. Is there (in Lightroom) something that really allows to create a more amazing looking photo?

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43 minutes ago, Ikars said:

Is there (in Lightroom) something that really allows to create a more amazing looking photo?

There are a number of plugins you can get for Lightroom that will allow you to create virtually any look you want, but you really don't need any if you really know how to get the most out of it.  The image below was edited using nothing but Lightroom.  The left image is the original raw image, the right is after heavy post-processing in Lightroom. 

882006_254050238078655_1938419148_o.thumb.jpg.c253441b361df0eb15f5a2c61b72c7f7.jpg

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I used to edit a lot on Photoshop because it lets you do more with an image than Lightroom does. But it's also highly time consuming and taxing. Over the years, I have become more comfortable with getting images straight out of Lightroom with a quick and easy edit. It frankly gives you everything you need to get a good quality image out unless you want break it and manipulate it heavily. Nowadays, if I need to do more, I just go to Luminar 4 and do some tweaking. Luminar lets you do things like sky replacement in minutes, something that would take hours to do on Photoshop.

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I only use maybe 10% of the features in PhotoShop and it's confusing. I haven't tried Lightroom because it would mean having to figure out yet another complicated program, but i understand there are pros and cons to both. The second image there is a bit dark for my taste Phil. I'd have probably had it lighter personally,  but it definitely looks more vibrant and colorful than the original

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4 minutes ago, Sheila Fitzgerald said:

I only use maybe 10% of the features in PhotoShop and it's confusing. I haven't tried Lightroom because it would mean having to figure out yet another complicated program, but i understand there are pros and cons to both. The second image there is a bit dark for my taste Phil. I'd have probably had it lighter personally,  but it definitely looks more vibrant and colorful than the original

I shoot Raw but whether you're using Raw or not, try using the Camera Raw Filter in the photoshop menu. It's basically the best adjustments from Lightroom and very easy to use.

 

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1 hour ago, Sheila Fitzgerald said:

The second image there is a bit dark for my taste Phil. I'd have probably had it lighter personally

I think his point was just to show how much difference there can be between extremes - with ideal being somewhere middle ground.

 

I shoot RAW, use the RAW converter that's under PS for adjustments, and if I need to fix anything (like cloning out something), I do it in PS.

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8 hours ago, balajisrinivasan said:

I used to edit a lot on Photoshop because it lets you do more with an image than Lightroom does. But it's also highly time consuming and taxing. Over the years, I have become more comfortable with getting images straight out of Lightroom with a quick and easy edit. It frankly gives you everything you need to get a good quality image out unless you want break it and manipulate it heavily. Nowadays, if I need to do more, I just go to Luminar 4 and do some tweaking. Luminar lets you do things like sky replacement in minutes, something that would take hours to do on Photoshop.

I use photoshop for sky replacement, takes at most 2 minutes including all the bare tree branches. Just depends on whether you know what buttons to press. Good on you for using Luminar - if it works go for it

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Lightroom is excellent for organizing and editing large quantities of images relatively fast and easy and because of that I think it is much better solution for stock photographers than Photoshop. Lightroom is also much simpler and straightforward than photoshop IMO.

With Lightroom you can do also some quite advanced editing thanks to the masking options that it offers nowadays. However, some more complex stuff still require Photoshop.

I've made a blog post on the most useful features of Lightroom. If you're interested you can find it here: https://jamoimages.com/how-to-use-lightroom-classic-cc/

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12 hours ago, Philip Armitage said:

I use photoshop for sky replacement, takes at most 2 minutes including all the bare tree branches. Just depends on whether you know what buttons to press. Good on you for using Luminar - if it works go for it

I also use photoshop if I am doing sky replacement - but for stock work 95% of work I do in LR because generally speaking I want stock shots "as is".

I think the 2 programs are very different beasts - maybe a sports coupe and a big offroader.  Now the sports coupe can drive though a field - but not well, and the big offroader will go fast on the motorway but not as fast and will be noisy and not handle as well.  If I want to go into the middle of nowhere and drive up a vertical slope I take the off roade.  If I am heading for a track day I take the sports coupe.  Pottering around town I can take either depending on my mood - but the sports coupe is lighter and easier to park.

The thing is that although basic operation of both is similar to get the maximum out of either you have to learn how to use it properly.  Youtube and google are your friends.  Be warned though you will at some point utter the words "I wish I had known how to do this years ago"

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Lightroom is a program aimed generally at making large, global changes to an image with some rudimentary masking tools for making small, local changes.

Photoshop is all about making changes down to the pixel level.  It specializes in extreme detail-oriented work, with the ability to make large-scale changes to an image.  Overall, Photoshop is the more complete program, but is often overkill for stock work, where the most many people need is some basic cropping, leveling, and exposure/color correction work.

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On 1/10/2020 at 12:22 AM, Phil Lowe said:

Lightroom is a program aimed generally at making large, global changes to an image with some rudimentary masking tools for making small, local changes.

Photoshop is all about making changes down to the pixel level.  It specializes in extreme detail-oriented work, with the ability to make large-scale changes to an image.  Overall, Photoshop is the more complete program, but is often overkill for stock work, where the most many people need is some basic cropping, leveling, and exposure/color correction work.

Yup... that's how I use the two as well.  LR also for cataloging and the basic and global edits.  Photoshop adds the wow. 

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On 1/10/2020 at 1:36 AM, Sheila Fitzgerald said:

I only use maybe 10% of the features in PhotoShop and it's confusing. I haven't tried Lightroom because it would mean having to figure out yet another complicated program, but i understand there are pros and cons to both. The second image there is a bit dark for my taste Phil. I'd have probably had it lighter personally,  but it definitely looks more vibrant and colorful than the original

I use Photoshop for various purposes like web layout creation, photo enhancement, etc. There are lots of pros and cons of using photoshop and Lightroom. I wrote an article regarding the same. 

Edited by Christa Elrod
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Lightroom for 90%+ of photos.  Photoshop is needed in maybe 10% if i need to use more advanced masking or clean up.

The exception are portfolio worthy shots where i'll use Capture 1 as it produces a far more pleasing image with detail and colour from a RAW than Adobe can manage.

 

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I use both together, starting in Lightroom always, then if I need some PS features, click right button on mouse (Windows) --> Edit in Photoshop.. LR exports the file to PS, you edit it in PS, then "Save" in PS and result returns to LR where you continue.. 

Adobe products are well integrated, similar things can be done for video in AE --> go other programs temporarily and then return back 

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On 1/9/2020 at 2:13 PM, balajisrinivasan said:

Luminar lets you do things like sky replacement in minutes, something that would take hours to do on Photoshop.

Just to say that there is an excellent automatic sky replacement in Photoshop now (in Edit)  and you can add all your own skies.  I find basic editing in Photoshop is quick and easy, particularly using the Camera Raw filter.  I have never used Lightroom - maybe I should try it, I have read that it is excellent for organising your images.  I use Bridge.

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Lightroom is a mixture of Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera RAW and some Photoshop features. I create catalogs in lightroom for RAW files, select the best shots in them. I make small adjustments to exposure compensation and stuff like a camera. Sometimes a little color correction, I remove large spots in lightroom. All this is quick and you can quickly transfer correction and other things from one file to other files in the directory.

What annoys me about lightroom is that they sort the keywords alphabetically. If Lightroom fixed this thing, then in 90% of cases I would only use Lightroom. Then I press open photoshop, fill in the words there. And I keep it. Rarely, when I do a collage or retouch a face, I do operations in Photoshop.

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They keyword sorting thing is ridiculous when their own company requires them in priority order.  It renders their own upload plugin unusable.

Its been the most requested feature to add for several years on the official LR forums.

The only way to do it currently is to add via Bridge after exporting which is a time consuming, extra step.

 

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On 2/12/2021 at 6:12 PM, Brian Maudsley said:

Just to say that there is an excellent automatic sky replacement in Photoshop now (in Edit)  and you can add all your own skies.  I find basic editing in Photoshop is quick and easy, particularly using the Camera Raw filter.  I have never used Lightroom - maybe I should try it, I have read that it is excellent for organising your images.  I use Bridge.

Well, I've discontinued my CC account. Can't afford it anymore on the microstock cents.

Thankfully, the Luminar (bought for half the yearly fee of Adobe CC a couple of years ago) is a one time purchase which will work for a lifetime. So don't really need anything else.

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I do appreciate Adobe giving their software away for free to contributors who sell. But I hardly ever sell on AS, one of the big mysteries. In one and a half years, I've sold a little over 50 pictures on AS as opposed to almost a 1000 on SS. I've made more than 5 times the AS money on IS and even DT has given me double the downloads and dollars. So either I must be doing something terribly wrong over there or the algorithm just doesn't like me too much.

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2 hours ago, stevemart said:

Just redeemed my free app which is really like a bonus of $120/year. 🙂 If I did video, going for free Premiere Pro would be an even better deal at around twice the value of the LR&PS CC package.

For sure under the "new" scheme from this year where you can get 1 app, most people will get Premiere for free and pay the $12 a month for LR/PS.  Its still a huge saving.

Capture 1 is by far a better RAW editor but lacks all the bulk edit/catalogue features of LR to switch entirely to it sadly. (and even then you'll still want PS for some things)

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Completely unenlightened question: if I'm only shooting JPG, would Lightroom still offer good (easy / fast / preset) editing capabilities for things such as perspective, overall exposure, white balance and saturation? Or would I need to start shooting in RAW?

Currently I'm using Gimp and Preview. I don't do very much to my images. But I got the free license offer from Adobe.

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Almost every tool (maybe not calibration) in LR will work regardless of file type so yes its fine for JPGs.  Obviously theres a lot less scope for pushing in the edit but all the tools will work.

And obviously LR is useful for the keywording and captioning.

JPGs give you significantly less flexibility with colour correction, highlight recovery and so on.  You can get some but the image falls apart much more rapidly.

 

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