One question I get asked a lot is, What is the difference between Photoshop and Lightroom? And which one makes more sense? This is actually not a bad question since price tag doubles when you go with photoshop. So today I want to show you which software makes the most sense for which kind of photographer.
The Main difference Between Photoshop and Lightroom
Is that one of them can do everything you could possibly do with a photo and one of them is made only for photographers. Lot’s of people like to say that Lightroom is for those guys that don’t know how to handle photoshop and can’t afford it, but I would say that is total bullshit because I can’t afford it and I still have it 😀 It really comes down to what you want to do with an image if you just want to retouch it, then Lightroom is fine. If you want to add a nuclear explosion into the wedding portrait then go with photoshop. I personally like to use photoshop more because I know how to handle it (not like those lightroom guys) 😀 Just kidding. The reason is I already have it and I come from a photoshopping background so I am used to the workflow.
What Can Photoshop Do Better
Everything… Nope, but it can certainly do everything that Lightroom can. It has all the tools that are known to mankind to edit pictures. It has so many tools that when I started using it I did not know how to do anything. But I will discuss that point in the cons 😀
Photoshop uses a layer technic where you can put as many edited things on top of each other as you like. Each of them can be put into a specific layer mode or masked out which makes it perfect to create thousands of different looks 🙂
Also, a huge thing you can’t do with Lightroom is, you can’t do montages. With the layers, you can put as many things you want into your picture and make them look awesome.
Camera raw is a module of photoshop that technically has all the abilities that Lightroom has. So Lightroom really is also included in Photoshop.
Photoshop gives you the maximum amount of creative freedom if you are a crazy person like me, who just likes to do sometimes very dumb or funny stuff with pictures.
Photoshop requires a strong computer especially when you start editing big images. I have 32GB ram and an I9x processor together with a Samsung SSD (don’t mean to be ballin but it’s a hell of a computer… It’s amazing) 😀 no seriously I have that because I need that in order to get maximum speed with editing huge pictures. You might not need that much but 8GB and at least I5 would be a good choice.
The Learning Curve.
I know all the tools when you see a photoshop commercial are amazing the only thing is, as I mention above that you need to know how to use them. To give you an idea, I’m 26 and I work with photoshop now for 11 years every day. I think I know a lot about it, I still don’t know everything. Of course, you don’t need that long to learn how to get what you want, but it certainly takes way longer to understand than Lightroom.
It almost costs twice as much as Lightroom last time I checked and that really brings up the question do you really need that for your pictures? Or do you just want to color correct, retouch and give them your certain look? Also what people seem to forget is that just purchasing photoshop doesn’t give you its abilities you still have to learn (a lot) to be able to use them. You can also not buy the whole program and just purchase a monthly license for both of them which will cost you $10 dollars every month.
What Can Lightroom Do Better
All In One Solution
Lightroom is like like the easy to understand photoshop. You can import your pictures with it and sort them, edit them and export them to whatever you want. Even with face recognition. Photoshop can do that too but needs the adobe bridge for that (which is for free).
You can get a lot of presets online for money or for free or even create your own (and then sell them) 😀 They can make life a lot easier, speed up your workflow and make it easier for you to understand how you can archive a cool look yourself. Of course, Photoshop can use them too. 🙂
All the edits you make you can be removed with one click if you don’t like them. So you never lose your original file. That is absolutely awesome because in Photoshop you sometimes have to think about if you want to do the fast destructive way or the usually a little more complicated nondestructive way.
This is really where Lightroom shines. It shows you all the tools you have to manipulate your image in logical and smart order. So you would just have to work through the tools and decide what to do.
The ToolsIn terms of tools Lightroom, of course, isn’t as strong as photoshop, but it also doesn’t have to be. It is meant to retouch and edit your pictures and not montage the f**k out of it. 😀
Easy To Understand
It really is laid out that you mostly don’t even have to watch a youtube or visit my blog for tips. 😀
It costs only half as much as photoshop does, which is still expensive. (I know). In my opinion still worth the money. It is definitely the right choice for you if you just start editing your pictures or just don’t want to make an alien appear in your garden. 🙂 Unless you buy the monthly subscription which will give you both programs, but will cost you $10 every month.
As I said Lightroom can’t do all that photoshop can do. The question you need to ask yourself is are you willing to learn all the stuff that photoshop can provide or do you just want to enhance your photos. If you just to edit a little bit Lightroom is absolutely alright.
No Animation No layers
You can’t animate anything with Lightroom. You can also not use any kind of layering or layer mode which takes a lot of creative freedom away from you.
To be honest I have both of them and I also use both. Usually, when I know I just want to make some quick adjustments and not go crazy with it I use Lightroom and for everything else I use photoshop, but only because I already know how to use photoshop. You really shouldn’t underestimate the time it takes to understand everything in photoshop. Lightroom is for the people who want to take pictures as a photographer and don’t want to spend ages figuring out Photoshop. Also, the monthly subscriptions might be a good choice for you since you can experiment with both programs and find out what you like better. Plus you even get 20GB Cloud storage.
That’s already it with my What’s the difference between Photoshop and Lightroom post. I hope you understand now where the huge difference is and which of software make more sense for you. If you have any opinion or questions please let me know in the comments. I will get back to you as fast as I can.