Perhaps a silly question on LR vs PS CS

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
Simon Garrett
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Re: Perhaps a silly question on LR vs PS CS
In reply to Kerry Pierce, 10 months ago

These things are very much a matter of personal preference, obviously.

I started using Photoshop and ACR only. Lightroom came almost free in a bundle, and for almost a year I decided it wasn't worth the effort or inconvenience of having to manage images from within Lightroom.

Then I played with it for a while - took a week or two - and found that (for me) it was a big improvement in two main ways:

  1. I didn't think I needed a DAM, but have found it very useful. I shoot around 10,000 a year (in terms of shutter count - I obviously don't keep that many), and found Lightroom enabled me to find things much more easily. I have collections (lists) for any purpose without having to create copies. I created a set for a display two years ago and wanted it again this week. I long since deleted the jpeg copies I created two years ago, but still have the collection in LR, taking up no space. Similarly, if I export jpegs for any reason - for the web, to send to someone, whatever - I don't need to keep them. I usually have only one version of an image to keep (the original raw with LR edits, and sometimes a PS-edited TIF as well). I may have multiple virtual copies, lists etc - but they're easy to keep track of. Version control becomes much easier.
  2. Clearly LR isn't as capable an editor as PS. It's simply ACR but (IMHO) easier to use, and with a full audit trail of edits. The local edit tools obviously aren't a match for PS tools, but surprisingly often they can do the job. The spot removal tool may seem a bit hokey compared to PS clone, but very often it's good enough. The terrific convenience of non-destructive editing, only one version to keep, means I often use only LR when superficially PS might seem better. I used to use PS for around 10% of keepers, but with the new local tools in LR5, it's probably down to less than 5% now.

I don't think anyone needs Lightroom, and it certainly takes a while (weeks not hours) to get used to it. I'd sooner give up PS than LR, but it really is a matter of personal style.

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Simon

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