Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
Sutherland
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Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
6 months ago

Given the advances in LR, it seems like a lot of photographers have made it their destination of choice for most of their post-processing, leaving PS for the more difficult adjustments or to finish off their best captures. Even Jeff Schewe in The Digital Negative cites the 80/20 rule (80% in LR, 20% in PS) for his own workflow.

So the question for you LR users is: What do you use PS for? What types of adjustments do you leave for PS because LR is not up to the task?

WineO
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

Lightroom is a good archive for your photos and is an excellent simple photo editor. When things bet complicated then go to Photoshop. There are many features that Photoshop has that Lightroom can't match.

Layers

Content aware fill

Vanishing Point

Liquefy

Puppet warp

To name but a few.

Claude

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Mark K W
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

Sutherland wrote:

Given the advances in LR, it seems like a lot of photographers have made it their destination of choice for most of their post-processing, leaving PS for the more difficult adjustments or to finish off their best captures. Even Jeff Schewe in The Digital Negative cites the 80/20 rule (80% in LR, 20% in PS) for his own workflow.

So the question for you LR users is: What do you use PS for? What types of adjustments do you leave for PS because LR is not up to the task?

From earlier and similar workflow question, this is what I do:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53185605

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Patsy Murphy
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

The same question was asked at a recent seminar I attended recently and basically the overall answer was ( I could do without Lightroom but not Photoshop ).

Regards Patsym

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billythek
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

I think others have given great answers, but let me just add, I have been using LR for several years, since LR3. I used to do quite a bit in LR using adjustment brushes, spot removal tool to clone, etc. These days I hardly do anything in LR, other than some basic adjustments. After I identify pictures that I think have wall hanging potential, I ship them over to CC/Nik for finishing work.

Many LR tools do an adequate job, but are far from being the best available.
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Johanfoto
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to billythek, 6 months ago

billythek wrote:

I think others have given great answers, but let me just add, I have been using LR for several years, since LR3. I used to do quite a bit in LR using adjustment brushes, spot removal tool to clone, etc. These days I hardly do anything in LR, other than some basic adjustments. After I identify pictures that I think have wall hanging potential, I ship them over to CC/Nik for finishing work.

Many LR tools do an adequate job, but are far from being the best available.
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Interesting. My workflow is the exact opposite. Because LR is a non-destructive editor and moving the images to Photoshop or a plugin is a destructive process (unless you open the image as a smart object in Photoshop), I do as much in Lightroom as I can. Only for things like stitching a panorama, creating an HDR image, or using content-aware fill of slanted edges after keystone correction, I use Photoshop (or dedicated HDR or panorama software). Plugins like Nik or onOne may be easier and faster to use for certain effects (Nik is great for B&W conversions), but I don't think they are necessarily better. In the end, all they do is change the color or brightness of pixels, and so does Lightroom (but LR does it non-destructively).

The other major advantage of Lightroom is that you can apply the same adjustment to multiple images.

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soloryb
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

It took me a few years before changing to LR for most of my editing and all of my printing. Nowadays I hardly use PS (CC) for anything other than difficult edits (heavy spot removal, content-aware fill, shake filter, etc.). I also use PS for running plugins that don't operate in LR directly. Almost all of my output is fine arts medium to large format printing and I'm convinced LR does a better job than PS can.

Nevertheless, I wouldn't want to give up either of these Adobe program.

soloryb

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MrPhotoBob
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

Sutherland wrote:

Given the advances in LR, it seems like a lot of photographers have made it their destination of choice for most of their post-processing, leaving PS for the more difficult adjustments or to finish off their best captures. Even Jeff Schewe in The Digital Negative cites the 80/20 rule (80% in LR, 20% in PS) for his own workflow.

So the question for you LR users is: What do you use PS for? What types of adjustments do you leave for PS because LR is not up to the task?

Both my BS and MS degree is in the area of art with both painting and photography as my majors.  I use Lightroom in order to process my images, and then if I see one that I wish to work on further, I move them in to PS in order to create a oil or water color painting out of that image.  I am unable to create those hand painted paintings using Lightroom so I use PS6 in order to accomplish that task.

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miketuthill
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

Sutherland wrote:

Given the advances in LR, it seems like a lot of photographers have made it their destination of choice for most of their post-processing, leaving PS for the more difficult adjustments or to finish off their best captures. Even Jeff Schewe in The Digital Negative cites the 80/20 rule (80% in LR, 20% in PS) for his own workflow.

So the question for you LR users is: What do you use PS for? What types of adjustments do you leave for PS because LR is not up to the task?

I use PS primarily for Content Aware and plugins which I find more convenient to apply from PS than from within Lightroom as I generally use more than one plugin so I don't have to make multiple trips in and out of LR by applying all such adjustments from within PS and then returning to LR.

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Gregm61
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

Sutherland wrote:

So the question for you LR users is: What do you use PS for? What types of adjustments do you leave for PS because LR is not up to the task?

Other than the tools in the raw processor, there's nothing else Lightroom can do compared to Photoshop. The answer for me is, I would ditch Lightroom first. The file organizer, I can live without.

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Ron AKA
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

The other question that could be asked is whether there is any image editing technique that can be done in Lr that cannot be done in PS? I think you will find the answer to that is "no". The next question one could ask is if that is the case then why would you consider Lr if PS does everything? Could be two answers to that. One that Lr offers more image management tools, and the other big one - Price. I think the conclusion from this is that Lr is the poor man's PS. It doesn't do everything PS can do, but it does quite a bit. And, if one is to stay on the poor man's theme, then it can make a little sense to use the combination of Lr and Elements to get a little more capable poor man's replacement for PS.

I'm one level below the poor man, and just use Elements. It has Adobe Camera RAW which basically does the same things as Lr. Lr is closer to the full ACR in PS. Like Lr the process is non destructive, and you can process multiple files at the same time. Elements also has the Editor which is a basic version of the classic PS. To get back close to your question, what do I do in Editor, that I can't do in ACR?

1. I prefer to do the crops for printing in Editor. I will do the basic crop to straighten the horizon in ACR, but do the various print aspect ratio crops in Editor.

2. Distortion correction and vignetting I will do in Editor. Basic automatic distortion correction is done in ACR.

3. I use layers to apply selective sharpening of an image, skin smoothing, teeth whitening, eye whitening. The purpose of using layers is to make the effects adjustable. As long as you maintain the layers you can adjust the effect by changing opacity of the mask.

4. Luminosity sharpening using layers.

5. I use the clone tools to make spot corrections, and wrinkle in skin reductions, although that is most often done with a layer too for fine final adjustment.

6. Content aware tools for foreign object removal.

7. Selection tools for sky replacement, and background replacement.

8. Sliming and trimming tricks

Of these, I believe Lr can do some such as 1 & 2 to varying degrees.

I think an earlier comment is quite true. Most probably cannot live with Lr alone, but you easily can with PS alone, and I'll add if you are willing to give up a few bells and whistles you may be able to live with Elements alone.

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Sutherland
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Mark K W, 6 months ago

Mark,

Thanks for the excellent link (and for your detailed reply in the earlier thread).  My purpose here is somewhat different from the other thread though.  For those photographers who use both LR and PS, I'm interested in those adjustments or post-processing techniques that are made in PS, presumably because PS does a better job than LR for that particular adjustment.  For example, in retouching a portrait, in my experience LR gets very slow and buggy if you apply too many adjustments with the spot removal tool and/or the adjustment brush.  With PS, that is not an issue.

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Sutherland
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to billythek, 6 months ago

On the subject of the adjustment brush and spot removal tool in LR, Adobe has stated on their website that "The Spot Removal Tool and Local Corrections Brush are not designed for hundreds to thousands of corrections. If your image contains many (hundreds) of localized adjustments, consider using a pixel-based editing application such as Photoshop for that level of correction."

In my case, it's not hundreds to thousands of corrections before I go to PS for these local corrections.

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Jestertheclown
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Ron AKA, 6 months ago

I use LR to convert my raw files to Tiffs., it is, after all a raw converter first and an editor second.

I then use it to do some basic editing and finish off using CS6.

There's nothing that LR can do that Photoshop can't so obviously, if one had to go it would be LR.

Making that choice between LR and Elements though, would be less clear cut.

The editing part of LR has come on a lot since only a few years ago and Elements is so emasculated by comparison to the real thing that LR could well come out on top.

The lack of layers is probably LR's biggest Achille's heel and even that can be overcome using by Perfect Layers.

Despite many people's apparent love for them, LR's libraries and organisers leave me cold and don't believe that you have to use them. You don't.

"It's good to be . . . . . . . . . Me!"

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Sutherland
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Johanfoto, 6 months ago

Johan,

It looks like you are affirming what I was referring to as the 80/20 rule in the LR/PS workflow. Thanks for your contribution!

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Dave Stott
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

Sutherland wrote:

Given the advances in LR, it seems like a lot of photographers have made it their destination of choice for most of their post-processing, leaving PS for the more difficult adjustments or to finish off their best captures. Even Jeff Schewe in The Digital Negative cites the 80/20 rule (80% in LR, 20% in PS) for his own workflow.

So the question for you LR users is: What do you use PS for? What types of adjustments do you leave for PS because LR is not up to the task?

I hope we would all agree that there are some image manipulations that can best,  or only,  be done using a layers approach - and that means Photoshop,  PSE, or similar.

Still,  if I had to give up Lightroom or PSE (I don't have full Photoshop) it would be PSE.

I shoot mostly wildlife and some landscapes, and I find that the changes I want to make can almost always be made in Lightroom.   I find the capabilities of Lightroom beyond it's Develop module important.   The Library module, whilst not a deal breaker for me, is streets ahead of Organiser.   The Print module means I haven't used Qimage in a long time. The UI for me is intuitive, easy to get into, yet offers depth when needed.   The UI is the same whether processing RAW,  jpeg,  TIFF's or whatever (although I shoot RAW I use plug-ins which generate TIFF's).   For users needing to process large volumes (not me) Lightroom will win every time.

So what I am saying is that the pivotal technology for you will depend on what you shoot and what you want to do with your images.   I have made my choices (at least for now!),  your mileage may vary.

Dave

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Sutherland
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Ron AKA, 6 months ago

Ron,

No secret why some folks (like myself) use LR in addition to PS: (i) LR's image management application database, (ii) price, and (iii) an easier learning curve.  But I'm not asking what's the best software available for PP - on that we can all agree that PS is king of the hill.  I appreciate your nos. 1-8 above on your your workflow in Editor (outside of ACR).  Thanks.

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Ron AKA
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Dave Stott, 6 months ago

Dave Stott wrote:

Still, if I had to give up Lightroom or PSE (I don't have full Photoshop) it would be PSE... The UI [Lr] is the same whether processing RAW, jpeg, TIFF's or whatever (although I shoot RAW I use plug-ins which generate TIFF's).

The user interface in PSE is also the same regardless of RAW or JPEG if it is used correctly. I always open my images regardless of type first in Adobe Camera RAW, and only use the Editor for what remains to be done, after using Adobe Camera RAW. The features (except perhaps for red eye removal) are far better in ACR than in the Editor. Unfortunately I think many beginners using PSE make the mistake of starting with JPEGs, and then worse still, trying to do everything with the Editor. Adobe has facilitated that by making the ACR feature somewhat hidden up until PSE12.

For users needing to process large volumes (not me) Lightroom will win every time.

I've heard that said before, but have never seen the justification for it. You can open multiple RAW images in ACR and process them all at the same time. In PSE12 you can also open multiple JPEGs and also process them all at the same time. What more does Lr do?

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Dave Stott
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Ron AKA, 6 months ago

The user interface in PSE is the same regardless of RAW or JPEG if it is used correctly. I always open my images regardless of type first in Adobe Camera RAW, and only use the Editor for what remains to be done, after using Adobe Camera RAW. The features (except perhaps for red eye removal) are far better in ACR than in the Editor. Unfortunately I think many beginners using PSE make the mistake of starting with JPEGs, and then worse still, trying to do everything with the Editor. Adobe has facilitated that by making the ACR feature somewhat hidden up until PSE12.

I'm sure you are right about ACR being hidden (I only have PSE11).  What I do like about LR is that you don't have to make that concious decision.  Let's agree that they are both extremely capable products, and in the end it comes down to personal choice.  I was trying to explain why I made my choice.

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Jeff Schewe
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Re: Since Lightroom is so good, what do you use Photoshop for?
In reply to Sutherland, 6 months ago

Sutherland wrote:

What types of adjustments do you leave for PS because LR is not up to the task?

Well, since you have the book, you should know :~)

Things you can do in Photoshop that you can't do in Lightroom;

  • Multi-image combinations such as swapping heads of skies.
  • Substantial image retouching beyond what LR can do. Some is layer based and some are tool based.
  • Paths. Paths are the real only way of accurate and precision selections and masking for outlining.
  • Layer masks and Adjustment layers for specific targeted adjustments (Auto Mask in LR is pretty primitive).
  • Context Aware (at least for now).
  • Liquify (which plays a role in retouching sometimes)
  • Puppet Warp
  • Non-proportional image resizing
  • Photomerge
  • HDR merge (both of the above can be done with 3rd party apps from within LR)
  • Vast selection of 3rd party image processing plug-ins.
  • CMYK
  • Really, REALLY huge image files up to 300K x 300K pixels using .psb file format (LR can't even read .psb files).

And, just to explain, when I said 80/20 LR vs PS, I was referring to the basic image adjustments to the vast majority of images. I wasn't referring to the amount of time actually spent working on an image. Depending on what you need to do to an image, 80% may indeed be able to be done in LR but that final 20% may take a lot longer to do in Photoshop. The key is to only spend a lot of time to those select few images that deserve it...and determining which images deserve it is more easily done in Lightroom.

Which is why serious photographers really need both apps to be able to do what's best done in each specific app.

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Regards,
Jeff Schewe

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