Can I do it all in LR4

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Hess Veteran Member • Posts: 5,413
Re: Can I do it all in LR4

The fundamental difference between Lightroom and Photoshop for Photoshop Elements is that Lightroom is a parametric editor.  That means that Lightroom makes no changes whatsoever to the pixel data in the image.  When you make adjustments using Lightroom those adjustments are stored in a database.  And when the image is displayed in Lightroom the database is read and the adjustments are applied to what you are looking at.  Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are pixel editors.  When you make changes in those programs the changes are actually stored in the image file.  The file becomes changed permanently.

Because Lightroom is a parametric editor, some tasks are difficult or impossible to achieve.  Removing unwanted objects in pictures is easier in Photoshop Or Elements, although that is changing somewhat in Lightroom 5.  You cannot create panorama images using Lightroom.  In other words, some tasks need to change the pixel content of the image in order to achieve the desired effect.  When Lightroom sends an image to Photoshop the resulting work has to be saved as a new file.

The beauty of this is that your original images remain untouched.  You can always go back to the original state they were in when they were downloaded from your camera.  I use Lightroom for probably 90% or more of all work than I do.  I rely on Photoshop to create panoramas and do special lighting and blur adjustments.  And occasionally I will use it to do some extensive "cleanup" of an image.  The new version of Lightroom seems to be introducing some nice features that will enable even more of the work to be completed within that program.  But there are still some things that must be done or can be done much simpler using Photoshop.

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