Lightroom or Photoshop: do you need to use both?

Jun 6, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Lightroom or Photoshop: do you need to use both?

Jun 6, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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When it comes to image editing software, each of us has our own preferences. When it comes to Adobe’s programs, many photographers use both Lightroom and Photoshop, each to a certain extent.

However, if you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to learn both programs simultaneously. And after all, do you really need to use both? In this video, Marc Newton of The School of Photography will answer this question and help you decide which of these is a better option if you must only choose one.

To illustrate his points, Marc uses a portrait and a landscape photo, both edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. He believes that you can choose only one of these programs, but if you want to make your work really stand out, you should use them both together.

In short, when editing a portrait photo in Lightroom, you can make many global adjustments: white balance, contrast, curves, exposure, cropping, etc. There are also some local adjustments you can work on. However, for some fine-tuning, retouching and more precise local adjustments, you need Photoshop.

When it comes to landscape photos, you can apply the same global adjustments in Lightroom. When it comes to merging HDR, this is where you also might wanna use Lightroom rather than Photoshop, because it gives you a higher dynamic range. However, if you want to clone out some unnecessary elements from an image, this is way better to do with Photoshop.

So, in summary, it turns out that you need to use both Photoshop and Lightroom. But if you really want to choose only one, Marc would go for Lightroom. It enables you a fast workflow, but there are also plenty of editing options within the Develop module that let you edit photos and achieve a professional look.

Personally, I use both Lightroom and Photoshop and I wouldn’t know which one to choose. I edit my raw files in Lightroom and I love it because of the fast workflow. I don’t edit my photos too much, so I’m pleased with the results I get using only Lightroom. However, I use Photoshop for some “fine-tuning.” Also, I can’t imagine doing my job without it because I often use it to create lead images for DIYP articles. I know how to use both programs, but for beginners, I’d personally recommend learning Lightroom first because I find it much more intuitive. Of course, it’s just my two cents, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Which of these two programs do you use more? And if you had to choose only one, which one would it be?

[Lightroom or Photoshop? – Why you need to use both via FStoppers]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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11 responses to “Lightroom or Photoshop: do you need to use both?”

  1. g_disqus Avatar
    g_disqus

    I use RawTherapee instead Lightroom. It’s free.

  2. Madelien Waegemans Avatar
    Madelien Waegemans

    Yes, you need to use both.

  3. Keith A Varley Avatar
    Keith A Varley

    I used to only use Ps, but during the past few weeks I’ve started to use Lr too. So far the combination of the two is pretty good.
    Still need to figure out the workflow side of things in Lr. But I’m sure there’s plenty of tutorials for that. ?

  4. Andy Talbot Avatar
    Andy Talbot

    Had previously only been using LR for RAW workflow, but just recently have started opening files from LR into PS, running raw filters there, adjustment layers etc, and then letting it come back into LR all sorted ready for export.

  5. Don Navarro Avatar
    Don Navarro

    Sometimes yes! PS for heavy editing and LR for routine editing. Even exporting back and forth.

  6. meyerweb Avatar
    meyerweb

    There are too many things PS does that LR doesn’t to do without it. I might only need it on a small percentage of images, but when you need it you need it. But for most editing, LR is faster, easier, and better, and non-destructive.

    So yes, if you’re invested in the Adobe ecosystem, and are serious about editing, you need both.

  7. Steve Morin Avatar
    Steve Morin

    Neither

  8. Marko Avatar
    Marko

    You need two similar products, not necessarily those two. Lightroom (or an equivalent product just much faster) is great when you edit more than a few to few thousands photos. The ability to apply edits and modifications on multiple photos in one click is absolutely a must. Also, Lightroom is a pure photography tool. The sliders and the tools in it are made to go through editing photos not only quickly but also creatively.

    Photoshop is used for everything from photo manipulation, heavy retouching to web design and desk-top publishing. It’s not a pure photography tool.

    I use Lightroom for over 90% of my work (more like 98%). Photoshop is used when doing photo manipulation, photo montages, wall composites and such.

    As I said, these two are just part of quite a few very competent group of tools out there, few are free. GIMP is a worthy alternative to Photoshop and RawTherapee and DarkTable are great alternatives to Lightroom.

  9. Don Smith Avatar
    Don Smith

    LR 90%+ of the time

  10. Reed Radcliffe Avatar
    Reed Radcliffe

    As a real estate photographer I find that I need to composite ambient and flash photographs quite a bit and there is nothing like the workflow of exporting to Photoshop as layers from Lightroom for me. I get through 150 photos in just a few hours using both.

  11. Whatdoyknow Avatar
    Whatdoyknow

    I use ON1 2019. More than enough for just about any photographer. Does global and local with just about all the bells and whistles that Photoshop has got. Non destructive, RAW conversion, layers etc. And NO monthly fees. You own the program.