What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the terms “image editing”? That’s right – Photoshop. Designed as a thorough tool for bringing the inner artists to life, Photoshop quickly became the industry-standard image manipulation software. In fact, it became so popular that it evolved from a standalone application to a whole suite of products that cover image editing from start to finish. This article will focus on two applications that target the segment of photography: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Both programs have the term “Photoshop” in their name, meaning they are built on the Photoshop core, so getting familiar with the basics of Photoshop will be of great use along the way. You can start with this course that covers the foundations of Photoshop.
Adobe Photoshop Elements
To put it simple, Elements is nothing but the little brother of the original Photoshop. It comes with a lot of the features and functionalities of its sibling, but it is simpler and slightly better organized. Most edits can be completed with just a few clicks – perfect for the inexperienced user.
The major downside of Elements is that it doesn’t give you a great amount of control over the parameters you are adjusting, so if you are a perfectionist, this is definitely not the tool you want to work with. Elements works best with files in JPEG format, which is the file type specific to entry-level digital cameras.
Summing it up, it is quite clear what the target audience for Photoshop Elements is: the amateur photographer that wants to add a bit of magic to its photos and wants to do without much hassle.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Adobe Lightroom also shares a fair amount of features with Photoshop, so it can also gain the sibling status. However, it’s not the little brother position we’re talking about here, as Lightroom is more like Photoshop’s twin, being equally potent when it comes to what it can do.
So, if Lightroom has the same editing options as Photoshop, why not just use Photoshop? The answer is simple: because Photoshop cannot edit hundreds or even thousands of photos at once. Well, actually it can, but not as easy as Lightroom. Aimed at professional photographers, Lightroom is optimized to work with RAW files, making it easy to edit large batches of photos at a time, allowing you to get them ready for printing, publishing or showcasing without stressing too much or cutting back on editing options.
Drawing the Line
Despite the fact that Elements and Lightroom both target photographers, there is no competition between the two programs simply because they target different segments with different levels of experience. An amateur photographer that only needs to edit a picture every now and then will be perfectly satisfied with Elements, while a professional photographer will find love in Lightroom.
Still, there’s no tell when an amateur photographer will decide to step up a notch and learn to master Photoshop Elements by taking an online course and then take digital photography to another level using Lightroom. You know what they say – passion knows no limits.