Lightroom vs Photoshop: Which One Should You Get?

lightroom vs photoshopIt is a frequently asked question, and one that can never be fully answered. Which Adobe photo editing software should you get? The variables that form the answer to this question are many. Chances are both would prove useful. Chances are, both have features that you will never care to use.

Learn the essentials of Photoshop!

Cost

The recent changes in the way Adobe sells this software makes the cost much less of a factor in what to buy. With Creative Cloud, you can subscribe to any software you want individually, or you can subscribe to all the software Adobe offers. There’s even student pricing, so try to think of this solely from a practicality standpoint and how your needs can be met.

Skill Level

Most experienced professionals in both photography and editing will tell you that Lightroom is a gateway software. It is certainly useful for those with advanced skills, but the learning curve is smaller and can help you transition into the more advanced editing tools.

Organization and Workflow

If you are looking for a way to easily compartmentalize your photos while having essential editing tools included, Lightroom earns major points here. It is super efficient at organizing your photos while not eating up space on your hard drive.  Simply put, Lightroom takes the photos you choose and catalogs them through creating text files that record where the photos are located on your computer. Text files are monumentally smaller than copies of photos, you can customize how you organize your photos, and, best of all, the quality of your photos is not comprised by these features.

Photoshop is not an organization software. It is an editing and design software. In order to get a similar organization feel to Lightroom, you’ll need to use Bridge, which is included with Photoshop. While Bridge is extremely useful, especially for those using multiple Adobe software, it is not particularly necessary.

On the other hand, Photoshop and Lightroom work well with each other and allow for toggling between the two when needed through a process called round tripping.

Perfect your workflow in Lightroom!

Basic Features

Both Lightroom and Photoshop have the most essential editing tools, such as contrast, saturation, cropping, and leveling, plus some more sophisticated ones used for things like retouching. The beauty of Lightroom is that it is all packaged neatly into an organizing, editing, saving, and sharing software.

Advanced Features

Photoshop is not just for photography. It is also a design tool, and is meant to work in harmony with other advanced editing and design software produced by Adobe like InDesign and Illustrator. While it supplements Lightroom well, it stands on its own as a very robust tool used by major publications, advertising professionals, and designers. It is also much more precise when working with multiple layers and more sophisticated retouching. Photoshop also has notable video editing capabilities.

Learn how to do beauty retouching in Photoshop!

Photoshop or Lightroom?

Ultimately, the software you decide to use will be what makes your photos look the way you want them to look. The great news is that you are not confined to one or the other, nor should you be! Take some time to explore Adobe’s website and view some of their information on what to use. When you’ve decided, take a free course like Photoshop and Lightroom for Photographers to learn about the them and make the most of what this amazing software can do.

Which software do you use most often, Lightroom or Photoshop? Share your experience in the comments below!