It’s the age-old question that every photographer—newcomer or professional—has had to ask themselves: which is better, Photoshop or Lightroom? The truth lies not in comparing the two programs, but in defining what you need for your project. Both are excellent Adobe programs that deliver amazing features for photo editing. However, one may be better suited to your project than the other.
Lightroom vs. Photoshop—The Basics
Lightroom is great for beginners who are just starting with photo editing. The benefits of Adobe Lightroom include:
- Organizing photos
- Light processing
- Always keeping your original photo
- Copying edits to multiple photos
Photoshop is the industry favorite for advanced design and image compositing. The benefits of Adobe Photoshop include:
- Advanced photo editing
- Focusing on editing one photo at a time in detail
- Creating Avante-Garde effects
- Graphic design and image compositing
If you’re still stuck and not sure which program to use, we’re going to do a quick breakdown for you. Before launching into the details of when you should use each program, take a look at this video to get a full overview of the functions in Lightroom and Photoshop.
When Should I Use Lightroom?
Lightroom is a unique photo editor that has features to help you manage, import, organize and find your photos. Lightroom includes some, but not all, of Photoshop’s editing features. It’s great for your basic edits like cropping, white balance, minor retouching, exposure, and so on.
Lightroom is also a “non-destructive” photo editing software—meaning you’ll never lose your original image. If you’re a photographer who needs to edit large batches of photos and is looking to streamline your workflow, Lightroom may become your new best friend.
One of the standout features in Lightroom is its ability to copy or sync your edits to multiple photos at once. If you’ve got a project with a deadline or thousands of wedding photos to sort through and edit, Lightroom is a great way to easily manage your images and your time.
When Should I Use Photoshop?
If you know you’re going to be doing some heavy-duty edits, Photoshop is the way to go. Photoshop offers a more extensive editing platform than Lightroom and is equipped with tools for advanced retouching and healing, high dynamic range photo merging, panoramas, layer creation, and a seemingly endless number of adjustment filters.
Photoshop may be the program for you if you’re a photographer who needs to make detailed edits or if you prefer a workflow that allows you to focus on one image at a time. The ability to create avant-garde effects on your photos may draw you to Photoshop, as well.
Both of these programs are powerful post-processing platforms, so it’s hard to say if one is “better” than the other. Whichever program best suits your needs as a photographer is the one that you should invest in. Lightroom and Photoshop also have great cross-application compatibility, so if you want to use both programs to enhance each other that’s a great avenue to take as well.
Whatever you decide, make sure you check out the fresh stock photos that are ready to be turned into creative marketing materials for your brand. We’ve also got some great tutorials to help you sharpen those photo editing skills.