Photoshop vs Lightroom: Which photo-editing software is right for you?

Despite the fact we’re not photographers, we often get asked about Photoshop vs Lightroom. We use Photoshop on a daily basis since it’s excellent for most of our graphic design needs. However, we do dabble in photography and often find ourselves taking snaps for clients, to get great imagery on their site. So, we need a great photo editing tool to ensure these photographs look their best. Therefore, we use Lightroom and Photoshop. But which one is best for you?

What is Photoshop?

Photoshop has become a regular word in the English language, even though many people have never even seen the program before. It’s used as a verb when someone wants to say that a photo has been edited or manipulated in some way.

So, that’s what it is – a hugely resourceful photo editor that is used by a vast variety of industries, let alone just a graphic designer. Architects, publishers, animators, and of course, photographers love using Photoshop. The options are so vast with Photoshop; you can make someone look thinner, fatter, taller, shorter… a different colour! With the power it has, it’s no wonder so many people use it.

What is Lightroom?

Lightroom is a photo editing tool, but its primary benefit is that it can handle the management of 100s of images at the same time. It is able to import all your metadata from each image, such as things like the ISO, white balance, shutter speed, plus the make and model of the camera.

It has some photo editing facilities, although not as many as Photoshop. Its main benefit is that it is excellent for managing your images. When the photos are imported, it even allows you to add information to each image, such as keywords and star ratings. This makes it super easy later on to organise your photos.

Photoshop vs Lightroom: Which to buy?

So, it sounds like we’ve favouring Photoshop by saying that it has way more photo-editing tools than Lightroom, but it’s not entirely accurate. It really depends what level you’re at. If you’re a beginner, we would highly recommend going with Lightroom. In fact, we would always suggest you start out with Lightroom. So, if you’re a bit inexperienced, download Lightroom and give it a go. The reasons for our recommendation are:

  • Lightroom is much easier than Photoshop. So, it’s less of a steep learning curve.
  • Lightroom will help you keep organised – you can establish a proper workflow process and catalogue your images in one place. You can mass-edit the data of the files easily and create folders and subfolders on your computer.
  • Lightroom is non-destructive editing. This means that the original file is not edited. In Photoshop, a lot of the editing is destructive.
  • Similar to above, Photoshop does not keep the previous versions whereas Lightroom is easy to restore to previous settings.
  • Lightroom is very good for the majority of photo editing tasks, so why not use it if it is easier?

We think that you will eventually move over to Photoshop if you are serious about it, but if you’re just starting out and wondering Photoshop vs Lightroom, then we say Lightroom first!

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