Advantages of using Lightroom over Photoshop?

Ross_D Plus
5 838 1 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2016 1:35PM
I've been subscribing to Adobe CC for about 2 years and obviously LR is part of the Adobe CC package. Up to now, I've always used PS... I just open Adobe Bridge, do the sorting etc. then open up the image I'm working on in PS/ACR , do the processing etc. and then save. Job done.

But since I've never used LR before I thought I'd give it a go .......but tbh, I just can't get used to it as, IMO, it seems really cumbersome and clunky .....all those 'modules' !! (the 'Print' module drives me mad !!) . However, many togs on here seem to use it (some even swear by it !) so maybe I'm missing something and maybe there are some advantages which are not obvious. So, basically, what are the advantages ??

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ChrisV Plus
12 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2016 1:54PM
I use Aperture [still!], but the principles are similar. LR is targeted to photographers as a cataloguing and processing programme. If you're chugging through a large number of images you need something like one of these Apps to organise them. For the sort of adjustments most photographers will want to do, it's far more efficient than PS and much better at batch processing. In fact you can set certain parameters of your preference on import of any given file. Photoshop is much more powerful when you want to do compositing and actual content edits. There's a certain amount of cloning and healing you can do in LR, but it's limited in comparison. But in day to day tasks and batch edits PS is pretty clumsy next to LR.

I'd go so far as to say MOST photographers don't actually need Photoshop if they have Lightroom. I do the vast majority of photographic adjustments in Aperture with only heavy duty work using Photoshop [I'm a designer].
sherlob 13 3.1k 129 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2016 2:19PM
I use both LR and PS in my workflow. I find LR provides a powerful tool for the cataloging and sorting of my portfolio, and I complete probably 50% of my post production processing in the develop module - usually only doing complex edits and output sharpening in PS. I always print directly from LR finding the soft proofing features far easier to use than those in PS. Using shortcut keys helps with my workflow (G for grid view in the Library module, C for compare view in the same module and E for Loupe view, D to switch to the develop module, O for mask overlay, and cmd' to create a duplicate of the image etc). Its not often that I need to batch process images, but when I do LR makes the process a breeze.

I could go on...
Dave_Canon 13 1.6k United Kingdom
4 Aug 2016 4:00PM
At my club, almost all who start to use LR never look back. However, to gain real benefits will depend on your circumstances. I only capture Raw files so I will need to do most of my editing in a Raw converter for which LR is ideal and, as it is integrated with the catalogue, makes for an easy workflow. From LR I can access all of my many Plug-ins as well. When I need to use a function in PS I can open the image in PS with one short cut and after editing I am returned to LR. All the editing information is stored in the catalogue (and a sidecar file if set in preferences) so the original file is not altered. I always import new photoshoots straight into LR and delete unwanted images immediately then rename, add keywords, add map coordinates, colour code and stack HDR and Panorama sets. Later when using the powerful search capability in LR I can readily search my 25,000 images and locate images (e.g. for a competition) in a fraction of a second. The Bridge does not have this fast search capability because it does not use a catalogue (i.e. database) and may take many hours for a similar search. The Print module in LR is easy to use and its proof printing features much more powerful than PS. If you were a member of my club you could attend one of my LR courses but a good alternative is to look at the Adobe training videos which are excellent. Just learn part of the facilities at a time. Like most software of this complexity, if you use it almost daily, you can soon master it. If you only use it a few times a year, it is probably over the top for what you need.

Chris_L 5 5.1k United Kingdom
4 Aug 2016 4:41PM
It's no good dipping into it, if you've not tried to complete some photos starting with ingesting from your card to final exports for web, print etc then you've not used it like the people you talk about who swear by it, me included. Also, watch Julianne Kost's videos, if it seems cumbersome it's because you don't understand it yet. It becomes very clear and things that seem non-intuitive start to make sense. Good luck
MGJ 11 372 6
4 Aug 2016 5:12PM
I have to admit - I struggle with LR.

I seem to have got myself pretty well organised with Bridge searches and keywords, and finding an image in Bridge takes no time, even with several thousand stored. Perhaps if one has hundreds of thousands of images, many of similar subjects, then LR would show an advantage.(If you put all your photos into one folder, and then have sub folders for years and subjects, web etc, you can do a global search of a 2TB drive in Bridge very effectively and very quickly. but i accept Bridge won't search across several drives))

I use LR for cataloguing and and finding if necessary. I automatically update/synchronise the catalogue. Bridge and PS for everything else - even opening a RAW file and adjusting them - and batch processing in RAW - usually adjusting white balance - because it is so easy in ACR. (I'm pretty religious about allocating keywords on downloading to the pc when transferring via Bridge) I find LRs RAW interface is not quite as as easy to use, (though in principle it is identical) as ACR. For me, the only advantage of LR when it comes to processing, is the ability to lighten or darken for print at the touch of a slider instead of taking a couple of seconds to add a levels correction, but that to me is as broad as it is long.

Each to their own particular workflow I suppose, but I can easily live without LR. But not without Bridge/PS. There is nothing that you can do in LR, apart from cataloguing globally, that you cannot do just as quickly in Bridge/PS, and for web, the new release of CC2015.5 has Save for web back!! (Under the file menu) Thank God.

In the end one has to accept that they are different programmes and are designed to do different things.
sherlob 13 3.1k 129 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2016 5:28PM
I suppose its worth remembering that the world would be a very dull place if we were all the same, and if you have a workflow that works for you - why change it just because you have a licence for the software...
Ross_D Plus
5 838 1 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2016 6:57PM
Thanks for all replies..........interesting range of comments. I should add that I am not a professional so I don't have to process 100's (or even 1000's ) of images at a time.

Quote:if you have a workflow that works for you - why change it just because you have a licence for the software..

Can't argue with that..... but having seen that so many togs use LR I thought there may be something that LR can offer that PS doesn't. Certainly cataloguing and sorting seems to be of prime importance to many.

Quote:It's no good dipping into it,

Depends how you define 'dipping into'. I did give it a fair trial... over a period of several weeks... right from importing thru to print but eventually slipped back to using PS. Sorry Wink
capto Plus
7 5.8k 11 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2016 7:58PM
After subscribing to CC I tried hard to get to know Lightroom, after all I am paying for it. Having used PS for so many years I found that I couldn't use Lightroom without recourse to PS often, but I could use CC without lightroom. Lightroom now sits there unused, which is probably my fault for not trying harder.
StrayCat 15 19.1k 3 Canada
4 Aug 2016 8:29PM
Here are some videos to watch; I spent a few hours winter before last when there was not much else to do, and I feel that time was very well spent: BHPhoto Lightroom Tutorials.

This is where I got my workflow, and I use it on all my photos.

I should say, I watched the Adobe tutorials also, but I learned from the BHPhoto tutorials quicker.

Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
4 Aug 2016 9:03PM
If your a CC user Bridge can be good as well, I`ve edited the odd picture without opening Ps or Lr.
Dave_Canon 13 1.6k United Kingdom
4 Aug 2016 11:02PM
I have just tried a search using (Find) in Bridge. I searched a large part of my main catalogue (21,845 images). For this exercise I set criteria of Dates after 1/1/2015, Keyword: Church, Keyword: Gloucestershire, Rating equal or greater than 4* and only TIFF files. all of these criteria had to be met. It took Bridge 32 mins to find the matching three files. The same search in LR Library was instantaneous and it found the same three plus one more (a virtual print file which is probably not recognised by Bridge). Of course many amateur photographers do not need to do similar searches but many professionals and amateurs who regularly enter competitions find this very valuable.

The reason for the big difference is that LR uses a fast database (the catalogue) whereas Bridge just uses the operating system so all image files have to be opened, checked and closed which takes time.

Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
5 Aug 2016 2:49AM
Lr is a lot quicker than Bridge but I like using bridge as a separate browser since it has ACR built in, its good for quickly processing the odd image on the fly.
5 Aug 2016 3:54AM
Lightroom is a specialised photographer's instrument and Photoshop is graphic artist instrument. It's name is a bit misleading in this way, but whatever is done in Lightroom can be done in Photoshop.
So why Lightroom? Well, I put it this way:
One can use pliers to work bolts and nuts, but spanner is much handier with that.
Yes, Lightroom has this weird logic in its interface, but learning that logic makes one way more efficient photographer with properly set workflow.
In my humble opinion this is a step well worth taking.
779HOB 7 1.2k United Kingdom
5 Aug 2016 8:54AM
I used to use PS and Bridge and in fact Photo Mechanic. But about 6 months ago I decided to give LR a go and haven't looked back since. I use if from start to finish now. I find processing RAW a lot faster and I feel you have more control, or at least faster control over what you are doing. I mainly took the step to change because I have to resize images for clients, maybe 3000 on the long edge - LR does this really well. I used to do it as an action in PS but needed two, portrait and landscape, LR you just tell it to do the long edge. I find the key-wording and captioning almost as good as Photo Mechanic, I'm sure it is, I am faster in PM that's all. Overall, I'd never go back to PS. Batch processing, say lifting all the images up a little on exposure or lifting the shadows is great too. I often deal with 5000 to 8000 images for batch processing and LR makes it easy. But even for doing the one offs I love it now.

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