Lightroom Vs. Photoshop

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Because of its vast editing capabilities, Adobe Photoshop has been the standard image-editing tool among professional designers and photographers for several years. In 2006, Adobe released Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as a complement to Photoshop, specifically targeted as a way to quickly manage and edit multiple images. Although these two programs share similar tools, they both have different strengths and weaknesses depending on the goal of the designer or photographer.

Target Audience

  • Adobe's websites states that Adobe Photoshop CS4 is ideal for professional and amateur photographers, graphic designers, web designers, and multimedia professionals. The advanced editing features in Photoshop make this program an excellent choice for a diverse audience. Lightroom, on the other hand, was designed primarily to enhance professional photographers' workflow. While it contains less editing tools, photographers can edit multiple, similar photos quicker than they can in Photoshop.

Workflow

  • Because Lightroom's entire focus was on creating a photographer's editing workflow quicker, the interface is set up in a way that logically follows a typical workflow progression. Photographers import the images into Lightroom, then they work their way through the workflow located on the right of the screen. In addition, edits can quickly be applied to similar images. Many photographers prefer to shoot in Camera Raw files; Lightroom allows users to print or create galleries with this file type without saving it as a jpeg or tiff. Photographers that decide to continue to use Photoshop for their Camera Raw workflow will need to use the Adobe Camera Raw plugin. This means that editing multiple images in Adobe Photoshop is slower than Lightroom.

Image-editing

  • Although Lightroom shares some of the basic editing features with Photoshop, Photoshop is much more powerful. For example, Lightroom does not have layer, selection or text capabilities. These three tools alone provide designers much more flexibility than they have with Lightroom. However, once you change an object in Photoshop, you change the pixels. This destructive editing process may not be desirable if your want to see the original photo. Lightroom is non-destructive, preserving the original image as it is was taken. Just as film photographers can return to the original negative, digital photographers can return to the original photo if they used Lightroom.

Integration

  • Since Adobe Lightroom is meant to complement Photoshop rather than compete against Photoshop, Adobe has sought to provide enhance integration between the two programs. While working in Lightroom, the editor can select an option called "Edit in Photoshop." This opens the image directly in Photoshop providing the advanced editing capabilities. With the release of Lightroom 2, users can also open the image as a smart object in photoshop, which allows them to edit the image non-destructively in Photoshop. They can also merge panoramas in Photoshop.

Price

  • Adobe's website offers Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. You can purchase Adobe Lightroom for $299.00. Photoshop CS4 sales for $699.00 by itself. However, you can also purchase Photoshop as part of a creative suite that includes additional design programs.

References

  • Photo Credit jeltovski http://mrg.bz/FgFiJ3
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