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Do You Need Lightroom And Photoshop

By | 21/10/2022

Lightroom vs Photoshop – Practise you need both?

Why do photographers practise most of their piece of work in Lightroom or Photoshop? And what makes people choose ane over the other. Is Lightroom best, or is Photoshop used for most photography edits? Here, I’m going to reply the lightroom vs photoshop question by showing portrait and landscape examples to inform you lot of what one would suit your work best.

Let’s get your photography stacking upwardly against the best out there, by showing y’all why and what plan to use for different types of photography. Lightroom vs Photoshop? That is the question! Or is it?

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What’s the difference betwixt Lightroom and Photoshop?


Lightroom is designed to assist you in organising and managing large quantities of digital images. You can import, organise, process & consign a batch of files all at once. It’s designed to work hand in hand with Photoshop. Information technology’s a really proficient program, peculiarly when you lot start working with RAW files.

It is not a photo manipulation tool like Photoshop because is doesn’t contain all the features needed for heavy editing of single images.

Edits in Lightroom are non-subversive which means y’all never save over the original epitome. A separate Lightroom edit file called an XMP file (Extensible Metadata Platform) is attached to the original epitome with the edits you’ve made. It’southward called a side-cart file and sits alongside the original prototype.

You have 2 versions of Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC.

Lightroom Classic

This is the more powerful of the two and the one nigh people apply. It’southward designed for employ on a desktop reckoner.

Lightroom classic with logo

Lightroom CC

This is Adobe’s Mobile version of Lightroom, like an app, used on phones and tablets for case. It’s a scaled-downward version of Archetype and images are more often than not held in the cloud.

Lightroom CC Logo

Lightroom CC Logo


Photoshop is a digital image manipulation program. It’southward used for heavier editing and finer adjustments that you tin’t do in Lightroom. Quick examples of this is to replace skies, remove objects and to retouch skin. One of Adobe’s tag lines for Photoshop is ‘Go wherever your imagination takes you’. And this is true, if you lot can think it, you tin brand information technology in Photoshop.

Nigh of the fourth dimension in Photoshop you will work on i image at a fourth dimension whereas in Lightroom yous tin utilize edits to several images at once very easily.

Landscape photo in Photoshop

Using both Lightroom and Photoshop

In general, you will process your images in Lightroom, calculation adjustments such equally tone, dissimilarity and colour. Then you will export individual images into Photoshop to manipulate them further. As mentioned earlier, examples being to add together or remove objects, replace skies etc.

Lightroom and Photoshop piece of work hand-in-manus, enabling y’all to get dorsum and forth with individual images. As I tell my students ‘Lightroom enhances the truth, and Photoshop tells the lie!’.

To learn how to apply Lightroom or Photoshop in-depth, click here.

Lightroom vs Photoshop for Portraiture

Image 1
below is the Raw file of a studio portrait. This is the moving picture straight out of the camera with no edits.

Image two
is the aforementioned image with just the Lightroom edits. Here I made global adjustments to the portrait. I have adapted the contrast, colours and saturation of the picture. In a lot of cases, almost people volition stick with just the Lightroom edits. Still, in this case, I wanted to make the portrait look more than professional, and, if I’one thousand going to be honest, I should take had a reflector bouncing some light dorsum into the confront. So, I exported the image into Photoshop for the finishing touches.

Image three
is the final Photoshop edit. Here I retouched the skin, brightened the eyes, removed parts of the dress, toned down the lamp in the groundwork and applied a bit of color grading to bring the image colours into a better harmony.

I could have washed all these edits in just Photoshop, but I would have lost the power to organise my shoot and apply global edits to several pictures from the same shoot at one time. Therefore, I used Lightroom for the organising and global edits and Photoshop for the fine edits to make the flick more than professional and to correct the lack of a reflector to highlight the eyes!

Original Raw File

Original Raw File

Lightroom Edit

Lightroom Edit

Example of a Portrait using Lightroom and Photoshop

Example of a Portrait using Lightroom and Photoshop

Lightroom vs Photoshop for Landscapes

Image 1
below is a long exposure landscape photo. Information technology’s a Raw file, straight out of camera with no edits. Information technology looks dull simply this is usual with a Raw file in landscape photography.

Image 2
beneath is the same photography with some Lightroom edits. I’ve cropped the image, enhanced the colours, added contrast and brightened the image slightly. Once more, this could be fine for some people, but for me, it needed more. I wanted to create a more surreal feeling to the moving-picture show, and so I exported it into Photoshop for farther edits.

Image 3
is the Photoshop edit. The jetty to the right has been removed, the horizon line has been softened and I have added some color grading to bring up the vibrancy of the photo.

Again, I could have done all these edits in only Photoshop, just I would have lost the ability to organise my shoot and employ global edits to several pictures from the shot at once.

Original Raw File

Original Raw File

Lightroom Edit

Lightroom Edit

Example of Landscape photography using Lightroom and Photoshop

Example of Landscape photography using Lightroom and Photoshop


All the images illustrate why, in some cases, the question of lightroom vs Photoshop doesn’t really have a articulate answer. Sometimes, you need to use both especially if you want your work to stand out. Having said that nonetheless, I do believe for many photographers, learning Lightroom would be sufficient, information technology’s great for keeping organised, being quick at editing, and has enough tools to turn raw files into something special.

For a detailed look at how these images were edited, delight watch the video in a higher place.

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About the author

Hi, I’m Marc Newton and I’m a photographer, educational speaker, author, instructor of photography and the founder of The School of Photography. Follow my personal work on Facebook and Instagram.

Source: https://www.theschoolofphotography.com/tutorials/lightroom-vs-photoshop