Lightroom Edits vs Photoshop Edits

(Originally posted on the Kira DeDecker Photography blog)

As I mentioned in this post, I’m moving most of my post processing workflow from Photoshop to Lightroom. I’ll be honest, it’s really hard to break my Photoshop habit. I’ve been using Lightroom since it first came out, but I already established my post processing workflow in Photoshop. Plus, Lightroom at the time was pretty limited in what it could do back in the day, heck, I didn’t really start to love Lightroom until they emproved the adjustment brush and completely overhauled the Develop Module with Lightroom 4. For the most part, I loving my new Lightroom workflow but I’ll admit it’s taking some serious getting use to!

(And I feel like I should mention that the following is NOT about which program is better. To me, Lightroom and Photoshop are made to complimentary one another and if you were to ask what to buy I would say “Both”.)

What I love:
Adjustment Brush makes me all sorts of happy! For instance, I can use it enhance the eyes, remove pesky foreground grass, remove color casts, add flare and haze, touch up dead grass, color pops and more just with LR’s adjustment brush! Swoon.

Batch Editing! I could technically batch edit is PS by making an action then using File > Automate > Batch but Lightroom’s Sync/Copy&Paste method is waayyy faster, easier and not mention, I can choose what edits I want to apply.

History Panel. I prefer Lightrooms to PS. I love that I can UNDO/REDO more than one step backwards (CTRL+Z/CTRL-Z) in LR, something PS didn’t really offer me.

Hue/Sat/Luminance Panel. Especially for my studio work.

Presets. Sure, Photoshop has actions (which are pretty awesome) but once again, LR renders faster and there is no waiting for the action to run.

Pretty much everything and every tool except for…

What I hate with a fiery passion:
The spot removal tool is the worst. Cloning/Healing takes FOREVER and is a PITA! In Photoshop, I could just adjust my brush size with the mouse, set the tool to “Aligned” and retouch in under a minute. With Lightroom I have to brush over the problem area then choose where it’s going to source from and the results are usually pretty lackluster if not straight up horrible. Blerg.

Mixed Bag:
Vignetting. I love the way vignetting looks in LR and it definitely renders faster than my PS action does BUT I can’t use it on anything that has strong highlights or whites (unlike the PS version) because it will just make those areas look grey/burned.

Lack of Layers and mask. Not a deal breaker, and I can use the brush tool and erase when needed but it is hella convenient to use layers and masks and just tweak, copy and change the opacity after the fact. Plus, somethings like Portraiture really blow unless you are using layers + masks.

And because I couldn’t help myself, below are the original Photoshop edits set up side-by-side against the Lightroom edit counterparts. Can you guess which ones are the LR-only edits and which others are the PS-only edits?

The Answer: Photoshop Edits on the Left, Lightroom Edits on the Right. So did you guess right?

February 12, 2014 - 11:33 pm

Lorraine Charlecrafte - Yep! I did guess right! 🙂 I love Lightroom and find it a great tool for editing. I do agree that Photoshop and Lightroom work hand in hand with each other. I love the improvements on LR and really enjoy using it. Thank you for this blog – awesome information 🙂

February 13, 2014 - 1:03 am

Caitlin McColl - So agree with you on this! It changed my life when I made the switch from PS to LR (read: it gave me a life) – if only they could improve the spot healing. Adjusting the highlights when using vignetting in the highlight priority style can really help.

February 13, 2014 - 5:13 pm

Shelley Castle Erickson - I guessed right. I started transitioning over this past year and pretty thrilled with how it has quickened my workflow. Like you said, they complement each other.

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