When to use Adobe Photoshop vs. Lightroom
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When to use Adobe Photoshop vs. Lightroom

A photo of a playground in Singapore split into two by different editing styles

The popular surge in digital photography has made Adobe Photoshop prominent as the industry’s juggernaut, which many amateurs and even professionals usually cite Photoshop as their one-size-fits-all solution to photo-editing. Unfortunately, there are also other user-friendly image-editing software such as Adobe Lightroom, which have then been relegated to the sidelines.

The left side was edited using Adobe Lightroom and the right side was edited using Adobe Photoshop.

If we are looking for a user-friendly interface to make minor edits, Photoshop may not be the most intuitive software. In this case, Lightroom is usually recommended because of the following reasons:

1. Lightroom natively accepts raw files straight from your camera, and allows all of the editing you’d expect from within the software.

2. Presets – to string together exposure levels, contrast, and toning, and then save those to a handy file.

Photoshop is then used if there is anything more to do than just enhancing your images through the presets in Lightroom. This explains the complex interface of Photoshop. Other important functions that Photoshop can do, but not limited to, are:

1. Pixel-level editing – image editing even at the tiniest level scaled to pixels.

2. Layers – Adding on separate layers, and make modifications on any of those layers independently.

3. Actions  – Allowing manipulation steps to be chained together, letting you recreate an entire editing process with a single click of the mouse.

4. Compositing and blending – Protecting specific parts of the photo while making independent adjustments to the pixel level.

5. Huge toolbox – Amazing main features such as Content-aware filling, Photo Retouching and Healing, Image stitching, and many more.

In sum, Lightroom enhances your images while Photoshop destroys and recreates your images. And if you’re waiting for the answer, the left image is enhanced with Lightroom while the right image has its pixels adjusted with Photoshop.


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