Photoshop is the most powerful photo manipulation software ever made. Nearly every designer and photographer around the world relies upon Adobe’s design software for some aspect of their work. But today I’m going to make the case for choosing Lightroom over Photoshop. You might just find that it becomes your best friend.
Lightroom has a comprehensive interface where things aren’t hidden (yet manages not to feel crowded). If you take a look at Lightroom’s home screen, you’ll find that all your photos, adjustments and options are right in front of you rather than being hidden in complex menu entries.
Built-in Photo Organizer
Lightroom is also a photo organizer. In Photoshop, you can indeed open multiple files and manipulate/edit them simultaneously, but it doesn’t have any photo organizer built-in. Lightroom, on the other hand, has a full-featured photo organizer that enables you to view and manage all the images on your computer.
Dedicated Develop Center
Lightroom has a dedicated “Develop” center. Take a flashback to the era of film cameras where the photographer had to develop the photographs in a dark room by applying various chemicals. Adobe has maintained the legacy, bringing you into a digital development center for your photographs. Equally useful, but far less fiddly!
Before and After Comparisons
For a photographer, it is imperative to view how a photograph looks before and after a particular effect is applied. In Photoshop, there is no dedicated before and after shortcut. Lightroom makes this side-by-side comparison easy.
Everything you do in Lightroom is done virtually. Every enhancement, every brush stroke you make – every adjustment is virtual and you can reverse it at any point of time. Some people relate this to the layers feature of Photoshop. Let me tell you, this is completely different.
Suppose you enhanced one of your images in Photoshop. Now, in order to reverse the effects, you can just Undo it. But only while Photoshop is running. The moment you exit the program with/without saving your work, Photoshop forgets what all was there.
But Lightroom doesn’t. And here comes this awesome and handy feature. It doesn’t matter if you exit Lightroom or even shut your computer down. Lightroom remembers everything, and you can reverse it at any point of time. All your originals remain intact and you can export your edited photographs from Lightroom whenever you feel like.
Better Export Options
Since Photoshop is not solely for Photographers, it comes with the burden of many, often irrelevant, export options. But with Lightroom, you’re presented with a more useful set:
- Group photographs to export in a single folder
- Use recurring file names to avoid confusion
- Burn images to DVD directly
- Export as .dng files
- Apply user presets to the export options
It’s About Being Appropriate
At the end of the day, Photoshop is a perfectly good tool for all your photography needs. It includes (almost) every feature of Lightroom, and is immensely powerful. If you’re looking for something that’s more specific to your needs as a photographer, and makes the whole post-processing workflow simpler and more appealing, Lightroom is absolutely worth checking out.