7 Reasons Why You Should Learn Lightroom over Photoshop
There are 45 million photos added to Instagram a day and the iPhone is the most popular camera on Flickr. Basically, our lives consist of capturing images. The act is ubiquitous from 3-year-olds to centenarians, everyone has the ability to do it and they do. People amass impressive amounts of photographs.
But what about photography enthusiasts and professionals like you? You can’t simply rely on iPhoto or Shutterstock to organize and process thousands of RAW files. And using Photoshop to manage your images isn’t that helpful either. So what can you do?
Enter Lightroom. Your first stop after shooting (or even during a shoot, for tethered shooting), you can use it to catalog, process, and publish your images… all from the same software!
But why Lightroom and not Photoshop? Well, software is a tool, and tools are built to fulfill specific needs. And the need we’re looking to simplify is a photographer’s workflow, which consists of planning, shooting, organizing, editing, and then publishing. Lightroom can perform 4 of the 5 steps in this workflow. Photoshop can only do one of these without the assistance of Adobe Bridge and Camera RAW.
So, for the more-than-amateur photographer, Lightroom is the software to use. Here’s why:
Digital technology has turned rapid-fire shooting into the norm. These days, you can easily leave your photo shoot with a load of more than 1,000 images that need to be processed. Lightroom is the most effective tool for this, because its database system makes it easy to store and reference your images within the Lightroom Library. You can upload those 1,000 images into a catalog, choose a file-naming structure and storage destination, and tag them with keywords within minutes… actually, it’s more like seconds!
Next comes the process of editing those 1,000 images down to the 10-20 that you want to work on. Lightroom makes this easy, too! You can apply 1-5 star ratings just by pressing a number on your keyboard. Once the ratings are in, you can filter your images by star rating to quickly access the ones you’ve selected.
Filtering takes time, but with Lightroom’s sleek interface and smooth control, the task is relatively painless and will get you psyched to start processing.
Okay, so you’ve marked the best of the best, and it’s time to polish your files. Simply go from Lightroom’s “Library” to “Develop” module and you’re now in a virtual darkroom where you can process your image files. You have access to all the essential editing controls you’d expect from any photo processor without having to switch applications! All you have to do is click to a different area within the software.
4. Non-Destructive Editing
Unlike Photoshop’s editing functions, which are more heavy-duty and non-reversible, Lightroom is less intrusive and complex. You can do anything from basic cropping and straightening to exposure/color adjustments and even some cloning/retouching. Lightroom’s editing suite is quick and simple, and (best of all) completely non-destructive! This means that if you decide that you don’t like what you did to the image, you can always undo your changes…. even a year later!
So, you’ve uploaded, organized, filtered, developed, and edited your photos, and you’re left with 15 stellar images that you want to post on Facebook. With Lightroom’s automatic publish settings, this is how easy it is:
Select. Drag. Drop. Click Publish.
Only 4 steps until you’re racking up the likes and shares from your Facebook friends!
The publish settings don’t have to be used for social popularity, either. You can add watermarks, adjust image sizes, change the resolution, and export to a variety of image file types. Then, once you come up with a way to save your file, Lightroom can save it as a pre-set for your next batch.
And, of course, let’s not forget that a photograph isn’t a photograph until it becomes a print. Lightroom has a great set of printing controls, along with a module designed for other publishing options like slideshows and book printing!
6. Photoshop Integration
Yes, we know there are some things that Photoshop can do that Lightroom simply can’t. But don’t worry. If you have Photoshop withdrawal, Lightroom provides easy integration with Photoshop, so you can take your efficiently edited Lightroom images, open them in Photoshop, and start going crazy with them there.
As Adobe states on their website: “Set your creativity free.” Translation: you can mess with your images as much as you want with no threat of permanent damage (you can always revert your changes).
Convinced? Check out our Digital Workflow class to learn more about how to use Adobe Lightroom.