Adobe Photoshop vs Adobe Lightroom for Editing 2020

I’ve been seeing a lot of debate on whether Photoshop or Lightroom is a better all-around photo editor. Both are excellent photo editing software, in my opinion. But I think we naturally love to create competition. I’ve already formed my own opinion about the matter and to me, it honestly boils down to the type of photographer you are.

If I had to choose, I would certainly choose both because I think they both excel in their own way. So here is my honest, simple review of both software and which one you should invest in going into 2020.

Photoshop

Photoshop was the first editing software I was introduced to. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of Lightroom when I started in photography. At the time, I was not interested in photo editing. I just wanted to take pictures. The thought of nitpicking at my work was daunting and the idea of learning a foreign software was overwhelming. However, after watching countless YouTube videos I realized that photo editing was part of the creative process.

As I learned photoshop, I became less overwhelmed and more interested in what Photoshop could do. Not only was I able to color correct my photos, but I could retouch skin, remove objects, add backgrounds, etc. I realized Photoshop was a powerhouse and that with a little skill, I could transform my photos into something that wasn’t even in the original picture.

That realization was fun. However, most of my work (if not all) does not require me to use Photoshop to that degree. It’s nice to know those extensive capabilities are available but I realize I only need it a small part of the time.

Favorite Tools on Photoshop: Clone Stamp, Spot Healing Brush 

Lightroom

I was introduced to the simplicities of Lightroom a little while after photoshop and fell in love with it. One of my favorite things about Lightroom is how simple it is to manipulate your photo. You don’t really need to watch a bunch of YouTube tutorials on how to create layers, render images, lock files, etc.

When I’m shooting, my goal is to perfect the image as much as possible in the frame. This process allows me to not have much work to do in post-processing. Lightroom’s simple nature and how well it gets the job done for me is why it is my preferred editing software. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best but that it is the best for me right now.

Favorite Tools: Clarity, Temperature, Grain

Photoshop or Lightroom?

Once again, I would have to say that the best tool depends on what you’re shooting or what you hope to accomplish. For instance, if you’re shooting a landscape but the sky is really washed out to the point that you can’t color correct it to beauty, then you may want to use Photoshop to swap out the sky. At the same time, if you just want to add more color to your landscape photo, Lightroom is obviously the best choice.

For those that are into fashion and portrait photography, you may find that both platforms make sense for you: Photoshop to retouch skin and Lightroom for any color corrections.

Though I don’t use Photoshop as much anymore, it’s something that I know I need to keep around. There will be times where I need to remove an object out of my photograph, retouch someone’s skin or resize a photo for print. However, for my day-to-day editing, Lightroom is my go-to.

I think it’s best for photographers to make a list of what tools are most important to them to help them decide which software is the better choice or whether they need both. Here is my list:

Must-haves

  • Simple and easy color corrector
  • Some sort of healing tool for skin purposes
  • The ability to resize images and change resolution for printing purposes
  • Ability to save my presets for future use

Obviously, you need to do more than just those four things to effectively edit, but understanding what’s important for you will help you see which software will be more useful. For instance, both Photoshop and Lightroom offer a healing tool but I find that Photoshop helps you edit skin more naturally through separation frequency, which is not something you can do in Lightroom.

My current Creative Cloud plan includes both Photoshop and Lightroom for just $10 a month, which is a great value. Don’t forget to take advantage of the free trials Adobe offers as well. Tell me, which editing software do you prefer?

 

 

4 Must-Have Apps for Photographers

There are so many photography apps available today that help photographers work and create more efficiently, and some not so much. Fortunately, I’ve spent a lot of time testing out different apps to see which ones are actually useful and which ones are just taking up space on my phone. So today I’m going to share 4 of my favorite apps for photography.

1. VSCO

The first app on my list is VSCO. This app isn’t foreign to photographers. In fact, most photographers use or have used VSCO at one point in time. For me, it’s a staple app that I have grown to love and use more actively.

When I first signed up for VSCO years ago I was mainly a spectator, watching other photographers post their work. Today, I mainly use it to organize photos for social media and my website and to do light editing

VSCO has the same layout as Instagram so I love to use it to see how my photos will look on Instagram before I post it. In addition to this, I find that VSCO has a pretty good editing tool. I particularly enjoy using clarity, sharpen, and split tone features. VSCO even has some really nice presets. I don’t use these though because I prefer to create my own presets in Lightroom but for those that don’t want to spend their time creating them, VSCO has a nice variety.

2. Photoshop Express

Photoshop Express is not to be confused with Photoshop Fix. This app is an extremely basic version of  Photoshop CC but it gets the job done, which is why I find it to be one of the most useful apps to have on my iPhone.

Photoshop Express is packed with a decent amount of features that will help you take your photos to the next level straight from your phone. You can create things like Bokeh, a grunge look, watercolor, and even cosmos.

I don’t personally use these features because I like to keep things simple but I do appreciate the fact that this app takes things a little further than your average photo app. It also helps you get an idea of things you can create when you subscribe to the actual Photoshop software.

3. Adobe Lightroom Editor

Next on the list is Adobe Lightroom Editor. What I love about Adobe Lightroom Editor is that they have a lot of the same features that you can find in the actual software. However, the true reason this app made it to my list has a lot more to do with the fact that I can easily transfer photographs from my phone into Lightroom.

I find this app to be extremely convenient on my lazy days. It’s also convenient when I connect my Canon 6d to my iPhone to take pictures. It allows me to save the images to my phone, upload them to the Lightroom app and it will automatically sync with the Lightroom software so  I can edit them there when I’m ready.

4. Plotboard – Frame Moodboard

The last app on this list is one I’ve only recently started using but is one I plan to keep around. Plotboard is not a photo editing app but it is an app I find great for making mood boards for any commission work or personal projects I’m working on.

This is convenient for me because I have something I can easily reference back to and build upon right from my phone. I find that having a mood board keeps me inspired and focused on my current direction and love that this app makes it easy for me to add photos to it.

Another benefit to this app is that if you click share you can easily send it to someone else through text or mail. So if you’re working on a joint project or want to share the mood board with a client for a shoot, this app makes it simple for you to do that.

I really love it when I find apps that help me cut down on time and work more creatively. For me, I find these apps to be the most useful all-around. What are some of your favorite apps?

Also, if you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to check out my article talking about the 3 best lenses for a Canon full-frame.