Photography Tutorials

What is the Difference Between Photoshop and Lightroom?


One of the questions I have been asked the most is what is the difference between Photoshop and Lightroom?

Get a free trial of Photoshop and Lightroom by clicking the link below.

This is a very understandable question considering both programs now do many of the same things. These powerhouses of photography are now the stablemate of pretty much every photographer. If you are just getting started on your photography journey, understanding the difference between Photoshop and Lightroom will really help you progress and use the strengths of each application at the appropriate time.

For the rest of this post and video I will be assuming you are shooting RAW.  You should be in almost all circumstances.

Photoshop is your all out image editing application. It is a beast. It has multiple tools that allow you to edit and manipulate photographs providing a powerful suite of post processing features. It also allows you to create striking graphics, text effects and artworks from scratch that are used to create so much content everyday both inside and outside the world of photography. Lightroom lacks many of these features.

Lightroom on the other hand is purely designed for photographers. The program is designed to organise, edit and enhance your photographs and makes this extremely easy. Unlike Photoshop, it provides a workflow for your post processing from start to finish and includes a mobile app allowing you to work on the go.

Photoshop generally works by opening and editing a single image. Lightroom, on the other hand, lets you to flick through a catalogue of images allowing you to quickly edit and process a series of images. When working with RAW files both use the powerful features of Adobe Camera Raw. In Photoshop this appears as a standalone window where as it is deeply built into Lightroom.

Both applications work seamlessly together. If you start an edit in Lightroom you can move over to Photoshop to make more complex edits, for example, using layers. Save it and the image links back to Lightroom again for export and viewing. Lightroom has powerful export features allowing batch exports of multiple images saving photographers valuable time.

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So which is best for you? Nowadays that is a pointless question. With the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan you can have both for around £8.50/$9.99.  Just hit the link below and you'll get a 30 day free trial.