(Update) Switching from Photoshop to Lightroom

Image courtesy of Digital Photography School.

Image courtesy of Digital Photography School.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article on how I would be switching from Photoshop to Lightroom. I stated in this article that I hoped to achieved three things with switching from Photoshop to Lightroom. After using Lightroom for a couple of weeks, I can say my hopes have come true.

  1. A faster workflow, indeed.

    When I was using Photoshop, I would have to open each image, adjust the raw file, make other adjustments, save the PSD, and then save a JPEG. Obviously, this involved a lot of steps as well as time. I dreaded editing photos because I knew it would be long and tedious. 

    Since using Lightroom, the steps and time have been drastically cut down. When you import photos into Lightroom, you have quite a few options. Copying the files off the SD card while retaining the files on the card or moving files from one hard drive to another. What Lightroom has does best is that it enables the imported Lightroom files to save all adjustments even if you move the files to a new hard drive. However, the files transferred must be transferred through Lightroom (to save the adjustments).

    Once the files have been imported, I am able to browse through the photos and flag/rate the photos I like. From there, I am able to adjust a photo and move right on to the next. But the best part comes at exporting. Since Lightroom saves all the adjustments in the program itself, I don't have to save the “raw” file, instead I can just export to the file type and size I need. This has been a God send. 

2. Presets, Presets, Presets. 

    When dealing with presets, Lightroom is and has been quite a bit easier than Photoshop.  I knew when I first got Lightroom I wanted to use presets. Not because I am lazy, but because it provides a starting ground. Presets are actually used as a starting ground rather than slap it on and that’s it. In Lightroom, using presets are super easy. Even installing them is super easy.

    Before purchasing any presets, I researched quite a bit. I look at numerous companies such as Mastin Labs, Totally Rad, and VSCO. I decided on VSCO. I wanted presets that simulated legendary film stocks like Portra. VSCO was at a good price point and was widely used among other photographers. 

    After using the presets, I have noticed a bump in my photos. This is not due to the preset look but it provides me with a look that I want and I can build off it. Not only has this improved my workflow but also my editing skills.

3. Better editing skills?

    While writing this, my mind might have changed. How is a editing program going to improve my editing skills? After some thought I realized that it does not necessarily work like that. A photo editing program will not make someone a photographer overnight. But it allows you to become a better photographer/editor. 

    Photoshop and Lightroom are just tools to a photographer/editor just like a camera is a tool. Everyone has access to these tools but it does not make a everyone a photographer. It all depends on how one uses these tools. These tools allow me to adjust and improve my photos. I am able to cut down time, apply a look, and adjust the look to fit my style. 

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Switching from Photoshop to Lightroom

I have recently switched from PC to Mac, something I have been wanting to do for the longest time. However, due to being in college, I was never able to afford it. Finally, I was able to make the switch and I’m loving it.

But what does this have to do with “Switch from Photoshop to Lightroom”? Since, I purchased a new computer, I needed to get new photo editing software. On my PC, I was running just Adobe Photoshop CS5. But since Adobe has switching over to a subscription based method, I needed to upgrade to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Luckily, Adobe creates a package just for photographers which includes Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.95 a month. Which is something I had to do.

As I stated, I’ve only had Photoshop besides this one time I had a trial for Lightroom. I don’t really remember much about it besides the basic adjustments. But I’ve more and more “pro” photographers using Lightroom more for editing images and Photoshop for “major” adjustments.

(Left) Lightroom and (Right) Photoshop interfaces

(Left) Lightroom and (Right) Photoshop interfaces

So, what do I hope to achieve with Lightroom?

1.     A faster workflow: I think almost everyone who endorses Lightroom says that it allows them a better workflow. Whether it be the tagging and filtering system or just the quick editing tools. Whatever it maybe, I hope that I am able to cut down some time editing.

2.     Presets: I know you can have presets in Photoshop, but from what I’ve seen it’s a lot simpler in Lightroom. Most preset companies do have presets for both Lightroom and Photoshop however not all do. Since, I have Lightroom included with Photoshop now, might as well just get the presets for Lightroom.

3.     Better editing skills: When I was using Photoshop, I needed to research an action that I wanted to do. Granted, that does help you learn. However, Lightroom simplifies it by allowing me to click the preset I want and then make any adjustments necessary. Not only does this cut down time but also allows me to focus on making the image better.

As of now, I will play and learn Lightroom. Hopefully Lightroom will live up to mine and other’s expectations. In the future, I will come back to this and review my Lightroom experience.

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