When editing photos, it’s vital to have the right type of software at your disposal. Without it, you’ll be struggling to find your way. And often, this makes it harder to make the edits you need to make. Two popular applications are Photoshop and Lightroom. Both of these are excellent choices and will serve your creative projects well. However, there are some key differences between them, that make each suited to different types of projects.

Let’s explore what each application is, their pros and cons, and what each does specifically well.

photoshop vs. lightroom

What is Photoshop?

Photoshop is a popular image editing tool developed by Adobe. It currently offers a multitude of updates and upgrades. You can also add brushes and filters that are developed by third-party developers to add further functionality to the application. With this tool, you can adjust brightness, contrast, smooth blemishes, and apply an innumerable amount of effects.

What is Lightroom?

Lightroom is another option. Also developed by Adobe, this tool does much of what Photoshop does, but adds on the ability to edit and work with a large number of images at once. It’s a great way to streamline your workflow and adds an element of organization Photoshop lacks.

General Pros and Cons of Photoshop

As you might imagine, Photoshop is a highly robust tool that you can use for a wide number of purposes. It’s really designed for in-depth edits that involve creating layers and masks to develop a specific look or effect. The problem here is if you want to work on a lot of images at once. This isn’t practical in Photoshop.

Likewise, if you want to automate any part of the process, you’ll need to program actions, which requires another series of steps that not every designer can manage (nor has the time to commit to).

General Pros and Cons of Lightroom

Lightroom offers similar features to Photoshop but is streamlined to be easier to use. The biggest pro here is that you can edit a bunch of images at one, which is ideal if you need to process many images for a project. You can also share your images directly to social media from Lightroom.

While you can’t make detailed composites with Lightroom as you could with Photoshop, it does come in handy for correcting blemishes, creating HDR images, and even creating books.

Best Use Cases for Photoshop

As you might’ve gathered by now, both Photoshop and Lightroom have different ideal use-case scenarios. Let’s dive into how you can best use Photoshop first.

Complex retouching is well suited for Photoshop. You can dramatically alter an image with this tool, like remove people or objects, whiten teeth, and edit an image’s clarity. Photoshop also allows for compositing. This means it allows you to combine several images into one. This could take the form of a collage or an original piece of art. There are many Photoshop actions you can use as well that automate the compositing process to create a variety of effects from lighting filters to double exposure.

Best Use Cases for Lightroom

Lightroom, on the other hand, is the perfect choice for those who need to make photo edits but are much newer to the entire process of photo editing. It’s easier to figure out how to use and has fewer options, which is great when you’re just learning how to use a tool.

It’s also great for when you need to process more than one image at a time. You can use Lightroom presets to create an intuitive workflow as well. With it, you can create image collections, share images on social media, batch process, and add keywords to your images.

So, Which Should You Use?

Both Photoshop and Lightroom offer robust features that make the process of image editing go smoothly and flawlessly. However, each application targets a different demographic and will satisfy the needs of different users. Photoshop has more advanced features. Lightroom allows for batch processing. Both create stunning results in the right hands. So, it’s a good idea to keep that in mind when choosing which tool to use.