When Photoshop Just Does It Better

kitjv

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With all of the updates in Lightroom over the years, it is my post-processing editor of choice. Given my style of photography, Lightroom generally does what I need it to do & consequently Photoshop rarely gets used. But after using the Clone Stamp Tool several times, I started to wonder which other Photoshop tools might tend to give superior results compared to their counterparts in Lightroom. I realize that this is certainly a subjective discussion. Nevertheless, I would really like to hear from those who are regular users of both LR & PS. Thank you.
 
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When I teach Photoshop I always tell people that "Photoshop begins where Lightroom ends". Yes, there is some overlap where Lightroom does have the tools but Photoshop has better ones (like cloning and healing in some situations), but as a rule of thumb I would say that Photoshop complements Lightroom rather than competes with it.
 
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My observation is that with LR you start with a photograph; with PS you start with a blank canvas.
 
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A fundamental difference in the tools is that photoshop is truly sequential (or maybe I should say controllably sequential). If I make adjustment X, then adjustment Y they are independent (let's ignore smart and other non-destructive adjustments for the moment).

This gives a different feel. A given tool tends to work more predictably -- the same amount of adjustment tends to be more repeatable from photo to photo. In Lightroom we all operate a bit more on a "move it, watch it, keep moving until you like it". That's not bad, but it is different.

I find this better in photoshop when doing somewhat extreme changes -- distortion (creating or fixing), large tone curve changes, lots of cloning and healing. In LR when you make big changes, you start bumping into prior changes in unexpected ways, e.g. a clone (or similar) that touches another clone -- which will it do first? Gradients laid over clones (or are they under)?

And of course I can move bits between photos in photoshop, not in LR. That is frequently a show stopper in LR.
 

kitjv

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Cletus: I concur with your reference to layers & content aware fill.
Johan: Again, I agree. With my limited knowledge of PS, the complimentary nature of LR & PS are becoming evident.
Ferguson: Indeed, I have experienced the advantage of PS when it comes to affecting relatively large changes.
 

PhilBurton

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Cletus: I concur with your reference to layers & content aware fill.
Johan: Again, I agree. With my limited knowledge of PS, the complimentary nature of LR & PS are becoming evident.
Ferguson: Indeed, I have experienced the advantage of PS when it comes to affecting relatively large changes.
I recently took a Tim Grey introductory course on Photoshop. Four sessions, 2+ hours each. The course focused on editing photos either using Adobe Camera RAW or Photoshop tools. The ACR part seemed to overlap the LR DEVELOP module a lot, so a side benefit was learning more about that module. Clearly there are tools in Photoshop which are just not part of Lightroom, and Time liked to talk about a non-destructive workflow using layers and masks. I got enough out of that course that I signed up right away when he announced his new follow-on Photoshop course.

Phil Burton
 

kitjv

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Thus far I have not had any problem wading into Photoshop on my own. I admit that a well-structured course by a competent teacher can be invaluable. However, since I tend to supplement the tools in Lightroom with specific Photoshop tools, my approach has been working thus far. Also, I admit that I have always been a self-learner.

As a side note, learning the basics of Photoshop tools seems quite straight-forward. It is the nuances of all of the various affecting controls that are humbling for me. But I guess that is the benefit of practice & experience. It's a work in progress.
 

PhilBurton

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Thus far I have not had any problem wading into Photoshop on my own. I admit that a well-structured course by a competent teacher can be invaluable. However, since I tend to supplement the tools in Lightroom with specific Photoshop tools, my approach has been working thus far. Also, I admit that I have always been a self-learner.

As a side note, learning the basics of Photoshop tools seems quite straight-forward. It is the nuances of all of the various affecting controls that are humbling for me. But I guess that is the benefit of practice & experience. It's a work in progress.
Once you get past the basics, or maybe while you are just learning the basics, you come to realize that Photoshop tools have a lot "layers" of controls and complexity. I guess that's the genius of Photoshop, but the result is a steep learning curve if you want to go deep.

Phil
 
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