I've been getting quite a few questions re my editing process and thought a blog post would be in order. There is so many different types of photo editing software out there. I mean a lot, and when I as looking around I found it so intimidating to sort through! I'm just a soccer mom after all, who is far from a professional. So here is my humble take of the things I've learned about editing thus far.
I'd bet most photographers use only 2 types of editing software, either Photoshop and/or Lightroom. Both are Adobe products. Until recently, I don't think I was knowledgeable enough to offer my opinion of Photoshop. Both of these editing softwares I'm talking about are more than appropriate for regular ol' hobby photographers. You don't have to be a pro to use either, although many pro's do use them, so you can rest assured you won't outgrow them either. If you're an amateur photographer, who just wants to produce the best images possible, don't let either of these scare you.
I've taken several classes for both Photoshop and Lightroom now and although I'm FAR from learning all there is on these two types of software, I do know what I like (and don't like) about each.
I have both Lightroom 4.0 (an older version) and Photoshop Elements 10, (the cheap version) and I use both regularly.
|Can't believe I'm showing you this... but this is the totally untouched version of this photo, SOC...|
in dire need of editing.
And bottom line, for editing photos, Lightroom is where it's at for me.
1) Lightroom is faster to do a "clean edit" of photos and faster to "batch" process a group of photos.
2) Lightroom is laid out the way a photographer thinks. When I edit a photo, I literally start at the top of the editing screen and move through the steps to the bottom on the screen. I do things like correct white balance, crop my photo, and adjust the exposure. These are all photography terms. In Photoshop there are things like the "magic wand tool," and a "magnetic lasso." These mystical terms make me forget what photography is all about. Frankly they scare me. I don't want to do magic. I want to do photography.
3) Photoshop seems to have far more clicks and steps to do the same thing than Lightroom.
|The last version edited in Lightroom. Still far from perfect but good enough for me. |
There are still a couple little tweaks I will do in Photoshop.
|I didn't really care for that little bit of her tummy showing, call me old-fashioned, so I "painted" it out via Photoshop.|
Also her shoes were a bit too big, so I also "painted" out the black parts that showed where they were too big. Compare this image to the one above and you'll see the difference. This "painting" is pretty easy and quick to do in Photoshop and although possible in Lightroom, it's just easier in Photoshop.
| SO proud of our girl!|
I will say that the possibilities in Photoshop are seemingly endless. I mean there is SO much you can do in Photoshop, that after 3 classes, I'm still just barely scratching the surface of its possibilities. In that aspect, Lightroom can be limiting. To be frank, I like the limiting aspect of Lightroom. I use Lightroom for editing photos, and not much else. I like it that way.
Lightroom is currently $149 right now. Photoshop Elements is $79. (I researched and heard that Photoshop Elements does 99% of what the much more expensive Photoshop CS5 version does. I think this is probably very true.) Both offer free 30-day trials of their product. And both regularly come out with newer versions that eventually need to be updated for a price.
In a nutshell, for photo editing, I use Lightroom 99% of the time because it's faster and easy. Only occasionally do I pull out Photoshop. But Lightroom is more expensive. Still, If I could only have 1 type of editing software, I would be Lightroom hands down.