Lightroom vs Photoshop: How to choose Right Editing Software for Your Workflow

In digital photography, two software are popular: Lightroom and Photoshop are the main Adobe applications that people use for image editing. Deciding whether to use the two can be very difficult, especially for the new photographers. Both, on the one hand, are highly effective in the editing and enhancing of photos, on the other hand, they are specialized to different editing styles and workflows.


Lightroom is a photo management and editing platform that is created for photographers and it is great to use. Its core functionality revolves around:

Local adjustments: Even though Lightroom’s tools are not as sophisticated as those of Photoshop, still the software provides the possibility of the local adjustments, for example brushes and graduated filters, to selectively edit the specific areas of an image.

Non-destructive editing: Lightroom follows a non-destructive editing path. Editing is a form of modification, where the original image is still preserved. This lets you easily try new things or go back to a previous stage.

Import and organize photos: Lightroom is the best choice when it comes to importing big photo libraries and organizing them with keywords, tags, and collections.

Presets and Profiles: Lightroom has a vast collection of presets and profiles which enable you to get a special style or look by using just one button. These are the ones that you can customize and you can develop your own signature editing style by them.

Benefits of using Lightroom:

Fast and intuitive: It is ideal for the beginners as it enables you to get familiar with Lightroom’s core features rather easily.

Mobile compatibility: Lightroom Mobile enables you to edit and sync your photos on different devices, providing you with the capability to edit while on the move.

Efficient workflow: Lightroom’s uncomplicated interface of the tasks of sorting, editing, and exporting your photos, makes it ideal for editing photos in large groups.

Non-destructive editing: The design feature encourages creativity and the feeling of being free to experiment with the edits without the need to change the original image.

Disadvantages of using Lightroom:

Limited local adjustments: On the other hand, Lightroom has fewer tools for doing the exact localized edits which are the jobs of Photoshop.

Lack of advanced features: If you want to have capabilities such as layer editing, complicated masking, or the tools for the extensive manipulation, Lightroom may not be enough.

Who should use Lightroom?

Lightroom is a great choice for photographers who:

  • Try to find a platform that is of great use and easy to operate and that also lets you make quick modifications and use presets.
  • I sweep the room and organize it around the efficient workflow and that’s what I do my photos.
  • Stress on non-destructive editing for research and flexibility.


Photoshop is still considered as the industry standard for image editing and graphic design. Its capabilities extend far beyond photography, offering a vast toolbox including:

Layer editing: The principal feature of this system is that it allows one to combine different layers of image to form complex compositions and thus, edit and manipulate the individual layers in a selective manner. Photoshop has all kinds of masking and selection tools for selecting the exact image parts that you want to edit.

Advanced adjustments: Let us not limit ourselves to the basic adjustments that are possible with the conventional tools at our disposal, but go further and use the modern tools for color correction, noise reduction, sharpening.

Benefits of using Photoshop:

Flexibility: PhotoShop can deal with various editing works, from the basic adjustment to the graphic design of the complex designs.

Industry standard: Mastering Photoshop is a precious skill for photographers and graphic designers, who are the professionals of the creative world.

Extensive feature set: Through the mere adjustments to layered editing to the complex masking, Photoshop has put forward the best and the unmatched tool set for all the editing needs of the person.

Disadvantages of using Photoshop:

Steep learning curve: The operation of the whole parts of Photoshop is very time and energy consuming.

Resource intensive: Photoshop is the application that works on several computer parts, which are really powerful when working on large image files.

Who should use Photoshop?

You are interested in the whole functionality of the tool that allows you to create and edit your photos with the appropriate tools for the advanced editing.

Choosing the right tool: The Lightroom and Photoshop workflow integration is a brand new feature that permits the user to smoothly switch from one software to another, hence, creating a more efficient workflow. Edits can be copied from Lightroom to Photoshop or the other way, and still be repaired in a non-destructive way.

Initial edits and organization with Lightroom: Lightroom is a tool that is designed to let you import, organize, and alter the basic edits of your photo library. The batch editing and the preset are the tools that are capable of being used to complete the same task at a faster speed.

Advanced editing with Photoshop: Exchange the imported images from Lightroom to Photoshop for the more sophisticated edits such as the retouching of the photos, creating the composites and the addition of the creative effects.

Scenario 1: Wedding photography

Lightroom: Gain hundreds of wedding images, create them into albums by event or client, and edit them by applying the basic edits like the exposure adjustment, white balance correction, and removing minor blemishes by using the Healing brush.

Photoshop: Pick the photos that are to be exported for further advanced retouching such as skin smoothing, eyes brightening, and the creative manipulation of the background for the artistic portraits.

Scenario 2: Landscape photography

Lightroom: Download a number of landscape photos and get the presets applied, set up the editing style for a series of like-minded photos and tweak the local adjustments like sharpness and noise reduction in the specific areas.

Photoshop: Import a picture of the product that you have chosen and cut out any unnecessary things from the background and tools like the Pen tool and Background Eraser to do a retouching on the small imperfections of the product itself.

Other possibilities for Photoshop and Lightroom alternatives are Phase One, Capture One, or Aurora.

Free alternatives: GIMP (a quite powerful open source platform although its learning curve is too steep and the majority of applications have to have the owner’s will to do it) and Darktable (an open source RAW photo editor that is focusing for photographers).

Subscription-based alternatives: The professional RAW editor, Capture One Pro (known for superior color processing), and the AI-powered editing tool, Luminar AI (for fast and efficient results) are examples of the latest editing tools used by photo editors.

Determine your ideal manuscript checker.

The importance of selecting Lightroom or Photoshop will be based on your editing style, workflow needs and budget.

Photoshop is perfect for serious image editing, intricate retouching, creative composition, small local adjustments, professional editing capabilities, and so on.

Lightroom is a perfect tool for photo management, non-destructive editing, quick adjustments and usability of editing on the go through mobile devices.

A possible way to resolve the issue is to combine the use of both programs. When you need to be highly creative or to precisionly retouch a specific image, you can easily transition to Photoshop. Use Lightroom’s fantastic composition and fast editing features for your photo editing needs that you do a lot of.

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