Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Lightroom versus Elements, and the winner is

Photographer

Untitled Photographer

Posts: 1207

Dallas, Texas, US

I have been a Lightroom user for a while now but the more I learn the more I am convinced I should be using an application that does layers.  After playing with Elements some I'm convinced I could probably be doing better post work with it versus Lightroom.

I realize Photoshop (Cs6?) is the standard but I'm not a professional and not prepared to make the time commitment to learn Photoshop just yet, Elements seems more realistic for me at this time.

So what are your thoughts on processing with Elements versus Lightroom.  Thanks!

Jan 07 13 08:36 am Link

Photographer

Michael DBA Expressions

Posts: 3232

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Lightroom vs Elements is akin to a sportscar vs a pickup truck. Both do some of the same things, but neither is intended to compete with the other, let alone do what the other does best.

Jan 07 13 08:39 am Link

Photographer

terrysphotocountry

Posts: 4255

Rochester, New York, US

I use three different  photo editing programs. Each one has it's own benefits. Adobe CS-3, Light Room 4 and Picture Professional 10

Jan 07 13 08:43 am Link

Retoucher

Krunoslav Stifter

Posts: 3884

Santa Cruz, California, US

Michael DBA Expressions wrote:
Lightroom vs Elements is akin to a sportscar vs a pickup truck. Both do some of the same things, but neither is intended to compete with the other, let alone do what the other does best.

+1

They are meant to compliment each other if anything, but certainly not to compete.

Jan 07 13 09:18 am Link

Photographer

Don Garrett

Posts: 4568

Escondido, California, US

I have been using Photoshop since one of the earliest versions. I always used to say, "if you can think it, you can do it in Photoshop". My understanding of Lightroom is that it is a very sophisticated RAW converter, with lots of control. My son uses it, and tells me you can grab a histogram, and move it around in any way you want. I like that idea, as I have been experimenting with manipulating the tonality of an image since the beginning. I use Photoshop, and Photomatix, AND, use the WHOLE range, (0-255), in EVERY image. I also want more detail in the shadows, and more detail, and body, in the highlights, plus lots more "local contrast". I have gotten all the control I want regarding tonality with these programs and some unique techniques, but it can be somewhat time consuming. I would like to experiment with Lightroom, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I also doubt it will ever replace Photoshop, and/or Photomatix. As someone else has said, neither are intended to compete with, or replace the other.
  If you are worried about the learning curve, you are probably not that committed to the craft, (just an opinion, and nobody ever said you have to be that fanatical, but your results will show it, especially in a large print). Any new tool has the possibility of giving you more control in getting the finished product you want.
-Don

Jan 07 13 09:39 am Link

Photographer

ACPhotography

Posts: 8644

Plainview, New York, US

Untitled Photographer wrote:
I have been a Lightroom user for a while now but the more I learn the more I am convinced I should be using an application that does layers.  After playing with Elements some I'm convinced I could probably be doing better post work with it versus Lightroom.

I realize Photoshop (Cs6?) is the standard but I'm not a professional and not prepared to make the time commitment to learn Photoshop just yet, Elements seems more realistic for me at this time.

So what are your thoughts on processing with Elements versus Lightroom.  Thanks!

I don't think you understand what Lightroom is...

Photoshop, doesn't matter what the version is, cannot open raw files, it needs a raw converter (ACR or other software) to process and convert the raw file into a format that PS can read(tif, jpg,psd,etc.)

Lightroom is digital asset management - cataloging program with a raw converter (ACR) built in. LR is not a retouching program or a program when you need to so pixel manipulations. Sure it has some level of adjustments but it's not a replacement for PS and PS is not a replacement for LR.

Jan 07 13 02:25 pm Link

Photographer

Williams Fine Images

Posts: 52

Plattsburgh, New York, US

My work flow has LR4 for the first step to get the RAW images and often jpeg as well into the computer and on the hard drive.  From there I can sort out the blinks, shots of the floor and light stands first.  Then comes the coffee time where I look at the images for sharpness or intended fuzzy, composition, exposure etc..  From there it is time to get down to color correction, sharpness and even making monochrome files.  I do SOME extra work in LR with the color controls as well.

Then it is time to move images I wish to "finish" into Elements via the export feature.
Some day I too will move on into Photoshop but as I just retired I do not see a lot of needs that Elements does not take care of.  The burn, dodge tool gets a lot of use here both in LR and in El 9.  Lots of changes can happen at this point and is dependent on your wishes.

So, shoot, RAW or jpeg, others have covered the reasons for each, move the files with LR into your computer, do basic work and cataloging there then the finish work for your "best" in Elements for now.  If you want to use PS down the line, LR will export files into that very well.

Hope that helps.

Jan 09 13 11:32 am Link

Photographer

London Fog

Posts: 6770

London, England, United Kingdom

ACPhotography wrote:
I don't think you understand what Lightroom is...

Photoshop, doesn't matter what the version is, cannot open raw files, it needs a raw converter (ACR or other software) to process and convert the raw file into a format that PS can read(tif, jpg,psd,etc.)

Lightroom is digital asset management - cataloging program with a raw converter (ACR) built in. LR is not a retouching program or a program when you need to so pixel manipulations. Sure it has some level of adjustments but it's not a replacement for PS and PS is not a replacement for LR.

What utter nonsense!

CS5 opens my D800 RAW's without blinking! Adobe Bridge does everything else in between. Once I have the TIFF's, nothing else but PS is needed.

Personally, I cannot see the purpose of LR, no idea why they even released such a useless product, unless you are a Wedding Photographer or need to catalogue a large number of images, in which case even Windows Explorer will do!

Jan 09 13 11:56 am Link

Photographer

Robert Gaines Jr

Posts: 32

Colorado Springs, Colorado, US

London Fog wrote:
Personally, I cannot see the purpose of LR, no idea why they even released such a useless product, unless you are a Wedding Photographer or need to catalogue a large number of images, in which case even Windows Explorer will do!

Well that is exactly why they released it. I am not a wedding photographer, but prolific. You can't Metadata and track your images with photoshop. You can't batch image the same in photoshop. You can, but not the same or as well.
Lightroom 4 has become an indispensable part of my work flow for a catalog of over 50 thousand salable images.

Jan 09 13 09:35 pm Link

Photographer

Untitled Photographer

Posts: 1207

Dallas, Texas, US

Williams Fine Images wrote:
My work flow has LR4 for the first step to get the RAW images and often jpeg as well into the computer and on the hard drive.  From there I can sort out the blinks, shots of the floor and light stands first.  Then comes the coffee time where I look at the images for sharpness or intended fuzzy, composition, exposure etc..  From there it is time to get down to color correction, sharpness and even making monochrome files.  I do SOME extra work in LR with the color controls as well.

Then it is time to move images I wish to "finish" into Elements via the export feature.
Some day I too will move on into Photoshop but as I just retired I do not see a lot of needs that Elements does not take care of.  The burn, dodge tool gets a lot of use here both in LR and in El 9.  Lots of changes can happen at this point and is dependent on your wishes.

So, shoot, RAW or jpeg, others have covered the reasons for each, move the files with LR into your computer, do basic work and cataloging there then the finish work for your "best" in Elements for now.  If you want to use PS down the line, LR will export files into that very well.

Hope that helps.

That helps VERY much and clarifies this for me. Thanks for that and thanks to everyone else who lent their input!

Jan 11 13 07:28 am Link

Photographer

sammyspade

Posts: 98

Portland, Oregon, US

London Fog wrote:
Personally, I cannot see the purpose of LR, no idea why they even released such a useless product, unless you are a Wedding Photographer or need to catalogue a large number of images, in which case even Windows Explorer will do!

I'm guessing you were resistant to move to digital.  You must have a fear of new things because if you'd spent real time with LR there's no way you would wonder why they released it.

In short, it lets you make the most frequent photography edits in a fraction of the time compared to PS.  Download the eval.  Go through Scott Kelby's book. 

You're welcome.

Jan 11 13 07:37 am Link

Photographer

STUDIO2401

Posts: 1335

Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines

Michael DBA Expressions wrote:
Lightroom vs Elements is akin to a sportscar vs a pickup truck. Both do some of the same things, but neither is intended to compete with the other, let alone do what the other does best.

+1

Jan 11 13 07:38 am Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

If you're taking the time to learn Elements, you're essentially taking the time to learn CS6 as Elements has about 75% of the functionality of its more expensive counterpart. Elements is geared primarily to photo editing (teeth whitening, vignettes, filters, etc), though where as, CS6 not only includes all the functionality of photo editing but also includes many functions that are geared primarily towards designers.

With Elements, you wont have curves adjustment (natively), nor will you have access to the CMYK color space or the LAB color space. The adjustment layers will have layer masks but any other kind of layer wont which seriously hinders the benefits having layers. Elements doesn't give you access to the individual channels thereby eliminating the option of luminance masks. Elements does not support any of the content aware tools nor puppet warp. There are other differences but if these are things you can do without, you should be fine.

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop … rison.html

Jan 11 13 08:47 am Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22941

Salem, Oregon, US

lightroom was never meant to replace photoshop (it doesn't have much in the way of retouching). some people use a program like lightroom to organize everything and do the raw processing and then use photoshop for retouching.

onone sells something that gives you layers in lightroom.

Jan 11 13 09:25 am Link

Photographer

ACPhotography

Posts: 8644

Plainview, New York, US

London Fog wrote:

What utter nonsense!

CS5 opens my D800 RAW's without blinking! Adobe Bridge does everything else in between. Once I have the TIFF's, nothing else but PS is needed.

Personally, I cannot see the purpose of LR, no idea why they even released such a useless product, unless you are a Wedding Photographer or need to catalogue a large number of images, in which case even Windows Explorer will do!

Hmmmmm.... Go open a NEF file and tell me it doesn't bring you through Adobe Camera Raw first! Now go and physically delete the ACR application off your hard drive and good luck getting PS to open a raw file....

Before calling something nonsense you should get your facts straight first!

Jan 12 13 11:32 am Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22941

Salem, Oregon, US

the implication of this being that when new cameras come out adobe forces you to upgrade photoshop to get the proper version of ACR.

but i believe that elements has a lite version of ACR and also has some organizer-type capabilities.

even iPhoto is capable. lots of options.

for my workflow i like aperture and photoshop. but some are happy with Bridge and Photoshop. others do ok with elements. heck, even picassa can process RAW files.

if you are only processing low volume shoots maybe it doesn't matter. but if you are grinding through a thousand+ images from an event it helps to have a good system in place.

ACPhotography wrote:
Hmmmmm.... Go open a NEF file and tell me it doesn't bring you through Adobe Camera Raw first! Now go and physically delete the ACR application off your hard drive and good luck getting PS to open a raw file....

Jan 12 13 11:44 am Link

Photographer

ACPhotography

Posts: 8644

Plainview, New York, US

Robert Gaines Jr wrote:

Well that is exactly why they released it. I am not a wedding photographer, but prolific. You can't Metadata and track your images with photoshop. You can't batch image the same in photoshop. You can, but not the same or as well.
Lightroom 4 has become an indispensable part of my work flow for a catalog of over 50 thousand salable images.

When I shoot racing I have 3 bodies I'm using and within a minutes time I may have used all 3 bodies... LR is one of the few programs out there that will let me keep the photos in order and not care what body they came from so long as I keep the clocks in synch...

Honestly I hated LR1 when it first came out, now I don't know how I'd do without it....

Windows Explorer or even Bridge is no replacement...

Jan 12 13 11:44 am Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22941

Salem, Oregon, US

don't know about lroom but aperture has a handy feature where i can adjust the timestamp on the wife's shots to match up with mine so if we mix them together it makes more sense.

the problem with all these database-backed systems is what happens if the database croaks? i have to repair my aperture libraries often but so far nothing has croaked (thank goodness).

ACPhotography wrote:
When I shoot racing I have 3 bodies I'm using and within a minutes time I may have used all 3 bodies... LR is one of the few programs out there that will let me keep the photos in order and not care what body they came from so long as I keep the clocks in synch...

Jan 12 13 11:46 am Link

Photographer

ACPhotography

Posts: 8644

Plainview, New York, US

twoharts wrote:
don't know about lroom but aperture has a handy feature where i can adjust the timestamp on the wife's shots to match up with mine so if we mix them together it makes more sense.

the problem with all these database-backed systems is what happens if the database croaks? i have to repair my aperture libraries often but so far nothing has croaked (thank goodness).


I don't even have to do that, I keep all my bodies in synch within a second or so of each other. Every camera goes to a different folder and I'm spread across multiple hard drives. On import I keyword the event, once all cameras are imported I can just select the keyword, sort by time shot and LR ignores the camera and file name and keeps them in order...

As with any database, backups is key! Mine are backed up weekly and mirrored across multiple drives. My backups are also separate from the main catalog in case one gets corrupted I just go to the backup...

Jan 12 13 11:53 am Link

Photographer

B R U N E S C I

Posts: 25319

Bath, England, United Kingdom

Ruben Vasquez wrote:
Elements does not support any of the content aware tools nor puppet warp.

Elements has had a content aware option for the spot healing tool since version 9.

That's what persuaded me to buy it!





Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Jan 12 13 06:21 pm Link

Photographer

Ralph Easy

Posts: 6426

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Boss use Elements.

The Staff and Workers use LR, it is essential to their raison d'etre.

.

Jan 13 13 02:46 am Link