This week, we delve into the request box and pull out a regularly asked question; what is the difference between Lightroom and Photoshop, and can I get the same resulting image using either programme? The exact question that initiated this whole post and video was:

LR vs PS – can a person equally skilled in lightroom and photoshop create the same quality image in both.

Rob Munroe – @Rob_munroe

So Rob, this one is for you and anyone else who may be wondering:


1. Comparing Photoshop with Lightroom is apples and oranges

Photoshop was built to edit and manipulate digital images. Lightroom is a library and development software.

Yes there is a cross-over between the two, namely in the camera raw filter of Photoshop where the tools are almost exactly the same, but Lightroom does library and organisation, including batching very simply for large shoots, where Photoshop does fine editing, retouching and major augmentation.

2. Yes you could get the same result, to a point

If you are doing basic adjustments then you can get the exact same result in PS as you do in LR. If you want to do anything more than that, like compositing, complex healing, light shifting and more, then PS is the place to be.

Most photographers use Lightroom to run their base edits – white balance, highlights, shadows, colour tweaks etc. Then, they take specific images into Photoshop to take them further creatively or remove major issues or composite images together with finesse.

You don’t have to use LR, Bridge is an organisation option but you can just bypass it completely and jump straight into Photoshop. Your call.

You don’t have to use Photoshop. But I mean, you’re here so you must be aware of my love for all things PS (except the bugs – thanks Adobe.)

Hope this helps!