Merge also gives the option of creating a panorama. This will be a static image, not the drag-and-see-things type of file made with PTGui. If you take several images, each with a slightly different view of the scene, you can merge the images together into one large image. Careful technique in capturing the initial images will result in a better final panorama.
When capturing the initial images for panoramic stitching, it’s good practice to use a tripod with a good head, maybe even a pano head, and have an element of the scene overlap from one image to the next. That way, the program has something to grab on to for panoramic stitching.
Layers and masking
Another feature that Photoshop really shines in is using layers, masking, opacity, and eraser tools. Any number of photographic elements can be added, subtracted, merged, or changed. Some other programs have added these tools to their image manipulation features, but PS rules the roost here.
Layers and masking are some of the harder tools to use without a good tutorial or instruction book. Thankfully, there are quite a few resources that can guide us through the process. After getting used to these tools, it can become almost second nature to use it.
Using PS and LR together is a solution to many photographic editing challenges. Use LR for most things, and PS when you need to. There is even a cost effective way to do this.
Which One Is Better Supported?
Support for complicated, full featured programs is a necessity. These post-processing image manipulation programs do so many things, it’s hard to become a complete expert on every aspect of the program. Remember those program cheat sheets we kept at our desks? Well, now we can watch online tutorials that allow us to see the features in use. Many schools and universities even have college credit classes in PS, besides all the seminars for beginners and advanced users.
Lightroom is extremely popular with event photographers such as wedding professionals. LR users have lively, well supported online forums, both from Adobe and from independent photographers.
Lightroom also has many people offering actions and presets, either free or pay, that target specific needs of the various photographic professions. So, while both PS and LR have support in this, LR seems to be the program more photographers use on a regular basis.
Since Lightroom is one of the more popular programs used by a huge number of photographers, pro and hobbyist, it makes sense to me that there is a whole lot of online discussion and support available for it. With Photoshop being virtually a standard in post-processing, and having been around for such a long time, it also has much support available.
LR is all the program most photographers will need
About 90 percent of a photographer’s post-processing work could be accomplished in Lightroom. Then, switch to Photoshop for the deep edits and extensive post-processing image manipulation that some images (or clients) may require.
Both PS and LR are on Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography subscription
A yearly Creative Cloud (CC) subscription term for individual photographers is available for a very low monthly payment of $9.99. Other subscription plans are accessible for businesses or schools with multiple users.
The Photography plan is one of the most cost-effective ways of using multiple Adobe creative programs. Adobe Spark, for creating social media posts and video clips is also included in the Photography CC plan.
You can also just get a copy of Lightroom or Photoshop by itself as well, if you only plan to use one.
The value of file management is huge
Lightroom’s amazing workflow time savings can greatly reduce costs and frustrations in post-processing. Being able to catalog with keywords is a huge timesaver by itself. Adding in the end to end file management features, Adobe has created a program that may be all many photographers will ever need.
When needing advanced PS tools, there are few worthwhile substitutes
A photographer can do things with PS that many programs won’t let you. Those deep edits and the ability to change anything in the image, given enough instruction and practice anyways, makes Photoshop the powerhouse post-processing image manipulation program of your dreams. Also, some clients may at times require submissions to be in .PSD files.
Learning the basics of both programs is a good practice for all photographers. This is a cost-effective option since both are included in the Adobe subscription plans. What type of photo business you run or what kind of advanced hobbyist you are will be an important factor in which program you use. Why not use both? Then, you are covered for almost anything.
- Stephen Harker is a professional photographer since 1977 in the fields of architecture, commercial realty, and environmental portraits. Personal projects include Route 66 travel photos and the beauty of nature in California, New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. Currently providing commercial photography and teaching in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Posted on PHLEARN