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8 reasons why Lightroom should be your go-to photo app

Lesa Snider | Oct. 16, 2014
Even though Photoshop is so incredibly popular its name is a verb, it's not for the faint at heart. Now that Adobe offers both Photoshop and Lightroom (plus other nifty goodies) for $10/month via its Creative Cloud Photography Program, a dirty little secret is creeping out of the image editing bag: it's easier to edit images in Lightroom than in Photoshop. Brace yourself and consider the following major advantages.

Copy/paste or sync changes across multiple images

Lightroom lets you easily copy/paste changes from one image to another — it even asks which changes you want to copy. You can also fix one image, then select others and sync your changes to apply those changes to all.

Create photo books, slideshows, prints, and more

Lightroom does all this with ease — you can even create simple web galleries. With enough patience and Photoshop skill, you can manually create a fine-art or picture-package style print, or you could create a (simplistic) slideshow using the PDF Presentation command, but that's it. (Adobe Bridge can create simple slideshows, too, and if you jump through the hoops to install the Adobe Output Module, you can create a simple web gallery in Photoshop.)

Easy exporting and watermarking

If you regularly prepare images for other destinations, say, to feature on your website, or to submit to a stock service, you can automate the process using Lightroom export presets, called Publish Services.

Simply drag the image(s) onto your preset and click the Publish button, and Lightroom exports the image with the file name, at the dimensions, quality, and file format you want, complete with metadata, additional sharpening, and even a watermark. If you change a published image, Lightroom politely asks if you'd like to republish the modified version. In Photoshop, you'd have to create a watermark action and then use the Image Processor script, which has fewer options and can't keep track of modified versions.

Have a preset party.

Creating Lightroom presets are a galactic timesaver, plus you can apply them on import as well as manually. Your options include file naming conventions, any settings in the Develop module (exposure, contrast, etc.), project settings (sizes, fonts, colors, for books, slideshows, etc.), identity plates (the branding that appears at the top left of the Lightroom interface), watermarks, exporting, and more.

Now, is Lightroom better at everything than Photoshop? No. If you want to combine images (called compositing), remove bigger objects like people, slim your subject, swap heads or backgrounds, realistically change the color of an object or move it, create text, turn a photo into a painting, change the depth of field, add motion or a third eye, push a photo through text or a shape, work with perspective, draw, paint, save images with a transparent background, or anything involving selecting need Photoshop. Happily, Lightroom can send images to Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements), and it keeps track of native Photoshop documents in its database, too.

If you have access to Lightroom, it's worth a try — it could save you enough time that you'll actually enjoy organizing and editing your images again. Until next week, may the creative force be with you all!


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