Lightroom and Photoshop for a More Powerful Edit

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

Lightroom and Photoshop for a More Powerful Edit

I often get asked which software a photographer should purchase, Lightroom or Photoshop.  To me, you can afford it, I recommend getting Lightroom and Photoshop.  They are not interchangeable and each has it’s strengths and weaknesses.

  • Want quick, consistent edits: LIGHTROOM is the winner.
  • Want details, concise edits or the ability to combine multiple images (exposures, content, etc) into one: you need PHOTOSHOP.

Here’s an example of using both software together, playing on the strengths of each.


More details on this edit:

I loved the snowy scene but it lacked an area of interest.  I remembered that the prior winter I photographed deer in a snow-scape that was not as pretty as this one.

  1. First, I needed to match the images better.  I edited both images in Lightroom.  I used the Enlighten Presets: heavy metal as a base preset and then added contrast strong, edge darken slight, urban bliss, orange and yellow deepen. This took under 20 seconds to do one and sync with the other. I also edited 15 other images at the same time by syncing.
  2. I opened the two images in Photoshop. On the image of the original deer, you can see there were many dead blades of grass and even branches overlapping.  I removed those using the clone tool.
  3. Then I selected the deer using the lasso tool and the quick selection tools.  This takes practice and patience.  I have neither – so I could have likely done a more precise job…  Then I moved the deer into the snowy image.  I transformed the size and moved it around until it made sense in the image. I added a mask to finish cleaning up the selection and to make his feet melt into the snow so he looked grounded. I also lightened the deer and used a very slight Gaussian blur masked on just the deer to help it fit the new surroundings.

In the end this made for a more interesting image.  I posted this to Facebook and said that I did “something” in Photoshop.  Most could not guess, or thought I added snow.  Only one guessed it was the deer, and she said that it was only because the deer looked sharpener than she would have imagined.

The final image:


What are your thoughts?

Should photographers mess with what was really there?  Is it wrong to change what occurred?  Is it acceptable when it is art and not lifestyle photography?  Tell us what you think?


Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™
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Lightroom and Photoshop for a More Powerful Edit