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Thread: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

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    Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Hello

    I currently use Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, but am wondering if there are any benefits in also having/using Lightroom 4 as well? Any thoughts, advice or comments warmly welcomed.

    Many thanks.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    They are different objects.

    PSE offers a reduced set of PS capabilities but it is a photo editing software. PS/PSE do not understand, and cannot use RAW files directly. They are first developed, i.e., converted, using the ACR plug-in.

    LR, on the contrary, develops RAW data, with a little capability of photo editing. LR can be seen as a UI for Camera Raw.

    While LR offers a (growing) capability of photo editing, the editing done in LR and PS/PSE are different.
    In the first case they are basically developing instructions to be applied to the RAW data when producing the final printable Jpeg or Tiff version. So you do not modify the original RAW data. PS/PSE work on the developed Jpeg or Tiff, and actually modify the Jpeg or Tiff data. So LR editing is not destructive while PS/PSE it is.

    Bridge, which I think it is shipped with PSE, is basically a file browser. LR uses an internal database, and it is really a superb product for pictures organization and handling. Especially if you have to handle a large number of pictures.

    I shot Raw so my usual PP workflow is to use LR for picture handling, developing, and some basic editing. Then the file is shipped to PS/PSE for fine tuning picture editing, and then back to LR for archiving and printing.

    As a final word I can say that they work really well together, and offer a powerful PP workflow. But, unless you do not need the specific capabilities of one or of the other, they can well live alone.

    Andrea

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Hi David,

    If you are considering LightRoom, I would also recommend looking at Aftershot Pro from Corel.
    Aftershot Pro works much the same way as Kris has described LR above, but it feels faster when comparing the two. It has a nice feature for allow you to edit certain area's of your picture via layers (which you can keep moving around and perfecting their placement) without having to install any plugins, and the noise reduction is 2nd-to-none leaving LR standing.

    It supports other plugins if you want extra features but it comes out of the box with just about everything you can need. Like LR it is non-destructive as well, meaning you are left with an untouched raw file, and the XMP file which contains all the editing history you have on the photo.

    LR and PSE are great tools, but don't disregards other options out there just because you've seen LR talked about everywhere. I believe Aftershot Pro is cheaper to, and works across Win/Linux/Mac.

    If you want the power of a photoshop style app, I'd recommend you get GIMP. Using this along side an application such as ASP or LR gives you a lot of power (more than any one will ever use) and it's free.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Andrea, Rob, many thanks for the detailed and informative replies, they are very useful, thank you.

    Rob, I hadn't heard of or come across Aftershot Pro, but will definately have a look at it as an alternative candidate.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    I have PSE9 and, as of a few months ago, LR4. I do not have to edit to professional standards, but I have found I can do pretty much anything I want to in LR. It is so much more than a "UI for camera RAW". I have also found it intuitive, and that it quickly produces the desired results. The non-destructive editing is also great to have. If you haven't already done so I'd download the free trial, have a look at one or two of the free web videos, and have a go. I can't comment on GIMP or the Corel tools. Dave, another north westerner

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Hi David

    The best way to find out about LR4 is to download the 30 day free trial.

    However bear in mind that you already have some of the LR4 editing capability in the ACR component of Elements 11. ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) opens up if you open up a raw file. After processing the raw file, you can then open it in the main PSE editor for further work. However you can also open a jpeg in ACR as shown in this link.

    The functionality in ACR is the same as in LR but does not include all features of LR4. The main detail screen and the sharpening screen are both there though.

    The other aspect of LR4 is it's organising capability which a lot of people seem to like. It's not something I need or have looked at closely but I believe it is a lot better than the organising component of PSE.

    Dave

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidM61 View Post
    Hello

    I currently use Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, but am wondering if there are any benefits in also having/using Lightroom 4 as well? Any thoughts, advice or comments warmly welcomed.

    Many thanks.
    Hi David,

    What do you need to achieve? What do you shoot? How often? What happens to the images?

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Many thanks to all for the information, comments and advice. Very much appreciated, and useful. I have just ordered a copy of Lightroom 4.

    Colin, I shoot mainly in RAW, and my normal subject areas are wildlife, landscapes and macro work. I need an efficent catologue system, a good RAW processing system and something that is non destructive to the original - hence my leaning to Lightroom.

    Many thanks.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidM61 View Post

    Colin, I shoot mainly in RAW, and my normal subject areas are wildlife, landscapes and macro work. I need an efficent catologue system, a good RAW processing system and something that is non destructive to the original - hence my leaning to Lightroom.
    Sounds like LR might be the ticket for you -- so long as you can accomplish all you need with only parametric based editing tools. Incidentally, if you're shooting RAW then all post-processing programs are non-destructive (none of them will write back to a RAW format file, although LR, PS (ACR), and PSE (ACR) will add the parametric data to a DNG file, but it's completely reverseable.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Sounds like LR might be the ticket for you -- so long as you can accomplish all you need with only parametric based editing tools. Incidentally, if you're shooting RAW then all post-processing programs are non-destructive (none of them will write back to a RAW format file, although LR, PS (ACR), and PSE (ACR) will add the parametric data to a DNG file, but it's completely reverseable.
    I thought the practice is to convert the RAW file to a workable TIFF, keep the RAW intact. There are very few plugins that can modify a RAW file anyway.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    David, after some preliminary research I too went with Elements as my choice of editing software. As I developed some skills I found ViewNX to take care of most of what I needed for basic adjustment. As you are probably aware, modifications with Elements and ViewNX are global unless you use masking which increases your work on the shot and is very time consuming to get the results just right. I added Lightroom because of the brushes. You can simply "paint" the effects available just on the area you want and then make adjustments very easily with sliders. I have no need for the organizing aspects of LR but that is an individual thing you can look at yourself. I've put this suggestion in other treads--- Go through all the lessons here http://www.slrlounge.com/ then download the 30 day trial and jump right in.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Actually, I agree with Andrew in having no need for the organizing capability of either Lightroom or PSE. In fact, it seemed like the "forced' organization of those programs seemed to fight me. However, I can now use them to an advantage. I actually, purchased Lightroom (at a great educational discount while a student) because I could use the NIK software suite in Lightroom at a less expensive price than buying a Photoshop Copy. (the NIK was also an educational version at a great price)

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I thought the practice is to convert the RAW file to a workable TIFF, keep the RAW intact. There are very few plugins that can modify a RAW file anyway.
    A PSD is my personal preference. The only normal occasion where an "original" would be over-written by practically any program is if it's shot as a JPEG.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    A PSD is my personal preference. The only normal occasion where an "original" would be over-written by practically any program is if it's shot as a JPEG.
    Yes, I think PSE defaults to PSD as a saving option after editing.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Many thanks to all for the replies and comments. My copy of Lightroom 4 arrived today, so I will be looking to explore and get to grips with it over the weekend.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Now that you have Lightroom, you will probably be overwhelmed. The next question you might want to ask is what book or DVD would be useful. I can recommend Laura Shoe's and George Jardine's videos.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidM61 View Post
    Many thanks to all for the replies and comments. My copy of Lightroom 4 arrived today, so I will be looking to explore and get to grips with it over the weekend.
    Because - by default - it only stores edit info in it's own database, I'd STRONGLY suggest changing the preferences to also write the edits to the image files (assuming DNG format - preferred) or to an XMP sidecar file -- that way if your database gets partly screwed up and you don't pick it up before it works its way through all your backup sets, you won't lose any work. And by the way, you are backing up regularly aren't you?

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Because - by default - it only stores edit info in it's own database, I'd STRONGLY suggest changing the preferences to also write the edits to the image files (assuming DNG format - preferred) or to an XMP sidecar file -- that way if your database gets partly screwed up and you don't pick it up before it works its way through all your backup sets, you won't lose any work. And by the way, you are backing up regularly aren't you?
    Thanks for that tip Colin, appreciated. Yes, I have double backups of everything, plus a mirror image of my desktop PC on my laptop. Hopefully from one of them, should disaster ever strike, I should be able to recover everything.

    Alandb, yes indeed, vidoe tutorials and, or a book will probably be useful. Thanks.

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidM61 View Post
    Thanks for that tip Colin, appreciated. Yes, I have double backups of everything, plus a mirror image of my desktop PC on my laptop. Hopefully from one of them, should disaster ever strike, I should be able to recover everything.
    That's the potentially BIG issue with a single database holding all your edits though ... because it's a dynamic entity, you can't just "restore to a known good copy" with impunity. For example, if you get a situation where a corruption makes 6 months worth of old edits inaccessible - but because they're old edits you don't realise it until you've overwritten all your backup sets with the corrupted data - you're screwed.

    Conversely - if you have to restore a database from a backup that's 12 months old then you're going to potentially lose all edits that you've done past that point (there are work arounds for sure, but if the edits are stored in the image file in the first place then you can restore any image at any time with total impunity).

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    Re: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and, or Lightroom 4 - Which one or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    That's the potentially BIG issue with a single database holding all your edits though ... because it's a dynamic entity, you can't just "restore to a known good copy" with impunity. For example, if you get a situation where a corruption makes 6 months worth of old edits inaccessible - but because they're old edits you don't realise it until you've overwritten all your backup sets with the corrupted data - you're screwed.

    Conversely - if you have to restore a database from a backup that's 12 months old then you're going to potentially lose all edits that you've done past that point (there are work arounds for sure, but if the edits are stored in the image file in the first place then you can restore any image at any time with total impunity).
    Every time you backup LR catalog, a new backup file is created with the backup date showing as part of the file name. Unless you deliberately deleted these backup files, you should be able to go back to the file prior to where the corruption occurs.

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