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Thread: When is an editor not an editor

  1. #1
    davidedric's Avatar
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    When is an editor not an editor

    From time to time I read a post that says something like

    "Lightroom is not an editor, it's a catalogue with some tools"

    I know there are lots of "editors" with different characteristics and different devotees (even if it hasn't quite got to the Canon / Nikon stand off yet), but don't they all have the same end in view.

    Does the name really matter?

    Dave

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    All of us have our preferences for editing tools, so maybe the answer to the OP varies with the person.

    Myself:

    Sigma Photo Pro is not an editor (no crop tool)
    FastStone Viewer ditto (no color picker)
    PhotoPad ditto (no color management)

    RawTherapee is an editor by my criteria, even though it's cranky and doesn't do layers.

    PSE 6 barely qualifies but OK for quick and dirty stuff.

    My 2c-worth.

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    And there are Raw Converters with tools. For example Canon DPP, Raw Therapee, Adobe ACR and quite a few more.

    For some people, this is all they want. But I usually want to do a little more with layers and masks, etc. But there are a lot of options in CS5 which I have never used.

    It can get a bit confusing though when deciding what to purchase for your first 'editing software'.

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Does the name really matter?
    Didn't somebody famous once say something about a rose by any other name..?

    No, the name doesn't matter. However, its functionality does, because it's a tool. A wood carver will have dozens of chisels. Why? Because a carver has the skill to exploit the subtleties each tool has to offer and thus produce the desired result.

    There are lots of photo editing tools... you can complete the analogy yourself.

    Ken

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    "Lightroom is not an editor, it's a catalogue with some tools"
    If using Lightroom allows you to create the images that you 'see' in your head and you are happy with them, then it's an editor. If it doesn't (assuming you have worked hard at learning how to use it), then it's not a good enough editor ... for you!

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    I would say that for most people, Lightroom 1 would probably not have passed muster as an editor as the tools were extremely limited. Adobe has continued to add functionality over the years, and while I continue to find it lacking some key functionality, so for many people it probably has more power than they need.

    For me, layers are a must have, as are clipping masks and vector masks. I use "content aware" functionality all the time. Some of my mainstays, like selection tools (especially the pen tool) are missing, so I find it totally too limited to do anything other than tweaking an image; major surgery is difficult or impossible to do.

    I don't think I could come up with anything like this in Lightroom:

    When is an editor not an editor

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Lightroom has camera profiles, white balance adjustments, cropping, numerous tonality and contrast adjustments, clone and healing tools, vibrance and saturation adjustments, color balance adjustments, powerful black and white conversion capabilities, good creative and output sharpening, an excellent clarity adjustment tool, excellent noise reduction, and a good vignetting tool. I'm probably forgetting some other editing functions, since I am not sitting in front of LR at the moment. Aren't those editing tools? Yes, it lacks some editing tools that photoshop has, most importantly, masks. Nonetheless, if you exclude stacking, I can complete editing of easily 80%, probably 90+%, in LR alone. That certainly makes it an editor in my book. No, the name doesn't matter, but I don't think it makes sense to say that LR is not an editor.

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I don't think I could come up with anything like this in Lightroom:

    When is an editor not an editor
    No you couldn't. Compositing cannot be done in Lightroom. Lightroom's editing functionality is targeted at correcting and enhancing single images. If you need to make composite images you need layers.
    I've been jumped on before for observing that LR is a tool for photographers, and PS is a tool for designers. IMHO your excellent image exemplifies the point.
    Cheers
    Tim

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Tomato tomato.

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Lightroom is very good for a lot of people who do not want a full blown editor. As such it belongs with the inferior multitude as opposed to Paint Shop Pro, Gimp, and Photoshop .... have not seen a current version of PSE but it was not really there last time I looked and early versions were pathetic But people tend to like what they started and developed with. I enjoy working with MS Paint which came with my Windows 3.1.1 for the simple tasks it does so well

    Note ... I remember my introduction to editing with Paint and blocking out a background around somebody pixel by pixel It fired my enthusiasm for the digital business after some experience in the fume room[s].

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Is it fair to say LR is for photographers, and Photoshop CS is for photographers who are also like graphic arts. Basically what Tim stated.
    Just my two cents worth.


    Bruce

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital View Post
    Is it fair to say LR is for photographers, and Photoshop CS is for photographers who are also like graphic arts. Basically what Tim stated.
    Just my two cents worth.Bruce
    I remember similar comments suggesting that Photoshop was for photographers becuase of the 'Photo' in its name as opposed to Paint Shop Pro
    In fact even Corel succumbed to this as I have a box entitled "Paint Shop Photo" and in smaller letters "Pro X3" which when it arrived confused me and I though I had bought some inferior product instead of v.13 of PSP
    It had only cost me US$15 plus P&P from Amazon hence my unfounded suspicions

    This discussion has been ongoing for quite a time.

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Is it fair to say LR is for photographers, and Photoshop CS is for photographers who are also like graphic arts
    No, I don't think so. I use Photoshop for edits to my images that I can't do in Lightroom. To give one simple example, I shoot a lot of flowers against a black background. If the lighting is wrong, the background won't be a true black. The cleanest way to fix this is to create a duplicate layer in photoshop or another editor that does selections, select only the background (easy to do in photoshop because it will select by color), and then use a levels adjustment to black out the selection. Can't do that in Lightroom, which is what I use for the great bulk of my editing. This certainly does not make me someone who likes graphic arts. It just means I have mottled gray backgrounds.

    Personally, I find such efforts to categorize--like this, and the "Lightroom is not an editor" Dave quoted in the first post--unhelpful. Different software offers photographers different tools. Use the mix that best serves your needs. That is all that matters. That mix will vary depending on what you shoot and what you want the final image to look like.

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    For a completely different view of the OP's question being asked, I was brought up that post-processing software apps should be categorized according to the two types of capabilities -- pixel editing and pixel adjusting. Pixel editing refers to removing and copying pixels. Pixel adjusting refers to leaving the pixels in place and making adjustments to them.

    All software that I have heard of that can edit pixels can also adjust them, so that type of software would be called a pixel editor or simply an editor. Not all software that can adjust pixels can edit them, so software that can only adjust pixels is not called an editor. As an example, my primary post-processing software is Nikon Capture NX2. Its pixel-editing capability is limited to a type of clone tool that is mostly like a spot-healing tool that is not content-aware. So, I would not call that software an editor.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 20th July 2013 at 03:03 PM.

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    ... If the lighting is wrong, the background won't be a true black. The cleanest way to fix this is to create a duplicate layer in photoshop or another editor that does selections, select only the background (easy to do in photoshop because it will select by color), and then use a levels adjustment to black out the selection. Can't do that in Lightroom, which is what I use for the great bulk of my editing.
    Dan, you might be interested in this 'before' and 'after' done completely in Lightroom.

    before When is an editor not an editor

    after When is an editor not an editor


    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    This certainly does not make me someone who likes graphic arts. It just means I have mottled gray backgrounds.
    Haven't we all!

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    Personally, I find such efforts to categorize--like this, and the "Lightroom is not an editor" Dave quoted in the first post--unhelpful. Different software offers photographers different tools. Use the mix that best serves your needs. That is all that matters. That mix will vary depending on what you shoot and what you want the final image to look like.
    Couldn't agree more.

    Cheers

    Tim

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Thanks for the interesting exchanges. As the OP I suppose I should add my view, which unsurprisingly is one of those above.

    I see pp as taking the images(s) that we have in front of us to the image(s) that we want. That may be to create what we saw when we took the picture, to produce something very creative (such as Manfred's example), or for a host of other reasons.

    We also have different needs and expectations, different skills levels, different amounts of time we are prepared to invest, different budgets, different views on the commercial models of software producers, and so on. There is a plethora of tools to choose from.

    So, I would refer to those tools as "editors", and recognise that there are horses for courses. Maybe discourses along the lines of "this is what I want to achieve, what tools (editors) would you recommend" would be interesting.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    Manfred:

    Very effective and creative piece of work - you are making me re-think my not using PS.

    Glenn

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: When is an editor not an editor

    I've had this conversation with about half a dozen commercial photographers I know, and half of them never use Lightroom. These photographers specialize in product, nature, glamour & fashion , etc, where standard portrait and wedding photography is a very tiny part of their business.

    The wedding photographers use Lightroom for their "bulk" images; i.e. small prints and for CD / DVD. They use it because it is the only effective way for them to assemble an album with over 1000 images. That being said, they also told me that any large prints (A2 / 8"x10") and larger all are done in Photoshop.

    I don't know if this is representative of the industry, but it does make sense. Shoot a company CEO's portrait for the annual report or a product for a publication, you don't have the tools in Lightroom to do the job. I have been told that art directors for magazines, advertising material and catalogues are very detail oriented.

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