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Thread: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

  1. #41
    MariaMaria's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Maria,
    Here in New Zealand Photoshop & Lightroom were close to $1500 to buy…..
    I agree, that is A LOT of money up-front to pay for a product and in that instance CC may be the better option. However, I can buy Lightroom for $79 here in the US and Photoshop Elements for $119. So for around $200 I can have both products indefinitely. I don't plan on purchasing every update of the stand alone software either. If I were to try LR and PS with CC for a year at $10, that's $120, so about a $60 difference, which wouldn't take to long to recover. But I would be making a continuous $120 commitment each year (or more depending on price changes). That does not appeal to me at this time. If I become a successful professional photographer with a consistent stream of income from a photo business my thoughts may change. But for right now, as a hobbyist/enthusiast, it's difficult for me to justify the monthly commitment.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by MariaMaria View Post
    I don't understand what this means
    Hi Maria,

    Editing in "Photoshop" is a 2 part process. In "Part 1" images (usually RAW images, but it'll handle JPEGs too) are opened in a program/plugin called ACR (Adobe Camera RAW). It's in ACR where initial post-processing starts -- it's where you adjust the exposure - reveal shadow detail - set clipping points - do colour correction etc. It's where you do 90% of the basic global adjustments to an image -- in fact, for many images, it'll do 100% of what's required.

    ACR works (essentially) by moving sliders; moving a slider has an effect on the image that you see, but moving the slider isn't actually changing the underlying image -- it's simply making a list that says "when you display this image, (a) change the colour temp to this, (b) change the exposure to this, (c) reveal this much shadow detail, (d) ..." The beauty of this approach (called parametric editing) is that if you change your mind and want to change something, it simply edits that value on the list -- so that the original image remains unaltered (you can open-edit-resave a millions times and it won't degrade the image). This is a great way to work - but the thing to keep in mind is - Lightroom uses EXACTLY the same engine and so works in EXACTLY the same way. The interface looks a bit different, but what it's doing under the hood (in terms of image editing) is identical.

    This is the important thing for people to understand - both ACR and LR only do "part 1" editing. "Part 2" is pixel based editing which is far more powerful; some photos need it, some don't. Case in point - you take a lovely photo but you need to remove a power pole; LR / ACR have only the crudest of crude tools for doing that - Photoshop can generally do that kind of thing with ease. Retouching a portrait you need to make a models eyes slightly larger -- LR / ACR can't do it. Period. The list of things Photoshop can do easily is a long one; the list of things LR / ACR can do is comparatively MUCH shorter. That doesn't make LR / ACR "bad" it just makes it limited. If LR / ACR still does all you need then great; for me it doesn't do anywhere near what I need - thus I use Photoshop.

    From a technical perspective (I won't go into detail), it's better for the image if adjustments that can be done in ACR are done in ACR (eg better to set the exposure & colour balance in ACR than it is to do it in Photoshop) (basically the reason is that doing adjustments in ACR doesn't degrade the image as much). Therefore, if you're doing everything in ACR that you can, that in-turn means that you're only doing the remaining things in Photoshop because they can't be done in ACR (or LR). You wouldn't adjust exposure, highlight recovery, white balance in Photoshop because they're best done in ACR - therefore what you do in Photoshop (ie "part 2") you're doing because those things CAN'T be done in ACR or LR. Or put more simply "Photoshop carries on from the point where LR and ACR stops"

    Does that start to make more sense?

    People who use only Lightroom are limited to only what LR can do; People who have Photoshop have the same image editing capability as LR (in ACR) but also a whole lot more. People often talk of Photoshop being a "steep learning curve"; yes - the reality is that it can be - but - only because it's doing more complicated things. If you're only doing the basic corrections that LR does then doing those in ACR is no more of a "steep curve" than doing them in LR; a little different perhaps (although not much), but no harder in my opinion.

    LR's strength is more in it's image cataloging and management compared to Photoshop - it's image editing ability is adequate for many people but thst part is still limited to what ACR does.

  3. #43

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by MariaMaria View Post
    I agree, that is A LOT of money up-front to pay for a product and in that instance CC may be the better option. However, I can buy Lightroom for $79 here in the US and Photoshop Elements for $119. So for around $200 I can have both products indefinitely. I don't plan on purchasing every update of the stand alone software either. If I were to try LR and PS with CC for a year at $10, that's $120, so about a $60 difference, which wouldn't take to long to recover. But I would be making a continuous $120 commitment each year (or more depending on price changes). That does not appeal to me at this time. If I become a successful professional photographer with a consistent stream of income from a photo business my thoughts may change. But for right now, as a hobbyist/enthusiast, it's difficult for me to justify the monthly commitment.
    I suspect a couple of things over a longer period of time:

    1. That you'll end up paying a not too dissimilar amount in the long run, but be getting a far more limited product.

    2. That you'll end up paying far more per day for other things in life that don't represent anywhere near the same value.

    That's how it was for me when I looked at it anyway (I actually did a comparison in another thread). When I looked at it that way I realised just how exceptional the value for money was. The reality is that it's been phenomenally successful way of them doing business.

    We had a low-key, relaxed, and enjoyable nuclear war about the whole subscription thing here:

    No more boxed Adobe apps/licenses

    ... if you're up for some light entertainment!

  4. #44

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Your comment about "not liking the idea of renting software" is a common one
    One reason it's common is that people fear that Adobe will raise the price after the introductory price that they advertise is for a "limited time" has concluded. I think the current price is going to go down, not up. Even so, Adobe is renowned as are almost all large marketing companies for misleading marketing. Understanding that, it's easy to appreciate why people don't like the idea of a subscription service.

    Here in New Zealand Photoshop & Lightroom were close to $1500 to buy- and now rather that cough up $1500 I can "rent them" for $20 a month (or 9.99 for the first year) (or some 66c per day). At those prices it would take around 6 years before I'd payed more over buying outright
    True, but there's another math. Maria can license Lightroom 5 for the cost of about one year's rental of Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC. Aside from the fact that Lightroom 5 might meet her needs for six years, she also has limited her financial obligations while at the same time can acquire a perpetual license that never expires.

    I also like to encourage people to put the "66c a day" into context of what else they spent money on - I know many who will spent $4.50 a day buying a cup of coffee. Which offers more value?
    I don't drink coffee but I'd be willing to bet that all the coffee-drinking addicts of the world would vote for the coffee.

    Mike suggested running with LR - just keep in mind that (a) Adobe have the LR and Photoshop CC bundle for the low cost
    It's a low cost only if you also need Photoshop CC regularly. If you need Elements only occasionally, it's a significantly higher cost, especially over long periods of rental payments.

    (b) Photoshop isn't "more complicated to use than LR"
    Its reputation is that it is a lot more complicated to use than Elements, which is why I recommended licensing Elements if and when she needs it. You're apparently ignoring that her stated goal is to minimize the extent of the learning curve at least for awhile. Licensing Photoshop CC clearly goes against that goal. Once we accept her goal as fact, it doesn't matter that Photoshop CC is more powerful.

    My suggestion is to just go for the LR + Photoshop bundle for $9.99 for a year and see how you like it - at the end of the year if you decide not to continue then all of your photos don't suddenly just "disappear".
    On the other hand, if she instead purchases the perpetual Lightroom license, for an extra $5 during that first year she can use it forever.

    It's really not the evil ogre that a few are trying to make it sound like -- which is why MILLIONS of people have subscribed to it.
    Keep in mind that the reason Adobe still offers perpetual licenses for Elements and Lightroom is because millions have not gone the subscription route. The fact that millions have or have not gone a particular route is completely unconvincing to me. While Adobe is offering a choice of both purchasing models, she should determine which one fits her needs the most.

  5. #45
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...Does that start to make more sense?
    YES!! Thank you for explaining it in that manner, I appreciate it . I think I have a much better idea of what LR and ACR (which I wasn't really sure what that was but now I do) can/cannot do and where PS is viewed as essential for some. Definitely more to consider long term… That movement towards CC and renting software is so annoying!!
    Last edited by MariaMaria; 11th May 2014 at 12:01 AM.

  6. #46
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by MariaMaria View Post
    I don't understand what this means



    Are you're saying that anything done in Photoshop cannot be accomplished in LR? I'm not following...
    Colin means that it's good practice to get as close as you can to what you want in the raw converter. In loose terms this is where you are starting to fit the dynamic range from the camera into what can be shown on a pc screen.

    This doesn't have anything to do with lightroom etc. I don't use them but it seems they all come with ACR which is Adobe's raw converter.

    Software tends to be split this way. As to what the raw converter adjustments basically are I outlined a couple of them in basic adjustments in Chistina's have problems with mountains thread. Your problem really is obtaining the vocabulary to handle them. Terms such as black points, white points, the curve or shape of how the tones vary between these, colour temperature and exposure compensation. Most raw converters automate most of these however messing about with them can be beneficial. They also usually have more than one mode of presentation - perceptual etc and options on high lights.

    Past this point comes post processing packages - fill lights, gradient filters, various forms of contrast adjustments, colour saturation etc etc etc. Some one said learning GIMP / PS is tough and then mentioned Elements. The main gain with elements is the ability to use layers. This is also one of the main gains with GIMP / PS. Making effective use of these in any of them is an acquired skill.

    I mentioned Rawtherapee earlier. A slightly different kettle of fish. It has the usual raw conversion tools but a whole host off other things as well. The danger with this type is using these other things before the basic raw conversion options have been adequately handled.

    Your best bet starting out for a simple life with Adobe is probably Lightroom, Getting ACR corrections right will take some time. I am not that familiar with Elements but my impression is that it will be easier to do a number of things with Lightroom than it will be with Elements. Later Elements or PS, hard to say because PS does have some automation that Elements probably doesn't have which mean more work and a greater understanding to achieve similar results.

    In your case actually I would be inclined to suggest the Nikon software initially. Even the with camera freebee has a bit of learning in it. The pay for one even more. Then you need something for local touch up when you are ready and can do no more with it. Not sure what each of the Adobe products offer in that respect so over to some one else. There is a need to brush all sorts of things over images at times. I'd guess PS is the only one that will do that. The others are likely to be limited but as I don't use them I don't know.

    John
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    One reason it's common is that people fear that Adobe will raise the price after the introductory price that they advertise is for a "limited time" has concluded. I think the current price is going to go down, not up. Even so, Adobe is renowned as are almost all large marketing companies for misleading marketing. Understanding that, it's easy to appreciate why people don't like the idea of a subscription service.
    So far they've offered a first year discount to entice people over to the subscription model (mine has just expired) and from then on in offered a model that does cost more, but is still ridiculously cheap for what people are getting. I'm probably a good case-in-point; for the first year I was paying AUD $29.95 for "Adobe Everything" - that first year expired last month and that went up to AUD $49.95. I think AUD $49.95 is pretty good value for access to many tens of thousands of dollars worth of cutting-edge software, but having just said that, I found that I wasn't using anything regularly apart from Photoshop, so I jumped onto the only support chat and was about to change it to Photoshop only for AUD $19.95 when she suggested I go for the LR/PS CC 1 year deal for AUD $9.95 per month (which I did). Even though they'll raise the price after a year, I don't believe (and have no reason to believe) that they're going to be price-gouging anyone anytime. Why would they when they don't need to? It just creates a rod for their own back on so many levels.


    True, but there's another math. Maria can license Lightroom 5 for the cost of about one year's rental of Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC. Aside from the fact that Lightroom 5 might meet her needs for six years, she also has limited her financial obligations while at the same time can acquire a perpetual license that never expires.



    I don't drink coffee but I'd be willing to bet that all the coffee-drinking addicts of the world would vote for the coffee.



    It's a low cost only if you also need Photoshop CC regularly. If you need Elements only occasionally, it's a significantly higher cost, especially over long periods of rental payments.



    Its reputation is that it is a lot more complicated to use than Elements, which is why I recommended licensing Elements if and when she needs it.



    On the other hand, if she instead purchases the perpetual Lightroom license, for an extra $5 during that first year she can use it forever.
    I don't deny it's a viable alternative; I've just found from my experience that the logic people apply at times like this just doesn't pan out that way in reality. In some ways it's like going to the movies; I think "they're charging $4 for a 1 scoop icecream - it's a rip-off - it doesn't make any logical sense to buy one" and yet when I get my ticket and they ask "is there anything else you'd like?" I usually add "oh - and an ice-cream too thanks". In that regards I think the reality is that if people buy the perpetual licence they'll end up not upgrading as often as they would probably benefit from - be stuck with a less capable product (that personally I don't think is any easier to use than PS CC) - and at some stage some will probably lose the lost because they don't backup (when they could be uploading finished images to the free cloud storge that Adobe offers with the subscription).

    Not saying "right or wrong" to anything you've written -- just saying that in the real world it's not as "black and white" as the initial logic might suggest.


    Keep in mind that the reason Adobe still offers perpetual licenses for Elements and Lightroom is because millions have not gone the subscription route. The fact that millions have or have not gone a particular route is completely unconvincing to me. While Adobe is offering a choice of both purchasing models, she should determine which one fits her needs the most.
    I've had a wonderful idea - I'm going to have a shower - get changed - and go fly my helicopters; something far more enjoyable that arguing about subscription models.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by MariaMaria View Post
    That movement towards CC and renting software is so annoying!!
    Some seem to feel that way, but personally I feel that the positives outweigh the negatives by a HUGE margin.

    Thinking about it, it's a win/win:

    - People get to use cutting-edge software without having to stump-up large amounts of cash

    - They get access to regular updates that they would have had to buy

    - The company developing the product gets a regular income stream to continue development (and additional savings through less investment in marketing and advertising)

    - When people look at it in the context of everyday expenses, it's trivial some of my case-in-points;

    * I currently pay Adobe around 40c a day for Photoshop.

    * I currently spend around $35 a day on food.

    * I currently pay the bank around $110 a day to pay off my house ahead of schedule

    ... and a million other things. Honestly, of all the things that I pay for each week (insurances, food, taxes, rents, electricity, and a zillion other things), Photoshop is "statistically insignificant" (heck, the money I've lost by not working for the time I've spent on this thread alone would have paid the subscription for several years) (and I'm serious about that last point). My personal suggestion to many folks is to not waste time over-analysing something this trivial and just do it; I very much doubt it would be anything they'd regret once they realised the value for money that they were getting.

    Not everyone will agree with me though.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    * I currently pay Adobe around 40c a day for Photoshop.
    * I currently spend around $35 a day on food.
    * I currently pay the bank around $110 a day to pay off my house ahead of schedule
    For the record, neither of the last two choices is analogous to the first choice.

    Add to that that the only thing that matters is how much you spend on wine.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Add to that that the only thing that matters is how much you spend on wine.
    I agree - you just can't beat the wine (sic) of a pair of blades (which incidentally have cost more recently than all of the above mentioned items added together!)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UIMN0bfaos

  11. #51
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Looks like fun!

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by MariaMaria View Post
    Looks like fun!
    Fun and terrifying - in pretty equal proportions!

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Maria,

    Now that you have decided that you want to avoid a long, steep learning curve, I recommend starting out with Lightroom. There are a few things that you won't be able to do with it but at this point in your learning curve that limitation will be very slight and probably rare. Even when you do eventually come upon a situation that requires a capability it doesn't have such as using layers, you can then license Elements relatively inexpensively. In other words, you would hand the image off to Elements after having done everything that can be done using Lightroom.

    The primary advantages of using Lightroom all of the time and Elements only occasionally when it comes to your decision about the learning curve are:
    • Lightroom is a RAW converter; if you were to start out with Elements, which is not a converter, you would also have to learn how to use ACR (not so with Lightroom)
    • Using the workflow described above, you will only need to learn how to use the specific capability in Elements that is needed, not the entire program.

    Perhaps my best recommendation: I have the impression from following the threads that almost everyone who becomes relatively serious about their post-processing eventually ends up changing their mind about which software app or combination of software apps to use. That's not due to lack of forethought. So, make the best decision you can make now and don't be disappointed a few years from now if you come upon a different approach that seems to be a better fit for you.
    I am not sure what this means. Elements contains ACR as a plug-in. As such, it is a functioning raw processor that is a part of the overall program. One opens one's raw file in ACR and, upon completing as much processing as possible, moves the image to the Elements editing screen. I am not sure how learning to use the ACR in Elements is any more or less of a problem than learning to process raw images in Lightroom. It is actually easier because the ACR in Elements is a simplified version from that in Lightroom and Photoshop. The op has obviously decided on Lightroom. I just wanted to clarify this bit.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Larry,

    Just to clarify from my perspective. The "Develop" module in Lightroom does have ACR at its core, but it also has a wide range of other capabilities to achieve parametrically and non-destructively effects that you would achieve using the "Elements" facilities in PSE. The result is that you have one consistent interface to do all your processing, and that is quite different from doing your Raw and subsequent processing in PSE (I do have both products). A side effect is that processing any flavour of RAW, jpeg , TIFF, or whatever looks and works in exactly the same way. You may prefer one to the other, but I can promise that at least for me the "user experience" is quite different.

    Dave

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brev00 View Post
    I am not sure how learning to use the ACR in Elements is any more or less of a problem than learning to process raw images in Lightroom.
    Using Elements and ACR requires learning two software apps. Using Lightroom requires learning one software app.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    It is an interesting debate. We have both Photoshop (via Adobe CS on line) and Lightroom 5 available (as well as Aperture). I prefer PS with Bridge, my wife prefers LR5. For a pro, who wants a lot of editing flexibility sometimes. PS wins hands down. For an amateur who just wishes to process and catalogue raw images, LR5 is pretty good and rather cheap.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
    It is an interesting debate. We have both Photoshop (via Adobe CS on line) and Lightroom 5 available (as well as Aperture). I prefer PS with Bridge, my wife prefers LR5. For a pro, who wants a lot of editing flexibility sometimes. PS wins hands down. For an amateur who just wishes to process and catalogue raw images, LR5 is pretty good and rather cheap.
    It looks like you and I and our respective wives have the same approach to PP. The only distiction is that I get to tweak her shots when she runs into something that is difficult or impossible to do in LR.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    I may get to tweak things, but it is rarely her photographs.

    The problem I have is that she is a better photographer (she has "the eye") and I am a better technician. I would gladly swap my skills for hers. It is much easier to find the technician than the artist.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Larry,

    Just to clarify from my perspective. The "Develop" module in Lightroom does have ACR at its core, but it also has a wide range of other capabilities to achieve parametrically and non-destructively effects that you would achieve using the "Elements" facilities in PSE. The result is that you have one consistent interface to do all your processing, and that is quite different from doing your Raw and subsequent processing in PSE (I do have both products). A side effect is that processing any flavour of RAW, jpeg , TIFF, or whatever looks and works in exactly the same way. You may prefer one to the other, but I can promise that at least for me the "user experience" is quite different.

    Dave
    A bit of clarification:

    Although PSE has ACR, it's a cut-down version of ACR limited to only the first 2 or 3 tabs. The ACR that comes with PS CC has all 9 tabs available. LR has the equivalent of all 9 tabs available (they're just presented in a difference manner).

    Whether anyone would use the other tabs in ACR is the $6,000,000 question; many don't. Probably the only one I use regularly would be the gradient tool (not sure if that's on a tab or not - I just hit "G" to activate it).

    For what it's worth - personally - I found the user experience of LR atrocious; it's UI makes me want to drive off the top of a cliff. In contrast, I find the ACR interface ruthlessly efficient.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Using Elements and ACR requires learning two software apps. Using Lightroom requires learning one software app.
    That's a bit misleading though, as learning ACR is trivial, and in my opinion, the catalog management side (and other parts) of LR is/are uber-confusing. On the other hand - assuming that one doesn't use the cataloging "features" of PSE then the straight open - edit - save traditional work-flow is far easier to grasp. I'm a fairly tech-savvy person (I do it for a living!) and I found it hard to make LR do what I wanted; it was just too easy to click in the wrong place or do something behind the scenes and end up with something broken.

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