Photoshop or Lightroom?

Frankly speaking, the question was raised incorrectly: as you have already understood from what was written above, the goals of both programs are different. Photoshop aims for slow, deep work with a single image, while Lightroom, on the contrary, focuses on quickly processing and styling large blocks of photos and photo shoots, when most of the work has already been done at the time of shooting: by light or event – and only basic color correction is required.

Usually, the job of a wedding planner, for example, is to select and process about 100-200 frames (out of 400-1000 shots) within a week, and make up a photo book from the selected ones, so LR is the best fit for them. Approximately the same way they prepare the portfolio of models shot in the studio. At the same time, if a photographer shoots an idea in the studio, he can choose only one of the hundreds of shots and spend a lot of time in Photoshop – it doesn’t matter if it’s complex retouching with overlaying frames on top of each other or working with textures, as well as retro stylization. Perhaps that is why the developer himself does not strongly separate programs to the sides – there is always the “Edit in Photoshop” option as a standard item in Lightroom.

A common confusion in the selection problem is the attempt to compare actions in Photoshop and presets in Lightroom. This comparison is incorrect, because a preset is just a complex of about 20 (maximum) standard Lightroom settings for color correction of an image, and an action is a set of almost any Photoshop commands, including even plug-ins. At the same time, standardization allows Lightroom to work very quickly – tools are at hand, presets are easily accessible, and all commands are within the scroll and mouse click. But in Photoshop, each RAW frame must be opened through an external module (Camera RAW or the same Lightroom), which does not make it very useful when editing large volumes of images. In other words, Photoshop is more of a creative tool, while Lightroom is more of a craft tool, without which you won’t make a lot of money.

If you shoot everything in RAW, and print or publish photos with little or no editing, and the only method of image editing is to cover up skin imperfections or objects that accidentally fell into the frame (dust on the matrix, as an option), cropping or drawing blue eyes on the subject, it is unlikely you need something other than Lightroom.

If you are engaged in deep editing and retouching of photos, but shoot a little and process 1-2 frames per day at a leisurely pace (and even less than 7-10 frames per week), one Photoshop is enough for you.

But if you shoot a lot and deeply process some frames, there is a high probability that you will need both tools: Lightroom for selection, organization and basic color correction, and Photoshop for editing and retouching. Of course, this is a lot of money, but if you don’t earn big money with it, you can find analogues: the same Gimp will successfully replace Photoshop, however, free converters for RAW files will be a rather weak crutch for LR.