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Friday, 23 March 2012


I know this will confirm, if there ever was any doubt, my lack of seriousness about post processing, but does using Photoshop Elements count as using Photoshop in your poll?



I downloaded it last night and printed an image quickly with the epson printer profiles and the moab paper profiles. The what I saw on the screen and what printed out was by far better than what I have been getting since CS4. I am going to reprint some pictures to test it some more this weekend but I definitely see an improvement.

The poll questions don't include my answer, which is that I use both Lightroom and Photoshop heavily. You can convert, correct, and crop photos much more efficiently in Lightroom than in Photoshop, but for detailed retouching, color work in LAB mode, corrections requiring masks and layers, and other things I do all the time, Photoshop is essential and unsurpassed.

As usual, a poll can hide a lot.

For instance, I do quite a bit of my editing in Lightroom, but I've found that my "better" images (more important ones?) start out in Lightroom for cataloging purposes, but are sent to PhotoShop for most of the work. That's in part because I want to create layers and Smart Objects and have better control over what some plugins do via PhotoShop than Lightroom. So how would I answer your Poll? ;-)

As an aside, once again those of us who use both Adobe editing products are asked to empty our wallets to maintain compatibility. Right now, I'm stuck in that limbo between Lightroom 4 (with it's new Raw process model) and PhotoShop CS5.

Maybe you should have included GIMP, Corel PaintShop and Photoshop Elements to round out the field?

But I believe you're right; a lot of photographers can do much of what they need in terms of image editing in Lightroom.

Because of the high price Adobe commands for PS, many people (including astrophotographers) I know use GIMP, Photoshop Elements or Lightroom.

GIMP is free and a lot of people use it for that reason. Besides, PS has become a real resource hog, not to mention being a hog on ones wallet.

Now that the price differential between Lightroom and Photoshop has widened even further, for most of us it really doesn't make sense to buy Photoshop anymore.

Photoshop CS5 Extended: $999
Photoshop CS5 Regular: $699
Photoshop Lightroom 4: $149

I think that says it all right there.

Pixlr.com and Gimp (on linux) pretty much cover my bases these days, for free. Used to own photoshop light (whatever they called it) but didnt feel like re-buying all the time (computer/OS changes, etc).

I looked for the option "I use Photoshop as my main image editor...but I have hated it in the past, hate it now, and always will hate it as an inelegant, ugly, unsatisfying pile of bloatware" but I didn't see it.


Like many, I'm sure, my image workflow includes both Lightroom and Photoshop for each finished image. I use Lightroom to sort, select and pre-process and then use Photoshop for more specific enhancements.

I've always been daunted by the prices. I use free tools (gimp and Nikon's terrible software) while cursing the darkness.

Dear Mike,

I think that comment was meant as a joke, not a slag-- I sincerely doubt any of your readers would be treating a BETA release of an expected product as a headline-maker.

pax / Ctein

The only time I've used Photoshop was for school. I mainly used Linux through college and used Gimp for editing photos and Digikam for organizing them. A year or two ago I built a Windows desktop for my wife and ended up putting Lightroom on it. I like the ease of use compared to Gimp (being able to tag, sort, and edit in one program is a plus) and am perfectly happy with the results I'm getting with it and have never even considered "upgrading" to Photoshop. I don't really enjoy post-processing anyway, so the simpler (and cheaper) the better for me.

Increasing dissatisfaction with software company governance made me switch to Linux a few months ago. I have since become a user of The Gimp, which I find quite a bit nicer and easier to use than it's often made out to be.

That said, I was a mild Lightroom/Photoshop user at best. I haven't missed them much so far.

If you shoot film and scan, I think you pretty much have to use photoshop. That goes from Epson Scan-> Photoshop (cropping, dusting, curves, sharpening) -> Lightroom (occasional tweaking and outputting).

Digital images, I usually go to photoshop for more extensive curves and for doing burning and dodging with layer masks. Like if I were doing a wedding, I'd be using photoshop minimally. A portrait I was really into, I might be all over it.

The only real improvement in photoshop I would give a cr4p about would be for them to fix the ridiculously poor print engine (same for lightroom). Why they can't get that straight, I have no idea. It's an absolute mess, and has been for as long as I've been using them.

One of the primary reasons I never moved to Lightroom (or Aperture, or DXO, or...) from Photoshop is the ever increasing power of Adobe Bridge (along with ACR) to organize and present my terabytes of photos. Like you, I only use Photoshop for local corrections, but because I can do most of those corrections on "Smart Objects" in the 'Shop, I never lose the (relative) simplicity of ACR.

Very Interesting that, at this point, all three categories are within 5 percentage points of each other. Personally, I use a Bridge>ACR>Photoshop workflow and am perfectly happy with it. There may be something better out there, but I'd rather spend my money, attention, and time on pictures, printing and presentation.

I use CS3 mainly for B&W processing (dodging, working on little areas to increase or decrease contrast, burning more or less what I used to do in the wet darkroom) both for digital files or scans of B&W films. For colors I mainly use LR3 which I anyway use for archival purposes.
The combination of the two works well, IMO.

I like using Photoshop for those precise retouches that can't be done in Lightroom, but alas, Photoshop costs over a thousand bucks in my country (equivalent price in B&H is $600). I'm every now and then thinking that I should have some income from photography to justify those sorts of expenses. As of now, my version of PS is old and I think the price is a big hurdle for the amateurs out there.

I find, in my own experience and in the circle of photographic-friends that I have (mostly wedding & portrait togs), that people who aren’t using Lightroom are people who haven’t tried it or given it a good shakedown. If you’re a low-volume photographer, sure, I suppose that’s reasonable. If you’re a high-volume photographer, not using the tools at your disposal to maximize your speed-of-throughput is putting you at a disadvantage. Friends I have who have truly maximized their workflow don’t even use LR for inject & cull; PhotoMechanic is much faster. LR for basic edits and then PS for specific images that are getting printed large and/or put into the portfolio, and could use the extra work.

Horses for courses, of course. 

"Seems to me most photographers have switched to Lightroom."

If Lightroom had a Layers tool, I might consider switching.

I don't think Adobe will add Layers. It has to keep some major differences between the two products, or their cash cow (Photoshop) will become less attractive.



After trying Lightroom, and PSE, I settled with Aperture. I like the idea that its developed by the same people that develop my computer, Apple. Don't know if that is a real benefit, but I like the 'native' feel of Aperture on my Mac. And picture quality is fine, since I don't spend any time pixel peeping.

I find it hard to switch from my long used Bridge/Photoshop workflow, but I really like LR4. I find myself using both, "developing" my Raw files in LR, going to PS for blending exposures, stitching panoramas and the like, then going back to LR for printing.

I REALLY like printing from LR.

I wanted to make the final move from film to digital printing so I took a class last year on digital printing that used Photoshop with Bridge and ACR. I improved my workflow but my home computer was too old and wimpy for Photoshop (it couldn't even handle PS Elements).
To at least get the photos in a more organized state, I tried Lightroom 3 and it was a revelation. It runs reasonable well and I can take a more organized approach to photo-editing. Eventually I'll get a new computer and i *may* buy a future version of Photoshop, but for now Lightroom handles most stuff and for a few tweeks I've used Pixelmator.

I'm using Photoshop (with Bridge for asset management) because it's rather better suited than Lightroom is to my low-volume film workflow and the content aware healing brush makes spotting (my main post-processing chore) a breeze.

If GIMP could handle 16-bit color and didn't strip IPTC data (a bug which is now over 10 years old) I'd use it instead. Frankly I've given up waiting for either of those features to finally show up.

Won't be upgrading PS either, though. It's already way more than sufficient for my needs. Actually it's total overkill for what I do with it, sort of akin to using nuclear weapons to toast marshmallows. Elements seems like it would be a much closer fit to my needs. Mind you, so would selling the computer and using the proceeds to build a darkroom.

I use Lightroom to import and organize (ha!) my photos, correct basic exposure and white balance and so forth, but on the pictures that matter, I generally later import them into Photoshop for the finishing touches. I think this is probably fairly typical usage..?

I'm an amateur, and have used Photoshop exclusively for about 10 years now. Love it, and would be lost without it.

I use Lightroom from import to print. The only time I use Photoshop anymore is for skin retouching, but, I shut down my little studio, so I don't do a lot of that these days.

My workflow is 90% Lightroom 10% Photoshop and plugins (SilverFX, etc). Importing, Raw conversion, tagging / rating, most adjustments, printing & exporting are well handled by Lightroom. Deep dive adjustments and Pano's are sent to Photoshop. Works well for me.

I was an avid 100% Photoshop user for years, learned all my image editing skills with Photoshop. When Aperture came out, I gave it a try. I liked Aperture, but still used Photoshop to edit images.

Fast forward to today, when I set up my new computer, I decided not to re-install any software that I don't use any longer. I haven't touched photoshop for more than 3 years, as Aperture does very nicely all post-processing I usually do, which isn't very much, I admit. I long tuned out of Adobe's update cycle.

It might be that I have lost interest in excessive image manipulation over the years.

perhaps Ps and Lr (for those cool people that can work with two letters) are becoming the film and digital cameras equivalent. while some people will just go for the convenience of digital, some things can only be achieved with Ps/film — like medium format results for those of us that can't get there digitally.

there are some aspects of a presentation, be it in being inspired by Bromoil, or other "alternative printing" that seems to be feasible only in Ps. for example [ link ]. to "un-digitalize" a digital photo, it takes the power of Ps. actually, it is Lr processing, then Ps processing, and then Lr finishing.

so like digital and film: tools for a greater variety of solutions.

LR4 for almost everything. Elements if I need layers or tricky corrections that require content-aware fill. Both together are so much cheaper than Photoshop, and they do everything I need. I'd say 95% I do in LR.




My rule of thumb is that 99% of the time a photo that can't be made publishable in Lightroom isn't a keeper anyway. I do use Photoshop for fine art prints for display, but most of the time Photoshop is a design tool. It's encroaching on Illustrator in that regard as the increases in computing power, disk size and network bandwidth mitigate some of the disadvantages of raster images have traditionally had in comparison to vector images.

Nowadays, even projects that originate in Illustrator often get moved over to Photoshop about half way through (I teach courses in both Illustrator and Photoshop) to take advantage of the manipulation and effects that can only be done there (and the photorealism that today's art directors - and consumers - expect/demand).

Thanks to your recent notice of the one-day sale of LR3 at B&H, I can now process my RAW X100 files. Otherwise, I'm still working in a five-year old computer environment . . . . Mac OS X 10.5.8, CS3, etc.

One of my non-photo programs is about to go to a prescription. I wonder if every software company will end up there sooner or later, which would simplify the decision making process and show us how much we really spend every year to process data.

"One of the primary reasons I never moved to Lightroom (or Aperture, or DXO, or...) from Photoshop is the ever increasing power of Adobe Bridge (along with ACR) to organize and present my terabytes of photos."

THIS! If I became more accustomed to ACR's sharpening and/or if it improved as compared to pshop's sharpening tools, I doubt I'd ever open pshop proper again. Otherwise, I use ACR for pretty much all my editing needs.

I'll be buying CS6, upgrading from CS4, but that is likely to be my last upgrade.

I use Lightroom for 99% of my photography workflow, but use PS in my other job as a graphic designer. PS still has better selection/cloning/healing tools and when you need those you need PS. I'll upgrade for the graphic design side but I could easily get along with CS5 for photography.

Didn't you (Mike) or Ctein have a column a few years ago about considering software as a monthly subscription, rather than a one-time purchase? I think Photoshop boils down to about maybe $10/month. Seems cheap, considering how central it is to many photographers' work.

Probably in a massive minority here, but use Canon's Digital Photo Pro (DPP) software as my primary editor. It's less featureful than Lightroom, but it's cheaper and - to be frank - the minimalist feature set appeals to me. It does what I need to do for most of my images, and an older version of Photoshop does the rest.

Lightroom and Photoshop serve very different purposes. Lightroom/ACR is a great tool for light to medium image editing common to many genres, such as general direct-to-consumer portraiture, photo journalism, sports, some landscape.

Photoshop is still the must-have editor for anything that requires advanced image control, like anything in the fashion and commercial realm, anything that requires compositing, pixel level control, selections, etc.

I use Lightroom as my main digital asset management platform, and I edit event and other high-volume, low-touch imagery in Lightroom. Everything that is low-volume, high touch I do image selection and file management in Lightroom, but editing in Photoshop.

With Lightroom people who didn't really need Photoshop but didn't have a choice, now can skip paying for the big gun. But it's still an indespensible tool for some of us.

I've always used the ancient Photoshop CS2 and the ACR of that age for all my digital work.

Got it from my high school back when I was a yearbook editor. And just didn't feel rich enough to buy the newer versions.

Because of this I've always wondered:

1. To what extent am I "missing out" by not using the current versions of Photoshop and/or Lightroom?

2. How is Lightroom like, compared to Photoshop CS2?

Well this finally makes me realise what an old fart I am, I'm still using Photoshop 7.0, I'll soon be lapped by the new Photoshop CS7. Frightening, the program seems as out of date as my Rollei, but they both work and have the virtue of relative simplicity. I only ever use about 5% of what photoshop can do anyway.

If I hadn't thought about it I'd say PS was my main tool but, hinking about it I spend much more time in Capture One Pro than in PS. I will try this beta tho'

Just got the new Lightroom and notice that they have changed the name from Adobe Lightroom to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
I too use Lightroom about 90% and Photoshop10%

I don;t think I have ever seen a reference to ACDSee products. I use their Pro 5 program extensively. It includes a very comprehensive database as well as Develop and Edit tools.
I also have Photoshop CS5 and Corel's combined Photopaint and Draw program, now in version 15 (X5) and have been using that since version 3 but I confess I have moved away from PP to PS and Pro5 The Draw side works well as a substitute for Illustrator.
I while back I ran a trial of Lightroom and didn't like it at all.

I started out with GIMP and Corel PaintShop (both bad, bad memories) used RSE when it was available, tried that utter clunky disaster from Nikon---Capture NX---used Capture One for a few years, Photoshop, and then when Lightroom 2 came out began using it.

I rarely need to go into Photoshop anymore as there are few things that I can not do sufficiently in LR. Until LR 4 I would use PS to proof for printing, but now even that need has gone. And LR's printing module is so much better than Photoshop's---better as far as ease of use and efficiency--- that if I could have gotten reasonably accurate prints without proofing, I'd have skipped PS altogether and used PSE despite some of its 8 bit (like GIMP) limitations.

The price of Photoshop further rules out any new versions for me.

The price of Photoshop puts it completely out of reach for me; for the same cost as one CS5 license, I could get a new m4/3 body or lens, and I have a lot more fun using new hardware than I do new software. I use Lightroom for most editing tasks, along with occasional excursions to the Nik plug-ins (esp. Silver Efex) where appropriate. In the rare occasions when I feel inclined to mess with layers or something, I'll use the GIMP.

I bought the first Lightroom but could never get used to the database methodology it wanted to use to index images. I ended up buying Photo Mechanic (which is easily one of the best pieces of software I've ever used) and my workflow is now basically Camera -> PM -> ACR - > final edit in PS CS3. If I'm using my GF2 I have to insert a run through Adobe's DNG converter first, as CS3's ACR isn't able to handle newer files.

All that being said, I'm looking at Lightroom 4 with interest. The price tag is so much more manageable than PhotoShop and I don't shoot nearly as much as I used to (which means I may not struggle with the image storage methodology as much).

There were far more acronyms in this comment than I expected to use...

Linux+Gimp user here. Gimp is free and has been serving my needs for years.

On the other hand, for black-and-white work I use the program "Darkroom 1.0" exclusively, with the "multigrade papers" add-on. :)

My workflow is Rodinal -> Beseler -> Amidol

Didn't you load up with Aperture and a new iMac some time back? I guess you didn't get on with it.

One aspect of LR4 and ACR 7 that you might like is that the new processing engine (process version 2012) does a really cracking job of more of those small, blown highlights that were previously tricky, particularly if they contain fragile colour information. (LR3/ACR6 already did a good job of recovering tone.) I have high-contrast pictures that now look quite acceptable after the raw files were processed in PV 2012 but which were previously unusable just because of the small, unpleasant and distracting highlights. And for those stubborn highlights, brushed-on highlight recovery and a little negative clarity and sharpness go a long way.

It's also possible that once you've started using collections in LR, you won't look back. They're like folders except that a single picture can be in any number of collections without duplication of the file. Depending on the way you file things and look for them, that might be a big win. And you'd love the new soft proofing in LR4, too.

By image count the vast majority of images I display have not been through Photoshop; they go through Bibble Pro (though, since that's died, I'm wondering if I have to adopt Lightroom, which I don't want to do given that it's an Adobe product with the same must-stay-on-the-treadmill policy; the sample Corel product doesn't seem to support working color space, so that's not usable).

However, every image I print goes through Photoshop, and every image I have to restore, and the rare image I deliberately "alter" (beyond normal post-processing work).

Using LR 2- 50% of the time didn't go into PS
Using LR 3 - 80% of the time didn't go into PS
have been using LR 4 for the last 2 weeks, guessing i will hardly ever use PS, and for very specific reasons.

Like others have said, it doesn't even make sense to me to "switch" from Photoshop to Lightroom, since Lightroom can only do rough, global adjustments (and some very rough local adjustments). I guess if one has only ever needed a small subset of Photoshop that Lightroom now fulfills, then yes, I could see them "switch".

For a number of years, I worked using Bridge/ACR for every image and, when "needed", pushed them further in Photoshop. I have "switched" to Lightroom alright, but only for the Bridge/ACR part—Photoshop still serves the same purpose it always has. What made me adopt Lightroom is the asset management features, since in terms of image processing, it's precisely the same as Camera Raw (so long as you use the same version of the engine—i.e.: LR4 = CR7 that ships with CS6).

I find that even when I'm happy with an image at the end of what can be done with Lightroom/ACR, when I open it in Photoshop and begin tweaking tonalities and colors locally, I am systematically, surprisingly happier with the result.

To me, both Photoshop AND Lightroom have become even more important than they were before.

I've been using Photoshop since v3, got my foundation from "Kai's Power Tips & Tricks" (still a good web read).

I still use Lightroom almost exclusively for my photos, unless I need some strange editing.

I've used Photoshop since version 3 and wouldn't know what to do with any other program. I'm using CS5 now but am pissed Adobe stopped supporting CS4 as quick as they did, All they had to do was update ACR but no they forced the user into CS5. Add to it if you own CS4 you will not be eligible for the 6 upgrade. You pay full price or buy a discounted CS5 upgrade to qualify for 6. IMO a whore move by Adobe.

I have the wherewithal to run PS if I want, so I've put myself down as the middle option, although I've 99% switched to linux & open-source utilities.

I know what you mean about ACR being an editor in its own right, though. Up until a month ago I used Bridge+ACR; I'd even use ACR for global (black&white/duotone) and local tweaks (typically, enhancing narrow-DoF effects through un/clarity) in preference to Photoshop itself.

Used to do GIMP but since they decided to not support 16-bit colour, switched to Picture Window Pro and never looked back.
PWP does everything one can possibly ask of a photo editor and costs next to nothing. It also doesn't need the equivalent of two Cray super computers to do its job.
Photoshop is just a left-over from the days of bloated and expensive dinossaur-ware.

I started out with PS Elements 2 and later added Picasa as a file browser and batch-editor. Now I use LR3 and CS5 with essentially the same workflow that I used to use.

However, if I had known how to use Bridge I might never have bought LR3, as the full-screen preview in Bridge is my favorite tool for rating and winnowing large batches of images.

However, I may buy LR4 anyway because it apparently has an image emailing function as Picasa freeware does. This is a big time-saver if you frequently email images. And of course LR is handy for batch jobs.

One thing I won't do is rely on LR to manage my images. I don't want to be locked in to Adobe's proprietary cataloging system. Instead I store images by date. Each day's images go into a dated directory with a subdirectory for each camera, another one for .psd versions of edited images, and another one containing a text file with Windows-searchable keywords.

Adobe seems to be neither here nor there with ACR. If they want to make it easier to use with PS as the primary image-adjustment tool they should include in ACR a LR-style panel that lists all edits and lets the user undo edits selectively.

There are some of us who use Aperture and in saying that it also gives away the platform we use. :D

There was a point where Photoshop was my main editor. These days though, with Nik plug-ins, I can do most anything I want in Aperture. For extensive editing though I still use Photoshop.

Take care,

Lightroom is a nice tool for managing and some light editing of smaller digital images if you don't own, don't need or aren't willing to learn/use Photoshop. However, if you know exactly where you want to go with an image and won't take no for an answer, Lightroom is very limiting in it's image editing capabilities.

Just to name a few...

- No CMYK or LAB, or even separate RGB curves
- No layers, and more importantly, no layer blend modes
- No Blend If
- No Apply Image
- No soft proofing
- It chokes on really big files (try loading a 1.4 GB 4x5 scan, or even a 800mb scan)

Lightroom and Photoshop are not equivalents. LR is my primary image processing and image catalog management system, roles that PS cannot fill. PS is is still best at certain types of surgical tasks where great precision is required. But it's been a step-out tool for me since LR was introduced.

I am just an amateur, so I don't have massive amounts of files that the pros do. I use Photoshop CS4. In the past I had bought LR but couldn't make friends with it...didn't understand the catalog, felt like I could do what I wanted to better and faster in PS. This semester I'm taking a brief LR class and slowly I'm starting to see the benefits of using it. I'll probably try to upgrade both my LR and CS4 to current software, and ultimately I'm not completely sure which I'll end up using more. I'm still more comfortable/confident in PS, but I think I need to get past the idea that if I don't spend HOURS on a photo that it's not good. It's ok just to spend a little time. :) Somehow I feel if I don't struggle with it on some level it isn't good enough, or if I didn't spend hours on it I'm clearly not seeing some egregious error. Leftover from my darkroom days, I guess.

I've been using Rawtherapee (http://www.rawtherapee.com/) for a few years now. It's free and it totally covers my needs. Give it a try! It's fairly sophisticated, maybe too much so, heh.

I use Lightroom and Picture Window on Windows and LightZone on openSUSE. The program with the .jpeg file association in Windows is Irfanview because it's so lightweight. Irfanview's very handy for non-artistic utility use (eg format conversion, file size reduction for email, etc).

I'm sure many people don't legally own a copy of PS, but do use it regularly. Of course they probably don't need to get software release news from a photography blog.

This poll was difficult for me to answer, as I use Capture One as my main raw convertor. I much prefer the results to those of ACR/Lightroom. However, my best images are converted in Raw Photo Processor (RPP), which has a very limited feature set and almost always requires a secondary photo editor to apply the finishing touches. That is where PS comes in for me.

That aside, I still don't think that any raw conversion program, no matter how many bells and whistles it may contain, has the power of PS. Even the Lightroom plug-ins from Nik and others work on converted TIFFs rather than the raw files, which amounts to the same thing as working in PS.

I'm almost completely alone here. Besides me, only Christian above relies on the camera manufacturer's software to post-process photographs. I used to use GIMP, but ever since Olympus released Viewer I gave it up - I didn't need it. Viewer corrects tilting, which was the only reason I used GIMP.
On the other hand, I was one of the very few who didn't feel outraged by Cate Blanchett's picture at Intelligent Life's cover!

Have used Photoshop since version 2. Tried Lightroom but the months needed to learn an entirely different workflow and system was not worth it. Sold it on eBay.
The latest current version of Photoshop no longer reads Kodak Photo CD files - what will they cut out in this one, no reading Jpegs?

One objection to the local/global mantra: ACR can mess up sharpening whenever you're going to resize or resample later on. In the case of the Fuji X10 RAW files, which I was trying today, it messes them up every time, it just oversharpens the noise. The sharpening in that case and others I've tried before is better done in PS, and after any resampling/resizing you plan to put the file through, if you want to have any control on the texture of the final print.
Sharpening is one, and probably not the only one, global adjustment that I wouldn't do in ACR.

I use Bridge__CS5 and have been very satisfied. I did buy Lightroom 3 a few weeks ago when it was on sale at BH, but I can't figure out what help it would be to mei, so it sits there ignored and if I don't find a real good use for it I darn sure wouln't upgrade it.

I started with the included Pentax software in 2006 and hated it; moved quickly to PS7. Since then I've followed the CS (Bridge, ACR, PS) path.

I tried LR1 when it came out but didn't like the interface. I've used PSE briefly, too. As time passes the interfaces seem to be converging so that's not a current concern.

LR and PSE both have some things not in PS that I'd quite like but I'm not sure I could be bothered to run two systems, never mind three.

I'm trying CS6 beta and I do like the ACR advances: the paid upgrade, when it comes, will be roughly equal to buying LR4 - I won't buy both, so at present it looks as if I'll stick with CS.

Lightroom almost exclusively now. Since I couldn't get PS Elements re-installed on my computer I gave up with it. Was using it mainly as a platform for plug-ins, which now don't get used.
I love the layers and some of the plug-ins but Photoshop is far too expensive (it would represent acceptable value at $100 for me) & bulky for the dozen features I really want and Elements is too light (especially not having 16-bit processing).

I really liked LightZone.

Looks like the most significant upgrade in a long time. The new interface looks great and scrolling around the screen works in a new way, much smoother. I'll surely be buying the upgrade but NOT the extended version, Ouch

I process raw files in Capture One but from there out it's Photoshop. I never did get Lightroom's weird cataloging,,,guess I'm a luddite too.

I bought the PS CS5 upgrade and have since wondered why ... oh yeah, it was for the panorama stitching. Ok, i've used it a couple of times.

Lightroom does 99% of my rendering work, and a lot more in terms of image management. Photoshop I use now and then for specific things, mostly having to do with text layout around a photograph.

Aperture 3.0's brushes, where you can apply the adjustments by brushing in or out and subsequently altering the strength with a slider, have almost completely removed any need to go into Photoshop and use layer masks, blending and the like.

At $85 Aperture covers 95% of my photo adjustment/editing/organising needs, and when I do need to do some pixel-level editing I can use use Acorn ($55) or Pixelmator ($35), both highly capable editors, or indeed GIMP for free.

I've used Photoshop since pre-CS days and I have to say I'm very happy not to have to use it any more. I never did like the interface and the price remains a glaring anomaly in these days of cheap apps. Indeed Adobe's pricing generally seems out of touch with the market. Photoshop Elements used to be low-cost, or given away with scanners and printers, now it costs as much as Aperture.

I think many photographers still use Photoshop because it's the way they've always worked, but for many it's really no longer necessary to spend all that money.


I've been away for the past few days, so I am just catching up (and I admit that I haven't read the comments above), but your question and the proposed responses actually epitomizes what I find irksome about any discussion of Photoshop.

You asked "Do you use Photoshop or something else?" The question is fine. Yet the answers were (1) I use Photoshop, (2) I own/use Photoshop, "but..." and (3) I don't own Photoshop. Why not make (3) "I use something else" or "I don't own Photoshop, I use something else"? It would tie into the question better, and it would avoid the sense that the choices are Photoshop or nothing. I know none of this was done on purpose, and I know you at least raised the possibility of "something else" in the question, but...

Anyway, let me use this as another opportunity to plug Photoline. The latest version (version 17) adds selective color correction, content-aware fill, advanced masking features, content-aware scaling, etc.

As before, it is available in 32 and 64-bit versions, for Windows or Macs, has layers, soft-proofing, color management, supports Photoshop plug-ins, supports color management in Photoshop plug-ins, allows use of Photoshop plug-in on 16-bit images, is extremely fast, has a very small footprint AND costs a whopping Euro 59.

Best regards,

One more thing: the Photoshop CS6 download is 984MB. The Photoline v17 download clocks in at under 19MB.

Lightroom, with PS5 when I must, which means reaching Martin Evening's book down more often than not.
I know this has been said before, but I was disappointed to read that LR4 doesn't have face recognition. Those who hate this feature could always disable it (as long as it's turn-off-and-on-able <http://youtu.be/Zv2tdCEBkKg>).

Lightroom seems almost mandatory if you shoot raw and ever revisit your photos. I could see a wedding photographer perhaps not using it, as once you're finished with a client, you'd essentially never going to touch those photos again.

As an amateur who shoots for fun, Lightroom's organizing capabilities are a godsend and exactly what I was looking for before it was released. I am always way behind in processing photos (busy with other things!) so Lightroom's speed is really appreciated. I very rarely go into Photoshop unless a photo really needs some layer work, which is almost never. Lightroom is absolutely critical for me.

I was glad to see a mention of Irfanview - that's been my jpg viewer for years and it's incredibly full-featured and fast. I also use it to mark my Lightroom exported jpgs with the time/date that they were originally shot at, rather than the default timestamps of when Lightroom did the exports. I would love to see an option in LR to use the timestamp of the original photo when exporting it.

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