/Lightroom vs. Photoshop: Which Program is Best for Your Needs?
lightroom vs photoshop

Lightroom vs. Photoshop: Which Program is Best for Your Needs?

All around the world, about 90% of creative professionals use Photoshop to fit their needs. 

Photoshop is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, as is Lightroom, another popular photo editing platform. 

Digital photo editing makes creating perfect images a breeze, but which program should you use? Click here to learn when to choose Lightroom vs. Photoshop.

The Basics

Photoshop is a popular name that everyone knows and has become used as a verb to take the place of photo editing.

Photoshop is an amazingly powerful platform that can be used not only by photographers, but also graphic or web designers, publishers, webmasters, and even architects. 

Photoshop gives you complete control over your photo editing by giving you the power to change each pixel if you want to. 

Because you can do so much with this program, it can be daunting the first time you look at the main screen. There are so many tools and options to choose from and can be difficult to learn about. 

However, Lightroom takes the Photoshop interface and simplifies it. 

Lightroom was designed for people specifically who are editing photos and makes it easier for them to do that. Lightroom gives you the ability to organize and filter your photos so that your workflow can be easier. 

Lightroom still gives you the ability to edit and touch up your photos.  

These are two different platforms with some similarities, but let’s look at them in a little bit more depth. 


As we said above, Lightroom is perfect for photographers and is more about doing basic editing. 

Some of the common edits you can do in Lightroom include:

  • Cropping
  • Erasing blemishes
  • Applying filters/presets
  • Changing exposure and contrast
  • Editing the vibrancy and saturation 
  • Editing the tonal curve
  • Histogram adjustments
  • Correcting red eyes
  • Straightening photos
  • Sharpening
  • Correcting lens profile
  • Local adjustments
  • Noise reduction
  • Gradient
  • Vignette
  • X and Y Offsets 

And that is just the beginning. Lightroom allows you to do even more than what we listed here.

The interface is easy to use, so if you’re just starting out and just want to edit photos, Lightroom may be the program for you. 


Some of the pros of Lightroom include that it is easy to use and understand. While it may be confusing if you’ve never used an Adobe platform before, there are many Youtube videos and tutorials out there to help you figure it out.

It shouldn’t take you that long to figure out, however, because the way it is organized and set up makes sense. 

If you are a photographer who shoots a lot of raw photos, you can choose one filter that will easily apply certain settings to all of your photos which can make the editing process go by so much faster.

Because Lightroom was designed for photographers, it is easy to process multiple photos at once. You can copy an edit for one photo and then easily apply it to however many photos you want.

For busy photographers, this may be the biggest time saver when it comes to editing. While you can still do this in Photoshop, it is so much easier to do it in Lightroom instead. 

Lightroom is also better than Photoshop in the fact that you can organize, label, and share your images so much more easily. 


Some of the cons of Lightroom are that it is still not as powerful as Photoshop. Lightroom is a simplified version of the other platform.  

Because this was designed mostly for photographers, if you are a graphic designer or architect, getting this platform may not help you achieve your goal.  


When deciding whether to get Lightroom vs. Photoshop, you should think about what you want to accomplish with the program. How much time do you want to spend learning the interface? How much control do you need over edits?

You should use Photoshop when Lightroom can’t accomplish what you need. With most of your photography, you probably won’t need to use Photoshop. 

However, there are certain pros to using Photoshop. 


Lightroom allows you to remove blemishes, but it’s not a truly perfect process. Because Photoshop gives you complete access over how every pixel looks, you will have an easier time touching up photos in Photoshop.

If you need to make someone look thinner, whiten teeth, or remove certain objects or distractions from the photo, Photoshop will be the platform that you should use. 

Once you figure out how to use Photoshop to do this, it will be so much easier than Lightroom. 

Photoshop also has many things that Lightroom doesn’t. If you want to add multiple photos together to make one, Photoshop has a way to manipulate the images and layer them on top of each other to create one masterpiece.

HDR edits are also something that you can do in Photoshop. While some phones and cameras can automatically do this, sometimes you need to put it into a program to make sure that all the colors, shadows, and highlights are all at the right effects.  

Photoshop also gives you the opportunity to create Panoramas with your photos. Lightroom can do this too, but it isn’t done as well as in Photoshop.  


Just like with Lightroom, there are cons to Photoshop as well.

Even though it is incredibly powerful, it can be incredibly confusing. It can take a while to get used to.

Also, if you are a photographer and want an easy, fast way to organize and process your photos, Photoshop may make that a little more difficult for you. 

Decide Between Lightroom vs. Photoshop

It can be hard to decide between Lightroom vs. Photoshop.

Really, the only right answer is to decide what you need the platform to do and how much time you want to spend learning the program.

To start learning how to use these platforms, click here.