Do I really need Photoshop or Lightroom to edit my photos?
I was having a conversation with a friend. He said you don’t need Photoshop or Lightroom as there are plenty of other packages that will do the same.
Free alternatives Photoshop or Lightroom
- Using the software that comes with the camera
- Using software that comes with your desktop or laptop
- Free software such as Gimp
- When to use Photoshop or Lightroom
Luke, thanks for your question. Yeah, your mate is right. You don’t really need Photoshop or Lightroom to do any of your editing.
Using the software that comes with the camera
When I first started, I was using the software that came with my 20D, the EOS Solution Disc. I’m not too sure exactly what it’s called but it had basic editing software and then I believe their was also a copy of Adobe Elements, which is a cutdown version of Photoshop.
From memory, I think I only really used the brightness and levels tools and didn’t really do much else. A bit of contrast, I think if that. Yeah, your friend is definitely right. There’s definitely other packages out there that will do similar jobs.
Now, there’s software such as GIMP, which is completely free. There’s software that comes with your computer like iPhoto or even the editing software that comes with Windows 10.
There’s definitely other software that will do a similar task. Now, why would you want to use Photoshop and Lightroom over the others?
Well, there’s a few reasons. With Photoshop, it’s a massive, massive software package.
There’s so many things you can do. To be quite honest, unless you’re digitally composing and really, really getting into manipulating an image, you’re only really going to scratch the surface like barely 2%, if that, of the tools of Photoshop which is why people say, “You don’t really need Photoshop.”
There is a bonus that you could go online and just go to YouTube or Google and type in “How do I edit a photo in Photoshop?” or “How do I edit a portrait?” and you’re going to find so much information and that is one bonus is that you don’t necessarily have to go to a class.
You can just Google what you want and there’ll be so many people posting information online for you to just absorb.
When to use Photoshop or Lightroom to edit your photos
Lightroom is one of the packages that was designed for photographers. You can tell by the features that are in Lightroom that that’s the case. For instance, the catalogue which I have an online store or I guess library for all my sports images.
There’s over 10,000 images of editorial and club photos that I’ve been taking over the years and they’re all key worded. If you would have typed in your name, you will find your image or your club. By having Lightroom, I can replicate the same thing on my hard drive.
I don’t have to go online so I can take down all my images. When somebody calls up and they want an image, I can just type in their name and go, bang, here you go.
Features like that in Lightroom are definitely a godsend and definitely make life a lot easier. Plus, the things of actions, little actions in Photoshop and also presets in Lightroom which make life a lot easier.
You’re clicking one button and all you have to do is just some minor tweaks to a photo because a preset and an action should get you to a certain level. It should be a good starting point.
From there, you should be tweaking your photos. Plus, the layouts of how I think in Lightroom are quite intuitive. You’re working from the top, go down the bottom for your basic edits and then working your way down.
Do you really need these two big packages? Well, if you’re a professional photographer or even a very serious amateur, do you really need the power of Photoshop?
Maybe. Maybe not. Do you need Lightroom to organise your images, edit your images and export them into all sorts of different sizes and different things like for printing?
Yeah, if that’s the type of thing you do, absolutely, and I can say that by using these packages, my workflow or the way how I edit my photos after a portrait session or even a wedding or just going out and taking photos of just stuff in general, had cut down time quite considerably from hours or even days for weddings to hours.
They both have their place and it just comes down to do you really need all the tools or even a small percentage of the tools?
I know a lot of people that just use the editing software that comes with their operating system. I believe it’s iPhoto or Photos, whatever they call it, and the one that comes with Windows because all they’re doing is just a simple crop and they may be just lightening or darkening the photo and that’s it really. There you go, Luke. I hope that helps.