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Media Services Photo Shooting

Which is Better Between Photoshop and Lightroom?

A common question for new photographers is “What program should I use to edit my photos”, and the decision may seem humungous. There is a plethora of choice, with several free options, such as Picasa and GIMP. However, Photoshop and Lightroom are the most used and trusted photo editing programs.

Adobe, a creative software company, has two major image editing programs: Photoshop and Lightroom. Although both softwares have seen many changes over the years, they’re still widely used and provide various processing and editing features.

If you’re sizing them up, there are obvious differences between these two software packages. Lightroom is well-known for its non-destructive editing features and advanced batch processing. It’s worth noting this is useful mainly for photographers and image editors.

On the other hand, Photoshop favours layers-based editing, which is useful for image editors, graphic designers, animators, illustrators, and many other creative types.

But which should you choose? And which is better? Luckily, we’ll be discussing that below.

Adobe Photoshop

In the world of image editing, Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard. Not only is it used by both passionate professionals and amateurs alike, but it gives artists, digital designers, product photographers, and other professionals complete creative control.

Photoshop also allows you to transform images pixel by pixel using powerful image editing software. You can retouch photos or merge illustration and photography to create contemporary art.

Adobe Lightroom

It’s well known that Lightroom was designed with photographers in mind. It offers a combination of light editing tools and organizational capabilities. Photographs can manage their workflows, retouch images, and create easy-to-use catalogues of images for specific projects.

One interesting feature is the ability to rate photos on Lightroom to make it easy for others to find them and give stars to their photos.

Similarities

At the core of the debate, both programs can edit images. However, the way they approach and perform this task is different. If you’re looking for software to edit, tweak, or enhance your photos, either choice will suit you. Both options can handle multiple file types, including JPEG and PNG. TIFF is also a particular favourite among many photographers.

Photoshop and Lightroom use the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) processing engine to work with RAW files. When working with these files, you can expect the same controls and editing options, such as adjusting saturation and working with curve or correcting lens distortions.

Both programs offer a wide range of editing and manipulation tools that allow you to make basic edits such as cropping or adjusting exposure. You can also use brushes, tone curves, and graduated filters to alter your images.

Additionally, each program has a number of built-in effects that allow you to apply black and white, sepia, and other artistic styles instantly. It’s undeniable that both programs can be used to edit images in powerful and countless ways.

Differences

Now for the meat of the article. The most crucial difference between Photoshop and Lightroom is their intended purpose. Lightroom is a photo editing program that allows you to edit your photos quickly and efficiently, while also making it easy to edit any image file. Photoshop can be used for incredible image manipulation and edits. However, large PSD files may require a more powerful computer.

File Handling

Lightroom differs from photoshop in that it doesn’t actually edit photos or move images around on your computer. The changes you make are instead saved in a separate file called Catalog.

Catalog servers as a recipe book of sorts, with instructions on processing each photo. Lightroom records all the changes you make to a photo, for example, a radial or adjustment filter. However, the original image remains unaffected, and this non-destructive editing technique is quite different from Photoshops approach.

Photoshop works by editing JPG, PNG, or RAW files in Photoshop, unless you save a copy of the Photoshop PSD file, which is often several dozen megabytes. Ouch.

The PSD file is a list of all changes to the photo. To share an image, it must be saved in a file format like JPG, PNG or other similar types. If you want to make non-destructive edits in Photoshop, you’ll need three files: the original camera RAW file, the PSD, and the final copy, which the PSD sharable as a format.

It’s safe to say that Lightrooms technique is much more streamlined, with fewer steps and a more integrated application.

Workflow

This is another difference between the two softwares. Lightrooms end-to-end workflow solution is what sets it apart from its bigger brother. Namely, it was specifically designed to meet the needs of professional and amateur photographers.

It handles everything, from import to editing and sharing to printing. Lightroom supports keywords and virtual folders, which can be used to organize and share your image. You can also use it to create slideshows or photo books. Lightroom is the perfect sidekick and handles everything for the professional photographer.

On the other hand, Photoshop doesn’t allow you to transfer files and won’t organize images. It also can’t create slideshows or photo books. Photoshop is the only program that can offer as much editing power a skilled photographer or image editor needs, but it’s important to recognize what it lacks compared to others.

To make up for this difference, Adobe Bridge can be used to manage workflow-based tasks such as importing photos or organizing digital media on your computer. This Lightroom-esque workflow experience works well with Photoshop but remains less efficient.

Editing Tools

Lightroom can be described as an all-terrain toolset akin to your photo workshop. It’s agile, fast, and can complete a wide range of tasks.

Adobe recognized that Photoshop wasn’t for everyone. This was especially true for photographers returning from events with numerous images that needed quick editing. Lightroom was created to provide this type of essential editing.

Photoshop offers a wide range of tools, including brushed and filters that can be used to make all kinds of imaginative edits to your images. It also allows you to create layers that can be edited independently.

Unfortunately, Lightroom is more linear and has fewer editing tools, no layers, and much less flexibility. While both Photoshop and Lightroom have a history panel that allows you to go back in time and review your edits, Photoshops layers give you infinitely greater control over your images.

Advanced Retouching

Lightroom’s latest version includes basic tools for retouching images and removing blemishes. Photoshop offers even more options, and you can make someone look slimmer, whiten their teeth and even remove small objects.

While Lightroom can accomplish this, Photoshops retouching tools make it much more manageable. Although it may take some time to find the right Photoshop tools and learn how to use them properly, you’ll be rewarded with a more efficient means to enhance your photos.

Conclusion

Photoshop and Lightroom both have incredible features, but they differ in their photography and image editing approaches.

If you’re in need of a recap, Lightroom is better than Photoshop for professional photographers. It has more functionality and is better equipped to handle image-related tasks.

If you’re a beginner, Lightroom is absolutely the best photo editing software for you. However, Photoshop can be added for that extra boost if you need advanced photo manipulation techniques and can handle a learning curve.

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Media Services Media Studio Photo Shooting

Five Basic Steps For Setting Up Studio Photography

In Hong Kong, photography is prolific. One can see fashion shoots by the harbor, on the streets, and on top of mountains. And yet most enthusiasts tend to find the prospect of working with a photography studio to be a daunting experience. We are here to demystify the experience and break down the five key points to keep your eye on if you are just starting to learn about using a studio.

 

#1 Think About Your Backdrop

White is typically the assumed colour of choice but requires a heavy amount of lighting to truly make the backdrop appear white, otherwise it will appear as a dull grey. Darker colours tend to work best when doing studio photography as they require less set-up and provide much more contrast to your subject. Obviously ensure that you are using a green screen if you are looking to mask out your background in Photoshop afterwards.

Always think about the context of your photo and what you are trying to achieve. And make sure that if you have a White background that you do not trample all over it with dirty shoes!

 

#2 Select Your Light Sources

This will depend upon what you are using the studio for. Soft-boxes diffuse light so that the shadows on your model feel soft and more natural. For photography, these light sources are typically attached to triggers connected to your camera such that they only go off when the photo is taken. For video however you will want to use continuous lighting so that your subject is always illuminated throughout the video. Strobe lighting is less common and is typically associated with fashion shoots.

Arrange your lighting to avoid any areas of intense shadow. For example, in a portrait shoot you would have two lights set up facing forwards on either side of the camera, these should be slightly higher that eye level to illuminate the subject from above. A reflector panel low down can help to fill in some of the shadows under the nose and chin.

 

#3 Figure Out Your Model

Remember that studio photography is quite different from landscapes, interiors…etc. In a studio you are in control and you must design all aspects of the shoot. Make sure that you get to know your model as this will help to break the ice and get them to relax, showing that you value them as a human being rather than a canvas.

Then ensure that you are clear and specific about the pose and the outfit that you want but be open to collaboration. And lastly make sure you choose the correct model for the shoot, if you want specific poses or shoots then make sure you get models that are experienced / comfortable in those shoots.

 

#4 Using The Camera

Now that your scene is ready you must set up your camera and work out the composition of the photo. Remember that most photos work best on a rule of thirds, where key elements are placed on the intersections of an imaginary grid of thirds. If you have several subjects in the composition, then ensure you provide a sense of depth with foreground and background.

Ensure that you camera is set to the correct settings. You will want to save RAW formats for post-production later (never undervalue that). You can set your camera on a tripod for more consistent images or do it by hand to get more creative. But for level shots it is best to position your camera such that it is at the same eye level as he subject.

A good starting point for the rest of your settings is an aperture below 6, a shutter speed of 1/200 and an iso of about 100-200. The shutter speed is important here as it will have to sync to your studio lights if you are doing portrait photography, 1/200 tends to be a good level to keep them in sync.

 

#5 Get Creative

Disregard all the previous advice if it does not work for you! This is just a starting point and the fun of photography / videography is adding your own style to your work so feel free to explore different ways of using the studio.

Conclusion

With the above tips you should be well on your way to becoming a professional studio photographer! Try making a home studio on a weekend and trying out some of the tips above. When you feel confident, book out a studio for a couple of hours and drag along a friend to act as a model. You may find that your services may quickly become valuable.