Lightroom vs. Photoshop Elements. I am asked a lot which one to buy – this is a tough question!
Personally, I couldn’t live without either. And I would rather have LR+PSE any day over full Photoshop by itself.
So here is how I answer that question when I’m asked:
- If you are professional photographer or considering going that way, you need Lightroom.
- If you are a scrapbooker, you need Elements.
- The more photos you take, the more you need Lightroom.
- The more PERFECT a photographer you are, the less you need Elements.
- If you ever want graphics or captions on your photos, you most likely need Elements.
I’m not sure if I’m helping at all here, so let me just tell you what I do in each software. Refer back to how to open photos from LR into Elements if you need to.
This is what I do in Lightroom:
- Import photos from my memory card
- Organize them into folders and by name
- Keyword the photos for easier searchability
- Sort, rank and cull photos. Choose the photos that will be edited/printed/given to clients. Delete bad pix.
- Assign camera calibration to Raw photos
- Crop (LR cropping doesn’t actually get rid of your pixels, so you can always uncrop.)
- Adjust white balance
- Adjust exposure, tone, contrast
- Remove minor blemishes/spots
- Minor color adjustments
- Some color pops
- Remove noise
- Some eye and skin adjustments
- Correct lens distortion
- Basic watermarking
- If I have no reason to go to PSE, I sharpen in LR
This is what I do in PSE:
- Detailed layer masking
- Detailed eye and skin work
- Major or detailed color pops
- Major color corrections
- Add textures or overlays
- Run specific actions
- Add text, captions or graphics
- Watermarking with more control
- Sharpen (if I bring an image into Elements, I don’t sharpen in LR)
In summary, most of my Elements work is driven by the need for high control over selective editing or the addition of graphics or text. I use Lightroom for just about everything else.