Photoshop Frequency


Today’s Question: Perhaps this is just a curiosity, but I wonder what percentage of your images you send to Photoshop versus processing completely in Lightroom.

Tim’s Quick Answer: At this point in terms of image optimization the majority of my photos are processed exclusively within Lightroom, with fewer than ten percent being sent to Photoshop for optimization. Put simply, with each new update to Lightroom I’m finding less need to employ the power of Photoshop.

More Detail: As many of my longtime readers know, I’ve been a big fan of Photoshop for a very long time. Many may have noticed that it also took me a little while to fully embrace Lightroom as the cornerstone of my workflow. As the Develop module in Lightroom has improved over the years, I’ve also gradually shifted my workflow to focus more on Lightroom and much less on Photoshop.

To be sure, I still employ Photoshop for difficult challenges. Of course, as I’ve improved my photographic workflow over the years, I have fewer and fewer “difficult” images. But there are situations where I need the additional power of Photoshop to make the most of a photo.

For the most part the reasons I employ Photoshop are to perform sophisticated image cleanup and to apply precise targeted adjustments. While Lightroom includes tools for both of these tasks, they are not as powerful or flexible as what is available in Photoshop.

As much as I love the power of Photoshop, and as much as I love exercising incredible control over my photos, I also appreciate having a workflow that is as streamlined as possible. Therefore, since I use Lightroom as the foundation of my workflow, I try to leverage Lightroom for as much of my work as possible. I only employ other tools when there is a clear advantage beyond what Lightroom is capable of.