Do I really need Lightroom? The question comes up from time to time. Usually it is prompted by a discussion in a message board about the most effective ways to tag, edit and organize the massive amount of photos that memory keepers collect. We want the best tools to edit and organize by the most efficient means possible. Cost can also be a factor and for someone like me(who has a photo work flow in place), we wonder if it really necessary to change when we are comfortable with what we are doing. I have a lot of money invested in Photoshop actions and plug ins. I am comfortable with my workflow. Yet, after sitting down to talk with Chris Marquardt on the DigiScrap Geek Podcast, I found myself once again contemplating Lightroom. I decided I needed to do a little more research and that I would share my thoughts with you( as I am sure you have or maybe are, thinking about getting Lightroom yourself).
When people are happy with the products they use, they make it easy for us to get excited about them as well. After talking with Chris, I wanted to go back and get Lightroom right away. Perusing a few message boards in which the topic of Lightroom appeared also served to fuel my impulse to buy, but when it came down to pushing the payment button, I found I just couldn’t do it. Currently, you can get Lightroom as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. For about $10 a month, you have access to both PhotoShop CC and Lightroom. It isn’t a bad deal, necessarily and I am in many cases pro- subscription. However this particular subscription was bothering me immensely and it took me some time to figure out why.
Subscribing to the Creative Cloud doesn’t appeal to me for the following reasons:
- I would have to make a choice in which Scrapbooking kit subscriptions I would need to give up (Currently I get Cocoa Daisy and PinkFresh Studio). Sure, I could give one up, however, I truly enjoy receiving that “gift” from myself each month. I don’t get to make supply purchases often and these kits are now my main source for new supplies.My kits are a means of pampering myself (Something that my budget and current place of residence doesn’t allow me to do often). A Creative Cloud membership doesn’t feel the same way.
- The Creative Cloud Membership is a tool. If my budget changes, I can give up my kit subscriptions without consequence and still have scrapbook supplies to work with. What would happen if my budget changes and I could no longer afford a tool that I had grown accustomed to using? Especially given that a photo editing tool is a very integral part of what I work with.
The second reason is what bothered me the most. After making this realization, I decided the Creative Cloud option is not for me. I currently own Photoshop Elements 12. It meets my photo editing needs. I have been upgrading the program about every 2-3 years. In fact, I am considering an upgrade this year if PSE 14 comes out. If budget doesn’t allow it, I can stick with PSE 12.
At this point, I had completely dismissed the possibility of ever getting Lightroom. I dismissed it until I found out that you can buy and download an individual version of Lightroom from Amazon. Once again, the idea of Lightroom began to appeal to me. However, I needed to really understand what the differences were between Lightroom and Photoshop. Could I use just one? Or would both work together in tandom? The answer to both questions is yes! You may wish to read a little more in depth comparison between each program. Try these articles:
What does this mean for me? I am personally not ready to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Photoshop Elements is still meeting my needs. I am starting to see where I might be able to benefit from adding Lightroom to my photography work flow. I typically buy my PhotoShop Elements upgrades every Fall when I can get a great deal. It seems the latest editions always release around this time and I can get wither an introductory offer or snag a Black Friday Deal. As of this time, I have my heart set on a PSE upgrade and plan on buying a single use copy of Lightroom. Meanwhile, I plan to study up on Lightroom while I hone my PSE and Photography skills.
What about you? If you are considering acquiring Lightroom, I suggest the following steps:
Listen to Episode 30 of the DigiScrap Geek Podcast. Chris talks more in depth about Lightroom and you will get a feel for how this program works.
If you are not currently using Lightroom, download a trial and play around a little bit. If you like the program, then consider whether an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription will work for you or whether you would prefer to buy the software as a download. Keep in mind that, if you don’t want PSE but want the full version of photoshop, the Creative Cloud is the only way for you to go and Lightroom is included in the Photography Subscription Plan.
Ready to buy or upgrade your photo editing tools? Please consider supporting MSE by using one of the affiliate links found below. Thank you for your support!
Need to upgrade your photography skills or perhaps you decided you want Lightroom and need some help learning how to use it? Try on of these courses from Craftsy:
Lightroom Essentials: The Develop Module (w/Juan Pons):Discover the secrets to beautifully enhanced photographs and cut your editing time in half!
20 Lightroom Lightsavers: Cut hours from your postproduction process, with 20 little-known Adobe Lightroom® techniques for quick, easy and dramatic finished images.