I just started using Adobe Lightroom CC and shooting in RAW. So far I have been using the "Develop" feature in Lightroom to do my postprocessing, which is basic and usually consists of cropping, straightening, and/or adjusting exposure, saturation, etc. This seems to suit my needs, but I don't feel like I'm fully taking advantage of the editing capabilities at my disposal. I'm not really interested in 'shopping (as in, heavily editing to add/remove objects from the scene and so on), just bringing out the best in my photos while keeping them looking "natural".

Should I be using Photoshop? If so, for what? How do you decide whether to edit a photo in LR, PS, or both?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Close to a duplicate of photo.stackexchange.com/questions/2318/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Olivier
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Olivier The answers there don't answer my question, which is more specifically about the use of Photoshop CC (especially in conjunction with Lightroom). I'm not so much interested in the order of steps as the actual steps themselves. \$\endgroup\$
    – Era
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 20:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Post processing also allows you exceed the limits of your camera by combining pictures with each other. You can do image stacking to eliminate noise, you can extend the field of view by stitching a panorama, you can do focus stacking to extend the field of view without having to use small apertures etc. etc. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 21:11

3 Answers 3


First, understand there is no "normal" post processing. You can spend hours on one image and use a dozen tools to achieve what you desire. Or you could convert from RAW to JPEG and call it a day.

If you are already achieving what you desire by simply using Lightroom, that is great. Many of the recent features added to Lightroom have been added to support just that, an all in one post processing environment.

I don't feel like I'm fully taking advantage of the editing capabilities at my disposal.

If you are paying for Photoshop and not using it, of course it is true that you aren't taking advantage of everything. But just because you are paying for it and not using it, it doesn't mean you should just use it needlessly either.

Why you would use Photoshop in addition to Lightroom could be any number of reasons, some which may make sense to someone not familiar with Photoshop and some just out of habit for those of us that have used it for years.

Some of the reasons I personally switch to Photoshop include:

  • To use PS only plugins
  • To have more control over healing and cloning
  • To replace areas of an image (eyes, sky, etc)
  • To have more control over fine selections
  • To use tools like content aware fill, liquify, etc
  • To use layers and full featured masking

Of course the list could be much larger and it all depends on your needs. For the time being, many if not all photographers can benefit from using both tools versus just one over the other.


I use a global to local method for editing. Everything goes through Lightroom to tag, keyword, organize and make global corrections and adjustments. I then take images in Photoshop for only the one's that need a greater amount of attention like skin re-touching, manipulation, or removal. If they need one step further I bring them into PS plugins. I'd say of my entire LR catalog only about 10-15% go through PS.


I would suggest you to use Lightroom as the master software to deal with your images. Why because LR is suitable for organizing the images. You can capture directly from camera and create libraries. Automatic saving and back up is the main advantage of Light room. Basic enhancement like white balance,contrast,saturation,lens correction,Noise reduction etc. can be done in Lightroom itself. You can switch the images in to photoshop using edit in option (right click on the image in time line /photo menu-edit in ) for any further editing such as add/remove objects or detailed cleaning ,restoration, adding shadow ,or extracting the background etc. switch back the edited version in to Photoshop After editing by just clicking on the save button. Later you can export the images to the desired format and dimensions from Lightroom.


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