As I mentioned last week, the lack of recent updates is attributed to the fact that I just purchased a copy of Affinity Photo and is playing around with it. Oh, and there is my real-life day job of course. 😛
The topic of today’s blog post is to answer a frequently-asked-question: Do you need a full-featured photo editor such as Photoshop (PS) or Affinity Photo (AP) if you already have a copy of Lightroom (LR)?
After dabbling with Affinity Photo for nearly two weeks, I finally have a good answer and recommendation.
If you are an enthusiast photographer, LR is quite sufficient. In fact, LR may be all that is needed even for selected paid work such as event photography or journalism. You could do weddings and portraiture with LR as well. To be honest if I tried to do a blind test on images from these photography genres, most of the time I could be making blind guesses for which images were processed with LR only and which went through PS/AP.
However, note that I used the term “most of the time” above, not “all of the time”. 😉 There will always be that handful of hero images that will shine even brighter if you used a more feature-rich editor such as PS/AP during post-processing. Of course not all hero images need PS/AP to shine, so this is all subjective to the appearance of the image itself.
We really have to give credit to LR for how easy and convenient it is to use such that replacing it with PS/AP actually results in additional operational and man-hour costs. You could be spending that time and energy doing other things! That opportunity cost in time matters to both photographers doing paid work and enthusiasts spending their precious free time.
One example where the expanded set of features, precise selection capabilities and layer functionalities of PS/AP is vital is in commercial and advertising work. The requirement for clean and precise elements in a picture is important, so that plays into the specific strengths of PS/AP and makes them highly valuable.
The final recommendation is this. If you get paid for your photography, it does not hurt to have a copy of PS/AP with you. You may not need to use them for all of your output, but you would be glad when the need arises and you could make a hero image shine even brighter. If you are an enthusiast, how you choose to spend your free time and resources is entirely up to you. If putting that extra shine on an image makes you happier, by all means do it! I just want to caution again that the differences between LR-only and PS/AP-processed images are not always obvious. So do not be disappointed if you or your audience do not notice the changes. Do what you like and enjoy yourself. – WY