Comparing Photos Edited in Lightroom Versus Photoshop

There is no doubt that when it comes to editing, there are a million different ways to do it.

The process can sometimes get quite overwhelming when you start to play the fun little game where you toggle the before and after button on and off, second-guessing yourself. I'm sure you've done it; I know I have. Throw in which editing software is best, and that is a whole other ball game. Each editing software has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is nice to see a direct comparison with the exact same photos made here between Lightroom and Photoshop.

If you aren't familiar with Jessica Kobeissi, she is a fashion photographer that has gained quite the following through her Instagram and YouTube channel featuring shoots and editing tutorials. I personally follow her and love her work. When I was learning to retouch, she was the first tutorial I found that really explained the process. She doesn't hold anything back, and I appreciate that. 

In this video, Jessica edits two photos in Lightroom on camera and compares them directly with the same photos edited in Photoshop off camera. She then follows it up with two additional photos edited off camera in both systems, but does show a side by side of the finished product. Obviously, Photoshop is a powerhouse and has far more tools and capability than Lightroom. Nonetheless I still find it interesting.

If you want to skip straight to the comparison photos, start the video at about eight minutes.

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20 Comments

David Love's picture

I go from Lightroom into Photoshop to do my extensive edits and then back to Lightroom for color and final. Trying to do too much in Lightroom is just asking for sluggish performance.

Jerome Brill's picture

When she mentioned she wanted to take a piece of hair out on the subject 4:15 - "I'm not really sure how I could do that in lightroom"

If you haven't used both programs extensively it's kind of hard to listen to someone's recommendations. Is photoshop more powerful? Sure, but her lack of knowledge and skill in Lightroom didn't give me the real benefits and shortcomings of each.

If anyone has a good video/s where I can learn the differences please shoot me link. Thanks

I don’t know about other video comparisons but all you really need to know is that photoshop allows you to work in layers, which can be more efficient and give you a lot more control especially when making localized adjustments. Lightroom doesn’t support this and gets very power hungry if you use the built in masks instead of layers - at the same time it is much more fiddly to directly affect many variables such as highlights/shadows, or filters such as ‘clarity’ or even ‘dehaze’ in Ps than Lr, it will often require tools like curves or a combination of several effects that are much more intimidating to new users - one of the reasons I suspect all her images edited in Ps look like they have more contrast and are heavier in the shadows is simply that she didn’t have this set of sliders to play with and left them closer to what the raw images looked like, but she will do an arguably better job on the skin as she’ll have a wider range of brushes and blur filters to work with, but that’s just speculation from my side - bottom line is: it is totally stupid to choose one over the other, they are two different beasts that come bundled for a reason, so as you can use BOTH!

The video is like a bad joke. "I've never actually used Lightroom to edit a photo" but "I'm going to edit a photo in both Lightroom and Photoshop to show how much better Photoshop is." Huh? On top of that, all her mindless chatter made it unbearable for me to finish watching.

Chris Hovinga's picture

How in the world did this get published? " I've never edited a photo in Lightroom..". I'm out.

I skipped directly through the results and I was gonna make a comment but everyone else did annd I agree with them all.
I can understand that she post this on her channel, but why is Ftsoppers even posting this video? I’m a little confused...

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

She did a half-assed job in LR, but, goes full blown retouch with PS. What a stupid "comparison". No denying PS is a much more powerful tool, but, at least have someone do a competent LR edit. The results wouldn't look so lopsided.

Pete Self's picture

well I like your sense of humor. She wants to help the lonely garbage can rolling around in the street I'm cracking up. Always happy to see how people are doing their color Corrections. you go girl. Keep at it

William Faucher's picture

I was expecting a comparison along the lines of comparing both Camera Raw Modules, if using photoshop and lightroom with the same settings would result in different looking edits. I guess I was mistaken. I haven't touched lightroom in ages. I despise having to import all my images into lightroom, I just want to drag and drop into photoshop, cameraRaw opens right away, and go.

Photoshop is way faster. Sure if you're batch editing an entire shoot with hundreds of shots, Lightroom/CaptureOne is the way to go, but otherwise, PS it is for me.

My experience as well.

She dont know how to use Lr...but the result with Ps is even worse

I agree that her Photoshop edits look better, and I was really intrigued by this comparison, but I would like to see the same comparison done by someone who is as good in Lightroom as they are in Photoshop. I feel like her umpteen years of experience in PS biased her toward better PS edits, while she didn't even seem to know how to do basic functions in Lightroom.

Robert Robbins's picture

Not even a minute in and she's fundamentally confused on the depth of Lightroom. The idea for the video is great but come back to us when you find a professional photographer - we have higher expectations from Fstoppers.

Ivan Lantsov's picture

she make living at this how

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Where to start....
Jessica is clearly a talented and fun photographer.
She is also clearly not a Lightroom user.
We see her process in Lightroom (which seems to be random) and we have NO idea what she did in Photoshop.
Depending on the shoot our work flow is to use Lightroom for global edits, dodging and burning (raw processing)and onto Photoshop for any complex editing that requires masking warping, compositing layering or cloning.
The major flaw with this article is that viewing Lightroom and Photoshop as alternates is missing the point.
They are complimentary.

Darren Loveland's picture

Glad I read the comments first.

Cedric TOSONI's picture

Photographer, it's not putting filters on photos. I think she would have got a better result with insgram filters ...
We edit the RAW with lightroom, then we finish with photoshop ...

In the hands of someone experienced with both and know what they are doing, the results should be the same, if not very close. I just find it funny too even with her limited knowledge of LR, some of her edits came of better than her PS edits so may be she sure stick to LR.

In these comparisons most of the Lightroom images seem a bit better. There's tonal issues, center of interest problems and a few other things that seem to be mistakes in the Photoshop editing work flow.