Do Landscape Photographers Even Need Photoshop Anymore?

It might have once been an absurd thing to contemplate, but has the day finally come where landscape photographers do not actually need to use Photoshop?

For the last year or so, I've repeatedly said that Lightroom's constant updates and new features have added so much to it as a standalone editing platform. Whether it's the incredibly accurate selection tools that now incorporate aspects of AI or the evolution of masking capabilities, Lightroom has undoubtedly become a very powerful editing tool in its own right, so much so that I now find myself spending much longer in Lightroom, which is something I never did until about 18 months ago, as I always just went immediately to Photoshop. But has Lightroom come so far that it can entirely replace Photoshop and perhaps make it redundant?

That questions brings us to this great video from Alistair Benn from Expressive Photography, in which he considers whether landscape photographers even need to cross over from Lightroom into Photoshop in order to edit their images. Benn is a very accomplished landscape photographer who talks a lot about Lightroom and Photoshop, so it's worth giving the video a watch. For me, I will continue using Photoshop because I like to use a lot of layers in my edits, as well as use Actions, many of which I've created myself over the years. Benn leans towards retaining the use of Photoshop for other reasons. How do you feel? Is Adobe cannibalizing Photoshop by making Lightroom so good?

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6 Comments
Francois de Melogue's picture

I use PS about 90% of the time. LRC has a lot more limitations and has a weirder workflow for me. I would attribute most of my beliefs to the fact that I learned PS first and am conditioned to its logic more.

Ed Sanford's picture

Thanks; I am just the opposite. For me LR is intuitive and PS is insanely complicated and time consuming….🙀

Duffy Doherty's picture

If you need layers then the answer is yes. If you need blending modes then the answer is yes.

Edo Photo's picture

I wish these were articles instead of videos. I don't want to watch some dudes video and then "click like And subscribe yada yada yada. "

Anyways I agree with the premise, I can't remember the last image I used photoshop with that wasn't trying to clone some items out of a noisy background.

There's always going to be some outliers or just some elements that is too cumbersome to handle in fighting but for the most part, PS isnt so much necessary. Old habits die hard though.

Ryan DesJardins's picture

I don't think it's a meaningful question to ask. An artist will use the tool that makes them the happiest and produces the work they want to produce. Why should anyone care whether one program makes the other irrelevant to this person or that person? I use PS less than I used to, but I still use it. I like processing some images in LAB color mode, but it's rare. I like doing some things in layers, but that's rare for me too. I'll use other features here and there, layers sometimes, etc. In many ways, I use LrC less too because I tend to shoot film simulations and bring those over as my starting point for my raw files in LrC. I will use Luminar Neo as a PS filter for some images. There's no right or wrong way in my opinion. Do as little or as much as you like in whatever platform you want. PS will be needed as long as artists want it, regardless of how LrC or other programs change and improve.