Use Photoshop Less Than 10%

Recently I had the pleasure of being part of Shawn Blanc’s brilliant ongoing series entitled Sweet Mac Setups where I showcased my workspace, software and hardware. In it, I mentioned that I rarely ever use Photoshop unless the photograph requires some minor touch ups because 99% of any post-editing I do takes place exclusively in Lightroom.

Coincidently enough I stumbled across this great article over at X-Equals which reinforces the same workflow and mentality I’ve had ever since I upgraded to a dSLR. The view is that if you shoot in RAW format and have Lightroom, then you shouldn’t have to resort to using Photoshop more than 10% of the time:

Lightroom is designed to adjust pixels in a non-destructive way…Photoshop, on the other hand, is designed to manipulate pixels by altering and moving pixels in a rendered image. So in a sense, Lightroom output is as pristine as a print made directly from a frame of film while Photoshop output is like taking a retouching brush to the print.

Photoshop is a brilliant piece of software but unfortunately its popularity among people who are not as involved into photography as we are make the assumption what you photograph is irrelevant because you can quickly turn it into a masterpiece with Photoshop. To those that believe that, the response is:

Know your camera and know photography…The better an image is, the less manipulation will be needed in the end. By taking the time to get proper exposure and great composition, you are giving yourself the highest quality RAW data you can. You really want that preview image on your LCD to sing. Focus on this step; it will make the rest of the process easier.

Here I thought I was doing something wrong for not using Photoshop as much as people expected me to as a photographer but apparently I’m on the right path.