PHOTOSHOP or Lightroom? Keep It Simple.

A woman tapped me on the shoulder as I was working at one of my satellite offices (i.e., local coffee shop). 

"Is that Lightroom? I just bought a camera and I'm trying to figure out what kind of software to buy to make my pictures look better."

I'm such a bad person to ask this question to because I get all nerdy and fly off on ridiculous tangents when all someone who asks this probably wants is just a simple answer. 

I'm a big advocate for all things simple, so I'm going to narrow the choices to the two leading photo software tools - Photoshop & Lightroom (both products of Adobe). 

Here's my simple answer.....buy Lightroom. More specifically, now that Adobe has gone to a subscription model for all it's software , you will be looking for Lightroom CC (part of Adobe's Creative Cloud suite of products). 

Lightroom CC is $10/month, it's fantastic software and simple to learn. Adobe has tons of quality tutorials on Adobe.com. Plus, there are in the vicinity of a billion tutorial videos on YouTube to help you on any LR question imaginable, Adobe updates it regularly, and just keeps getting better. 

I'm very proficient at both Photoshop and Lightroom and Photoshop is definitely a more powerful tool. But, considering I spend at least 80% of my production time in Lightroom, if I could only have one tool - Photoshop or Lightroom, I'd choose Lightroom. I would miss the things Photoshop can do that Lightroom can't, but I'd miss the speed, simplicity and presentation options in Lightroom. 

If you get serious about your photography, you will eventually add Photoshop to your photo software toolbox...and all kinds of third-party plug-ins, as well (we photographers love our toys!). Until then, dig in - and go deep - learning all the things you can do with Lightroom CC (and there is a LOT). I promise, you won't regret it. :-)