Adobe Photoshop is by far the most well-know image editing software that has ever been introduced. From it's introduction in the early '90s to today, Photoshop has undergone countless versions, modifications and radical improvements. Today, Photoshop consist of a family of programs. There are 4 main members. The one thing that really separates Photoshop from other editing programs is it's learning curve. These programs do require training classes and lesson to truly take advantage of what they offer. So, let's take a look at how each one has a distinct purpose and intended user.
Photoshop Elements 13
We'll start with Elements because it is the most popular and most used version ever. This version is the "standard" version of Photoshop. It's ideal for anyone who is just getting started or those who are using Photoshop Lightroom. Whether you're a novice home users, a small business owner, a professional photographer, this is the perfect version for you. At just $60-$100 it's price will fool you as to it's power, flexibility and control. It should be a $300 program by all other standards. Elements is not just an editor. It's a suit of programs . There's an editor, organizer, RAW processor, slideshow maker, book maker, novelty item maker and more. Photoshop Elements is the most under estimated photo editing programs today. Start here first.
CC is a the professional version of Photoshop. Often called the grand-daddy of all photo editing software, it is by far the most powerful editor in the world! But, that does not mean it's "better" than others, especially Elements. CC is a program designed for cross-industry use by technical photographers, fine art photographers, graphic designers, web designers, forensics, scientific, commercial printing and so on. The first drawback with CS6 is the price. Well, the price itself isn't the problem, but what the price implies. Most people buy CC because it's the most expensive ($20/month). Thinking their pictures will come out better. This is simply not true. It's like thinking a more expensive camera will make you a better photographer. CC offers additional features over Elements that most users will never need. Problem number two is the learning curve. My basic classes for CC versions are around 30 hours of classroom training. And this just covers the core features of what professional users will use. Again, start with Elements and only advance to CC because you need to and you've determined that it is not possible to complete your task without CC. I'm only teach CC class once in a while due radical shift of users to Lightroom + Photoshop Elements. Please inquire about private lesson as an alternative.
Ahh, Lightroom. The newest addition to the Photoshop family. With Lightroom (often referred to as LR5) Adobe has taken a radical step in image processing. First of all, Lightroom is not a replacement for Photoshop CC or Photoshop Elements. It is designed to work in conjunction with them. Most photographers were using Photoshop (highly complex program) to do simple, basic adjustments, something any editor could do. But, the process of doing so is laborious, time-consuming and inefficient.
So, Adobe designed Lightroom ($149) to take on those tasks an a way that Photoshop could never do. It added a RAW processor, Metadata access, quick printing, slideshow and web gallery creation. Lightroom was design specially for wedding photographers, portrait photographers, event photographers, fine art photographers and stock photographers. Well, photographers! Not designers, developers, photo labs etc, just photographers. With the introduction of Lightroom, most photographers have reduced their Photoshop time by 40%-90%. I have many professional clients that no longer use Photoshop, because they found that their work can simply all be done in Lightroom, in 50-60% less time. This allows them to be photographers rather than photo editors.
For information on Lightroom and the special training I offer for it, click here.