Week 4 / Video 1

Photography FRESH START

Announcing the Photoshop System 2.0 (41% Off)

I mentioned in the video that I just released my Photoshop System 2.0 learning system. As a Fresh Start member, if you order this week you’ll get 2 Years of Free Updates (as opposed to 1 year as listed on the site). Plus I’m offering 2 Bonus “Office Hours” webinars this week, where I’ll have project examples to run through in Photoshop – as well answer any of your questions.

PS: I have also released my Lightroom System 2.0 (click here) and if you’ve ever purchased either one of these you’ll get a free upgrade to the new version. Just send us a message and we’ll get you upgraded.

As Promised… Video 2: What Software I Use and Why

If you click the “gear” icon in the video player, you can speed up the video too!

Video 1: A Review of Various Software Options and How I see them fit in

In the first video I review the various software options and how I see them fitting in when it comes to your photo editing and organization. 

If you click the “gear” icon in the video player, you can speed up the video too!

Tuesday Video: A Review of Various Software Choices

130 Comments

  1. Andrew J Sentipal

    Matt, The Fresh Start series has been something I really enjoyed. Since I saw you at Nature Visions lecture on processing you are my “go to” guy for editing. Having purchased some of your programs I have found nothing else comes close in helping me with my editing skills. The moon photography portion of this edition of Fresh Start was really amazing. I would like to see a video where you hit all the steps in a few different moon scape photos.

    Reply
  2. Sherry Laflamme

    Matt, just want to thank you for doing the Fresh Start videos and for the Ps 2020 upgrade. I had forgotten how to do distraction removal and found the need to use it on some street shots from the Bradenton regatta. Awesome. Thanks for being such a great and generous teacher!!!

    Reply
  3. Marty Shirey

    Thank you so much Matt for taking the time and effort to help us with our photography. You are a masterful teacher and I have followed you and learned from you since your days at Kelby One. Thank you too for your honesty and forthrightness about all things photography. You are a gem!

    Reply
  4. Daniel Douglas

    Thanks, Matt very helpful information for sure.

    Reply
    • Jeff Pietroski

      These videos you have provided the community have been terrific. I think you do a wonderful job of explaining the ‘edges’ of the world of photography. I have learned a lot through your ON1 courses, but understand your Adobe decision. Please keep communicating in the way you do so well. Thank You.

      Reply
  5. Harald Koch

    Hi Matt,
    what a great three weeks 🙂 fresh start…
    You just changed my photo life!
    Right now I’m downloading Photoshop-System 2.0 from your site.
    I own PS CS2 and use it from time to time and always wanted to learn how to use it properly…
    Then I used different German programs and so I came to On1 and I am thrilled.
    However, I still want to learn Photoshop and today I’m going to start!
    Yesterday I installed the seven day trial version and will buy it next week and finally get into Photoshop.

    Thanks a lot, you are the best teacher.

    Harald Koch

    Reply
    • Matt

      Glad to help Harold! good luck!

      Reply
  6. Art Norton

    Hi Matt,

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! This Fresh Start series came along at just the right time for me.

    I dumped Adobe when they changed to the subscription model. I’m old school and just wanted to always own my software. For the last number of years I have struggled with trying to find software that I could really get comfortable with. I’ve tried X3, RawTherapee, Luminar, ON1, and ACDSee Ultimate among others. Besides LR6, I own ON1, and ACDSee Ultimate.

    It got to the point that I was never looking forward to bringing my photos home to edit so I actually lost interest in my photography. None of it was fun anymore. For lack of a better word, I got into a real funk.

    While I ended up watching the series out of sequence, it has caused me to take a look at everything I have been doing with my photography – from composition, to post processing, to website creation and everything else. It is like a breath of fresh air. I am actually looking forward to this adventure again. (I retired about 5 years ago so all of this is still relatively new to me.)

    I have also watched many of your YouTube videos. They are all wonderful.

    I am going to bite the bullet and go back to Adobe LR and force myself to learn Ps too. I will be purchasing your LR and PS bundle shortly 🙂 Thank you, again for a great series.

    Reply
  7. Jackie

    I’ve really enjoyed the FreshStart series, Matt. Thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge. I especially enjoyed this last one on your editing in PS.
    Quick question. Apparently the latest upgrade to Mac (Catalina) does not support LR and PS. Will Adobe be doing a fix for that?

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Jackie. Thanks and glad to help.
      Not sure where you heard that from but it is incorrect. I upgraded months ago and all is good. Thanks!

      Reply
      • Laurie Capan

        That is good to know! I’ve heard that too and haven’t upgraded because of it. Thank you Matt for another great course! I have loved all of the information and ideas you’ve shared.

        Reply
      • Jackie

        Thanks, Matt. Here’s what I found when I googled compatibility:
        Which Photoshop versions are compatible with macOS Catalina? Photoshop 21.0 & Photoshop 20.0. 7 work with macOS 10.15 (Catalina) but have these known compatibility issues. Dec 5, 2019
        Lightroom Classic 9. x and Lightroom Classic 8.4. 1 work with macOS 10.15 (Catalina) but have these known compatibility issues. You may want to remain on your current version of macOS until these issues have been resolved.Dec 25, 2019
        These were also on the Adobe website. I have LR 9.1 and PS 20.0.3, so you think I should be okay to upgrade then?
        Really appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions.

        Reply
        • Matt

          And if you look at the compatibility issues, they’re typically features and things that most people don’t even use so that makes it even stronger to upgrade.

          Reply
  8. Richard Feaster

    Hi Matt,
    I was so impressed with your job on this Video 4/Week 1 that I purchased your Photoshop System 2 package.
    Thanks.
    Richard

    Reply
    • Matt

      Thanks Richard!

      Reply
  9. Ken Moore

    Hi Matt

    Thank you for this Fresh Start course. Very informative to say the least. I am an ON1 user, have been for a few years and what it can’t do for me I usually fall back onto Corel’s Paintshop Pro, the first program I used for photo editing. I tried Photoshop years ago and found the learning curve too much and now that I have learned to use ON1 I can’t see switching. But I did like what you showed in the videos about it. You said that the Adobe subscription was only for both , so I really can’t see switching.
    That being said, again, thank you for your insights. Very informative!

    Reply
  10. Richard Salmon

    Matt, just want to say thanks for your honesty and integrity. It is quite refreshing. And by the way, you are an excellent teacher as well!! 😀 Thanks again!

    Reply
  11. Joe

    Matt,
    I was strictly using Lightroom but, now that I have seen and tried using Photoshop to delete distracting items using content aware, I am a going to be using Photoshop a lot. I just fixed a photo I took several years ago that had a couple of road signs down in the left corner that I could not get rid of by cropping. They are now gone. Time to go through old photos,

    Reply
  12. Marjorie

    Thank you Matt I really enjoyed that video. So much to learn and retain!

    Reply
    • Jutta Dayle

      Thank you Matt for the Fresh Start series and the courses I bought. They are so useful and enjoyable! I have been using Lightroom since it came out. Photoshop is another story. When I tried to use it I got so frustrated that I stopped using it except occasionally to blur backgrounds. If you have a quick look at my short portfolio (https://dayle.myportfolio.com ) you can see all the seams, noise etc. that I did not manage to clean up because of lack of knowledge and time to wade through complicated instructions on the Internet.

      I don’t know how many books on Photoshop I bought over the years, from Kelby, Evening and others. But they never quite gave me what I was looking for. And since I prefer books over videos, I stayed away from videos until I came across your Luminosity Masking course in 2018. The rest, as they say, is history. I will now order the Photoshop 02 course.
      Thanks again!
      Jutta

      Reply
  13. pointreyes

    Thank you Matt! I checked my account on your website and there were the 2.0 versions of LR and PS. Great way for me to start the month of February. When I get worn out learning out to use my “new” used cameras I can switch between your courses. 🙂 Greatly appreciate these updates – again thank you.

    BTW: Any good e-books on the a9? I like having a pdf stored on my tablet so that when I’m on vacation with no Internet I can have a good guide to help me out.

    Reply
  14. kdunn55

    Hi Matt, I very much appreciate all of the educational material that you offer, and of course, your realistic presentation style. I got a lot out of the Fresh Start 1 program, as well as the follow-up version recently presented.

    Seeing how you edit each of your photographs in PS (what parts of each photo – and why!) is simply amazing, entertaining, and inspirational. You also include a bit of humour as well; which of course, goes a long way. Well done Matt!

    Many Thanks Matt!!

    Reply
  15. Susan Scharenberg

    Matt, I’ve really enjoyed the Fresh Start series and appreciate all the work you put into it. With so many filter/plug-in companies trying to offer DAM and PS-like functions, today’s video (what you use and why) was a refreshing and informative level-set, especially with the several demos.

    Reply
    • William Tuss

      Mr Matt you are good… In two short video’s a nice succinct summary of RAW editors. Just enough info on most of the good one to clearly understand where each is, what they are doing, and where they are going, and who the plug ins really are.
      Your 18 folks going this way while the other two go the other way … Yea God makes them do it.
      We’ll all want to be with Lightroom “CLOUD’ in 5 years … I agree and kinda feel it’s gonna happen sooner
      And big bad Adobe and subscription fees with the best distraction removal tools in the world… Terrible
      So Fresh Start it is. it’s time to really learn the other good stuff in Photoshop so I must go now and get 2.0
      Many Thanks

      Reply
  16. Lisa Erdberg

    This is a really helpful series of videos, Matt. I appreciate the time and effort you put into it. I use LR almost exclusively, just doing a few things in PS occasionally, but I’m motivated to really learn PS now so that I can maximize the potential of my images. Thanks!

    Reply
  17. Tim Calderwood

    Matt: Although we’ve never met, I consider you a good friend. I’ve been listening and learning from you since the Scott Kelby days! I really appreciate your open, non-judgmental teaching style. You are such an encourager. I add my thanks for giving us all a “fresh start” for 2020. And thank you for the free upgrade to the 2.0 course. I’ll be sending you an email shortly. 🙂 Keep up the good work and the refreshing positivity. We need you!

    Reply
  18. Bob Zell

    All I can is thank you! I have been so inspired by your videos and applications.
    I will strive to produce better images with the assistance you have provided.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • rjobin39

      Matt! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and experience with our Matt K community. These past four weeks forced me to reflect on my thinking and philosophy as they relate to image capturing and editing. This experience put me at ease about many things and to really focus on what really is important. Recently I took a photography class where the instructor commented that the best camera we have is the one in our hand at any given time. I think your approach reinforced that notion for me. I have done your tutorial, No Light, No Problem, and enjoyed it very much. A few weeks ago began Photoshop .01 and updated to .02. Love the approach you take with the Photoshop tutorials. Thanks so much for all you do to encourage all of us toward improving our skills.

      Reply
  19. Judy Belanger

    Thank you Matt for the great series of videos. You are very inspiring. I am a Photoshop user for many years and I much prefer using that system for the reasons that you mentioned. I use Photoshop Elements as I can’t afford the full program, but I don’t feel that I am missing out on too much. I like Lightroom also, and it is great for “fine tuning” but PS does all the heavy lifting for me. Again, Fresh Start Videos are awesome, thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
  20. Sjoerd Woudstra

    Hi Matt

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Your information in this Fresh start course has convinced me to use PS much more than I used to. The new PS course looks very promising to finally master that program. Viewing instruction videos on YouTube or other websites is simply not enough for beginners (in PS) like me.

    Reply
  21. Bryan

    Thank you for this. There is so much jam packed in this – so many great techniques.

    Reply
  22. Justine Kirby

    I’ve just watched the last Fresh Start video. What a great course this has been! I’m new to your community and have got a lot out of Fresh Start. I have almost finished making the list of my photography resources together with logins, passwords etc. as you recommended a few videos back. It’s been a daunting but worthwhile task to help me plan how to move forward and to remind myself of some resources I had – oops – forgotten about.

    As well as Fresh Start, I’ve also completed your Mastering Lightroom Catalogs course over the last couple of weeks. This was fantastic, as I came away understanding not only the detailed steps on how to do certain things, but also the core concepts – which enables me to nut through for myself a few variations on the theme. Very timely, as I had been wondering how to work across multiple external hard drives on my laptop once I fill up the first one, and now I’m confident I could do it. I also have a new desktop about to arrive and need to transfer other photos and another catalog off that. Maybe I’ll even merge my two catalogs one of these days when I’m sitting around wondering how to fill in time …

    A couple of questions for you:

    (1) Will the Fresh Start videos stay online so that we can go back and watch any of them again if we wish to do so?

    (2) I have just bought your new Lightroom System and Photoshop System, as I can tell from watching today’s Fresh Start video that I have much more to learn. I had also been considering the “No Light? No Problem” courses. Is it still worthwhile buying these courses or do you cover the same material in either or both of the Lightroom System and Photoshop System?

    Thanks
    Justine

    Reply
  23. Gail

    Very informative. Question is your PS training going be the beginning basics?

    Started with CS6 and a book. Spent a winter learning Photoshop. Since then and several books, including Kelby and the Photo Shop magazine, later I am aware there are so many features I do not use. Just watching your video I think it is time for a refresher. At first I started restoring family photos and still do some. The black & white profiles helped big time to perk up some old scanned negatives.

    Have not learned to use content aware features. The wide angle trick is smart.

    Because I have a Mac & PC I could not use my license on both computers so used Elements and LR on my Mac. Love having both back on full version of PS with the subscription. Just sorry I was to tight to get it sooner.

    By the way, your hawk picture is awesome.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Gail. Yes, the Photoshop System is meant for beginners to early intermediate stages. I start from the basics 🙂

      Reply
      • Judy Johnston

        Hi Matt….I’m curious about your Photoshop System. In Week 4 Video 2 you demonstrated how to make a wide angle photo look more true to the eye by enlarging the distant mountain…….something I would never have thought up on my own & wow does it look fabulous. In the PS System, will you be giving a demo of other “projects” that utilize the various tools in ways we might not have thought of?

        Reply
    • Gail

      Do you have a recommendation that would be your refresher course plus pointers on some of the new features.

      Reply
      • Matt

        Hi Gail. My Landscape Editing Course or my Compositing Course both dive deeper in to those topics in Photoshop. Both available in the store. Thanks!

        Reply
  24. John Sobetski

    OMG – I can recall many years ago (probably about the time LR version 3 came out) that you were interviewing photographers on their preference of Lightroom versus Photoshop. Most of the photographers were in love with LR. (This was when PS was a $700+ program). However, I recall one of the photographers very quickly stating that she liked LR, but here is no way that she could live without Photoshop. That there was so much more that she could do in PS that she would never be without it. Seems like you ended up the same place 7 years later. I’ve enjoyed following you from your days when you were a regular contributor to PSE. I still recall your article on layers 101 were you used a mustache to explain layers:)
    At Christmas, I finally moved up from LR5 to the subscription version. (I still can’t believe that adobe is providing LR & PS for $10/month. I was sure that this was an introductory offer and that the price would go up every year by $5/month.) Now I have tons to learn about PS
    THANKS

    Reply
  25. Ann Giuli

    What a gift this video (as well as all the others) has been. I have never heard any other photographer so thoroughly explain the pros/cons of each of the software options. I now feel more comfortable in continuing my work in LR. With Gratitude.

    Reply
    • Mike Moffat

      Great series Matt kept my attention from beginning to end. As for the guy with the noise painterly photo I can say he’s taken it to heart. 😊 Keep on rocking Matt you’re doing a great service to us all. M

      Reply
  26. Jeff Ross

    Hello Matt:

    Thank you very much for this Photography Fresh Start program. I had no idea what to expect when I first heard about it. I think the beauty of the program and your personal style is that there is something for everyone. I am sure the “attendees” have a wide range of skill levels from near beginner to intermediate proficiency, etc. and I believe photographers of all levels can each gain something from your Fresh Start. I am an intermediate photo editor and I know that I learned more than I thought I would when I first enrolled.

    BTW Matt, I want you to know that I never used Photoshop until I took your Photoshop System 1.0 course and now I use it on a regular basis. Not for every photo, but for a good number. I purchased the original program and I go back to it many times to review skills as I need them. The PDFs, index, etc. are so valuable and complete! I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to begin to use Ps

    I consider you one of the “good guys” and you are very generous!!

    Great job overall!

    Regards,

    Jeff Ross

    Reply
  27. Keith

    Thank you Matt for all of your courses of the last couple of years. My photography has improved and my editing skills have been honed. Your refresher courses get me thinking and trying new stuff. I have homed in on LR as my go-to editor and catalogue system, largely because of the latter. It gets me started and stores my photos systematically with relative ease. I then use PS to “pretty” them up. When I use cellphone photos, I initially review these in Apple Photos where I edit using Luminar Flex, followed by PS if required. I do not use the full Luminar because its cataloguing system is poor to say the least. I am careful to store Photos-produced edits in a file outside of the software for security in case of a major Apple update. I look forward to following a course on Luminar that you hint at in your latest video. Well done Matt!

    Reply
  28. Anthony Fawkes

    Hey Matt, just wanted to say thanks your videos for the whole fresh start program have been really great and inspiring so much so that I’m going to order the bundle Lightroom and photoshop 2.0

    Thanks again for getting me enthused about getting back into my photography

    Cheers
    Ant

    Reply
  29. Eric Schweitzer

    Matt,

    Great video on the system you use. I have been using Lightroom for years and do some selected editing in Photoshop. I have recently heard if one prints a image with a lot of content aware changes the print will be blurry where the content aware was applied. This has not effected me yet since I only do small areas. Have you run into this problem and what is a work around?

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Eric. The areas will only be blurry if the changes were blurry to begin with. It’s all really about how you use it I guess. There’s no right answer, and you can adjust it as you need to keep things sharp. Like you, I do small areas at a time.

      Reply
  30. Tony Franco

    Matt, thanks for all of your time and effort with the Fresh Start program. It has been valuable, and I really appreciate it.
    I am one of those guys you first identified as FOMO. I have been following you since the days back at Kelby and I really like your style of teaching and training. When you started with On 1, I went all in (Pro Plus) but I was afraid to let go of my subscription to Lightroom and Photoshop. (FOMO). I am torn as I like some of the stuff in on 1. I need to decide which way to go as I think its crazy to pay for both subscriptions and it hinders my learning as I am trying to learn 2 different programs.
    so my question , in your opinion am I wrong to abandon On and go all in with Adobe. I value your opinion as you are my primary source for training and coaching.
    thanks again for Fresh start.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Tony. Thanks for the kind words. I said in Tuesday’s video that I think Adobe is the way to go unless.
      1) You are opposed to the subscription.
      2) You don’t understand LR’s catalog system.
      So… if you fall in to those categories then I’d say with ON1. If not… well… I think you know my answer 🙂

      Reply
  31. peter fiander

    I am just beginning to crawl out of my dark, chemically ridden dungeon into the colour of the computer. It is a struggle – not because of the computer. It is just another dungeon – but it just eats time. It is having to put up with that new element COLOUR!

    My heros were Steiglitz, Weston (Sn), Adams, Paul Strand and the rest of the F64 group. Quite frankly, I find colour a compositional distraction. Relatively speaking, my costs – cameras, lenses, dark room supplies, and the constant need to buy film -to keep me going was far more expensive than my camera and subscription to Adobe is.

    The computer gives immediate gratification -well kind of. It only takes an hour or 2 to work an image that is somewhat presentable, as opposed to 3 or 4 hours to develop the film, then do a contact sheet, then decide if anything was working with, then figuring out what to do with any individual neg – if anything? and then the very long meticulous process of getting a half way decent image.

    The computer in many ways offers too much. And like an idiot, I try to use all that it has to offer on each and every image . You, then become part of that problem. You keep opening new and exciting doors to be explored.

    Thank you, and keep at it.

    Reply
  32. Joyce Rivera

    Hi Matt – Thank you so much for your Fresh Start course. It provided a great refresher to some things I had forgotten over time. I totally agree with you about PS; I wish I knew how to use it better so maybe the is the year! I mostly use LR right now and go into PS when I need to but I struggle some.

    Reply
  33. Gilbert Maker

    Matt
    Just finished watching your editing video. My question is why use Lightroom at all. What are the benefits when you do most of the work in PS.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi. Organization of your photo library (photoshop doesn’t do that), and ease of editing multiple raw files at once. Plus, a great print and book module and sharing online galleries as well as sharing with the mobile app.

      Reply
  34. David Tripp

    Matt, thanks for all of your time and effort with the Fresh Start program. It has been valuable, and I really appreciate it.

    Reply
  35. Louise Collot

    Thank you for your videos, they are most informative. I am currently using Lightroom 6 & want to update to Lightroom Classic but am worried about if it will run on Mac with the new Catalina op sys. I updated to it & LR6 blew up and I had to reinstall the Mojave op sys. I understand Adobe is still having issues with the Catalina op sys. Can you shed any light on this situation? I cannot use the cloud based LR as I travel to many places where there isn’t event an internet connection! I look forward to hearing from you.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Louise – I have used LR on Catalina for months with no problems 🙂

      Reply
    • Judy Preston

      Thank Mat for putting out this Fresh Start program.
      I want to upgrade my Photoshop program I got from you two years ago Is that possible.

      Reply
  36. Sjoerd Woudstra

    This sounds familiar. I’m shooting raw since 2004 when the canon eos 300D came out. At first I used the canon software (digital photo professional) but the learning curve was rather steep with marginal documentation. So I switched in 2006 to an alternative: rawshooter premium from Pixmantec which was in my opinion far superior. The company and program was shortly after that taken over by Adobe. From it came the first version of Lightroom in 2007, which I have used ever since (with regular updates). I used the standalone classic version of which version 6 was the last one. Apart from that I used plugins like the ON1 software, because of the bunch of filters and presets, and the Nik collection. That worked fine for me, until Adobe decided to end Lightroom with version 6. At that time I did not want a subscription. So I tried a few other programs in the hope that they were at least equal to Lightroom. ON1 came pretty far, but the user interface was (and in my opinion still is) a bit clumsy and not intuitive. It’s not an easy program. I also used Luminar from Skylum (because I had Aurora for HDR). The first versions were OK, but oversaturation was a problem (also because I am red-green colourblind) and later versions were very very very slow with multiple crashes, even on a computer with lots of memory and a fast and recent video card. The program gave so much problems that I quitted. So for me ON1 could be an alternative. The program itself had no subscription plan, so you could keep it forever. But to qualify for updates, new features etc you had to become a plus-member. And in that way there was also a subscription plan.
    In the meantime Adobe had developed many new features for the subscription version of Lightroom, that other programs lacked and tried to incorporate in updates (but Adobe was still the first who incorporated them). So last year I decided to return to Adobe for the subscription plan, with the added bonus of Photoshop, 20 GB of cloud space and additional programs. And until now I never regretted this decision. ON1 and Luminar (the new version 4 is more stabil and much faster) are still on my computer, but I use them rarely and only as a plugin.

    Reply
  37. Sharon Brownlow

    Great overview, I have used LR since LR2, it certainly has evolved into a great program. I have used OnOne as a plug in, also Topaz but have let them go as I rarely used them. I got the Nik Software way back when I bought it from Nik, and have hung onto it through all its various owners. Still use it, my favorite being the Silver Effects for black and white. I use PS for basic use, mainly Content Aware, clone stamp and simple masking in layers. I’m wondering if your new PS 2.0 course requires your PS1 course first for better understanding.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Sharon – nope. It’s a revision of the Photoshop System 1.0. Just updated for the latest version of Photoshop and added some new stuff. It doesn’t build on the first one. It’s a replacement. Thanks!

      Reply
  38. Margaret C Nicosia

    I am Adobe Suite. I was fortunate to have learned Lightroom years ago. Looking forward to a Photoshop 2.0 from you. I am a novice but want to get better. For me,,,,if I am investing in the gear I need to invest in the right tools. I can see Adobe is continuing to make features similar across its many tools, which simplify their use.

    Reply
  39. Michael Head

    I have come to the same conclusions you have. I have been using raw editors since 2006. My camera came with Silkypix. Did it work? Yep! The lack of training sent me looking for another program. I found Lightroom and still use it. The training and problem solving help is second to none in the Adobe world. I keep buying ON1 for one filter, Dynamic contrast. 🙂

    I was initially worried about subscription software but I am now totally converted. Office 365 and Adobe photoshop/lightroom have made me a believer. It is cheaper (way cheaper!) and I am always current.

    Reply
    • Julie Picardi

      Hey Michael, what is Office 365? And is it part of Adobe? I’m just wondering b/c I just paid an annual fee of around $70 for Word b/c my old Word will no longer work. They have been warning me for the past 3 years that it was unsupported, but I got away with not paying until now. Boo!!

      Reply
      • Joyce Rivera

        Office 365 is from Microsoft not Adobe.

        Reply
        • Jules Picardi

          Thank you, Joyce. I thought so, but the way Michael worded his post, I was wondering if something had changed or if I was missing out on something. 🙂

          Reply
      • Michael Head

        Julie, I use subscription for Microsoft Office 365 and the Adobe photography package. Both are excellent and keep me up to date on all improvements. I think I am paying 100.00 per year for Office 365 and it includes the entire suite of programs. I’m paying about 120.00 per year for Adobe. It is way less than I spent buying each iteration of the software. I would buy LR one year and PS the next due to budget limitations. That left them out of sync which caused issues in some areas when you handed off a photo.

        Reply
        • Julie picardi

          Thank you Michael. You have clarified my thoughts. I appreciate your response.
          Cheers!
          Jules

          Reply
  40. Adam

    What a fantastic and comprehensive survey of the current RAW editor workspace. I had been an Adobe user since PS2 though the evolution of LR in all of its iterations. Interestingly, I started migrating to On1 several years ago after being intrigued with the concept of a non-destructive workflow and after a couple of non-recoverable corruptions of catalogs which became too large and unwieldy. About two and a half years ago, I said goodbye to Adobe after they abandoned the software in favor of a subscription only approach. While I really embraced the concept of On1’s non-destructive editor, easy workflow, and lack of mandatory cataloging, it became clear that the company had neither the resources or desire to offer a top notch, fully featured DAM program. For those who want cataloging, it is less than optimal, the NR and sharpening are basic and suboptimal as are their printer module, lack of content aware fill, etc. It’s been very disappointing and now I see myself migrating back to Adobe (hate the cloud idea and am still not a fan of mandatory import/catalog).

    NR and Sharpening in LR/PS are really good though I find for my high ISO wildlife images Topaz DeNoise (AI Clear) and AI Sharpen are better. The time issue is significant though it is difficult to compare as I spend less time tweaking the settings in Topaz as compared to LR/PS. Many regards and keep up the great work.

    Reply
  41. Judy Murphy

    Hi Matt,

    For regular digital captures 90% of my post processing is done in LR, with 10% finished with a mix of PS and 3rd party plug-ins. Can you address post processing for Infrared (IR) images?
    I sure wish LR & PS would allow setting a white balance below 2,000. Since they don’t, this is my very clunky unsatisfactory workflow:

    Set custom WB in Sony Camera for each shoot
    Import IR files with Capture One (C-1) for Sony
    Use C1 to set WB. (I’ve abandoned trying to learn doing all post-processing in C-1; agree w you that it’s too techy & difficult)
    Export to LR & import into Catalog.
    Open in PS and do channel swapping to adjust colors to liking.
    Open in LR and do basic editing.

    There must be a better way

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Judy. I can’t address IR images as have never taken one and don’t get enough requests to put anything together for it from my community. However, my friend and educator Blake Rudis does have some training on it though: https://f64elite.com/ir-mastery/
      Also maybe do some research in to Photoshop’s Channel Mixer adjustment to see if that helps.
      Thanks.

      Reply
      • Martin Z Hull

        I highly recommend Blake’s course on IR. IR post processing is so much more enjoyable with the education and PhotoShop panel that Blake and Tonee provides. By taking the course you can also partake of their Facebook CLiR group which shows very creative uses of IR.
        A shot like this was considerably easier to post process thanks to the PS CLiR panel that comes with the course:
        https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-zs7GDG8/0/X5/i-zs7GDG8-X5.jpg

        Reply
  42. Jim

    Love your overview(s). Have you ever tried Darktable?

    Reply
  43. Mark Lenz

    Great overview Matt. I use both Fuji and Nikon cameras for different photo activities and find that Lightroom is my favorite starting point. However, I do not believe Lightroom has the Fuji Raw conversion engine at the level of Capture One in certain instances, which results in me using Capture One for Raw conversion on many Fuji images, especially landscape with trees.

    Reply
  44. SueS

    Matt, thanks for this synopsis. I’m a LR classic user but glad you went through the others to see what’s out there. I heard you mention doing keywording with Sensei learning. Are you doing this in LR classic or is there some preference that needs to be configured to do so? I am forever trying to go through my 38K+ photos to keyword and never seem to get through it. Any pointers on how/where that feature is enabled to run over my catalog?? Thanks again for this Fresh start, it’s been fun and enjoyable to pick up some new things.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Sue. I mentioned the feature isn’t available in Classic but only in the “cloud” version of Lightroom. Thanks!

      Reply
  45. Craig Weakley

    Thanks for the software overview. Can you please comment on Topaz Denoise vs. Lightroom Noise Reduction? A few years ago, in an email exchange, you told me that LR was the best NR software – is that still the case? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Craig. I’ve tried it and I’m currently testing it out to see if I can get better results. Every time I think it’s better, I try the same photo in LR and I can get pretty much the same results. That said, I haven’t spent a ton of time with it, but if it is better it’s negligible. The one problem I’m finding with it, is that it’s SLOW. Like really slow. So it interrupts my workflow for something I don’t really care about. Noise Reduction occupies no more than 20 seconds of my workflow, as I mostly share online (ND is mostly useless then) and I print a lot (Prints automatically reduce noise).
      LR’s noise reduction is great and so far I can’t see a reason to use it. But I plan on spending more time with it over the next few weeks and if I find it better, I’ll definitely do a video on it. Thanks!

      Reply
  46. Richard Duckworth

    Matt, I appreciate this review. Mostly it confirms my opinions as well. I think the Adobe LR/Ps plan is a mild bargain. Yes we are locked in to a monthly charge for life. But getting Ps makes the deal. I didn’t buy Ps when it was $700 stand alone version and probably still would hesitate. But getting it “for free” has been a huge bonus. For using clone stamp, blending modes, luminosity masks for dodging and burning etc. I also got the Nik collection when it was free and still works in my system as a plugin. I also use some select Topaz apps as plugin as well. I got Luminar 4 when it was on sale, mainly for the sky replacement and I like their vignette feature.

    Reply
  47. Gary Gibas

    I’m looking forward to your recommendations. Hopefully you will also discuss some of the editing extras such as the Topaz and DXO products. I’m currently investigating Lightroom (Cloudy) and ways to maybe add it to my workflow. Currently I sync a Lightroom Classic collection and view the collection on my iPad in order to cull and determine what I want to work on further in Lightroom Classic. I’m not at a point where I feel I’m ready to edit in Lightroom (Cloudy). This video has made me want to stay focused on Lightroom Classic and finally finish your Photoshop System course.

    Reply
  48. André Hôte

    To me, a slow learner (then a reasonably fast user) the quest for the perfect photo software is a major pain in the neck, extremely time consuming and frustrating, first in learning your chosen software, but far worse when you start comparing it with other ones needing learning such as Capture One, or adapting to, like Affinity). For instance, all your shortcuts are to be re-learned and discovering them through a regular photo shoot workflow is like playing soccer with ski shoes.
    Therefore, thanks for your global initiative, choice of relevant topics and all the time it implies, and congrats for the brain workout needed to tackle all those. Excellent summary of the software offer which can save quite a bit of time for the hesitant (I tell them : trust Matt !)

    Reply
  49. Wes Mitchell

    You really nailed it with Capture One. I LOVE the RAW editor, although I think it was actually better in v12. The process section is almost as good as LR export, smart albums not quite as good as LR smart collections. But the organizational architecture drives me crazy. Not being able to separate virtual copies into different collections, for example. And the entire catalog system is a poor derivative of their session organization. Just does not fit into the way I work, which involves keeping a lot of photos around, and revisiting them, perhaps editing them differently, for different projects.

    Reply
  50. Patti

    I found your comments about the various software interesting but when you did not mention was the Corel and I really like your opinion about that. I’ve read several articles that consider it to be a very good alternative to Photoshop. Therefore would you please comment on Corel. Thanks

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Patti – Corel falls in to my last category in the video. I wouldn’t use it. I wouldn’t recommend anyone use it. It’ll edit your photos and I’m sure does an okay job. You just won’t find any community or validation for your choice.

      Reply
  51. Dennis Zito

    Hi Matt,

    Looking forward to your recommendation video! I’ve been using LR since version 1 and PS since version cs2. I’ve grown to not like LR for several reasons. I should state that processing my raw files it is truly awesome. I’ve never liked the Catalog system and just can’t use it. It’s gotten so bloated that I can’t use a local adjustment tools with out waiting for it to start working and continue to work. Lots and lots of hesitations. I have an iMac 27 with 32GB ram and 1TB hard drive, which is half empty. I only have a 512Mb Graphics Card. My iMac is a late 2012. I just don’t understand with all my Ram why I should put up with the slow poke adjustments. I’ve uninstalled, reinstalled and it’s still the same. So, with PS ACR, I don’t have these problems so I’ve switched to using PS ACR and PS-2020 for all my retouching. LR is comes along for the ride. I’ll stay with PS forever. I’ve tried On1, Affinity, Luminar, but they just can’t duplicate the workflow I use in PS. So I’m done messing around with them. I’m staying with Adobe Photography plan!!

    Thanks for the time and energy you put in to your work! Very much appreciated. I’ve been following you since I was a member of Napp back in 2005.

    Dennis

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Dennis. Have you watched this video: https://mattk.com/5-tips-to-speed-up-lightroom/
      512 MB graphics card is definitely a bottleneck. Most programs have moved processing to the graphics card and that is my guess of what’s slowing you down.
      I know budgets can be tight, but you are using a computer that is 8 years old. Unfortunately in computer years that is ancient. I hate to say it but it is true in all areas of computing.
      Next… make sure you don’t have thousands of presets as that will slow down too.
      Finally, check the Performance tab in LR’s preferences dialog and there’s a couple of links in there that may help.
      Take care!

      Reply
      • Dennis Zito

        Hi Matt,

        Thanks for the link! I watched and made the changes, but haven’t tried retouching a photo yet. I’ll do that in a few moments. My question for you is in regard to the xmp files. I’m guess it’s my age, but I can’t get a handle on when and why to use them. For example. If I got from LR to PS and back to LR and xmp is turn off … what happens to the LR changes, and does LR capture the changes I made in PS? Another example is LR to PS then while in PS using Camera Raw filter. I hope you have a answer for these. I’m sure you will!!! 🙂

        Dennis

        Reply
        • Matt

          Hey Dennis. For what it’s worth, I never look at XMP files. Photoshop changes are not stored in them, and they really don’t serve a purpose if you use Lightroom. It’s a redundant feature for the most part and I’d suggest not even looking at them. If you have that option turned off then you won’t have to worry about them. But it would unfortunately be too much to write about their purpose here. Hope that helps.

          Reply
          • Dennis Zito

            Hey Matt,

            Thanks!! Loved your last video on Recommendation and I total understand that you can live without LR. I don’t have your Photoshop System Training, but I noticed there is a 41% discount. Is there a coupon code to get the 41% or is $99.00 the discounted price? Just checking. 🙂

            Thanks again,

            Dennis

          • Matt

            Hey Dennis. $99 includes the discount 🙂 Thanks!

  52. Martin Z Hull

    For four years, I have been using Capture One Pro at a file based level. And then recently due to a heavy workload I switched to using sessions. In the my back of my mind, I keep thinking that I could use sessions like I use a catalog in LR. Once I’m done with a big project, I have the session saved in the folder that all the selected images are stored. I don’t like having a huge catalog, prefer to keep it small for storage on my laptop which is my editing toolkit. I use PS quite a bit because I use several of Blake Rudis’ PS Panels. And I use ACR for many edits which in many ways is LR running at a file based level instead of a catalog. I’m thinking that going back to LR might finally be warranted. My yearly plan is $108 so it is definitely less costly than C1 and I can continue to use the C1 license for many years to come. I have been cutting back the gear because I simply had too much for a hobby and I think software is another area for me to do this because I want to be a skilled artisan with a few over being a neophyte with many.

    Reply
  53. Justine Kirby

    Thanks for yet another informative and helpful video. I use Lightroom (more specifically today, Lightroom Classic) and Photoshop. I bought both of them a long time ago, held off going to the subscription model for quite some time, but eventually caved. Given how much I use them nowadays, it’s money well spent and I don’t begrudge it. Why not other programs? To be honest, I hadn’t heard of the alternatives until recently. But nothing I have heard about them makes me want to jump ship from Adobe. Seems to me that Adobe has the industry-leading products, as well as the best community and resources. For what I pay each year, that’s a bargain.

    Reply
  54. Hilary

    Hi Matt, Please see my comment submitted today as a reply to Ron Ballard by mistake. Reliance on the cloud? Not where I live, and nowhere in the foreseeable future. Am looking forward to your next video though.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Hilary – all programs require you to download them from the internet. It’s not just Adobe. As for using the “cloud”. None of them require you to use the cloud (including Adobe). And if you’re going to be away from internet connectivity for a while you can just email them and they’ll suspend the validation check that LR/PS does in the beginning to help you out.

      Reply
  55. Julie Picardi

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for all this info. I’ve heard about many of the programs you mentioned but didn’t know much about them. Before I learned LR, I used Aperture which I was sad to see unsupported after a while, but maybe that was for the best.

    Now I have confidence in LR Classic and feel comfortable there. It’s where I start my work and finish. I like the cataloging system which I learned from Scott Kelby’s book when you were working for him. It was my Bible for a long time. So as LR as migrated and updated, I’ve followed along. I do edit a bit in PS and frequently use Topaz. I like their AI Clear tool in Studio 1. I also like some of their presets which I’ve altered to my own specifications. I enjoy playing around with the Topaz Impressionistic tools and presets as I like to give my images an artistic look from time to time. Occasionally I use Lumineer 3 and sometimes a plug-in from the old Nik collection which I’ve had forever.

    I’m not a fan of LR cloud base. I thought I would try it, but then all of my photos began uploading, thousands of them and right away they wanted me to pay for more storage, so I canceled.

    Software is humbling, but I love the challenge.

    Reply
  56. Mike Moffat

    Hey Matt,
    Great video as always. Not to many instructors just tell it the way it is like you do.
    WOW ACDsee or however you spell it was the first editor I ever had. After that it`s been LR since I think 2 or 3 then onto PS. I try out some of the others when a trial is available but I still have not seen anything that touches adobe. When the subscriptions came along it made the whole Salami available for $10 a month you can`tose. Can`t wait to see what you have to say next video. Cheers

    Reply
  57. Sue Meyer

    Great video. I am a hobbyist and my goal is to get proficient at post. I have Adobe subscription and have used Lr so far. Currently going through your “Ultimage” Lightroom course 🙂 My biggest issue is in file management. I hope to get a good system in place so I can confidently process my large catalog of landscape images. Thanks for all you do!

    Reply
    • Matt

      Ha!!! I forgot about “Ultimage” – even spell check won’t let me write it 🙂

      Reply
  58. Ron Ballard

    Thank you for your thoughts ….. appreciate them. I have been using Photoshop since it first came out in the 90s. I got a hold of an education version for free and tried it. Not too impressed but I used it a little. Later I got another free upgrade of the education version. A little better but ……. , Later I purchased a newer version and found I like it a little better than the earlier version. I purchased the latest update every one or two years. and spent time keeping up on how to use the newer features. Soon the subscription plan rolled out and I thought I would stay with the paid version I had. Eventually I did, with much kicking and screaming, give in and subscribe. As updates to the software started showing up throughout the year and became much happier with my choice. With my subscription I went ahead and downloaded Lightroom. Again was a little reluctant to use it much mainly because of the learning curve. I invested a lot of time learning more about both programs through books and online tutorials and feel I am finally fairly competent in using both. I currently have so much time in gaining proficiency in both I don’t see myself switching to any other software but won’t say I “never” will. I have found that when I say I will “NEVER do that” I eventually do make a change. Like you, Matt, I think Adobe with continue to improve and will continue to stay in the lead. I look forward to seeing what the future will bring.

    Reply
    • Hilary

      Hi Matt, enjoying your videos. However, have to take issue with parts of this one. My ADSL line, only connected 2 years ago, has speeds of less than 1Mb/s. I frequently use my phone for a hotspot instead – but that only has 1 bar. Is this going to improve in the next 5 years to the extent I can use cloud services? I very much doubt it. I live in Australia, a very sparsely populated country on the whole, but I do not live in a remote area. I am actually on the fringe of a major city. I also travel, both within Oz and to Africa and India, and in both instances there are many places where being reliance on the net is just NOT feasible – backup photos to the net on the go – no way. Even watching your videos is problematic here involving many waits for the download to catch up. Sure, I have a subscription to Adobe and use LR Classic – but getting the updates is also a hit and miss affair! Use the Cloud? Just not an option.

      Reply
  59. Carl Heino

    Matt, thanks very much for your take on the options for photo-editing software. I am using Lightroom 6. I have not yet jumped to the Adobe subscription-based model. Photoshop seems very capable but the learning curve is daunting. I have been considering ON1 but have read criticism that edits are not backed up like they are in LR. I also have the feeling that ON1 developers are trying to catch up to LR and PS features as quickly as possible which may lead to the new versions of the software being less rigorous compared to Adobe’s software.
    I am very interested to hear your recommendation and reasons for it on Thursday! Thank you for a very worthwhile series!

    Reply
  60. James Lesser

    Hi Matt,

    This was a wonderful update about software other than Photoshop and Lightroom Classic. I have used Lightroom since its first release and Photoshop for at least 10 years.

    Over the past few months I have put all of my photo files and my Lightroom catalog on Dropbox. It took about a week to upload all of these 1.7 TB of files. I now can do photo editing from my PC at home and my laptop in Florida (where I winter). I pay for a Business Standard Dropbox plan that costs $450 per year. It allows up to 5 TB. I choose to remove older archival files from my PC hard drive and keep the more immediately needed files syncing the cloud and my hard drive.

    This has worked very well for me and I’d be interested to hear if you or any of your audience has tried it.

    I’d appreciate your input. I seem to be the only one who has tried this.

    Reply
  61. James Saxon

    Thanks for taking the time to do the video. I have been “chasing” the perfect software for a long time. I have an adobe subscription but do not use LR or LRC, never took the time to learn all the ins and outs. I have been using OnOne as my primary software since it was introduced and have become somewhat comfortable with it. It does have some limitations and I find myself going back to PS or Topaz Studio to do some things and/or to get into the Nik filter suite. This video has validated my decision to stick with OnOne, I am a plus member, and Adobe because it works for “my” photography. I am hoping to not get caught up in the hype as new software is made available.

    Reply
  62. Gail

    Thanks again for a great video… have been using Light Room since it came out on beta and have really love Classic version. Bought On One at a class of yours I took in Kansas City years ago and did not get the hang of it. Appreciate the point of upgrades being about the same as subscriptions. Held off getting the PS subscription because I was happy with PS6 but it has been worth every penny.
    To be honest I did not start out right with my catalogs in LR and still the hardest thing for me to get right. Partly because I would rather go right to editing instead of facing my mess. Now I have about everything in one catalog but use 2 computers.
    Store it in Dropbox .

    Reply
  63. Larry Fasnacht

    Well done Matt. I wasn’t really surprised by your evaluation of the current state of the software. Having said that there is an area that you didn’t address that I’m really interested in. I take my camera on vacations, and trips. Often times a bus ride back to the hotel, or ship signals the end of the day. I have found that I like to review my images for the day in camera, select a few (5 to 10), copy them to my phone, do some very light editing with Snapseed, or Lightroom (CC), then write a short email and include one of the photos to send off to friends and family. Usually by the time the bus ride is over, I have most if not all of this done. I use an Olympus camera that connects to my photo without too much trouble over an app.

    I’d like to switch to the Nikon Z 50, but I have not had a good experience with Snapbridge.

    My question to you, given the subject of this video, is what software/camera combination would you say is the best for the task?

    Reply
  64. Edna Barron

    I found this video very interesting. I’m new to Windows 10 (and struggling through it), and Photoshop CC. I tried Lightroom a long time ago, but found it confusing and stopped. I’ve had Photoshop since close to the beginning. I started learning it in college. That’s what they were using, so I bought it and have had it ever since. Till Cloud. I’m leery of new and different things. However, when my trustee old laptop died, I had no choice. Now I consider myself a beginner because everything is new again to me. I had thought about getting of PS CC and going to a smaller program or Essentials, but after this video I think I’ll stick it out and do my best to learn it. I’m eighty, so it’s slow going. I’m appreciating the extra week very much. Thank you.

    Reply
  65. Marsha Fouks

    Interesting. I was just wondering if LR (cloud version) had the same features as LR classic. I thought it would be so much easier to use the cloud version for when I travel with my laptop. That way I could work on the photos anywhere without worrying about catalogues and moving photos to different external hard drives etc. However, when I looked at the price for storage that I would need, it was not feasible. So definitely LR (cloud) is not for serious photographers using large megapixel cameras. I think I would be very interested in switching when storage becomes a non-issue price wise. I would even be willing to give up certain features that LR classic has.

    Reply
  66. Greg

    This has been a great series Matt – I’ve gotten a lot out of it! With this video, I really appreciated to run-down of all these different programs – some familiarity with a few, heard of them all, wondering if I should be paying them more attention. Honestly, I moved from Aperture some years back, and decided to go with Adobe becuase of all the free and paid educational ressources. I feel ‘comfortable’ with LR, familiar with PS basics, and coming to the conclusion that I probably with never learn (or need) more than 5 or 10% of what PS is capable of. I’ll watch the cloud stuff, but as a guy with about two decades on you, I only dos my post processing on my desktop. Even when I’m travelling. I love Evernote, and it does work well accross platforms, but the photo post-processing stuff is too kludgy for me. I will wait for the bugs to be worked out, and hopefully the iMac Pro will mature and that would be a great solution for me. Thanks for putting this series out ~

    Reply
  67. Bert Jenkins

    Absolutely fascinating – I have appreciated both this and your course Thinking of Leaving Adobe, released last year. Point at issue: two member of our local photo club, both given somewhat to cheapness (except for the Nikon D850), swear by the freebies Darktable ( a raw processor) and GIMP (a Ps-equivalent pixel-pusher). I know little about either except that Darktable seems to have some luminosity masking features missing from Lr, and GIMP won’t do Blend-If (ouch!). Do you have any knowledge of these?

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Bert! Thanks and I’m glad you like it. As for those two programs, yes I have heard of them and you’ll get the same answer I mentioned in the video. I’m sure they work okay and if it works for them great – just don’t look for validation from anyone because you won’t get it. And remember… with free you get what you paid for. They probably have thousands of dollars in camera equipment, yet you’ll trust your valuable raw files taken with those cameras to free software – and won’t pay $10 a month for one of the most important parts of your photography 🙂

      Reply
  68. Robert Hoff

    I have been using Apple Aperture for about 10 years. In more recent years I have supplemented it with Apple Photos which has been improved over the years yet doesn’t meet my needs. Skylum promised a digital management solution which was subpar when delivered. I finally made the switch to Adobe and am loving using Lightroom (aka CC, Cloud and Mobile). I started to use it in conjunction with LR Classic which offers incredible power and functionality at the cost of a steep learning curve. I look forward to your updated training having just purchased the current one 2 weeks! You are an incredible teacher!! Thank you for the Fresh Start videos; I have not just watched them but started applying them (eg, choosing my best photos from 2019).

    Reply
  69. John Stewart

    Matt: thanks for the comments – much appreciated. Since I mainly focus on simple photo editing I am considering moving to to (free) SnapSeed for editing on my Chromebook and on my Pixel phone (with storage provided via the cloud on Google Photos (both JPEG and NEF/DNG raw files). I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on this option since it was not mentioned above. Thanks John

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi John. Did you watch the end of the video when I talked about “other” options. This would fall in to that. I’m sure it works – and if it works for you… great. But you won’t find much community, training or validation on going that route 🙂

      Reply
  70. Martin Evans, MD

    As always, well stated. I was one of those folks who just could not do the subscription thing with Adobe. It just seemed that it was a never ending open checkbook from my wallet to Adobe corporate. And although I had used LR since it came out, I still hated the catalogue method. I bought virtually every other alternative to LR and each had its own plus or minus. I have liked ON1’s browser based access, and as you said, the reason for using it was as you stated in the video. I do think that the sky replacement and layers are simpler to use in ON1 than in the Adobe system. Having said that, I came back to Adobe following our trip to Costa Rica and have remained happy with the decision.

    My question for your next video is: Are there components of any of the alternative programs which are notably better than LR itself. That is… Is sharpening in Topaz better than LR or is there a noise reduction component in ON1 that is better than LR or PS? If so, then it seems reasonable to use LR as the primary editor but to take advantage of a particular program’s “add-on” for a particular task. Any enlightenment for those selected tasks?

    Keep these coming!

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hey Martin! I hope all is well. Ah… Costa Rica 2019… what a trip! 🙂
      Anyway, I’d say the only reason to leave would be filters. If there’s a special effect that you find elsewhere that you like and don’t find you can do it or replicate in PS. The only Noise Reduction on par with LR is Capture One. As for sharpening, I personally think it’s a sucker’s bet. Nothing makes a blurry photo sharp. And a sharp photo can be made sharper with very little sharpening added on top. I have been playing with Topaz’s AI Noise Reduction plug-in. At first I thought it may be helping over LR. But then when I really compare, I can get LR to look the same. Or I use that trick I showed you in the video I sent you. The one thing about Topaz’s Noise Red. plug-in is that it is SLOW… VERY slow. So while jumping to PS and using the masking technique I showed you takes time, it was nothing compared to how much time it took that plug-in to render my photo. I’ll report more and do a full review on it if I find it does indeed help. I just haven’t had the time to really spend with it lately and I’ve been happy with my results in LR/PS so I haven’t had the need either. Take care!

      Reply
  71. Chris

    Hello Matt
    I enjoy reading your blog, watching your videos and your photoshop course gave me the confidence to explore and use Photoshop.
    I enjoy messing about with editing software and so have tried nearly all of the apps mentioned in your video. Over time I have come down to two I use all the time (Lightroom Classic and Photoshop) and two I use quite a lot: DXO and Capture One. I use Lightroom as the lynchpin of my workflow, its database is second to none as far as I am concerned and the the print module just works! I can use Lightroom’s develop module quickly and efficiently. However why should I rush through editing and developing? I enjoy working and experimenting with my images and this is where DXO and Capture One come in – as alternatives. At times I will use one or both of these alternatives on an image and choose the result I like the best (the differences can be quite subtle). The images I care about are always finished off in Photoshop: the final tidying-up, presentation and saving as a tif file.
    This is where I am (editing wise) at the moment.
    Thank you for sharing your ideas and I look forward to many more years following your work.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Chris… that’s totally understandable. There are (many) people that just like fiddling with using various programs. They enjoy it. And if you’ve got the money, then go for it. A lot of folks I hear from are trying to live on a fixed income and, thus, trying to spend as little as possible on software which is why I was trying to help people pick some place to land. Thanks!

      Reply
      • Chris

        Hi Matt

        Got most apps on special offers or (as last year’s version) free with magazines.

        Best wishes

        Chris

        Reply
  72. Mary-Lynne Alberry

    Very interesting. Glad to hear these comparisons. Can’t wait for the big reveal!

    Reply
  73. Kent Rebman

    About the product name, my iMac-resident Adobe CC Lightroom cranks up with a splash screen identifying it as ‘Photoshop Lightroom Classic.’ I worked in the IT software industry for decades and in my opinion, that’s one of the worst product names in computing history. 🙂

    Reply
    • Matt

      I believe they wanted people to know that this was a “Photoshop” family of products and that LR was part of that. Not saying it was a good idea, but that’s what they’re trying to do 🙂 I can’t say that Skylum Luminar is any better or even… ON1 Photo Raw? Is it just for raw? is it for photos? What they heck is a Sklyum? 🙂

      Reply
  74. Marilyn Owen

    Very interesting, Matt. With your comments regarding moving to the cloud within 5 years or so, where do you think the other products besides Adobe are on that score? Will Adobe be alone with Lightroom up there, or are the other companies busily figuring out how they can put ON-1 or whatever up there? And what about Photoshop? Is there a Photoshop version that is browser based? I haven’t really heard much about what to do when you need PS for something and are in LR — can you still “edit in Photoshop”, even if you are on your cell phone?

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Marilyn – I think other companies will come out with solutions but remember, Adobe has a 5 year head start on them. Nothing is browser based… even LR. It’s still software/app that you download and run on your computer or on a phone/tablet. And the “cloud” isn’t as much of a problem for Photoshop because people don’t use Photoshop for managing thousands of photos as we do LR. But yes, you can store your PS edited images in the cloud as well if you want. Now that the iPad app is out, that could be more important for people that want to edit on the go with Photoshop too.
      As for when you need Photoshop. Stay tuned on Thursday… I’ve got a good solution for you 🙂

      Reply
  75. David Tripp

    Matt,
    I would be interested in any insight you have on how this applies to Fuji users. I have been using On1 for the last two years. It is a good program, but I have come to feel the raw processor is not quite up to par. I have started playing around with Capture One Express (the free version with limited features that only only works on Fuji files) I really like what it does with my Fuji raw files and I am trying to decide if I want to buy the full version. While I am not a fan of the subscription model, I am not dead set against it and I want to consider LIghtroom also. I do already own Affinity Photo and find it pretty good for what I need, though I am sure I would like Photoshop more.
    One interesting piece of information is the experiences of Thomas Heaton as documented on his YouTube channel. I have followed him for years and was glad to see him on your list of good people to follow. He has been a Lightroom user and a Cannon shooter for years, but he just got a Fuji X-T3 for a trip to Nepal where weight and size were especially important. To make a long story short (see his video for more details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPtPxH4IpsM&t=669s) he does not like how Lightroom handles Fuji Raw files and found Capture One was significantly better, but decided that he did not want to leave Lightroom, so he is using Iridient X-Transformer in combination with Lightroom. However he said if he was a primarily a Fuji shooter and did not have a ten year old lightroom library he would probably go with Capture One.
    I intend to download the free trials of both Capture One and Lightroom and see for myself, but I just wanted to see if you (or anyone else) had any thoughts on software for Fuji or what I should do when testing the free trials (especially since Lightroom only gives a seven day free trail). Thank you for this series.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi David. I don’t know what Fuji does to their raw files but every editor out there (besides C1) seems to have a problem with them. So yes… many Fuji users also use C1. I’ve never tried a side-by-side comparison and if you have a Fuji raw file that you want to share, I’m happy to try it. SIDE NOTE: Just remember, if you do go with C1, and you go with the cheaper Fuji option, you won’t be able to open/edit raw files from other cameras that you may have before you switched to Fuji. So you may want the full version.

      Reply
      • David Tripp

        Thanks, I’ve sent you an email with a couple of Fuji files (they’re not my best work as I wanted to send you files with editing challenges so as to better test the software). I think if I decided to go with C1, I will get the Fuji version. I am able to view previews of Raw files from other cameras and then open them with Affinity Photo from C1 (At least based on C1 Express for Fuji, I assume the Fuji version of the paid software will work the same). Also I still have On1 that I can use to edit raw files from other cameras. (This is a big part of what I don’t like about the subscription model even though I am leaving On1 I can still run the software and tweak edits I made when I was using it)

        Reply
        • Colin Grant

          Will be interesting to see how Matt finds this comparison. I am also a Fuji shooter now and to be honest I do not see too much difference when using C1 Express for Fuji. Yes the initial render is different but not mo better (or worse for that matter). Most who criticise Lr with Fuji are pixel peepers and are looking at images at 100+ percent, which is not the way I work. It is true. I think, that earlier versions of Lr did not manage Fuji RAF files well but there has been improvement over the last releases and we also have the Enhance Detail option now (does a similar job to X Transformer). My wn view is that the difference is negligible, no doubt thousands of Fuji shooters are using LR there are things in Lr that are not in C1 -map module and a very decent Transform tool come to mind immediately.

          Reply
          • David Tripp

            What I have found is that for Fuji Files that need a lot of work Capture One is signification better than On1. It does a much better job recovering shadows & highlights. Also for many other image I find C1 does a subtly better job. Its not much but it is noticeable. I have never used Lightroom with a Fuji file, I plan to use the free trial and see what I think.

          • Colin Grant

            I absolutely hate ON1 with Fuji, it appears to me to over-sharpen and the Fuji film simulations are way behind those in Lr and C1. If it were not for the fact that I am with Lr I would def be with C1 for Fuji, and probably most other things to be honest. What I cannot see is the reason to change – the diff between Lr and C1 is not great imo and the Adobe plan does provide value for money.

  76. Randy Beihl

    Another great video, Good to hear about he other options and your opinion of them. I have been an Adobe subscriber for a long time and I don’t like the cloud version. I’m old school and like to have control of where my photos are. Am very curious as to your reasons for choosing what you use. I think I know what programs you use but I’ll wait and see.
    Again great Fresh Start Videos.

    Thanks for them all.

    Randy

    Reply
  77. Bernard Adam

    I actually switch to lightroom from Adobe Elements which was a fairly decent photoshop for the poor. What about it ? Is that an alternative for us who still find photoshop rather intimidating . . .

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Bernard – Elements is great and I used to tout it all the time as buying Photoshop for a fraction of the price (back when PS was $700). That said, now at $9.99 a month, Photoshop is super cheap. And honestly, I don’t think Elements is any simpler. It’s still got mostly the same interface (but not all of the tools) and you still need to learn layers, masking, etc… But you don’t have all of the better selection tools and tools for removing distractions. So Elements isn’t really any easier, and you get less. At this point, with PS being so cheap, I think it’s the way to go rather than staying with Elements. Not to mention, Elements is pretty much on Auto pilot for Adobe. As you see each year, you get very few new features where Photoshop is the flagship and constantly getting new/better stuff. Thats my take for what it’s worth!

      Reply
    • Kent Rebman

      I made that switch some years ago and PS does seem very intimidating. I got past that by finding a youtube channel that appealed to me, and sort of teaching myself a feature at a time. Next thing I knew, I had a pretty good handle on it and I found value in buying a subscription to an education site and my skills have really blossomed. Good luck! It can be done.

      Reply

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