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Lightroom Classic: Essential Training

Lesson 3 of 33

Lightroom Classic vs. Lightroom vs. Photoshop

Mark Wallace

Lightroom Classic: Essential Training

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

3. Lightroom Classic vs. Lightroom vs. Photoshop
Adobe’s naming conventions can be confusing. What are the differences between Lightroom Classic, Lightroom, and Photoshop? Which tool is best for you? Mark takes a closer look and answers these questions.

Lesson Info

Lightroom Classic vs. Lightroom vs. Photoshop

Light room Classic. And then we have light room, we have Photoshop. What's the difference and how do you know which tool to choose? Well the difference between these two things are three things all sort of goes back in time. And so we have to start with Photoshop when Photoshop was around. Originally it was the go to developing application. In fact even now so you take your image into Photoshop. But as digital photography started to become more and more popular, we needed ways to look at all of these different files and organize them and then bring them into Photoshop to be developed. And so way back in the early days there was adobe bridge and it was an image browser where you could look on your hard drive and see things and sort of catalogue them. There's a little bit clunky. It wasn't really integrated very well. And so there was sort of this struggle of how do we deal with all this stuff. And so Adobe created light room. So originally light room Classic was named light room. It's s...

ort of like coke and then new coke and then coat classic. It's all very confusing and so light room Classic is the original light room. And so that's why I might accidentally call in this class light room classic. Light room. So from now on, if I say light room, I'm talking about light room Classic. Unless I specifically call out that I'm talking about the difference between light room Classic and light room because I'm sort of old school. So if I say light room, I'm talking about light room Classic. Anyway, let's go back to Photoshop became bigger and bigger and bigger and a little bit more clunky and a little bit more clunky. If you took my Photoshop Essential Training class, I explain all of that and why that happened. So Adobe said, let's create something new, something that's more streamlined and something that is aimed at workflow, getting things in developing them and getting it out very quickly specifically to the web, everything was online. And so Light Room was born. Light Room Classic as it's now called. And so that is where Lightning Classic is. But then Light Room Classic sort of did the same thing that Photoshop did, it became more and more complex and more developed and then something happened, social media came along and all this stuff happened online that was new and different and Adobe once again said we need to streamline this. So they rebranded Light Room to Light Room Classic and they created the Adobe Creative Cloud and that's where Light room was born. Light room is now a cloud application, it is made for working on your laptop, on your ipad or whatever tablet you have on your mobile device and switching between all of those things and working in the cloud. So you can quickly update instagram or facebook or whatever social media you have share things with clients and be much more social where you can share images and have people work on them collaboratively with you and comment and get likes and all that stuff. So, Light room, it's much more a new generation tool. Light Room Classic is a tool that's used for workflow and Photoshop is for image editing and doing specific things that compositing and really advanced stuff. Let's look at all of these different tools. So you can see this in real life. So on my computer you can see that we have Light Room Classic. And Light Room Classic is uh you know what? We're going to go into the interface and a little bit but we have here is our our library. You can see all these different images and everything. I can take Light room and our Light room Classic. I can take light room Classic and sync it with light room. If I go over to light room here is light room you can see that I have the same exact images. These images were sink from light room Classic. I'm going to show you how to do that. You'll also notice if I go into light room Classic and take an image and go to the develop module. You have all of these different adjustments here for color and exposure and contrast and all of that stuff. If I go over here to light room and let's just click over here, you can see I have it's very, very similar control details and optics and effects and all this stuff. So I can do this similar kind of thing. If I go to Photoshop here is an image. I can go to a filter and I can go to the Adobe camera raw filter and look at this. You have the same controls. They're almost identical exposure contrast, highlight shadows, all of that kind of stuff. If we go to my tablet. So here's my ipad and I click on an image, let's click on that same image. Now look, we have the same controls that we had on the desktop. If I go to my phone, so I have light room on my phone, you can see that I have the same images there sink. It's a cloud applications. So the images from my desktop go to my laptop. You can open that right there. I can zip over here. I'll click on light and you can see there. I have the same controls again. And so the nice thing about Light room is that if you have images in light room on your desktop, you have light room images on a web browser. Those light room images will also be on your ipad or your whatever tablet you're using. They'll also be on your phone. So light room is a cloud uh infrastructure, so it lives in the cloud. So anything you do on one device automatically refreshes all the other devices. It's really great. It shares the same engine, Adobe camera Raw with Photoshop and Light Room Classic. So it's very familiar controls. The differences though are a little bit more stark. So if we go into Light Room Classic, we have the library module where we can sort things. We have a lot more control in Light Room Classic, with sorting than we do in light room. Light room has a lot of powerful sorting tools, but not nearly as robust as Light Room Classic. In Light Room Classic. We have modules, the map module, the book module, the slideshow module, the print and web module for getting things out to our clients and on the web printing things. Those modules don't exist in light room. Now, Light room has different ways of exporting and sharing images that don't exist in Light Room Classic. Now, it can all seem overwhelming if you go into Photoshop. So we'll go back over here to my computer to Photoshop. It has none of those modules, none of that sharing. You have to export and save and generate and do all kinds of advanced stuff to get your stuff out. And so the question is which tool should you use? Well, we will go into all of these different tools, We're gonna bounce back and forth a little bit between Light Room Classic and Light room and Photoshop during this class. So by the end of this class you'll have a much much better understanding of which tool is the most appropriate for which job. And this class is part of a three class series on the Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop. Light room and Light Room Classic. And so you can look at all three of those together to really understand. So if you're a little bit confused as to, I don't know should I use Light Room Classic? Should I use light room? Should I use Photoshop? Stick around as we go through all these different modules and we start processing and importing and sharing and sinking and all the stuff that these applications do, it will become a crystal clear which one is best for you?

Class Description


  • Understand how Lightroom keeps things organized – the catalog system.
  • Use The Library module: importing, keywording, metadata, organizing, and more.
  • Use the Develop module: Make global and local adjustments, use the tools, use and create presets.
  • Understand the Map module: Organize your photos geographically and use privacy settings.
  • Use the Book module: Create a book from scratch.
  • Use the Slideshow module: Create a slideshow, create presets, learn strategies for increasing your income using the slideshow module.
  • Use the Print module: Create prints, create proof sheets for clients, and learn other hidden features.
  • Use the Web module: Create galleries for online viewing.

In addition to the modules Mark will be covering:

  • Custom Presets for automating your workflow.
  • Watermarking your images.
  • Using Publish Services.
  • Integration with Photoshop, Lightroom, and Creative Cloud.


This class is a step-by-step walkthrough of Lightroom Classic, perfect for the beginner as well as those who have worked with Lightroom Classic previously. This class is everything you ever wanted to know about Lightroom Classic but were afraid to ask.

This class will give you an overview of Lightroom Classic and show you how to maximize its potential by creating a workflow for importing, keywording, adjusting, and exporting your images.


  • Beginner and Intermediate photographers.
  • Professional Photographers looking to streamline their workflow.


Adobe Lightroom Classic

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Class Materials

Tether Tools Pro Kit Discount

Tether Tools Starter Kit Discount

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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This is an excellent class to learn about Lightroom Classic. Since it's not the same as Photoshop, I found Lightroom Classic to be confusing and difficult to intuitively figure out. Mark Wallace is an expert and exceptional teacher for the program and I learned so much today in this free class presentation that I am planning to purchase the program so I can continue to have a solid understanding of Lightroom Classic basics. Thanks, Mark, for inspiring me to get back into computer photo editing with LR Classic!