I have to ask - PSP Photo Effects and LR and all the issues

(Loren Knoppi) #1


I first tried to look to see if there were any topics on this at all, but did not see one that addressed what I am looking to find.

I am almost totally exclusively using Corel’s Paintship Pro X9 photo editing software (and I have to say I do love it, there are still a TON that I have to learn, but I love that I can do so much with in, including adding my logo/watermark and resizing it without issue)

I am attempting to learn LightRoom (and I do have a yearly subscription to it) and I have to say - I attempt to use it everyday and in my best Smeagle voice “I hates it!”

I have so many friends who swear by LR and that it is the ONLY software to use for post processing.

BUT - I have nothing but problems with it. Yes, now and then I can get a great photo “cleaned” up in it, but I can do the same in PSP X9. I have a lot of my photos that are a mix, some are LR edited and some are PSP edited.

The main things I do are cropping, changing to B&W, some I do want to brighten or darken a certain spot… but I don’t a ton of editing.

I have tried to do numerous LR youtube videos, and the videos on Adobe’s website to learn LR but, it is beyond me in most things.

The biggest pet peeve I have is the watermark/logo. I can’t get it in LR to do what I want. In PSP I can move it all over the place and easily change the size of it. In LR it is just placed where ever it was “listed” at in the program and there is not a single thing I can do to it.

I can’t stand that I appear to be editing my original photo in LR, but in PSP I can edit and save a COPY and leave the original untouched.

And then this also brings me to the one thing that I love most about photography - is that there are so MANY things for each of us, and we all may use different things (camera, sd card, lens, post processing steps) but, still love each other’s photos.

So, what I am trying to ask is what does everyone use? Are there people here that have tried, tried, tried and again and seem to only fail at LR and yet have better luck at other programs? Or are most of us using LR only?

If anyone is using LR and knows of great tutorials that actually taught you to use it, please pass them on to me.

I may “hates (insert Smeagle voice again)” LR, but I want to learn to use it.

(Erin Fitzgibbon) #2


I am so glad you have asked all of this.

I love LR. I have been using it for years. When i first started photography I used Corel as well. Once you get used to LR I find it some much more comprehensive.

That being said I’m in the process of writing all the promotional stuff for Corel Paint Shop Pro for their website so I have to relearn the program. Maybe I will bug you for advice. It’s hard writing about how great a program is when I haven’t used it in like 8 years.

Lightroom edits are non=destructive which means it makes the changes and overlays them on the original picture. There are lots of ways to view your original. One of the easiest things to do is choose the option to use is soft proofing. It will allow you to have the original and then a second copy with your edits. The idea is to make your edits and then export your image from lightroom. The original is always there you just go back in the history to import and you can find it.

I’m gonna see if I can take a print screen of soft proofing your images. I’ve also given you this link to julianne kosts website. She’s the lightroom guru

we are all happy to help. Keep asking questions.


(Nick Perkins) #3

Hi Loren,

Sorry to hear of your persistent troubles with LR! I haven’t seen PSP in the longest time, I didn’t think it was still around!

If you’re intent on learning LR exclusively maybe you should uninstall all of these other programmes and only leave LR on your machine. That way you won’t be tempted to go elsewhere and you can concentrate on learning LR.

If you are shooting RAW files, any edits you make won’t commit to the original file and you can reset to the SOOC shot at the click of a button, it’s completely non destructive editing. Even if you shot JPEG, you can still create virtual copies/soft proofs and work on those in place of the original file.

As for Watermarks, I’m going to be brutally honest here and suggest that you don’t bother. I personally cannot stand some huge, potentially ugly block of text/picture that detracts/obscures or draws my attention away from the subject of the shot. If you’re proud of a picture, put it on a website, social media or even print it and frame it! In this modern day, if someone wants to steal/alter your image, they will, watermark or not. However, that’s personal preference. If you want to use one, then use one!

I can’t impart any specific knowledge on LR, I too learnt the hard way and through experimentation. YouTube tutorials are really your best bet, beyond that you could do an afternoon course at a local college, or even get one of your friends to sit with you and take you through the process step-by-step.

Regardless of which route you take and which programme you use I wish you luck and look forward to seeing your work! If I see anything online that I think would help you out in any way I’ll be sure to share it with you! :slight_smile:

(Loren Knoppi) #4

Hi Erin!

Oh I’m glad someone thinks I’m not completely off my rocker! LOL I want to learn to use LR without cursing at it, screaming at it, threatening to throw it out the window!

There is so much to learn and I get frustrated with not being to do what I want with it - and admittedly this is from just NOT knowing. And so many “how to” videos are just not great and make things so much more confusing.

I do love PSP and am enjoying it very much… but, I know that LR allows me to catalog, see which have been edited and etc… I am sure PSP can too, to a degree, but I am not sure how.

I don’t much care for the import/export of LR - but, I see the advantage of it.

I will be happy to take a look at Julianne’s site and see what I can find there :slight_smile:

I’ll keep asking questions because I truly do want to learn, and I wonder if anyone else out there is as aggravated with it all as I am and would be happy to learn as well.

(Loren Knoppi) #5

@herrfledermaus Thank you Nick!

I have to say if it was huge image or watermark I would have to agree with you completely. But, for when I post online, I want something that shows my name, my site to help direct people to it.

I know it’s easy to remove, however, some people don’t feel like taking the time to remove it.

And I put it in a corner, down at the bottom to not detract from the photo.

I only have LR and PSP on my computer to work on photos and bounce between the two.

There is no way I would remove PSP at all, so that is not even an option for me. But, I get what you are saying there. and for many it would help.

I keep trying and I keep looking for things to learn in LR, so any help you can throw my way with good tutorials will be appreciated!

(Camellia) #6

I have been playing with Lightroom for the last 12 months and each day I find something new that I like about it or something that I do not like about it. I am definitely not an expert but I have figured out quite a bit on my own by just playing around. The cataloging was a big issue for me, I just could not figure out how I should set my pictures up in folders so that I could find them (I am not big on tagging) but someone in one of the photography groups I belong to gave me a path, maybe not the best path but at least it has given me a directions. That being said, I have also been playing around with other programs. One such program is called ON1. They just came out with the final app which also can handle RAW. The program seems to be way simpler than Lr and definitely must easier than Photoshop. One of the things I really like about it is that you do not have import your pictures. It will edit a photo without tampering with the original. Might be worth looking into it.

(Becky Brannon) #7

I love how much I can improve my photos with LR. If you are having issues, I suggest checking out one of the many fantastic how-to- videos on YouTube.

(George Bremer) #8

Hi Loren,
I’ve been using lightroom as my primary tool since it first came out, so I’m a bit biased I suppose :slight_smile:

Just for background info, I use it for the following things:

  • raw conversion (when I shoot digital)
  • library organization
  • non-destructive editing
  • exporting to services (flickr, printing, etc)
    IMO, lightroom does all of these things very well. There is a LOT to learn because there are so many features now you can get lost in them. I’d suggest just focusing on learning one thing at a time so it doesn’t get too overwhelming.

Others have touched on the non-destructive editing, which is a really great feature. I’ll add that when I want to use a tool that does “destructive” edits, I will create a “virtual copy” (right click and select “Create Virtual Copy”), and then edit the copy in photoshop, silver efex, viveza or whatever. When you create the copy, LR will create a copy of my image with the current edits applied. You would then right click the copy and select “edit in” and select the app you want to use, then that app will be opened and loaded with your image copy. When you save the changes in the app, LR will display the copy with the edits made outside of LR (the original will be untouched).

Though I don’t have the app, in theory you could create a virtual copy of the image you’re working on and tell LR to “edit in” Paintshop Pro. When you save the changes in Paintshop, the changes you made will appear in the copy of your original image. I’d make a video of an example of it for you but to be honest you may wind up learning LR before I could figure out how to make the video.

I’ve never created watermarks so I can’t give you specific input on doing that in LR.

I hope this helps a little. Don’t hesitate to ask more questions, I’m sure someone here will know the answer

(Erin Fitzgibbon) #9

Ask anytime you need to. I’ll see what I can do to help. That’s what we are all here for. Just as a side note PSP is starting to gear away from hobby photographers. The aim of the copy I am writing for their website is geared at businesses. They have decided to cater to the needs of real estate companies, law firms etc. The plan is to market the multiple licenses section. The program may be seeing some changes that make it less about photographers and more about image for business. They know they can’t compete with Adobe.

(Loren Knoppi) #10

@gbremer Thank you George!

There is indeed so much to do with it! I would LOVE at this point to combine PSP and LR and be happy! LR just makes me nuts, I guess I am someone who likes menus and very specific paths - you do 1, 2, 3, and so forth. And LR just doesn’t seem to have that - that I can see!

I have a friend that wants to sit down and go step by step with some things in LR, but there is of course the issue of time. LOL

I plan to keep playing with the LR and hopefully I can get it to do what I want and learn the steps to do it. But, at times even going step by step with a youtube video, it just seems to not make sense at all.

It seems everyone is “just run this script” well… um… what if you have NO idea how do make a script, where to find one, much less if it’s the one that you want lol

I want to know the step by steps first… then shortcuts can be learned.

Slowly, and I’ll drag myself into kicking and screaming I am sure lol but I will get there

It just seems that everyone is saying it’s such an easy thing to use and it’s just really not. At least not for me for some reason.


(Loren Knoppi) #11

@erin4 Thank you for the info Erin! That just sucks grrrrrrr

I have off and on used PSP - the ability to make little images and words and stuff for years and never liked photoshop at all.

So it’s a bit sad to know they will move away from their Photo Editor… but, companies need to move on and up I suppose!

One of the best things I like about PSP is that you own it… if you only buy it once it works for years , ya ya ya you don’t get “updates” but you aren’t “leasing” something forever which is one of my biggest pet peeves with Adobe.

But, I suppose this is the way of the world and my old-fashioned self needs to get it in gear :slight_smile:

But, I will keep pluging away at LR and keep asking questions and learning :slight_smile:

(George Bremer) #12

yeah, the thing with lightroom is that it is in a way so “unstructured” that it allows the user to create their own structure within it. I feel that the goal should be to establish a repeatable workflow that you follow (for the most part) each time.

I’m not completely rigid about this, but most of the time my workflow is:

  • import (always into folders by date)
  • choose a photo to work on
  • crop and/or transform
  • if I was going to apply a preset (a whole separate discussion) I’d do it here.
  • adjust the white balance (this would be where I’d convert to B&W if working with digital images)
  • adjust the tone/curve. Possibly the exposure first if the image is obviously under or over exposed.
  • any further refinement I’d want to do
  • flagging, naming, tagging, adding to collections, etc.

since I shoot mostly film these days, after scanning I’d use photoshop to remove dust marks (but no other editing) before importing since photoshop has a better tool for that and it saves me a step.

I think you’ll find that once you decide on the best workflow for you, you’ll be able to focus on learning the things you really want to do while not worrying about the other stuff.

Operating lightroom is heavily based on the palettes on the right side rather than menus. Each mode has it’s own set of palettes. If you try to do editing via menus you’ll get frustrated quickly and some things are impossible to do using menus. And as for shortcuts, you should at least remember the basics like ‘d’,‘e’,‘g’,‘r’ which are important and allow you to change operating modes quickly.

(Loren Knoppi) #13

@gbremer Good Morning George!

That actually helped a lot! Currently, I have all my photos organized by date, then year. Because at the time, I didn’t have LR at all, I was using an Excel sheet that I set up to track, tag, name, etc… all of my photos - and as much as I LOVE excel, this got to be aggravating!

I haven’t used the LR to set up tags and stuff - I’ve been a bit too scared at this point… mostly just something I know I need to sit and do and with everything else going on right this minute, I just can’t sit and do. lol

But, I like the examples I’ve seen on “how to videos” of the ability to search, find, collect photos with certain names, dates, tags, etc…

I hope to make some time this weekend to do a couple more “how to” and see if it will help me at all.

(Ram Ya) #14

Thanks for starting this discussion, @catspawspec. I am sure it will develop into something that benefits future LR beginners.

I think a good place to start and improve is to follow the workflow suggested by @gbremer. Would you be able to follow those steps and let us know any troubles you encounter? I would be glad to help with some screenshots.

So, to get you started, do you know how to import photos from your SD card to your destination folder? If you do this step, you can forget about that tedious Excel based workflow! LR makes it a breeze to import photos into your computer and catalog them. If you are not familiar with this first step, I will show you a step guided screenshot in my next reply. Just let me know.

(Loren Knoppi) #15


Hi Ram!

Yes, I know how to import and export, I can change to b&w, I can adjust colors, sharpness, values, use the presets, crop, and add tags and make collections.

What the issues are - is it doesn’t seem to do half of what PSP does - I can change any little tiny thing in PSP. I can add a watermark/logo and resize it and move it around. You can not do this in LR - you can set up the watermark and then it just puts it in there. Once LR has it on the photo you can’t do a thing with it. Sometimes I need it to be bigger, smaller, I don’t like it in the one corner, it would be better in the other, or I don’t want the white watermark, I want the black, or the cream, etc.

With PSP there are all these wonderful menus that you can look at and go OH what about that, what will that do? Then you learn something new.

LR doesn’t have any of that. With LR you have to already “KNOW” how to do everything and when you don’t know how to work LR to do what you want, then it’s a totally pain in the rear end LOL

I have watched HOURS UPON HOURS of LR videos on youtube.com and the Adobe website - and still am not any closer to getting things done in it.

Because all of the how to videos seem to be “oh you obviously know how to use LR so we are just gonna show you even more shortcuts without explaining a single thing at all” Sigh

And that is where the frustration is.

The how to videos an LR are designed for people that already know how to use it to it’s fullest.

I can’t tell you have many HOURS of “how to insert a LR preset into your folder to be able to use” and NOT ONE of them actually works. I will turn it on, watch it like 5 times, pause the video, do the exact steps and not a single one of my presets are available.

However, in PSP, I can add a preset/script/filter and whammo it’s right there the very first time for use without any problems.

There needs to be a “OH, you leased LR, and have no darn clue… so let me show you how to do it… this is how you open it, this is where everything is at, this is how you do this, that and the other” instead of all this “run your preset, export” and whammo you are done

It’s just so very aggravating and not at all user friendly for the new user. I have “attempted” to use LR for about 8 months now and can’t tell you how very much I hate it. I have cancelled the lease at least 3 times, only to start it back up again and then try again and again and again… only to still have no clue how to really use it much less get the photos to look the way I want.

(Loren Knoppi) #16

Maybe this will help…

the middle folder is unedited (I couldn’t get the raw in, so I had to use the jpg) The Top photo and the Bottom photo have both been edited.

The Top one is PSP and the Bottom one is LR. They look completely different and the jpg unedited looks better than the bottom one, which was edited in LR.

I have more ability to sharpen in PSP than I do in LR and yes, I am aware that this is because I do not have the knowledge of how LR works - but, it appears that LR ONLY works if you have a ton of presets…

So then, with not “knowing” LR and the how to videos all seeming to be designed and directed to people that already know how to use it - it makes it very difficult. :frowning:

(Loren Knoppi) #17

Updates… :slight_smile:

Okay - I wanted to ensure that I actually set myself up to succeed in attempting LR again with you all :slight_smile:


I removed all folders, and set LR to it just being opened the first time. I am re-adding the folders from my external - a completely FRESH start.

I also reset LR preferences to ensure that I am set up properly.

I am going to attempt yet again to add the few presets that I have already gotten so that I can see them in the LR

And then I will see where we are from there :slight_smile:

I may really “hates it” LR but, I am bound and determined to learn it!

(Nick Perkins) #18

What might be beneficial, might be to do a series of short videos recording someone’s screen for each step of a ‘standard’ workflow.

If anyone has any screen-capture software and a good knowledge of LR, maybe a series of Photoblog endorsed videos - “Lightroom - The Nitty Gritty”

I can’t quite wrap my head around using PSP, my only experience of it was as a graphics/vector art package, not a dedicated photography editing/workflow programme. Each to their own though.

My own workflow goes a little something like this:

  • SD Card in, import RAW photos onto Hard Drive. (Into folders in a Year > Month > Date hierarchy)
  • In Library view, activate CAPS LOCK (This allows me to rate each photo, but having Caps Lock on will automatically progress to the next photo once the rating has been set)
  • Rate photos based on 1-5 Stars.
  • Sort photos by 5-star rating (These are my favourites and the ones I will work on)
  • Select first photo and click over to the Develop tab
  • First I correct Horizons, Crop etc.
  • Next, I adjust Exposure under the Basic Tab on the right. Here I alter contrast, saturation & highlights accordingly.
  • If I’m doing a B&W shot, I change the image to B&W under the HSL/Colour/B&W tab. I do this rather than desaturate as I can then change the saturation of specific colours, which then affects how that colour is represented even in a B&W image.
  • Next, I make changes under the Lens Correction tab. This allows me to apply the lens correction profiles and counter any iffy distortion caused by my lens. Nothing particularly strenuous under this heading. Some lenses are so well calibrated that they don’t even have profiles to apply! Simply clicking Enable Profile Correction will apply it, no fuss.
  • Following this, if I have any buildings, I will experiment with the Transform tab to ensure verticals are vertical, horizontals are horizontal etc.
  • Once I’m happy with the result I’ll export to JPEG and have it auto-upload the file to my Google Drive/iCloud storage for use on other devices.

As a rule, I don’t Sharpen - I endeavour to get the shot as sharp as possible in camera. I also steer well clear of Presets, presets make people lazy and discourage experimentation with different settings/looks. Unless you’re working on a purposefully artistic/complicated image I also don’t think you should spend any longer than 5-10 minutes on each shot, if that.

I’m sure people will disagree with some of what I’ve written, but that’s the beauty of being in a creative community. No-one ever got anywhere by doing exactly the same as everyone else.

(Loren Knoppi) #19

@herrfledermaus Thank you Nick!

yes, when I first heard about PSP doing photography software, I was a bit surprised too. But, I do like it. It is just very easy to use.

I am redoing LR. I reset everything completely and now imported all photos. Now, going through and adding some metadata so I can get used to that.

I’ll work on “learning” the develop tab here soon, me thinks I need a break to get rid of the headache I now have from all this

I know so many people are absolutely LOVING LR and all I hear in my head is my Smeagle voice. But, I am working on learning more :slight_smile:

Step by Step…

The first step of course was finally importing everything. Which is done.

I am learning the metatags now.

So, slowly I will get there. But, I want to do it in steps :slight_smile:

(George Bremer) #20

One thing I would recommend you do when you have time is to experiment with the different palettes in the develop mode. Develop mode is the core of the editing capabilities of lightroom.

Someone once recommended that you move each control to the extremes to get some familiarity with what they do, which I think is a great idea. I still do that myself sometimes to gauge how much adjustment I want to do. Then you would move on to combinations. Still lots to learn, but it’s nowhere near as complex as photoshop!