Floral Friday – Processing macro flower photographs

I thought I would compare what I could do with some flower images looking at Lightroom and Photoshop.

I have to say that I struggle with Lightroom (LR) a bit. There are so many things that I can’t do with it. I know there are ways around it, but I find Photoshop (PS) more freeing. Everything just seems easier, as far as I am concerned. I know people find PS hard and I get that, but I think once you start using layers it is really hard to go back. One think I love is that I can just go back to a layer and say you don’t work, so off you go, then delete it.

One thing that I am struggling with for both programs is the constant changes they are making. Now is it me, or are they making it so much harder? It seems that for many things you do it takes at least twice the number of clicks, so twice as long to do anything. I mean in LR the radial tool, for instance, you have to click to say you want it, then you have to do what you want, then you have to click the plus sign to say you want to do another one, but then you have to click Radial again, and then do your action. I am sure older versions from a few years ago weren’t like that.

I am finding the same with PS. I am constantly trying to find work arounds, or just end up going back to using a version from 2022. This need to put AI in it all the time frustrates me too. I know people want to use it, but I don’t. I like working on my images myself. It is one of the things I love, so why take it away from me. Okay, okay, rant over.

I thought for fun this week that I might do two lots of photos. See if there really is a difference with how they look.

It is hard to know if one or the other is better and perhaps I should have used the same photos and then seen how they turn out. Maybe that is something I can do another time. Do you think there is a difference?

The flowers are all from my garden.

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  1. I try really hard to ignore most of their changes, though I’m finding uses for some of the newly added filters. They are not AI and are easy to use and remove if you don’t like them. I still use the Topas AI denoise and sharpen. I don’t know what the AI is since you can control how much you use from a tiny bit to a lot. I rarely use a lot. I love their denoise filter for cleaning up grainy skies.

    1. I haven’t used Topas for so long and definitely not the AI one. I tried the AI noise reduction in LR and in PS, but it takes it too far. It doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t always go that far and sometimes there just needs to be a little noise. Oh well, will see what happens.

  2. I have never gotten a grip on Lightroom and I am SO grateful to discover I am not alone. Photoshop I can manage, but I never really figured out what Lightroom is supposed to do OR how to use it.

    I’ve been working on my flower images because two of my big orchids are blooming as well as my Easter lily. I can’t walk through the dining room — aka my flower room — and not pick up a camera. I did change to a different lens. The macro I was using just wasn’t giving me the results I wanted — NOR was the other (Leica) macro doing what I wanted. I finally found a Sigma macro that seems to be much more controllable. Why ARE macros so finicky?

    1. I can use LR, but I just find it too limiting. I like working in layers. I don’t know about LR, I liked it for importing my photos so I could rename them and such, but I’ve had Adobe fix it about 3 times now because it would import and I gave up because the last update it did again. I mean how many times do I need to go to them to get them to fix it.
      I don’t know Marilyn, maybe a tripod would help lol. I am like that with my front garden, I keep going out there and seeing what I want to photograph. It is a nice problem to have. Thank you.

  3. Beautiful flower macros! Unlike you, I mostly only use Lightroom. I only know a few of the basics in PS and stay away from it.

  4. I’m fully with you on the subject of AI Leanne. I like to do my own work and not have the computer do it for me. That’s the creative part that gives so much pleasure. There are times when it I usefull like extending an image where you need more space but like you, I prefer doing it myself. Love your flower images. Inspiring!
    Sheila Macdonald

    1. I love doing my own work too Sheila. Absolutely the best part. I try to stay away from it as much as possible. Thank you Sheila.

    1. That is interesting, they shouldn’t, they should both be the same amount of grain. Though the ones processed with PS were taken with the Nikon and the others were taken with the Fujifilm. Maybe that has more to do with it. Perhaps I should do this again with the same photos for both. Thank you RJ.

  5. A slight difference to my eyes. Some post photo programs are difficult when they don’t need to be. I don’t use all the features in Corel PaintShop Pro I can but it is easy to use.
    I don’t mind dipping into the AI side when I want to try something different and “arty” 😀

    1. Good you could see some difference Brian. I just hate when you know how to use it and love it, then they change it so what you used to do you can’t anymore. It is good that you find it easy. I find PS easy, that is until they change stuff.
      I want to do my own images, I know I use a program to do it, but I want to make the decisions. I think for me it would be like a painter using AI to create their paintings, where would the fun be.
      Thank you Brian.

  6. What a garden you have Leanne! These flowers are beautiful, but I can’t tell how you processed them differently. I’m waiting for the next installment.

    1. Thank you Anne, I’m really proud of my garden now. Yeah, for me it was easier to do them in PS than LR, but I really like PS.

  7. I hear you about software issues! (The flower pics are lovely, by the way).
    I got fed up with all things Adobe a long time ago and switched over to the On1RAW editing suite. Much of it works like Photoshop – just easier.

    1. Thank you Ceci.
      I am thinking I need to make some changes. The last time I downloaded On1 it just wouldn’t work properly on my laptop and was so slow. Though I now have Windows 11 maybe I should give it another go. Though there are things that i love to do in PS that I can’t do with On1. It is hard to work out what to do.

  8. This sounds suspiciously similar to my “Stop making [Thing] worse by ‘improving’ it!” rant(s).

    Even worse, as they stop selling you fully-fleshed out applications and start funneling you toward subscription-based services, it’s harder and harder to opt out of this sort of stuff.

    1. I know Matt, why fix what ain’t broke.
      I get what you mean too, I am really happy that they haven’t made it anymore expensive, but seriously it is getting beyond ridiculous. I’ve been looking at Capture One, so I downloaded a trial of it, so I might see hwo it is. Thank you Matt.

    2. I use DXO, primarily because I can buy a license… It’s not the most convenient or best application to use, I don’t think… but I can own a license for it, no subscription.

  9. Leanne, the flowers from your garden are beautiful! I use LR for my processing on my iPad and that makes my workflow much easier than when I worked solely on my iMac. PS has been a steep learning curve for me with only a few things I been able to do but not master at all.

    I enjoyed this post and flowers!

    1. Thank you Robert. PS is a big learning curve, but once you get your head around the layers and such, it is really good. Well it was until they wanted to keep changing things. I’m on the fence with it now.

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