My Photoshop Skills are Obsolete

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This image shot on a 5D was enhanced in a mater of minutes using Viveza. The same results in Photoshop would have taken far longer.

For a long time now I have been a user and enthusiast for Photoshop. I am however a strong advocate of making photography light weight in all respects and that includes post processing images. I don’t want to be sat behind a computer for hours on end when I could be out taking pictures. No, my life and time are far too valuable for that and this was one of the drivers for me switching to Lightroom. I had reasoned that Lightroom could give me similar results to Photoshop but perhaps, from everything I had read, much faster.

Well, Lightroom is faster, especially where you want to apply the same adjustments to a group of images. It also makes finding an image a breeze and I wouldn’t be without it now. It is not however a replacement for Photoshop and I find that images adjusted in Lightroom still need some extra “polishing” in Photoshop in order to reach their best. It’s not therefore the huge timesaver I had hoped for.

What has caught me completely unawares however is a Photoshop plug-in from Nik Software called Viveza. It’s a very simple application to use and is accessed from within Photoshop but also integrates with Lightroom. What this plug-in gives me is the ability to make key adjustments to my images whilst targeting specific areas. For example I can edit the blue in a sky whilst leaving the ground and clouds unchanged. Yes I could do this in Photoshop but it would take some delicate selections to ensure I did this with a seamless blend, all of which takes time. With Viveza it takes just minutes, looks completely natural and requires much less skill than with Photoshop.

Having now used Viveza for a couple of months through Lightroom I am finding I do less and less in Photoshop. In fact, it’s got to the stage now where I think I can achieve better results with Viveza than I can using Photoshop. My Photoshop skills, painfully built up over years, now seem largely obsolete.

12 thoughts on “My Photoshop Skills are Obsolete

    artsmith7 said:
    October 31, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Great shot !
    I love Viveza and all the other filters from NIK.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      October 31, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Pleased you like the shot.

      Yes the Nik filters are good aren’t them. After I got the Viveza filter free I purchased the complete set and use them all the time now.

    ndjmom said:
    October 31, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I’m with you, Since Lightroom 4 I rarely use Photoshop except for pixel manipulation. I have access where I work to the Nik software, but haven’t broke down yet and plugged them in. It’s a matter of I want to “master” one application before “playing” with another toy.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      October 31, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Yes, I understand what you are saying. It pays to master each part of the workflow in turn without adding further complexity.

    andrew cooper said:
    November 1, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Nik simply rock

    Roberto Ortiz said:
    November 1, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Yes Viveza is amazing. In theory, you can achieve similar results in Lightroom with the adjustment brushes, but that requires a more work, and I find it hard to make the edges of brushed-in areas look natural. I hope Google doesn’t mess it up (now that they acquired Nik).

    pjs28jack said:
    November 1, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Can you please tell me the best place to go to to learn how to use Viveza?
    Best regards

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      November 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Paul, there is a book on Amazon covering thr Nik plugins but I dont know how good it is. The nik website is quite good at explaining features but it wont tell you the best way to do things. If you can wait a few weeks i am hoping to complete a Kindle book which i will make available on Amazon.

    visionandlight said:
    November 15, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Hi Robin,
    Interesting article. I’ve been playing around with Lightroom recently and the one thing missing for me is the ability to do local tonal adjustments. I’ll take a look at this plug-in and see if it works for me. A pity this functionality isn’t built into LR, but I guess that would just torpedo sales of Photoshop!

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      November 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Hi Ed

      Pleased you liked the article. Yes, the adjustment brush is a bit of a blunt tool in lightroom and as much as i love lightroom it just doesnt start to compare with Viveza. Well worth taking a look now you have gone digital 😉

        visionandlight said:
        November 15, 2012 at 8:03 pm

        I must admit I hadn’t spotted the adjustment brush in LR! Looks like I still have a lot to learn about these new-fangled computers. 😀

        thelightweightphotographer responded:
        November 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm

        Check out the series of my lightroom tutotials that ePHOTOzine published or you can download them as pdf files from the members area of my lenscraft site. Have fun.

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