Photoshop/Workflow Questions

Mar 28, 2008
Real Name
Hi All. My name is Mike and I am an image hoarder. Just filled another 2TB drive in my desktop. I already have 10TBs of external drives. So, I need to change the way I cull and save images. I pretty much know what I have to do to reduce the number of files I have been saving. It will be a daunting task.

I am using Photoshop CS5 Student and Teacher Edition. It is not up-gradable so I can't even load the newest Photoshop Camera Raw files to convert images. This means I convert everything to .tif to open in Photoshop. I have thousands of 200-400 MB .tif files.

My first question is: What are the major differences between Photoshop CS5 and the current Creative Cloud version? I'm no expert but know my way around CS5 for my purposes.

Second question: What is the difference between the $20.99 a month Photoshop subscription and the $9.99 a month Photography subscription that includes Photoshop and Lightroom? Is it a full version of Photoshop? I've never used Lightroom so don't know what the advantage of having it would be.

Thanks for any advice and direction!
Jan 21, 2006
Johns Creek, Ga
Not sure what all the difference between CS5 and Photoshop CC. I migrated last year after being on CS6 for a number of years after Adobe announced PhotoshopCC.. My biggest reason for upgrading was to be able to use a newer camera than my D800 without having to 1st convert the file to a DNG format. Most things remained the same or were enhanced, Content aware fill is great addition, and I'll occasionally use the facial aware features in liquify. Can't recall if you could use smart objects or not in CS5 but I believe you could not open those smart objects back up in Adobe Camera Raw.

I'm on the $9.99 version of Lightroom/photoshop. These are the full versions, not sure what the $20.99 gives you, maybe additional storage? Lightroom can act as your image management as well as your raw conversion software. I believe that the raw conversion engine use in Adobe Camera Raw is the same as used in the Lightroom develop module. You can import your images into the Catalog Module , convert and make all you color changes in the develop module and then export from Lightroom the converted file with your color corrections to Photoshop. In Photoshop make your pixel based changes and any additional color /luminosity based changes. When you save the file it creates the tiff and also saves the updated tiff in your Lightroom Catalog. You now have your original raw file and the converted tiff file.

Depending on what you do to your images you may be able to stay in Lightroom. You can print from Lightroom and create jpg's, Haven't done it in awhile but you could also publish images directly to Facebook, Flickr.

Plenty of youtube videos out there on Lightroom.
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Sep 13, 2007
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
For a comparison of the photography plans:

Notice that John mentioned DNG files. That's because you can open them in Photoshop rather than using TIFFs as you're currently doing. My experience with TIFFs was that they were large and often problematic, so I stopped using them. If you don't have a DNG converter on your computer (a program that converts your raw files to a DNG format, which is also a raw format), it's easy to download one. It's free.

Though I have the $9.99 photography plan that includes Photoshop and Lightroom, I use Lightroom only for its book module that uploads directly to Blurb. Otherwise, I use only Photoshop, which includes the raw converter, Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), as a built-in plug-in. That converter has the same engine as Lightroom but a different user interface. 90% of my photographs, maybe more, need only ACR.
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