I recently was asked “how often these days do I still actually work in Photoshop?” It took me a while to think about that, and realized that the question itself focuses on the wrong thing. I’ve written several times that I do more than 90% of my editing in Lightroom, but I do 100% of my creative work in Photoshop, or Illustrator, or even on my iPhone and iPad.
I really started looking at the question and thought about something said at last year’s Photoshop World, and came to the realization that Adobe really saw the future and moved to embrace it. I now believe that the question itself is really wrong. We now want access to all of our photos and digital life; wherever we are and expect the tools we need to just be there. Lots of people complained bitterly when Adobe shifted to their Creative Cloud subscription model. https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud.html
People were used to paying every 18 months or so for a major release of new features for their desktop applications. By the time you figured out what all the new features were, it was time for a new release. Now they update the apps all of the time, and send out easy to digest tutorials on the new features.
Two years ago they released LR mobile for the iPad and iPhone, then a flood of other mobile apps, including Photoshop express. Most of them for free.
Last year they introduced the cloud portfolio and it has all come together. You take an image on your phone, tag it, and it updates to your synchronized LR portfolio, automatically. You see some colors and patterns you like and snap them with Adobe Color and Adobe Brush and you have them available as a palette for your next project when you get home and sit down on your multi-monitor workstation.
You can shoot tethered into your laptop and have your clients see the results almost instantly via their tablets wherever they are and they can provide you feedback. http://scottkelby.com/2014/my-first-studio-shoot-using-lightroom-mobile/
Getting back to why the original question of how often I work in Photoshop was the wrong question. Thanks to Adobe, I don’t really think of what program I am using, but rather what function am I trying to accomplish. Since all of the Apps are linked through the cloud, I can just pick the tool I need, do whatever I need done, and move on. I know when I save the changes I’ve made that my LR catalog is updated and that I can get to those images and those changes wherever and whenever I want. It’s a very cool and very new world. I believe we are still just on the edge of exploring what it means.